Staycation at The Restoration

Having a staycation with my family is just as fun as hopping on a plane and experiencing a new city.  The beauty of jumping in your car and driving a few miles to your destination just means you have more time to experience your vacation, and less time traveling.  We do after all, live in one of the top travel destinations in the world.  Me and my crew had the opportunity to stay at The Restoration Hotel downtown, one of the most dynamic boutique hotels in Charleston, offering everything from vintage car rentals, shopping, dining, baby sitting services, and grocery delivery to your room.

 You can rent a vintage car at The Restoration Hotel by the hour or by the day from Dream Classic Rentals.  It was so much fun riding in this 1966 Mustang over the James Island connector to Folly Beach.  I didn’t realize how much attention we would get, everyone loves a vintage convertible, especially in this bright turquoise.

Hat by San Diego Hat Co. from Shoes.com $44.95 // Bag by San Diego Hat company from Zappos $32.99 // Romper by L’Atiste from Toss Designs $48 // Sunglasses from Sunglass LA $12 // Jewelry by Barracuda Moon  // shoes by Serverde

It doesn’t get anymore convenient than The Curated Coastal Package which is a great service The Restoration Hotel offers to make your trip to the beach extra easy.  They packed a yummy picnic for all of us which included sandwiches, cheese, crackers, fruit and water. Plus they throw in beach chairs and a game of paddle board.   As you can see here we throughly enjoyed our care-free day at the beach thanks to The Restoration.

Turkish towels by The Charleston Weekender from Cannonborough Collective // sunglasses from Sunglass LA // and swimsuit from Citrine Swim 

After all of the saltwater and sand we were ready to get back to The Restoration Hotel and take a dip in the pool.  The 5th floor private pool has the most amazing views of Charleston in an intimate setting.  We lucked out and got the pool all to ourselves.  You really feel like your in another city when you get to experience all of the amenities of a boutique hotel.

Sun wrap worn as a head wrap by Zags x Goldbug Collection from Croghans Jewel Box // Goldbug Collection Bee Mine earrings $85 from Croghans Jewel Box // ZAc Zac Posen sunglasses from Nordstrom $85 // Swimsuit from Old Navy $44.99

View more to check out the rest of our hotel stay including the incredibly delicious dinner at The Watch restaurant, cooking breakfast in our suite, and squeezing out the last moments of our staycation at The Restoration Hotel. If your looking for an escape this summer, I’ve teamed up with The Restoration for 15% off a hotel booking with promo code FAMILY now through August.  Click here to book and I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Straw from Cannonborough Collective

Photography by Clifford Pate

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Tu Good to be True

Tucked away on the busy Upper Meeting Street is the oasis called Tu.  Innovation and concept melt together in this new restaurant brought to you by the owners of Xiao Bao Biscuit.  Joey Ryan, Josh Walker, and Josh’s wife Duolan Li are always one step ahead of giving Charleston what it’s been lacking in flavor.  They’re always on the cutting edge with bringing bold ethnic flavors together in an ultra hip setting.

If your expecting more Asian infused dishes at Tu, you’ll be surprised.  Their menu is all about multicultural influences and unexpected pairings.  Duolan Li describes it as “New American” which means it’s a melting pot of flavors from South America to the Middle East.  Of course presentation is everything, just look at this Fennel Salad topped with edible flowers.

After living in New York I was spoiled with access to any ethnic food I wanted and it’s so nice to see a place that embraces many cultures and celebrates it.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the food in Charleston, but there’s always room for another quality restaurant, especially one that offers diversity.

I’m not a strict vegetarian, but I always gravitate towards the veggie focused dishes.  This beet dripping with chimmichurri and griddled provolone had my name written all over it!

The other surprise at Tu that I’m obsessed with is it’s decor and overall vibe.  First off they have parking in their courtyard, and to the left of the parking is a traditional Charleston home with two dining rooms downstairs.  One room is their private party room, ready for a karaoke sing off or a dance party, or both.  The blush walls paired with the glossy green ceilings would make any interior designer drool.

