5 luxurious ways to experience Charleston

Charleston is in the midst of an exciting cultural renaissance with an exploding culinary scene bringing new life to neighbourhoods. Add to that gorgeous colonial mansions to lounge in and hip boutiques to explore and you’ve got a recipe for some seriously luxurious living. From oyster bars to champagne-fuelled helicopter rides – we’ve picked out five ways to indulge yourself in Charleston’s Southern charm.

Oysters at The Ordinary

This place is anything but ordinary. The building itself, a converted bank, is an elegant masterclass in black and white marble with sky-high ceilings. The floor-to-ceiling bar is enough of a draw, but gourmands gather here for a taste of James Beard Chef Mike Lata’s exquisite seafood, including some of the best oysters in town. Feast on oyster sliders, local Stone Crab claws, peel-and-eat shrimp, razor clams and caviar. A true culinary experience.

The Ordinary Charleston

Stay at Wentworth Mansion

Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillipe famously spent their wedding night here, and it’s no surprise why. Nestled within the charming historic district, Wentworth Mansion is a tribute to Charleston grandeur. With crystal chandeliers and hand-carved marble fireplaces, the hotel captures the ‘intrigue and magic of a former time’. Arrive to a fine wine in the parlour and dine on the award-winning restaurant Circa 1886 – a setting belonging to a bygone era of romance and elegance.

Wentworth Mansion Charleston

Soar over the city

There’s no better way to take in the spired skyline of this Holy City than from above, especially from your own private helicopter. Glide over Charleston Harbour, or soar over to the Isle of Palms and gaze at the ocean unfolding out from the city’s waterways. Top tip: stay at Wentworth Mansion and you’ll be able to enjoy a sunset heli trip and sip champagne as you watch the church spires below turn gold in the fading light.

Charleston French Quarter

The jewels of King Street

For jewellery lovers, a visit to family-run Croghan’s Jewel Box on King Street is not to be missed. It’s one of the oldest jewellery stores in Charleston and inside every shelf and counter gleam, brimming with exquisite antique necklaces, rings, silverware and trinkets. For a chic souvenir, pick up a piece from the beautiful Goldbug Collection, hand-designed by the great-granddaughter of the store’s founder himself, who is fast becoming a young designer to watch in Charleston’s creative scene.

Croghan's Jewel Box Charleston

Relax and rejuvenate

Nothing beats a little spa time to round-off your trip, so take the afternoon off and treat yourself to a pamper session at The Spa at Belmond Charleston Place. With interiors giving a nod to southern charm (think tinkling chandeliers and rich furnishings) and a treatment menu filled with revolutionary facials like the Intraceuticals Oxygen facial, rich scrubs, and Champagne pedicures; this is the perfect downtown escape for those wanting to relax and unwind.

Belmond Charleston Place Spa

Tom Marchant is Co-founder of Black Tomato.

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