24 Hours in Savannah

Savannah, Georgia has long been considered Charleston’s “sister city,” a rival in Southern, urban historic beauty. While it’s only two hours from Charleston, I’ve visited less than a handful of times, and only passing through. This time was not different, but I was determined to at least scratch the surface and pave the way for future visits on our way back from Florida last Thursday.

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We stayed at The ANDAZ (owned by Hyatt) in Downtown Savannah and really enjoyed it. The location was excellent, the staff were super friendly and it has a fun lobby bar, a nice pool and great restaurant where Daphne and I enjoyed a Southern style breakfast buffet yesterday morning. (Girl loves a breakfast buffet!) Across the way was a city park with a fountain for kids perfect for this steamy weather we are having, plus the waterfront, shopping on Broughton Street and lots of restaurants were also just a few steps from the front door.

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We met some friends who recently moved to Savannah for dinner at The Wylde, a beautiful waterfront restaurant overlooking the marsh. It has a perfect view and excellent cocktails and a really well-priced, daily rotating seafood menu and some of the best fish tacos and cocktails I’ve had in the south. Highly recommend this spot which felt like a real local haunt, and not a tourist stop!

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We woke up on Friday and enjoyed the hotel pool then walked to Paris Market for coffee and shopping. With everything from taxidermy, to home goods to fresh macaroons and candy, it was just perfection.

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We drove up the street to check out some local antiques shops before lunch, towards Ardsley park which is an adorable, quiet residential neighborhood that reminded me a lot of Wagener Terrace, where I live in Charleston. Daphne and I, appropriately hit up an antiques market called Two Women and a Warehouse where I found some fun inspiration for my Candy Shop Vintage windows…

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For lunch we went to The Grey, housed in a former Greyhound bus station, predominantly a dinner spot they do serve day drinks, a small lunch menu and daily blue plate specials in the front bar area… I’ll be sharing my drink in the next cocktails edition on Cannon for sure!

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Finally a stop on my way out of town was Emily McCarthy’s beautiful home and design shop. She and I have been “insta friends” for awhile and I’ve always admired her taste and style. I loved stepping into her world for a bit and picked up some goodies to bring back to Charleston!

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Next trip to Savannah I really want to see some of the historic homes – Savannah style – and walk around more. Have you been? Do you have any Savannah travel tips and recommendations?

August Cocktails On Cannon

We took a little break in our #COCKTAILSONCANNON series last month. Between our trade show and summer travels I completely forgot to round up our July cocktail, although our whisky sours were a huge it at the trade show during cocktail hour. For this August I got in touch with my vintage soul sister, Jess James and asked if her husband Joel, an author and acclaimed mixologist would be willing to share one of his favorite drink recipes with us. Jess and Joel (below) collaborate on a lot of events together where Jess hosts and organizes and Joel provides the libations. They even recently found this fabulous, tufted leather bar that they often bring to their vintage themed soirées in Wilmington, NC where they are based.

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photo: Leslie Koehn/Star-News

The first time I met Joel he was tending bar at Manna, my favorite restaurant in Wilmington. While Jess and I chatted vintage at the bar Joel made is some amazing drinks, including some kind of Earl Grey infused cocktail that still sticks with me. I asked him to recommend a good summer cocktail since at least, here in Charleston we’ve got plenty of summer weather still in front of us.  Here is the “Lotus Blossom” with my favorite gin of choice, Hendrick’s:

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The Lotus Blossom:

1.5 oz. gin of choice (Hendrick’s works well because it has accents of cucumber and rose)
3/4 oz. Domaine de Canton (this is a ginger-infused cognac liqueur) 
2 drops of rosewater
2 oz. sparkling mineral water
4 medium-sized chunks of cucumber
garnish with a rose petal or slice of cucumber
In a mixing glass, muddle the cucumber in the Dom. de Canton until the cucumber is completely smashed. Add the gin, rosewater, a scoop of ice,  and shake for about fifteen seconds (the dilution is important.) Double-strain the mixture into a pre-chilled cocktail glass. Add the mineral water to the used ice, swirl for a second, then double strain it as well, snagging the last of the residual flavors.

Joel’s cocktails do not disappoint. And as you can imagine, tending bar, you hear a lot of stories from your customers. While he obviously mixes a good drink, his true calling is as a writer. You can purchase his book “Cocktails and Conversations” here, filled to the brim with incredible cocktail recipes and the stories that go with them. Cheers!

My Favorite Charleston Oyster Spots

Today happens to be one of my new favorite holidays, National Oyster Day! Charleston is rife with good oyster-eating spots so I thought I would share a few of my favorites, each with its own recommended oyster dish…

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#1) The Ordinary  at 544 King St, Charleston, SC – Best for: raw oysters

My number 1 oyster spot, this upscale seafood hall right down the block from our Charleston shop has some of the best seafood on the East Coast and is famous for its oysters, incredible raw seafood towers and wide selection of rums. And with daily “Oyster Hours” from 5PM – 6:30PM with half priced oysters I frequently find myself boomeranging to their bar when I get off work. Also, check out the amazing rum infused cocktail they mixed up for us recently.

#2) Leon’s Oyster Shop at 698 King Street, Charleston SC – Best for: the char-grilled oyster appetizer

A perfect no-reservations hip oyster spot on the Upper Peninsula. For non seafood lovers they also have excellent fried chicken and other non-seafood options on the menu. But my absolute favorite dish of theirs has to be their buttery char-grilled oyster appetizer and they have a great private label rosé called “Oyster Shed.” He he.

#3) The Darling Oyster Bar at 513 King Street, Charleston, SC – Best for: oyster shooters

The Darling is a well designed, fun filled new addition to King Street. Always busy and serving up great cocktails along with their trademark oyster shooters, this is a fun place to start a night out with a whimsically designed interior.

#4) The Wreck of Richard and Charlene at 106 Haddrell St, Mt Pleasant, SC – Best for: fried oysters

This local friend seafood spot has a water view where you can see the shrimp boats docking and dolphins jumping. It is a low-key, cash only establishment and the best place for fried oysters in Charleston.

#5) Bowen’s Island at 1870 Bowens Island Rd, Charleston – Best for: DIY oysters

Off-the-beaten path on the way out to Folly Beach, this casual seafood spot is known for throwing a big pile of steamed oysters down on your table. I used to think opening oysters was dirty business but having lived in Charleston almost ten years I have come to fully appreciate and enjoy the satisfaction of popping them open by hand. It is not fancy but it has an incredible sunset view.