The other dining room is painted a matte black, lit by only a few dim sconces and a neon light.  The mood is sexy date night.

Adjacent to the traditional house is the modern building that they custom built.  The orange velvet banquettes set against the pink plastered walls have a 60’s throwback (my favorite era in design).  Every detail is so well thought out and so unique to Charleston.  It’s what we’ve been wanting, but didn’t know it until it arrived.  This place is perfect for a date night, girls’ night, or when you want to impress your friends or family who are coming into town.  Thank you team Tu and Xiao Bao Biscuit for continuing to elevate the southern dining experience and always bringing the flava!

Green jumpsuit and red floral jumpsuit from Traffic People // Annabelle circle crossbody $105 from Duex Lux // Jewelry from Jtv

Photography by Libby Williams of Plate South

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Street Teaming at the Charleston Wine & Food Festival

It was such an honor to be a part of Charleston Wine and Food Festival’s Street Team again this year.  The festival knocked it out of the park, outdoing themselves with bigger and more innovative ways to share food culture.  With well known chefs and alcohol brands from all around the world every event was an experience stimulating all of the senses. My round up of events covered everything from baking biscuits with Carrie Morey of Callie’s Biscuits to a decadent brunch entertained by drag queens.  Besides getting to indulge in the best food and drinks you can consume in one sitting, I love the sense of community these events evoke.  It’s so refreshing to see a gathering of people of all cultural backgrounds come together because we all believe that eating great food with a drink in hand, is our happy place.

What does is mean to be on the street team for Charleston Wine and Food Festival?  I was able to attend events that I wanted to highlight and promote on my social media.  Since I’m not a big drinker I went to food focused events that were both hands on and had some entertainment value.  My partner in crime was Liz Martin AKA the Charleston Weekender.   We got to play Instagram wifey and provided each other with some comic relief.  I’m so glad I got to bump into a lot of my fellow street teamers this year like The Cocktail Bandits, Charleston Food Writer, Jai Eats, Holy City Handcraft, Queen of the Foodage, Sweet Southern Prep, and Snoop Natty Nat.

Photos by Libby Williams, Bus from Lowcountry Valet, balloons from Cannonborough Collective

I’ll start with the last event (and maybe my most favorite) and work my way back.  The Queens on King drag brunch was out of control amazing!  Set at the William Aiken house, it was southern decadence at it’s best.  Monica Van Pelt of Lips Atlanta was the host of the show and brought the flashiest girls from Atlanta to Charleston.  We started out with cocktails topped with cotton candy from Pure Fluff Co. and breakfast bites from soon to be open Daps.

What do you wear to a drag brunch?  Me and the Charleston Weekender opted for a monochromatic look – suit and PJ’s.  My outfit is from from Rachel Roy – Mint leaf blazer $139, Sailor Jogger Pants $99, Tarah Top $79.  You can shop the links and when you use CHARLESTONSHOP20 at checkout you receive 20% off!  These sunglasses by Blue Planet Eyewear are my new favorite and they’re only $55.

Brunch is my favorite meal of the day and Saturday was another breakfast bonanza for the #brunchsquad event at The Workshop.  What does a brunch squad entail?  We divided up into teams headed by a well known chef and learned how to cook/bake a dish enough for hundreds of people.  Once those dishes were ready they were brought out to us on the great lawn and we stuffed ourselves while we enjoyed sweet beats by a dj. The inspiring Ellen Bennett of Hedley & Bennett was the host along with sponsors Cherry Bombe Magazine and Williams Sonoma.  Talk about a lot of girl power!

Innovative food like these ice cream drumsticks were just some of the fun dishes on the line up.

The only bad thing about the Charleston Wine and Food Festival is coming off that high. After days of eating my heart out I’m already going through withdrawals.  The reality of cooking for myself at home has set in, but thank God I have plenty of my favorite local spots I can always treat myself to.  I’m looking forward to seeing what the 2019 festival has in store!

View more to find out about my all food adventures.

