Charleston, South Carolina is one of our favorite cities and has a rich history with an equally impressive inventory of historic architecture, great restaurants and a lively arts scene. In my opinion, I feel Charleston looks and feels like a European coastal city where no passport is required to visit. Our friends at Charming Inns, who own and operate a family of historic inns and restaurants in Charleston just celebrated the fifteen year anniversary of their Circa 1886 Restaurant by giving the space a fresh new look.
Circa 1886 Restaurant is located in the carriage house of Wentworth Mansion, a 21-room tribute to Charleston grandeur with beautiful Italian crystal chandeliers, hand-carved marble fireplaces and located in the heart of all that downtown Charleston has to offer. To celebrate fifteen successful years of business this 19th century building was given a “refresh” that includes some structural changes and design updates throughout. Each room in the restaurant has been given new life by using a neutral color palette with accents of blues and greens. Guests who arrive early can enjoy a delicious house specialty cocktail or choose a glass of wine at the bar where they will notice the newly installed granite bar top that stands out against the backdrop of the neutral and classic palette of colors throughout the space.
Circa 1886 Restaurant’s dining room has been given new life as well with architectural lighting, beautifully stone tiled walls and banana leaf wall coverings. In addition to the aesthetic upgrades, three new booths were added to the wine room to accommodate additional guests. The booths themselves feature contemporary textiles and the walls have been adorned with wood inspired wall fabrics. In addition, the walls have Charleston inspired black and white photographs throughout with broad landscapes of the region and graphic closeups of sweetgrass and Spanish moss giving the space an elegant and calming vibe.
In addition to all of the aesthetic changes that have been made, Executive Chef Marc Collins has introduced a new menu to celebrate fifteen successful years of service. Some of the early fan favorites are Fried Catfish with Truffled Mac and Cheese and the locally sourced Keegan-Filion Pork Chop with Heart of Palm Puree. What caught my eye was Carolina Gold Rice & Popcorn Cake with Blue Crab and Rock Shrimp, which looks divine. Circa 1886 Restaurant serves a seasonally inspired menu with locally sourced ingredients with a 250 bottle wine menu that also rotates out seasonally to accentuate the flavors that Chef Marc Collins creates. FEH is planning a statewide trip to South Carolina this spring and checking out the new design and menu is most certainly at the top of our itinerary. For more information about Circa 1886 Restaurant renovation and the portfolio of historic inns that Charming Inns has to offer click here.