The sweet sugar filled south.

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As I reflect on my recent trip, I really have to give snaps to the south. Of all the places I’ve been, nowhere – and I mean NOWHERE I’ve been takes their sweets as seriously here in the US as they do in the Charleston/Savannah region. I mean dang. I find myself running for the treadmill as I look over my photos and recall ALL the delights I indulged in…

I had but one cup of coffee my entire trip. The rest of the time I was chugging sweet tea. It’s NOT the same when I make it here in California. it’s just not. It must be the water or something – because sweet tea is just BETTER in the south. If sweet tea was an option – I was drinking it. At the Army base, restaurants, wherever. I was all in. *LOVE*

They have some great traditions in candy down there, Pralines being one of my personal favorites. I preferred the River Street Sweets ones over the others I tried (oh yeah, I had them daily).

Charleston was FILLED with delights. Here’s my personal highlights…

Now while not unique or anything, I also found a cupcake shop (called Cupcake) and their stuff was FANTASTIC. I got a box to-go for us to enjoy up in Columbia – and we all loved the goods! I especially recommend the caramel apple cupcake.

Every restaurant in Charleston had a good dessert menu far as I could tell, even the delis (like Caviar & Banannas the upscale deli/market I popped into) had all kinds of killer sweets!!

 

The Sugar Bake Shop had so many amazing things + super cool people working there. I had a few delights from them but this pecan crusted treat made me nearly swoon as I was sitting in the parking lot waiting for my aunt’s airplane. TRUE LOVE!!

If you’re in Charleston though – you’ve got to pop into Jestine’s Bake Shop. ADORABLE little spot + off the hook goodies.

I brought darling Jason home a Coca-Cola cake… though looking at this photo he and I both wish I’d brought one of everything! What is Coca-Cola cake and why is it special? Well I had been told I simply HAD to have it at Jestine’s so that’s where I had lunch (around the corner at the restaurant) and wow. it’s…

It brought my love of chocolate + sugar + butter + coca cola + pecans together into one soul searing, eye crossing, diet destroying good time. WOW. Upon returning home I discovered that I actually have a Paula Deen recipe for this cake so I’m going to give it a whirl sometime in the future. I also have a recipe for Hummingbird cake – another specialty (but one I didn’t get to try on this trip) that I’ll have to test out.

I fear I must tell you that I simply MUST return to Charleston. I didn’t even make it through half of my dessert “to eat” list!!! I ate at both Jestine’s Kitchen and the Hominy Grill (both places I HIGHLY recommend for lunch or dinner!) and BOTH had so many choices I wanted for dessert… and there were many more restaurants I’d have liked to try but didn’t have time! Oh my. I think I’d double in size if I lived there.

Oh wait, but we have to talk about Savannah…

I was only there for about 2hrs… and it was painfully wonderful. I *LOVE* Savannah. It’s the #1 most prettiest (yeah, that’s what I said) garden filled historical city I’ve ever visited and going back really made me never ever want to leave.

Well ok, soon as heat + humidity hit I’d have run myself back to California… but still. *LOVE* the garden district. It was a perfect day, made utterly exquisite by getting to meet & spend time with Stephanie Howell whom I adore more now than ever. Truly – I could not think of a more beautiful place to meet her face to face for the first time, nor think of someone I’d rather have a lovely girls lunch & shopping with there in my beautiful Savannah.

Stephanie took me to the Paris Market – and it was an experience beyond description. Truly. Imagine a place where all things are pretty, vintage, antique, and awesome… it’s… just dang. Add on top the fact that they sold beautiful cookies & treats – including a fleur de lis frosted cookie that I decided HAD to be my plane ride home cookie. Was fantastic. If you’re in Savannah – GO there!!

Then for lunch my one request was that we PLEASE go somewhere girly. After 48hrs on an Army base at the mercy of the food requests of a soldier who’s tastes ran more towards deli sandwiches and burgers… well I really wanted girly food. She suggested the Gryphon Tea Room and I squealed. Why? Well back in ’02 when Jason & I were in Savannah he REFUSED to go into a tea room to eat. Somehow I’m sure when we go back to Savannah he’ll happily join me there after seeing the photos I teased him with!!

His loss. Food & service were FANTASTIC – and our waiter recommended this Lemon Chiffon cake (we split it) and it was over the top fantastic. I believe we scraped the plate clean.

Now I’m back home in California… and back to a mostly low-fat, low-fun diet + daily exercise. I’d blush a bit thinking about how much dessert was consumed on my trip – but I can’t be bothered to truly care. Not only did I get to indulge my sweet tooth to the fullest, stopping only when I didn’t want any more but I also got to spend time with a lot of really great women – from my aunt to good friends to new & old friends alike at the scrapbook store too. It was amazing, and every calorie was worth it.

Perhaps I’m part Southern Belle…

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9 responses »

  1. I agree on your assessment of Savannah – it is GORGEOUS! Even though we visited the week they received 18″ of rain – it was still awesome in the rain

    So many great memories from that trip

  2. Oh my goodness! All those sweets must have been like a sugar heaven. I have never experienced that region of our country, but it is on my list not only for its beauty and history, now for its sweets.

    Enjoy your super low cal exercise day (week?).

  3. I think you must be part Southern Belle!!! I always feel that I should live in the Northern Hemisphere whenever I visit the US or Canada or Europe!!
    Those photos are fantastic … I’m just enjoying a delicious piece of banana cake made by DH before I start Weight Watcher’s tomorrow!!!

  4. Mmm… Dang! You need to post some recipes to go along with all that sweetness, or at least the links! Yum-O! Lucky you. I’d love to take a trip like that. Glad you had good and sweet times. Welcome back to Cali!

  5. hey, may! sigh… the pineapple fountain in charleston. a classic. my husband went to college in charleston. one of these days, i hope we can be stationed there. or savannah. i’d take it too. 🙂
    and you’re right. sweet tea is better in the south. the key is making it sweet while it’s still hot. 🙂

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