Thursday, October 4, 2012

Euphoric for GREENVILLE

When I told my husband we were taking a weekend to Greenville, SC the look he gave me was not excitement. I think he pictured pastures, chain restaurants or maybe strip malls? Not sure, but after an hour of exploring this quaint downtown, he was as in love with the location as I am. Fortunately, we arrived just in time for the annual Euphoria Celebration, so there was lots to enjoy (although the downtown historic district is charming pretty much all the time). I have my friend Danielle to thank for discovering this very special place and event.

In the kitchen 'helping' Chef Carmen Quagliata from NYC's Union Square Cafe
at one of Euphoria's private ticketed dinners (the best part of the weekend); The Loft at Soby's.

Euphoria is a relatively new food, music and wine festival compared to others, but one that draws big-name culinary talents and a dynamic foodie crowd. The series of 3 days is packed with seminars, demonstrations and in our case, flat out gluttony. Delicious fare was literally everywhere. A fashionable Southern crowd and great music made it even more enjoyable. This is definitely an event that we will put on our calendar every fall.

The hotel facade is one of the district's most breathtaking sites

For reservations, the downtown area boasts several hotels. We set up camp at their lovely Westin Poinsett, which is in the heart of everything. Constructed in 1925 but with completely renovated facilities, it is a local favorite. Even without the festival happenings, here we were in steps of my favorite restaurants like Soby's, Devereaux and High Cotton. I also relish in browsing the unique shops along the tree-lined streets and perusing the fab wine selection at Bouharoun's art deco style liquor store.

With tastings that look this good, resisting isn't a possibility 

One of the cheese sampling tables in the wine tent at Euphoria

After a bit too much time in the tasting tents (overeating is a given), we took a stroll to discover one of the most incredible stores I've ever visited, Postcard from Paris. I snapped up a gorgeous light fixture for my writing room, and made a note of coveted items to put on my holiday wish list. Even if you can't make the trip, browse their site for amazing Parisian inspired finds for the home. Seriously. Sensational. Shopping!

From rugs and fixtures to imported French furniture,
Postcard from Paris is a decor lover's dream 
Every weekend from spring through late fall, the entire downtown converts to a strolling street fare with an enormous farmer's market on one end of town and countless little tents with artists selling their creations on the other. For a break from temptation, a walk across the river and through the city park is only steps away. At every stopping point there is a breathtaking piece of sculpture or other captivating piece of art. This is one city that entertains at every turn.

The park is one of downtown Greenville's best kept secrets. Gorgeous!
If you haven't been to Greenville... GO! Flights are fast and cheap on Southwest (direct from Nashville). Stellar dining, history, nature and welcoming people are all part of the mix. 

What is your choice for a small town destination weekend? I would love to hear your suggestions. And, if you've been to Greenville, SC or to Euphoria, please do share your top picks.

1 comment:

  1. So glad you love Greenville. I thought it was so beautiful, I moved here 3 years ago. Still feel that way! Other great small towns for a weekend: Blue Ridge GA; Highlands NC; Anna Maria Island FL; Ouray CO; Taos NM;