Gone with the Wind

love-opera-victoria-bakerThe city of Charleston is one of the crowning glories in terms of the U.S. travel scene, and Peninsula Grill is one of its jewels.

Charleston, once a major port in the Old South, is only beginning to be known as a top tourist attraction. Conde Nast named it No.1 city in the United States and with good reason.

Charleston has retained all of its old southern charm but with a distinctly updated, modern flair. The restoration of the homes is exquisite. Walking along the Battery, Charleston’s famous promenade street along the harbor- is like taking a walk back in time. Along your way you will be greeted by lush vegetation, magnolia trees, camellias, azaleas, confederate jasmine and all sorts of intensely beautiful fragrant flowers.

The plastered buildings are pastel pink, blue, yellow and all this beauty is lined with palmetto trees and cobblestone streets. The people are polite, genteel, well-dressed and hospitable. The air is sweet and fragrant. This is la dolce vita southern style.

Amidst all this sunshine and beauty there is a place that stands out to me above others. Peninsula Grill is an award-winning Relais & Chateaux restaurant located inside the Planters Inn hotel. There’s more information available at www.peninsulagrill.com

I fell madly in love with their outdoor courtyard. Imagine banana leaf plants, palm trees, Chinese fan palm leaves floating in the evening breeze all lit up by the soft light of gas carriage lanterns. I’ve never seen anything more beautiful. Upon arrival you are soothed by the gentle sounds of gurgling fountains, pristine white tablecloths and waiters dressed “a la francaise” in black and white. Even if I’d never eaten there, I would be satisfied by this much alone.

Charleston is a food city. It’s virtually impossible to have a bad meal. But Peninsula Grill has the most famous cake in town. The infamous coconut cake is world-renowned as twelve layers of Southern perfection. It’s been featured on the Today Show as well as the New York Times and Vogue, it’s served by the slice nightly and whole cakes are also shipped across the United States by overnight delivery.

Even if you don’t like coconut, it’s impossible not to enjoy the decadent deliciousness that comes with every bite.

Of course, Peninsula Grill excels at so much more than just dessert. Their cuts of meat are divine and their seafood is without equal. We’ve all seen Gone with the Wind, the sweeping epic Southern Saga that more than anything takes us on a journey back to a time and place that has since disappeared.

Well, the courtyard at Peninsula Grill took me to a place so beautiful I never thought it existed. I thought it had gone with the wind turns out it’s here to stay.


Victoria Baker, of Greenwich, is an opera singer. Winner of many prestigious competitions, she has performed and worked with distinguished artists all over the world (notably at Lincoln Center). Should you have any questions that deserve answers and may be in print please call 203-531-7499 or e-mail [email protected]

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