Lifestyle

HEAVENLY REST

This quarter’s fashion feature, set on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, brings back memories of a blissful anniversary my husband and I spent there in the early ’90s. Thinking a reprise was long overdue, I called up a friend of mine who happens to be an expert in luxury travel. What’s the latest, greatest place to stay along the Blue Highway, I asked.

ONE LAST THING

After I inherited a few precious objects, including a Russian icon about which I knew nothing, my Paris pied-à-terre became a museum, and I turned into a curator. Since my real home was on the other side of the pond, and the apartment was often the victim of floods and other calamities, I had to fly over all too often. One day, my son Thibault prodded me about my priorities.

Versatile Viburnum

I can’t figure out why people aren’t as smitten with viburnum as I am. It is mostly an evergreen shrub, blooms from late winter to early spring and comes in over 120 species plus numerous varieties. Several cheerfully embrace our sultry summers, and mostly ignore an occasional bone-chilling winter. Yet, I seldom see viburnum in Charleston landscapes and this drives me nuts.

Dining on the Alley

Sitting in the exquisite comfort of a handcrafted Italian leather banquette waiting for our server to return, it’s hard to imagine that not so long ago this elegant dining room was an empty warehouse that hadn’t seen the light of day in decades. Clubby and classic, Michael’s on the Alley is Charleston’s newest upscale steakhouse and part of an ambitious undertaking to transform an entire block of downtown property.

Woven Treasure

For locals and tourists alike, sweetgrass baskets are an important part of the Charleston experience. So many of us stop by Charleston’s historic City Market again and again to buy “just one more” of these beautiful, functional baskets and to chat with the artist about how she learned her craft.

Outdoor Adventures

Nature Adventures Outfitters (NAO), an independent business based on Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, has the equipment to get you to the “great outdoors” and knowledgeable guides who will help you enjoy it—no matter your experience level.

ILLUSTRATING THE NEW WORLD

Their painstaking documentation of the New World’s natural resources—fossils, minerals, insects, shells, plants, butterflies, birds and animals—not only benefited education in the universities of the day, but also advanced trade between the Old and New Worlds in valuable herbs, spices and animal products. The best creations are considered works of art and are highly sought after by collectors.

FARM TO FABULOUS

The Granary, the Southern-themed restaurant that opened last December in Mount Pleasant’s Belle Hall Shopping Center, thrives on contradictions.

PRESERVING THE LEGACY

Recently, we had the pleasure to tour the College of Charleston’s Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, truly a cultural gem. The Center’s mission is to collect, preserve and promote the unique history and culture of African Americans, with an emphasis on Charleston and the South Carolina Lowcountry.

ALL FOR THE SHOW

Call it the never-a-dull-moment school of entertainment. Effervescing with energy, Brad and Jennifer Moranz come to it as naturally as footlights to greasepaint, as Gilbert to Sullivan.

LIGHTS FANTASTIC

It’s late spring, and I can’t sleep. The woods behind the house are hosting fireflies. Knowing that makes me restless. To squander firefly season seems as heedless as failing to dress out for a meteor shower.

AUTHOR TERESA BRUCE—A LIFE OF REINVENTION

Beaufort, South Carolina, resident Teresa Bruce has worn many different hats in her lifetime. She’s been an Olympic hopeful, a nomadic traveler, a broadcast journalist and a public relations executive. Most recently, she wears the hat of “accomplished book author.”

Graceful Gold

There’s a bit of magic that happens when an artisan creates a piece for someone they love.

Attention-Getting Homes

Matt O’Neill has a gift for seeing beauty in every home—and making sure potential buyers see that beauty as well. As president of Matt O’Neill Real Estate in Mount Pleasant, he and his team have found success in the market, breaking records for selling the most expensive homes in neighborhoods throughout Charleston County. O’Neill says his recipe for selling is simple: It’s a matter of making each house look as marketable as possible.

Rapturously Received

It’s a little over 100 years ago in Charleston, the Welch & Eason Standard grocery on Meeting Street is selling peaches and pimento cheese, and ladies are shopping for furs at Furchgott’s on King. Just down the block, William “Bill” Croghan has just opened Croghan’s Jewel Box, an engraving and jewelry store, on the skinny side porch of a single house at 308 King St.

Toast of the Town

Tucked away on Johns Island, off Maybank Highway, sits one of the Charleston area’s newest craft production facilities. Although Carolina Coaster Company has been on the local craft and market scene since 2010, the operation’s recent move from a small 400-square-foot space to a sizable 1,600-square-foot building is evidence of the company’s growing presence in the Lowcountry—and beyond.

Southern Charm

Marion—population 6,938—is a charming and historic South Carolina town located in the northeastern corner of the state between the Great and Little Pee Dee Rivers. Out of the way? Not at all. Marion’s location—47 miles from the state’s Grand Strand and just two hours from Columbia and Charleston—makes it an ideal getaway for those looking for a bit of Southern charm.

Double Duty

Whenever my sisters and I whined about it being too hot to move during late-summer’s brain-frying heat, my mother’s response was always to sit down, slowly count to 10 and think pleasant thoughts. My favorite place to do this was deep inside a neglected, shrubby tangle of forsythia and mulberry that grew on our neighbor’s faded 19th-century property.

STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD

Need a source for bow ties with truly distinctive patterns? Beau Ties Ltd. of Vermont offers both toned-down and eye-popping designer creations guaranteed to draw attention and praise!

Mood Maker

You would think that, with the word “colonial” in its name, the new candle retailer on Market and Meeting Streets might have a historical connection to the Holy City.