This is one of my favorite times of the year.
The Bluffton Village Festival has come and gone and nipping at its heels, the Spoleto Festival arrives with great fanfare in Charleston.
Both of these spectacular events are not to be missed.
With this on mind, my daughter Tat and I hopped in the car and motored north to the "Holy City" a short two hour drive away to check out a few events. We were lucky because the weekly farmers' market was also in full swing. I must say though the Bluffton Farmers' Market has Charleston beat in that department.
There were artists' tents set up around Marion Square that displayed all manner of artistic endeavors. There were beautiful paintings , crafts of all sorts , tasty food and drink and people — lots of people.
We were quite surprised we found a parking spot only three blocks away from the square. If you go to Charleston, take lots of quarters because one quarter only gives you seven minutes on the meter.
After wandering through the square, we nipped over to the restaurant Rue de Jean, a French-themed eatery that never disappoints us. We sat outside at a little bistro table and almost felt as though we were across the "pond" in Paris. The only thing missing was the smell of cigarette smoke twirling by and a snooty waiter waiting for us to order.
The next item on our agenda was perusing as many art galleries as possible and taking a quick look around RTW, my favorite shop on King Street.
The temperature was hovering around 90 degrees but that did not stop us from spending a delightful day poking around and savoring all that Charleston has to offer.
Eating like the French
I read recently that the French spend more than two hours a day eating.
They don't gobble everything in sight in five minutes then jump up and flee the table.
The French consider eating an art and if you have ever watched any of the Julia Child cooking programs, you understand. Great care is taken even in chopping up vegetables or deboning a chicken. ( I never could watch that, I must admit).
I have spent time in France and have been to their marvelous outdoor markets where everything edible you can imagine is sold. Delicious vegetables I still think about are the very fat white asparagus that are served with hollandaise sauce, lettuces of every variety and colors that all together make a gorgeous sight.
There are also many kinds of animals, including chickens, waiting for you to take them home and pluck them. It makes me glad that here in our grocery stores, that chore has been taken care of.
If we go into a restaurant for a bite to eat in America, most places expect us to eat up and leave.
In Europe it seems as though there is no time limit on sitting , drinking coffee or eating, watching the world go by and smoking those giant unfiltered cigarettes.
Old Town additions
There are two wonderful additions to the Bluffton art scene that recently opened on Calhoun Street in Old Town.
The Muse Gallery has opened across from my store and features lovely abstract paintings, jewelry and sculpture.
Down the street above Gigi's Boutique, the venerable Red Piano Gallery has set up a wonderful collection of paintings and sculpture and, believe it or not, moved the famous red piano upstairs, too.
When you have a chance, stop by both of these delightful galleries and check out their lovely collections.
Coming soon (and I can't wait for you to see it) The Bluffton Inn should be up and running in July.
It is between The Farm and The Corner Perk and will offer locals and visitors to Bluffton a charming place to stay.