Middleton Place

Articles tagged with: Middleton Place

30 July 2013

Multicultural Immersion

Posted in News

Middleton Place welcomes summer interns from Barbados, France

Middleton-Place-Summer-Interns 260

Middleton Place Interns Gloria Sandiford
(left) and Florence Guin (right).

Middleton Place is fortunate to have two international interns this summer. Gloria Sandiford from Barbados and Florence Guin from France spent the past month learning about the history of the plantation, the Middleton family, and what it takes to maintain "America's oldest landscaped gardens."

A longtime student of history, Sandiford holds a Ph.D. from the University of the West Indies, and lives in Christ Church. Working with members of the Middleton Place history department, Sandiford has spent hours learning about historic preservation at both Middleton Place and the Middleton Place Foundation's sister property, the Edmondston-Alston House, downtown. She hopes to take the knowledge she has gained back to Barbados and apply it to the rich historic sites located throughout the island.

22 April 2013

Middleton Place Foundation Welcomes Employee's Return

Posted in News

Dottie Stone, PhD joins Research and Development team

Dottie_260The Middleton Place Foundation and its personnel are pleased to welcome Dottie Stone, PhD, as Research and Development Associate for the Foundation. As such, Dottie will be engaged in a number of forward-looking projects, including grant writing.

No stranger to the National Historic Landmark, Dottie began her association with Middleton Place in 2010 as a staff member for the House Museum, helping to manage its day-to-day operation and working with its volunteer docents. At the time, the former teacher of American and South Carolina history was a doctoral candidate in Holocaust History, receiving her doctorate later that year from Clark University of Worcester, Massachusetts. At the end of the following year she accepted a position at the Holocaust Documentation and Educational Center in Hollywood, Florida.

With family members settled in the Charleston area, however, Dottie wished to return to the Low Country. MPF was more than pleased to help make that wish come true, and is glad to be able to say, "Welcome back to Middleton Place, Dottie!"

Dottie Stone may be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . or (843)-266-7460.


22 April 2013

Middleton Place Restaurant Launches New Spring Menu, Buffet

Posted in Food and Drink

Resting-Guinea-Hen_260Middleton Place Restaurant Executive Chef Brandon Buck is constantly improving the lunch and dinner menus. The menu changes seasonally to take full advantage of local ingredients. With a nod toward the local growing season, and another to Low Country food traditions, Buck has created lunch and dinner menus fit for the Southern soul.

At lunch (served daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) guests will find new dishes like the Farmer's Salad (watercress, country ham cracklings, S.C. eggs, tomatoes, bleu cheese, and buttermilk dressing) and the Tomato Pie Tart (Ashe County cheddar, marinated tomatoes, basil, yellow onion, parmesan cheese, and bread crumbs). More adventurous eaters might be interested in the Fried Chicken Livers, Country Fried Steak, or Roasted Guinea Hen Breast.

The change of season also marked the birth of the Edna Lewis-inspired Southern Buffet, available daily during lunch. In an effort to provide an exceptional food experience to Middleton Place visitors who might be pressed for time or who want to dine al fresco, the Southern Buffet invites diners to help themselves to an incredible Low Country meal, and dine at their leisure. Famed chef and cookbook author Edna Lewis, who served as chef-in-residence at the Middleton Place Restaurant in the 1980s, helped hone the restaurant's menu, grounding it forever in the principles of Southern home cooking. Her recipes for Southern staples, such as fried chicken, barbecue, collard greens, hoppin' john, and many more, are prepared for the buffet each morning. Diners are invited to make a plate, and step out to the restaurant's courtyard, or one of the many picnic tables available under the shade of Live Oaks.


22 April 2013

Spoleto Finale Line-up Released

Posted in News

Cajun honky-tonk on the Main Stage, folk rock on the Beer Garden Stage

Beer-Garden-260Spoleto Festival USA recently announced the musical line-up for the June 9, 2013 Spoleto Finale at Middleton Place. The annual event invites visitors to experience an afternoon of live music, picnic fare from the Middleton Place Restaurant, craft beer from Palmetto Brewing Company and the opportunity to bask in the historic natural beauty of Middleton Place.

