48 Socially-Distanced Hours in Charleston

As soon as the CDC announced travel was low-risk for fully vaccinated people, I knew our inaugural adventure would be to Charleston. Not only because late-April weather is bound to be better in Charleston than Chicago, but because I had been torturing myself at Instagram by following the Post House Inn account since it opened in August 2020,  and knew this was my moment to strike. (Also: it was our 30th wedding anniversary and I really wanted to have a “real” celebration if I could.)

Fearful of overstaying our welcome, we kept our trip to under 48 hours on the ground with a tightly edited list of spots to visit. Want to know my favorites? Read on:

post house inn: room 4 in the late-day sun

Post House Inn  Stop one was (of course) the aforementioned Post House Inn … we arrived late afternoon, checked in and realized that my Instagram obsession paid off: the inn is delightful, the rooms simply but appealing decorated and I felt at home right away. As we had a bit of time before dinner, we went for a wander around the Old Village district of Mt. Pleasant, where Post House is nestled. (I hadn’t been there in ages, since the days of visiting Patriot’s Point when our son was young.) It was nice to have a leisurely stroll, admiring southern homes in full-spring flower with the scent of jasmine filling the air, then circling back to the hotel for a French 75 cocktail followed by dinner al fresco. Our server, Zoe, was a relocated Chicagoan and we hit it off straight away — she expertly guided us through the wine options and also smartly pointed me towards the burger for dinner, which was an excellent decision.

all set for al fresco dinner (graphic design courtesy of über-talented charleston studio stitch design co)

post house inn’s burger: perfection

I can’t say enough nice things about Post House Inn: the design is top-notch of course (I knew that going in) but the food was great, too, and best of all, the staff was friendly and helpful and really went out of their way to make us feel at-home during our short stay. (And yes, I bought the Post House tote bag I’d been eyeing for months as a souvenir.) Already thinking about my next visit, as room 3’s wallpaper needs to be experienced.

Elizabeth Stuart Design  Easily the serendipitous surprise of the trip. In the planning phase, I had noted Elizabeth Stuart Design as a “to visit” spot as it’s quite close to Post House. In my head, I had assumed it was an interiors shop, where I could pop in for some inspiration and hopefully, find a thing or two that would work chez moi. What I was not expecting was the expansive and simply amazing garden shop. (Amazing!)

There were tables, chairs, glasshouses, and plant containers, all expertly and elegantly displayed. I wanted to linger and drink it in, as it was the closest I’ve felt to being at Petersham Nurseries in a long, long, time. (I was kind of hoping I’d stumble across a bar serving rose-petal prosecco bellinis.)

They had just recently hosted a book signing for Christopher Spitzmiller and the indoor space, which is more focused on lifestyle and interiors, luckily still had the flower arrangements for the event on display. The heightened effect was glorious. I cannot wait to go back.*

glass house

containers for days

the interiors shop (with pretty flowers)

Babas on Cannon  The other main draw for my Charleston adventure was Babas on Cannon … which I have been thinking about ever since my first visit to Babas in January 2020. In what seems impossible, but justified, Babas is even busier and buzzier during Covid. The menu has been edited and condensed (and helpfully written on the front windows); ordering is inside, one-party-at-a-time  (there’s an app to streamline the going-inside bit for locals); food is prepared to-go or delivered to one of the charming outside tables … the effect was winning as ever.

Babas is picking up well-deserved buzz in town, too: a shop owner around the corner from Babas raved about the g&t’s (per her they’re the only g&t she likes) and the ham and beurre sandwich. Following her advice, I ordered the ham and beurre for lunch, and my husband got a g&t (the cocktails all come pre-bottled and sealed). The g&t was so good we came back at cocktail hour so I could have my “own”.**

babas on cannon: (most of) the menu

ham and beurre

gin and tonic for one: perfection in style and substance

* For a deeper dive, if you like gardens as much as I do, you’ll enjoy this video tour of Elizabeth Stuart Designs owner Muffie Faith’s garden.

** I seriously wish there were a way to mail order a case of g&t’s … visions of a garden party wafting through my brain.

all photos by jane potrykus

One Comment

  1. May 17, 2021 / Permalink

    I am also making my first post-COVID trips to US destinations. Through the summer they will all be in California, but I had just been thinking that I’ve never explored the American South and I’ve always wanted to. Maybe next spring. I selfishly hope you travel more;) so I can follow along.