Business trips are always most enjoyable when I can also squeeze in a little time to learn about the wonderful places I visit.
Recently, I flew down to historic Charleston, South Carolina to speak at the 70th Anniversary Luncheon for the Historic Charleston Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in 1947 to preserve and protect the historical, architectural and material culture of the city. I was honored to address the audience and to share my own restoration and renovation experiences with both my Bedford, New York farm and Skylands, my home in Maine.
While in the area, I also had the chance to see some beautiful private gardens, and historic homes, including the Nathaniel Russell House Museum. I stopped in at the well-known Cigar Factory and the Fritz Porter antiques center, and visited a wonderful local bakery. Enjoy these photos.
The luncheon event was held at Charleston’s Gaillard Center – a 15-thousand square foot event space including a performance venue, ballroom and an exhibition location. (Photo by Jeff Dodge) http://www.gaillardcenter.com
At least 600-guests were invited to attend. (Photo by Jeff Dodge)
This is a display of one of the gift giveaways – a delicious treat from Caroline’s Cakes. The custom design featuring my initials is Charleston’s wrought iron style. https://www.carolinescakes.com
We gave each of the guests a copy of my Living magazine as well as a special Martha & Marley Spoon discount offer. https://marleyspoon.com/
There was also a table set up with two of my books available for sale – “Martha Stewart’s Vegetables: Inspired Recipes and Tips for Choosing, Cooking, and Enjoying the Freshest Seasonal Flavors” and “Martha’s Entertaining: A Year of Celebrations”. (Photo by Jeff Dodge)
Lunch included an herb infused chicken paillard with a green salad.
For dessert – a cheesecake mousse with a benne safe crust and raspberry puree.
President and CEO of the Historic Charleston Foundation, Kitty Robinson, gave me a warm welcome and wonderful introduction.
My presentation was entitled, “Putting a Personal Imprint on an Historic Restoration”. I spoke about restoring my Bedford farm and about the work I did to Skylands to preserve its historic details. (Photo by Jeff Dodge)
At the end of my presentation, Kitty handed me one of the lovely gift boxes from Caroline’s Cakes. (Photo by Jeff Dodge)
We also had the chance to visit the Sugar Bakeshop owned by architects turned bakers, Bill Bowick and David Bouffard. They offer a variety of homemade treats such as these grapefruit cupcakes topped with fresh fruit. http://www.sugarbake.com
These cupcakes are pistachio and lime curd coconut.
These are lemon curd cupcakes.
And, vanilla blueberry – I purchased box of about a dozen different flavors.
I love visiting gardens – here are Betsy and Gene Johnson, who welcomed us to their property and gave us a tour.
This is the driveway leading up to the property’s 1806 Gothic Revival carriage house, and B&B.
Set amid Betsy and Gene’s exquisite formal gardens is Wortham House, their handsomely decorated Gothic Revival carriage house B&B. This is the large lounge on the first floor.
The B&B offers a cozy feel throughout and includes three bedrooms with private baths.
Here is the kitchen – so quaint and comfortable.
Gene Johnson, a retired physician, designed their gardens – so beautiful.
The garden areas are so meticulously manicured.
I just love the lush greenery.
The Johnson’s home is surrounded by the elegant gardens and numerous plantings.
The outdoor furniture, in a wonderful light aqua color, looks so pretty against the dark green foliage.
We made a brief visit to the Cigar Factory, and Fritz Porter, a curated antique center representing 15 different dealers – similar to the Antique & Artisan Gallery in Stamford, Connecticut. Fritz Porter is located in the historic Cigar Factory originally built in 1881 as a cotton manufacturing facility, and now used for housing event space, signature restaurants and retail stores. Here is a handsome faux bois planter. http://fritzporter.com
And an original painting by artist, Stuart Budd, called “Bird Sounds”.
Then, we went to the historic Nathaniel Russell House Museum.
Built by wealthy shipping merchant Nathaniel Russell in 1808, it is recognized as one of America’s most important Neoclassical houses.
This eight-panel door is faux-grained – so beautifully done.
The rectangular entrance hall has a black and white diamond patterned floorcloth edged with a leaf motif.
The adjacent office was where Russell conducted much of his business.
Off the central stair hall is the oval dining room, with turquoise walls that look painted, but are actually small squares of unpatterned wallpaper.
This is the grand cantilevered spiral staircase.
This elliptical spiral staircase climbs three flights.
The large rectangular withdrawing room found at the front of the house has soft gray walls, white wainscoting and multilayered gilded cornice molding.
It also has windows on three sides. The room was originally used during the day to take advantage of the daylight and breezes.
The house has six-thousand square feet of living space. The second floor drawing room was painted in apricot with ornate gray moldings covered with 24-karat gold leaf.
Most of the furniture is not original to the home, but from the same time period that the Russell family inhabited the space.
The house and grounds are separated from the street by a brick and wrought iron fence and entrance gate.
Here I am with Kitty, and Lauren, who gave us a wonderful and informative tour of the house. The Historic Charleston Foundation is currently doing a soft furnishing project of the Nathaniel Russell House museum.
Here, I am joined by Vereen Coen, daughter of Charleston Receipts co-founding editor, Mary Vereen Huguenin. We also visited her home and garden in historic Charleston.
Here is a view looking out to a beautiful parterre.
The gardens are also so well-manicured.
I love this circular walk. It was a beautiful tour through a very inspiring garden space.