The Finale Beer Garden and Beer Garden Side Stage will open at 3:30 p.m. Three local and regional up-and-coming acts are scheduled to perform. At 4:15 p.m. Charleston's own 'Olu'Olu will take the stage. A three-piece band featuring Sarah Bandy (of The Local Honeys) on ukulele, Johnny Gray on upright bass, and Josh Kaler on the lap steel, their sound is a mix of Hawaiian traditional and country and western. Athens, Georgia band Ruby the Rabbitfoot will perform next. Vocalist Ruby Kendrick and her band offer heartfelt lyrics supported by a backbone of sunny pop melodies. The last act on the Beer Garden Stage is Mandolin Orange of Chapel Hill. The core of the group, songwriter Andrew Marlin and vocalist/instrumentalist Emily Frantz, have honed their folk-country/bluegrass sound over the past few years opening for national recording artists like Roseanne Cash and the Steep Canyon Rangers. Mandolin Orange will begin at 6:15 p.m.


22 April 2013

Middleton Place Welcomes The Lee Brothers

Posted in News

Matt-and-Ted-Lee_260Middleton Place is pleased to announce an upcoming visit from the famous Lee Brothers on April 25, 2013. Award–winning authors and Charleston natives Matt Lee and Ted Lee will give a brief lecture on Low Country cuisine, and its influence on modern American cooking. The discussion will be followed by a reception and a book signing of the Lee Brothers' latest narrative cookbook release: The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen. The event is open to the public and free of charge.

The Lee Brothers have been distinguished members of the modern-era American cooking scene since The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook won the James Beard Award for Cookbook of the Year in 2007. They are contributing editors at Travel + Leisure and frequently write food stories for Bon Appetit, The New York Times, Fine Cooking and Food & Wine, among others.

The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen documents a journey through a comprehensive list of traditional Low Country recipes, their origins, their proper place in Charleston food culture, and step-by-step preparation. The Lee Brothers conducted significant archival research to reacquaint home cooks with treasures lost to time. They delved deep into Charleston culture, interviewing home cooks, chefs, farmers, fishermen, and caterers to create an accurate portrait of the city's food traditions.


22 April 2013

Aren't We Lucky?

Posted in Food and Drink

Chef's Potluck returns to Middleton Place April 28

potluck-carrots_260Some of the best chefs in Charleston will be at Middleton Place to participate in the 6th Annual Chef's Potluck, an annual fundraiser for Lowcountry Local First (LLF) sponsored by Middleton Place. LLF, a non-profit organization, advocates the benefits of the Charleston community's economy by strengthening community support of local, independent businesses and farmers.

Chef's Potluck invites the city's highest-profile chefs to partner with local farmers and prepare all-local-ingredient dishes for the event. Restaurants participating in the 2013 event include Caviar & Bananas, Cru Cafe, Cypress, Daniel Island Club, EVO, FIG, The Glass Onion, The Grocery, Heart Woodfire Kitchen, Monza, Poogan's Porch, Social, Slightly North of Broad, and Two Boroughs Larder.

Beverage partners Firefly, Grassroots Wine, and Coast and Palmetto breweries will provide the drinks, and jazz ensemble Garage Cuban Band will perform throughout the evening. There is also a live auction with donations from local chefs and farmers.

The event is scheduled for 4-7 p.m., Thursday, April 28 at the Middleton Place Pavilion. Chef's Potluck is open to the public, and costs $60 for LLF members, $70 for non-members. Tickets can be purchased through the LLF website: www.lowcountrylocalfirst.org.


22 March 2013

Middleton Place is at its most colorful

Posted in News

Gentle winter produces the best spring in years

Azalea-Hillside_300It is already, and promises to continue to be, a spectacular spring at Middleton Place! The horticulture staff reports that gentle temperatures all winter – barely moving the needle below freezing – will produce a long, rich and colorful azalea season. Particularly abundant bloom is predicted through early, mid, and late spring.

