Join wine and spirits guru Mark Spivak on a series of exceptional journeys to the gourmet destinations of America
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Culinary Tour of Charleston, October 23-27

Sunday, October 23

Arrive at CHS, transfer to The Spectator Hotel, 67 State St.

Located in the epicenter of Charleston’s historic downtown, close to the harbor, city market and restaurants, The Spectator is one of the city’s top boutique hotels. It boasts stunning design and offers unparalleled amenities: butler service; artisan snacks and beverages provided in your room fridge; a sumptuous, world-class bar, and deluxe continental breakfast delivered to your room daily (thespectatorhotel.com).

5:00 pm.: Assemble in the bar off the lobby for welcome and orientation

6:15 p.m.: Dinner at Magnolias, 199 East Bay St.

Magnolias ignited the culinary explosion in Charleston when it opened in 1990, and it remains one of the city’s best. It offers refined Lowcountry cuisine, prepared from the freshest possible ingredients and delivered in an upscale atmosphere. The kitchen is in the capable hands of chefs Kelly Franz and Don Drake, and the wine list is a delight (magnoliascharleton.com).

Monday, Octoberer 24

Breakfast at the hotel; assemble in the lobby at 9:15 a.m.

10 a.m. Sightseeing tour of Charleston: a two-hour guided, walking historical tour of the old city. Sights include Rainbow Row, High Battery & Waterfront, visual tour of Fort Sumter & Fort Moultrie, Exchange & Provost Dungeon, Old Slave MartDock Street Theater, Colonial Churches & Graveyards, Cotton Barns & Brothels, Taverns & Wharfs, graceful gardens & magnificent mansions.

12:30 p.m. Lunch at Blossom, 171 East Bay St.

Under the direction of Executive Chef Adam Close, Blossom offers some of the area’s best seafood: local oysters, crab and yellowfin tuna, along with batter-fried chicken, pork chops and homemade lamb sausage. The wine list features the best of the Old and New Worlds (blossomcharleston.com).

5 p.m.: Assemble in the lobby bar for cocktails

6:30 p.m. Dinner at The Peninsula Grill, 112 North Market St.

The entrance to The Peninsula Grill, one of the city’s most elegant dining venues, takes you through a lush courtyard lit by copper carriage lanterns. Once inside, the Relais & Châteaux dining room serves starters such as Lobster Three Ways and Seared Foie Gras, with entrees ranging from fresh local fish to duck breast, aged steaks and chops. The wine list is packed with small-batch gems from California and France (peninsulagrill.com).

Tuesday, October 25

Breakfast at the hotel; assemble in the lobby at 8:45 a.m.

9:30 a.m. Harbor Cruise: Board the Spirit of the Lowcountry, a restored paddlewheel steamer, for a tour of Charleston Harbor and a visit to Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. The cruise will be narrated, and National ServicRangers will greet the boat at Fort Sumter to provide details about the site and its role in the war.

12:30 p.m. Lunch at Fleet Landing

Housed in a 1940s retired naval building on the east side of the Charleston peninsula, Fleet Landing Restaurant features Chef Drew Hedlund’s classic and contemporary Southern seafood fare in a setting that celebrates the area’s waterfront heritage. Encased in a hurricane proof, 6,000 square foot concrete maritime structure, Fleet Landing juts out over the marsh on a reinforced pier and boasts oversized windows that offer an unobstructed view of the Charleston harbor. Built in 1942 by the US Navy as a debarkation point for sailors, the building lay vacant after World War II until it was acquired by the South Carolina Port Authority in the 1960s and used for storage (fleetlanding.net).

5 p.m. Assemble in the lobby bar for cocktails

6:30 p.m. Dinner at Poogan’s Porch, 72 Queen Street

Poogan’s has been a Charleston institution since 1976, offering elegantly rendered Southern comfort food in a historical atmosphere. Starters such as Se Crab Soup and Fried Green Tomatoes pave the way for entrees such as Crispy Skin snapper, Pan Roasted Duck and Cast Iron Pork Chops. The wine list focuses on small producers from the Mediterranean basin and California (poogansporch.com).

Wednesday, October 26

Breakfast at the hotel; assemble in the lobby at 9:30 a.m.

10 a.m. Horse-drawn carriage tour

Clippity-clop your way back to Colonial times, where a horse-drawn carriage tour will reveal over 300 years of history, including antebellum mansions, churches, and gardens. A licensed guide wearing the red sash will inform and entertain you with historical facts, lore, and humor. This one-hour narrated carriage tour covers more than 2.5 miles and 30 blocks of historic Charleston.

Noon: Assemble in hotel lobby

12:15 p.m. Lunch at Slightly North of Broad, 192 East Bay St.

One of the city’s top-rated restaurants, S.N.O.B. describes itself as “an eclectic Lowcountry bistro with contagious energy.” The menu offers graceful interpretations of Southern classics with ingredients sourced from local farmers and fishermen, and the well-constructed wine list focuses on small producers from around the globe (snobcharleston.com).

After lunch:

Shopping at Charleston City Market

The market has been the cultural heart of the city since 1804. Attractions include the Great Hall, containing 18,000 square feet of micro boutiques and the Historic Charleston Foundation, and the three open-air sheds, dating back to the Civil War, housing hundreds of entrepreneurs selling handmade and traditional Southern crafts.

5:00 Assemble in the lobby bar for cocktails

6:30 p.m. Dinner at Halls Chophouse, 434 King St.

Family owned and operated, Halls is ranked as the #1 restaurant on Trip Advisor and was recently voted the best steak house in America on Open Table. There is a wide assortment of both wet and dry-aged beef (USDA Prime from Allen Brothers in Chicago), as well as ahi tuna, seared scallops, wild salmon and fresh shellfish. As you might expect, the wine list is heavy on full-bodied reds from both Napa and Sonoma (hallschophouse.com).

Thursday, October 27

Breakfast at the hotel

Transfer to CHS for flights home

Notes:

All tours are optional. When making your reservation, please indicate which ones you are interested in.

Airport transfers will be provided by the Charleston Black Cab Company, the city’s leading transportation experts. When you make your flight reservations, please forward your entire itinerary (including connecting flights).

Dress: Primarily casual, with the exception of the Peninsula Grill and Halls Chophouse, where jackets would be appropriate for men.

 


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