Visiting Charleston for the 2013 Spoleto Festival? Lucky you!
Where to eat, drink and relax before (and after) a Spoleto show:
“Before a show, I enjoy a Dark n’ Stormy at The Rarebit on Upper King Street. They have many other specialty cocktails and old-fashioned, upscale diner fare to fill you up! After a show, it’s always fun, to get a drink on the patio at Leaf Café on Beaufain Street or in the courtyard at Pane e Vino on Warren Street (just off Upper King Street). If you are in the East Bay Street area after a show, then the Blind Tiger or the Gin Joint are my top picks.
“Try to eat dinner at a restaurant within walking distance of your venue. Since Spoleto venues are pretty widely spaced, I have a few general favorites. I recently re-discovered 39 Rue de Jean on King and John Street and am in love! Beautiful atmosphere, great wine list, and excellent food with attentive wait staff. If you are a fan of sushi, try it here. You won’t be disappointed! If you would like your food to be as creative as your arts, definitely head to McCrady’s on East Bay Street. Or our own Circa 1886 Restaurant, of course! The antelope is as unexpected as it is delicious!
Post show, there are a couple places that the artists hang out. Keep your eyes open and you may run into someone you saw performing earlier! One newer hot spot is The Belmont on Upper King Street. Grab a whiskey from their wide selection and enjoy it with a plate of fresh charcuterie. If you’re looking for some old style cocktails with a speakeasy feel, The Gin Joint on East Bay Street should fit the bill. Have a gin fizz and let the good times roll!”
“Before a show have a drink on the patio of Il Cortile del re on King Street. It’s a great courtyard – and off the beaten path. Grab dinner at Basil on King Street and make sure to order the Crispy Red Curry Duck.”
Top picks for the best Spoleto Events:
“I am excited about the open garden exhibition put on by the Charleston Horticultural Society. This event will be on Saturday, May 25th between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.”
“There are two 2013 performances that stand out to me. First is Jared Grimes’s tap showcase at the Emmet Robinson Theater at College of Charleston. It promises to be a fun show that brings the art of dance into the mainstream with Jared’s modern approach. Plus, he trained with Gregory Hines, so that is something I have in common with him!
The second performance I will definitely be attending is A Midsummer Night’s Dream presented jointly by Bristol Old Vic and the Handspring Puppet Company at the Dock Street Theater. Not only is this a well-known, historic play, it is being presented in a well-known, historic venue! The Dock Street Theater is a gorgeous, must-see space for anyone with an interest in the arts. You won’t want to miss a bit of the beautiful interpretation of Shakespeare’s classic romance.”
“Don’t miss the Finale at Middleton Plantation. I’d suggest having Caviar and Bananas pack you a picnic. Set up on the lawn under the stars and see a really fantastic fireworks display.”
How to beat the crowds:
“My favorite way to avoid crowds in the day is to bike or walk through the neighborhood south of Broad Street. Even in the buzz and heat of summer, there is a peace to be found amongst the grand mansions and cozy cottages there.”
“Walk everywhere! If you get tired, hail a pedicab to get around town.”
“Spoleto is one of my favorite times of year in Charleston! Such great art going on all around. (Piccolo Spoleto Festival is pretty cool, too.) Even at a time as busy as Spoleto, you can still enjoy your favorite activities without being overwhelmed. Book a private carriage tour (well in advance!) to see the sights in comfort and quiet. Have some quiet time to yourself and relax with an appointment at the Wentworth Mansion Spa! Take a drive out in the country and visit the Charleston Tea Plantation, the Angel Oak Tree, or Firefly Distilleries. If you really want to have some fun in the gorgeous Charleston sun, rent or charter a boat and explore the harbor and rivers!”