Sidney Frazier, Vice-President of Horticulture, explains that the mild winter temperatures protected azaleas from damaging freezes. Azaleas now join camellias that have been flourishing all winter and that are expected to continue blooming for some time to come. "The usual chilly winters have become unusually warm," he says. "It's going to be pretty exciting here this spring. The camellias are looking really fantastic right now, with tons of buds still waiting to blossom. Varieties of red, white, and pink azaleas and camellias make a potent mixture. All the colors are creating a brilliant painting on the canvas of the gardens."

Pansies, tulips, daffodils, lilies, and dogwood complement and enliven the broad brushstrokes of camellias and azaleas, from the hillside above the Mill Pond to the northernmost plantings around the Cypress Lake. Recent spring rains have further helped the flora at Middleton Place to look fresh and new. "The blooms take up a lot of food and energy, so the rain has helped a lot," Frazier says.

22 March 2013

A "Most Romantic Wedding Venue"

Posted in News

Middleton Place the only venue in South Carolina to hold the distinction from Brides.com

Middleton-Place-romantic-wedding-venue_300On Wednesday, Feb. 27, the wedding website Brides.com announced its picks for the "50 Most Romantic Wedding Venues in the U.S.," and Middleton Place was on the list!. The National Historic Landmark was the only property in South Carolina to make the list, and joins such notable venues as the Beverly Hills Hotel in California, Blackberry Farm in Tennessee, and the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.

Brides.com editors described the list as follows: "Whether you're marrying in Michigan or Maui, searching for a fairy-tale castle or a soaring city loft, we've compiled a list of the dreamiest spots in the country to say 'I do.'"

The website wrote about Middleton Place the perfect place for "southern belles dreaming of a Gone with the Wind-style wedding amid live oaks draped with Spanish moss." It also describes some of the 11 different wedding sites on property, such as the parterre overlooking the Butterfly Lakes.

"We are very proud to be recognized as one of the 50 Most Romantic Wedding Venues in the U.S. and to be the sole representative in Charleston, a city famously known for destination weddings," says Randy Sonoski, Director of Special Group Services at Middleton Place. "This recognition coincides with the announcement of new direct flights from Boston and New York into Charleston by Jet Blue, and Middleton Place looks forward to hosting many more romantic weddings in the future."

For more information on all Middleton Place has to offer for weddings at the National Historic Landmark, go to the Weddings page here >>

See the top 50 Romantic Wedding Venues slideshow on Brides.com >>

12 March 2013

Easter Eggstravaganza Returns

Posted in News

Egg hunts, dyeing, tossing, rolling on the itinerary for March 30

Middleton-Place-Easter-Eggstravaganza_260The Easter Eggstravaganza at Middleton Place is a long-standing spring tradition. On Saturday, March 30, families are invited to visit the National Historic Landmark and take part in an exciting day of Easter traditions. But the event is far from the usual Easter Egg Hunt. The Eggstravaganza will send the fun into overdrive with the addition of activities like the egg toss, egg roll, egg dying, a reading of classic children's tales, and a variety of colonial games.

After a brief orientation for visitors, the Easter Bunny will kick off the egg hunts. Un-dyed, hard-boiled eggs will be hidden among Middleton Place's ancient Live Oaks and beautifully manicured lawns in three hunt locations separated by age group. Ceramic, hand-painted prize eggs will also be hidden. Prizes will be given to each child who finds one of these special eggs. Elevating the drama of the Easter egg hunt further, one purple ceramic egg will be hidden among the others in each age group. The children who find a purple egg will receive a prize, and their family will be registered for a drawing to win the Grand Prize: a Middleton Place Foundation annual membership for four.

12 March 2013

Middleton Place Welcomes French Heritage Society

Posted in News

March 15 visit will highlight Garden's French roots

Rose-Garden-Aerial_260From its early beginnings, Charleston has been an international seaport and its landscape and culture have been influenced by many nations. Middleton Place, the historic seat of a prominent English family, is no exception, as influences beyond England are apparent within its landscape and important family collections.

