Monday, August 22, 2011

Middleton Place

For my birthday, Daniel had planned a weekend away for us without telling me where he was taking us. We had to postpone it for a week because I had sprained my ankle, but Friday he finally told me where we were going: Middleton Place near Charleston in South Carolina.
Such a gorgeous estate and strangely enough, half my family has already visited and stayed there - it's one of my aunt's favorite places!
And no wonder, it is simply beautiful. The historic houses are interesting and very well preserved with the old furniture and some amazing art, the gardens are stunning, the location on the Ashley River gorgeous and the stable yard adds another layer of interest and fun.
This little house is part of the rice fields growing Carolina Gold rice, some of which are still planted today for us tourists to see.
Handsome man and beautiful backdrop!
The restaurant at Middleton Place served local low-country food, which was absolutely delicious! I could have ordered about five more of those bread puddings with bourbon peaches. Actually, I ate one after lunch AND again after dinner... :)
This little guy sunned himself outside our window while we were eating lunch. Aren't those amazing colors?
Now, the inn where we stayed is on a different part of the huge estate and was fantastic. We both loved  the modern architecture
and spacious room (totally forgot to take a picture of it) with a view of the Ashley River.
On Saturday, Daniel had organized a massage therapist to come to the hotel to give me a massage. I couldn't believe it - I was spoiled rotten I tell you!!
After the massage (one of the best I've ever had - I like deep tissue massage and she had a gift for that!), a little champagne and then off to an excellent dinner with a fried green tomato napoleon for an appetizer and then delicious crab cakes for me and freshly caught wreckfish (what a name!) for Daniel. Dessert you ask? Of course! Another bread pudding for me and a Huguenot torte with cinnamon ice cream for Daniel. Yum!!
The next morning, we had breakfast at the lakehouse,
although I wouldn't really call this lovely pond a lake.
Still it was beautiful and cool enough to sit outside.
After breakfast came the best part. When you stay at the inn, it includes access to Middleton Place and all the tours. You can just walk on over and enjoy - and all that before the general public is admitted. So, we basically had the whole place to ourselves yesterday morning.
It was gorgeous and peaceful as the world was just waking up!
As we were walking, I had just mentioned to Daniel that I had not seen any evidence of alligators in all the ponds, when we spied this little guy. He still had his baby stripes. On the walkway by this pond, we saw some tracks of a huge alligator going into the river... So, they really were there, just not out in the open.
I don't think I'd ever seen a rice field, so I had to snap a photo of some of the plants. The posts of the old beds in the plantation house had carvings of rice plants - very elegant and pretty!

I love this photo Daniel took into the sun with the silhouette of the heron and the little gator head.

The magnificent Middleton Oak, which is estimated to be several hundred years old, was an impressive sight to see!

It's good this photo of me wasn't a close up. By then I was sweating profusely - it was so humid and already very warm in the sun!

Loved this statue!

I couldn't get enough of all the reflections in the water. Made me want to get my paints out!

Nature's sculpture - two cypress knees.
This was a gorgeous vine growing on other plants. Does anyone have an idea of what it is?
Not much was blooming there during the summer, but the few flowers we saw were stunning!
Another favorite part of the whole experience, the stable yards at Middleton Place with all the farm animals.

This was Eliza's House, which you can read more about here.

The barn was beautiful (can you see the horses peaking out?) and reminded me of barns in my home town in Germany.

Three resident kittens entertained us for quite a while...
Water buffalo visited by a peacock!
Another peacock near the former slave cemetery and in front of a huge bamboo stand.
A pond covered with duckweed. At some point we thought we saw a big fish, then thought it was a thrashing alligator, only to discover that it was giant snapping turtle that had caught a fish. Not a pond I'd want to swim in...
As we were leaving another look back over the still waters.

Then this egret sent us on our way... Thank you, Daniel, for a perfect weekend!!
We are planning to go back frequently (when the heirloom camellias are blooming in the winter and the azaleas in the spring), and are even planning to take Winslow. The Inn allows you to bring your pet, and while dogs are not permitted in the formal (touristy) part of Middleton Place, the rest of the huge estate has miles and miles of beautiful trails. We'll just have to wait until it gets a little cooler...
Now back home, this week my focus will be on working on my watercolor for class and getting ready just in case Hurricane Irene decides to follow the track they are predicting and make landfall on the Georgia coast. At this point, I'm not worried, just getting prepared...

Wishing you a beautiful Monday and a great week ahead!


  1. Good morning, Silke,
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful weekend with us. Beautiful photos. I feel like I just had a little outing on this Monday morning in the desert. Can almost -- almost! -- taste the bread pudding. ;-)

  2. Silke, you go on the most amazing trips...and I'm sure this was just constant eye and mouth candy!!! I LOVE BREAD pudding!!!!
    The pictures are amazing...I love the modern architectural building...
    WOW...that was a totally inspiring post!
    Hope the ankle feels better soon...take care of it...mine is only feeling back to normal now after 7 weeks of babying it!


  3. Silke! Wow! Looks like an amazing place! What a sweet husband Daniel is!! so happy you had a lovely time! Your photos are great! :)

  4. Oh my - what a beautiful place - you are so lucky! The pictures are beautiful and the food sounds divine. So glad you had a marvellous time. xx

  5. So lässt es sich aushalten. Besonders der Verandaplatz beim Frühstück. tolle Bilder.
    LG Sabine

  6. What a wonderful place! Thank you for sharing all these lovely pictures. So sweet of Daniel to surprise you like that. Glad you had an amazing time. :)

  7. What a wonderful treat, between the massage and bread pudding you should feel like a queen! It sounds and looks like it was wonderful, so much to see it must have been difficult to take it all in, in such a short time. A trip back is a definite.


  9. What a beautiful post Silke. Daniel did a great job planning this trip for the two of you. Happy belated birthday!


  10. Looks like you had a great weekend. Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos!

  11. Oh, my what an incredible place...and such gorgeous photos, Silke!

  12. Nachtraeglich Alles Gute zum Geburtstag, Silke...what a lovely place to spend some time. Great photos too... and it's wonderful you had the place practically for yourself. You can really recuperate that way and recharge.
    You're doing so well with your art classes and I can tell you're really enjoying them. I can see a big difference in your work.

    Nochmals, Alles Gute und bis bald,
    Doris :-)

  13. This was a wonderful weekend in a wonderful place-like heaven (despite the alligators:)