Photo by Jonathan Boncek

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Love Sensation

I can’t believe it’s already February!  Where did the time go?  Luckily I can feel that spring is around the corner, which means a change of wardrobe and Valentine’s Day.  I’ll be sharing a lot things on this post starting with this dress from Mulberry and King.  I was eyeing it at the Champagne Society at The Skinny Dip a couple of weeks ago when the founders Meghan and Meredith were speaking.  I loved hearing their story about starting a successful online store, how could you not want to support these two boss moms??

Rose gold is still having a moment, and it’s not going anywhere.  I love these rings from Gold Creations, especially the morganite ones. The pale pink stone on the rose gold is too good.  The flowers are from Petaloso, and I’m so lucky I have a good friend who is both talented and has great taste.  Flowers add so much life and vibrancy in photos and who doesn’t love fresh flowers?  I have a feeling you’ll be seeing more pretty arrangements popping up on my blog more frequently.

This cute little macaroon jewelry box from Vieuxtemps is the cutest thing and it comes in a array of pastel colors.  Perfect for storing your jewelry when your travelling, but don’t try to eat them, they’re not edible.

But these cupcakes from Cupcake sure are!  I’ll be featuring them on my Lowcountry Live Valentine’s segment today at 10am alongside Island Haus Paperie, Stella Nova at Mt. Pleasant Towne Centre, and Holy Spokes Bike Share.  I’m also doing an instagram giveaway with Cupcake and Holy Spokes Bike Share, click here to check out the latest posts and enter to win!

These rose gold beauties are by Pilar Cuadros, a Peruvian brand I discovered from my friend Romel Oliveria.   I love supporting home grown brands across the globe, especially when they make gorgeous shoes.

Today is also National Wear Red Day to raise awareness on women’s heart health.  The American Heart Association’s national movement to end heart disease and stroke in women has been a huge campaign and I’m happy to spread the word.  I hope I see a lot of red on the streets in Charleston today!

Photography by Nicole Mickle, on location at The Parsonage

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Curated Gifts at Vieuxtemps

When your shopping for the person that seems to have it all,  Vieuxtemps is your place to find that special gift like this Champagne Saber.  Why pop the bottle the traditional way when you can slay it and look super cool?  Yes, this the lower King boutique stocks up on unique gifts for everyone on your list, even the kiddos.  Owned by Natalie Taylor this local shop is known for their generous offerings of china and crystal, popular among bridal registries.  Her diverse selection of gifty items might have you overwhelmed at first, but take your time to take it all in.  Here are some of my favorite finds at every price range.

Bracelet Flask $58

Gingerbread Advent Calendar, pre-filled with toys and candy $98

Made in Denmark Mice, toothfairy $36 and hero in a suitcase $32

Louis Sherry Chocolate Boxes, 12 piece $35 and 2 piece $8.50

Gold and Black bar set $162 and hand etched glasses (Charleston Map or Christmas Sweater) $14 each

Hollywood Dogs leather bound book $100, Choupette – the story of Karl Lagerfeld’s cat $9.98, Modern Aristocrats $60, The Gospel According to Chanel Leather Bound Book $85

So when your ready to knock out people on your Christmas list or need a hostess gift, swing by Vieuxtemps at 180 King Street.  Follow them on Instagram and Facebook to stay updated with all of the great product they have coming in.  Also, from now until December 12th they’re collecting toys for Toys for Tots and offering 10% off when you bring something in.

View more for a little Q & A with Natalie and more gift ideas!

Photography by Clifford Pate, on location at The Spectator Hotel

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Joy Ride

Riding bikes is one of my favorite things to do and being able to soak up the scenery on two wheels in Wild Dunes Resort is the ultimate experience.  Their bike rental shop located across the street from The Village Inn has bikes for the whole family.  The bike friendly sidewalk seemed to stretch for miles and the weather was perfect for our day of activities.

We worked up our appetites for breakfast at Huey’s, the restaurant on the green named for an infamous Goose that lurked the resort.  With wrap around windows overlooking the golf course, the view was just as good as the food.