An opportunity to examine some of those influences will take place when Middleton Place hosts the French Heritage Society for lunch and a tour of the Gardens, House Museum and Plantation Stableyards on March 15. Charles Duell, President of the Middleton Place Foundation, welcomes the opportunity to strengthen relations with members of the Society. "There are many facets to Middleton Place that were directly influenced or inspired by the work of French architects and horticulturists," he says. "We are delighted to host the Society, and celebrate our mutual heritage."

The design of the Middleton Place Gardens was guided by the concepts and landscaping philosophies of Andre Le Notre—principal gardener to King Louis XIV—who built many formal gardens including those at Versailles and Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte. Henry Middleton, who founded Middleton Place in 1741, hired English gardeners but their designs were based largely on the formal gardens of Le Notre. Perfect symmetry and geometry, long vistas, changes in elevation, reflecting ponds, and classic statuary—all championed by Le Notre—are part of the grand concept for the Middleton Place Gardens. Fate would have it the French Heritage Society will visit Middleton Place on the same week Le Notre was born 400 years ago.

13 March 2013

Weekly Wine Strolls Start March 20

Posted in Food and Drink

Live music, sparkling wines, champagne and caviar kick off 2013 season

wine-stroll-2013_260The Middleton Place Restaurant is gearing up for the 2013 season of weekly Wine Strolls, held from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. each Wednesday. Several special additions are planned for the new season, starting with the Wine Stroll kickoff party, which will take place March 20 – the first day of Spring.

Weekly Wine Strolls at Middleton Place began four years ago as a way for visitors to experience Middleton Place's fine, formal Gardens in a different light and a different atmosphere. Each week, specially selected wines from around the world are chosen by the Restaurant's sommelier. Wine Strolls invite patrons to sip from their glasses while meandering through "America's Oldest Landscaped Gardens," and drinking in the manmade and natural beauty of the 270-year-old plantation.

A dozen American and international labels of sparkling wines and champagne will be served at the March 20 Wine Stroll kickoff. Hors d'oeuvres include smoked salmon with crème fraȋche and caviar, a specially prepared assortment of cheeses, and locally-made petits fours for a little something sweet. In addition, the Gardens will be filled with the sounds of Classical Charleston – an organization made up of some of the finest classical musicians in town and offering a variety of classical, pop and jazz selections with ensemble combinations of various instrumentation.

13 March 2013

New, Expanded Tours, Activities Added for Spring

Posted in News

Enrichment opportunities included in Middleton Place gate admission

Beyond-the-Fields-Tour_260Middleton Place staff continues to develop new ideas as well as re-examine existing programs to enhance the visitor experience. The exciting new and expanded tours and activities begin this Spring.

First and foremost, the African American Focus Tour, which explores the life and work of the enslaved people who were at Middleton Place in the 18th and 19th centuries, has been re-named the "Beyond the Fields Walking Tour." The name was changed to better reflect the information on the tour and its companion history book and study exhibit permanently mounted in the eastern section of Eliza's House. The Beyond the Fields Walking Tour is among a growing list of activities included in general admission. The tour is currently offered three times daily, at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., starting at Eliza's House.

Several new programs have also been added in the Plantation Stableyards. The the "Meet the Breeds" tour is a 30-minute guided walk in the Middleton Place Plantation Stableyards. It provides visitors a better understanding of the animals in the Stableyards and their historical significance as it applies to Middleton Place and the Low Country. Heritage breeds, including, Cashmere goats, Guinea hogs, Gulf Coast sheep, Dominique chickens, Guinea fowl, and water buffalo, represent the animals that were here centuries ago according to the Middleton Place Agricultural Censuses of 1850 / 1860 and various letters, inventories, and documents found in the Middleton Place archives. The tour should not be missed by anyone interested in plantations of an 18th and 19th century. It is also included in general admission and given daily at 12:30 p.m. in the Stableyards.

In addition to Meet the Breeds, other daily activities recently added in the Plantation Stableyards include candle-making and the artifacts table. Volunteers demonstrate the craft of candle-making using both bees wax and tallow and the artifact table allows visitors a "hands-on" experience inviting them to handle plantation artifacts and identify what they are and how they would have been used. Candle-making and the artifact table are available to the public daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

14 March 2013

Middleton Place Ready for Its Close-up

Posted in News

Army Wives episode filmed at Mill Pond airs March 17


Late last year, Middleton Place welcomed the cast and crew of Army Wives to the National Historic Landmark to film a scene critical to the program's 7th season. Working closely in concert, Middleton Place and production crew of the locally produced, nationally televised drama chose an appropriate filming location: the footbridge over the Mill Pond.

