Tag Archives: lemonade

Party at the Point

Some friends invited us to hear some live music on the beach, part of Charleston’s weekly happy hour concert series.

“Sorry, did you just say live music, beach and happy hour in the same sentence? Duh! I’m in!”

So we made our way over to the harbor, stopping along the way for a late lunch. After all, rule number one to avoid a smashing hangover is to “carb up” before the party.

Xiao Bao Biscuit Exterior

Xiao Bao Biscuit Lunch Charleston Cabbages and Roses Blue Amos Dress

I was keen to try downtown Charleston’s cult favourite Asian restaurant Xiao Bao Biscuit. Housed in a converted petrol station, I’d heard about these white dudes churning out mind-blowing Korean and Vietnamese food, and was thoroughly intrigued.

Xiao Bao Biscuit Inside Bar

Xiao Bao Biscuit Inside Table Red Chopsticks

Xiao Bao Biscuit Inside Decor

Xiao Bao Biscuit Table Menu Window

The menu was concise, but so authentic I had never heard of half of the dishes… like Mapo Doufu, and Okonomiyaki, let alone could pronounce them! So I just took a wild guess and sat back sipping on my Vietnamese lemonade until our order arrived.

Xiao Bao Biscuit Chanh Muoi Housemade Vietnamese Lemonade

Xiao Bao Biscuit Chanh Muoi Housemade Vietnamese Lemonade Sip

Okonomiyaki - Japanese cabbage pancake topped with pork candy

Okonomiyaki – Japanese cabbage pancake topped with pork candy

The cabbage pancake was golden-fried deliciousness topped with pork candy – kind of fluffy dehydrated meat wool. Strange, but delightful, mixed in with all the flavours of the dish.

Bo Bo Ji - Sichuan style chicken, cilantro, scallion, and peanut salad over rice with a roasted sesame flavored sauce

Bo Bo Ji – Sichuan style chicken, cilantro, scallion, and peanut salad over rice with a roasted sesame flavored sauce

The rice salad was fiery, crunchy and coated in a drastically rich sauce. So fresh and fragrant.. but filling. I couldn’t finish it.

We headed over to Waterfront Park to catch the water taxi across the harbor. While we were waiting, I watched the little kids paddling and splashing in the fountains.

Charleston Palmetto Tree Harbor

Charleston Fountain Kids Paddling Playing

And I couldn’t resist joining in on the fun too!

Charleston Fountain Cabbages and Roses Amos Dress Blue

Charleston Fountain Cabbages and Roses Blue Amos Dress

Breathless but refreshed, it was time to board the water taxi across to the party.

Charleston Harbor Water Taxi Pier

Charleston Harbor Water Taxi Pier Flag

We hopped on and began making our crossing, spotting a few dolphin friends following alongside us.

Dolphin

We came upon Patriot’s Point, where the USS Yorktown is docked – it’s a naval museum where you can climb aboard a decommissioned aircraft carrier and take a tour of US Naval history.

Charleston Patriots Point USS Yorktown

Charleston Harbor Patriots Point USS Yorktown

We coasted past the big ships and into the quiet waters of the marina, where we disembarked just steps from the party at Charleston Harbor Resort.

Charleston Party at the Point Marina Boats

Charleston Party at the Point Marina

Charleston Party at the Point

Charleston Party at the Point Pier

First call of duty was to kick off our shoes, dig our toes in the sand, and grab a couple of drinks to stave off the early evening heat.

Charleston Party at the Point Sand

As the sun sank, the beach grew more crowded, and local band Blue Dogs hit the stage. Belting out a mix of bluegrass and Southern rock inspired tunes, they got the audience kicking up some sand under their feet!

Charleston Party at the Point Blue Dogs Band

Charleston Party at the Point Blue Dogs Girls Dancing

Charleston Party on the Point Friends

Charleston Party on the Point

Charleston Party at the Point Funny Face

We laughed and boogied throughout the set, and into the night.

It’s fair to say this party was on point!

Marrakech: Palmeraie & Guéliz

Our base in Marrakech was Dar Sabra, just one of the many luxury resorts and spas concealed amid the palm trees of the Palmeraie district. This desert oasis is only navigable by red dirt roads that look better suited for four-wheelers and motocross than taxi traffic. Thankfully, our driver was willing to risk his suspension (and probably his sanity) shuttling us blathering American girls back and forth to the city!

DS2

DS5

DS4

DS3

We decided to spend the day in the buzzing Guéliz district, or (thanks to French colonialism) the ville nouvelle.  Its broad avenues speckled with art deco architecture of bygone glory days, this is Marrakech at its most urbane.

For a little bit of Moroccan glamour, look no further than the 1980s love shack of designer Yves Saint Laurent. Jardin Majorelle is a stunning cobalt pavilion sprouting with exotic flowers and cacti.

Chelsea's Bday

2

3

Fountain

Cacti

P1100796

P1100831

Jardin1

It has a brilliant boutique with an array of YSL accessories and traditional Berber crafts to tempt you!

Jardin shop1

Jardin shop

dountain1

We sought out the most incredible Lebanese eatery for lunch. La Cuisine de Mona came highly recommended, and it more than lived up to its celebrated repute. Hardly noticable down a residential side street, we lucked out getting an empty table on the itty-bitty shuttered terrace. We ordered Ses Assortiments de Mezzés to share, only for owner/chef Mona to spoil us rotten with plate after plate of freshly prepared, sensational food. A true testament to her culinary talent, Mona had cooked that very morning for the King of Morocco!

House lemonade - made with a dash of orange blossom water

House lemonade – made with a dash of orange blossom water

Tabouleh and eggplant

Tabouleh and eggplant

Moujadarah (Lentils with grilled onions) and Hummus

Moujadarah (Lentils with grilled onions) and Hummus

Baba Ghanouj  (Smoked eggplant puree, sesame cream, lemon juice)

Baba Ghanouj (Smoked eggplant puree, sesame cream, lemon juice)

Mona3

Arayes Lahmé (Lebanese bread stuffed with ground beef, parsley, onions and broiled)

Arayes Lahmé (Lebanese bread stuffed with ground beef, parsley, onions and broiled)

Falafel

Falafel

Mona9

P1100949

Mouhalabiyeh (Yogurt with pistachio nuts and orange blossom water)

Mouhalabiyeh (Yogurt with pistachio nuts and orange blossom water)

After our meal, Mona scuttled out and crowned us with traditional fez hats for a photo! What a dear, she is!

with chef/owner Mona Farah

with chef/owner Mona Farah

We spent the remainder of the sunny day exploring the modernized parts of the city – including an invigorating scrub-down at a traditional hammam – then retreated back to Palmeraie for a well-deserved glass of wine by the fire. Bliss!