We had heard about their famous blueberry pancakes so we had to order that stat.  They really did live up to the legacy and now every pancake I have after that is going to be a tough act to follow.  They surprised us with this massive fruit plate that was enough to feed an army.   This was one of the best breakfasts I’ve had in Charleston and I’ll have to make a trip back to Wild Dunes just to have those pancakes.

The golf course at Wild Dunes is recognized as the best in the state by Golf Digest with 36 holes spread out on their beautiful property.  If your not an avid golfer but want to try your hand at it they offer clinics and private lessons by their seasoned instructors.  Jeff Minton is one of the instructors and he gives the best pointers and tips.   We loved our lessons with Jeff, especially my boys.  Even Sebastian got to hit a few balls with his one good arm.

It’s all about the form and follow through.

The day continued with a tennis match on their clay courts and lounging by the pool.  Another perfect day in paradise.

In case you missed out on my other blog post, I’m teaming up with Wild Dunes Resort on a special discount so you can experience all of the fun.  Guests who book a minimum of two night stay using the special code CURATE will receive $100 off, valid for all stays through October 31st.

Top $96 and shorts $88 by Show Me your Mumu and hat by Aviate from  Tres Carmen Boutique // Double decker lurex sneakers $57.95 from Keds // Multi tourmaline arrow necklace by Ash Hoffman

Photography by Clifford Pate

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The New New at Freshfields

Freshfields Village is buzzing with all of the new additions which means more reasons to keep on coming back.  Along with village veterans like The Resort Shop (where this dress is from), new businesses like Elizabeth Stuart Design, Studio 33 Kiawah, Blue Mercury, and and Fuji Restaurant have popped up over the summer.

Elizabeth Stuart Design is known in the Charleston area for her sophisticated selections in home decor, art, and accessories.  Her satellite shop in Kiawah is a curated mix of gorgeous jewelry from the likes of S Carter and cool shades by AM Eyewear (pictured here).  Her offerings are a nice price range making it easy to find gifts or splurge on yourself.

Blue Mercury was a no-brainer top open up, with no other makeup stores in the area of Kiawah and Johns Island.  This national store has shops everywhere including downtown Charleston, but this Freshfields Village location was much needed.  You can find the best makeup and skincare lines out there, and also get spa treatments like facials, waxing, and massages.  I had to try out some of their products and was so happy with the makeup application they gave me.

Another void in the area was a Japanese restaurant and our prayers have finally been answered with Fuji.  Their creative selection of sushi rolls, delicious salads, and appetizers will have you wanting to come back over and over again.  This is now on the top of my list for sushi in Charleston, and the best part is they can make any custom roll you want.  My friend Libby of Plate South and I were on a roll (pun intended) sampling everything we thought we could fit in our stomachs. If you go you have to try my favorites – Harumaki, Tuna Martini and the Avocado Salad.  As far as rolls go it just depends on how adventurous you are, but I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

If your looking for a relaxing shopping and dining experience then Freshfields Village is your answer.   Fall is always a great time to come out to the Village so follow them on Instagram to stay in the know of all of their events and happenings.

Dress by Laundry by Shelli Segal $295 from The Resort Shop // Sunglasses by AM Eyewear $465, Beaded purse by Ink + Alloy $62.50, Diamond tusk necklace by S Carter $3,545, Full pave diamond cuff by S Carter $1,370, Sterling silver wide ring by Sarah Richardson $200, Sterling silver equator ring $295, Asymetrical Iris Smokey ring $1,200, Sterling silver tripod ring by Sarah Richardson$155 all from Elizabeth Stuart Design from Freshfields Village //  Caress sandals by Corso Como from Nordstrom $119.95

Photography by Libby Williams 

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About Charleston Shop Curator

Charleston Shop Curator serves as a fashion blog and shopping guide to showcase the incredible diversity of style in Charleston, South Carolina. We continually strive to expose local creative talents from designers to stores. Here you can find all of the treasures Charleston has to offer, and more.

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