The film crew exercised the utmost care and concern for the garden's landscaping , and no part of the property was damaged. This was no small feat! After prepping the site for power, parking, and catering the day before, on the morning of December 18 about 125 cast and crew members arrived for the day's shoot. Several trucks full of electronics and equipment were parked on the Greensward, along with more than 100 automobiles. The crew built a plywood pad from the south side of the House Museum, around the Plantation Chapel/Spring House, and down the hill to the bridge. The padding was necessary to accommodate an 8,000-pound camera crane which was eased into place for multiple shots.

Although Middleton Place staff agreed not to tip viewers about the scene's content, Middleton Place is featured prominently, mentioned in the script by name and is already easily visible in the trailers for the upcoming episode.

The episode containing the scene filmed at Middleton Place will air at 9 p.m., Sunday, March 17, on the Lifetime Channel. Following the broadcast, the episode will be available to view free at the Army Wives website: www.mylifetime.com/shows/army-wives.

04 March 2013

Middleton Place Names First Spring Lamb

Posted in News

"Leon" Receives the Most Votes in Name the Lamb Contest

Leon_260After hundreds of suggestions and a weekend of online voting, Middleton Place's first spring lamb of 2013 officially has a name. "Leon" (Noel spelled backwards) received the most votes during the 54-hour poll.

Middleton Place staff asked the public for a name that was masculine (as Leon is a ram) and tied to a winter theme to match his mother's name, Winter, and grandmother's name, Noel. As the second generation of first spring lambs (Winter was the firstborn last year), Leon seems to be the perfect way to pay homage to the season, as well as the little ram's lineage.

More than 400 names were suggested over the four days of the contest. Submissions were made through the Middleton Place weblog (www.middletonplace.org/blog). Suggested names ranged from the secular (Easton, Izard, Ramses) to the religious (Nicholas, Gabriel, Tomasso) to the weather-related (Frosty, Snowball, Blizzard) to the humorous (Hunychild, Rambo, Rama Lamba Ding Dong). Middleton Place staff narrowed the suggestions to Leon, Blitzen, and Winterfell, and asked participants to vote on their favorite via the Middleton Place Facebook page. "Leon" received the most votes.

The Name the Lamb Contest took place in two parts. Lisa Stadtmueller of Wisconsin won the first round by a random drawing from name submissions to win two passes for free admission to Middleton Place. Brian Haas of Summerville was picked at random from the pool of people voting to also win two passes for free admission to Middleton Place.

"We had great participation in this week-long contest, and are very thankful for all the submissions received," said Warren Cobb, Middleton Place Director of Marketing. "We look forward to continuing this contest each year."

05 February 2013

The Queen of Flowers

Posted in News

Experience Winter's Beauty with Camellia Walks at Middleton Place

February 14, 16, 19, 21, 23, 25, 28

March 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 21, 23

reine-des-fleurs_webCamellias, a southern landscape favorite, show off a blaze of color throughout the winter months. Middleton Family history holds that in the year 1786, French botanist Andrè Michaux gave the Middletons some of the first camellias to be planted in an American garden. Today, Middleton Place has over 3,500 camellias, many over 220 years old, including one of the four original Michaux plants, which is known at Middleton Place as the "Reine des Fleurs" or "Queen of Flowers."

Enjoy this wonderful plant and learn more about its spectacular flowers on a Camellia Walk, held every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday beginning February 14 and continuing through March 23. The camellia-focused guided tours will begin at 11 a.m. at the Garden Market & Nursery and last approximately an hour and a half.

Middleton Place is home to dozens of varieties of camellia, some of which were propagated on site. Camellia Walks will focus on a few of these, including the Alba Plena, Alba Superba, Debutante, Donkelaari, Prince Eugene Napoleon, Prof. C.S Sargent, Dr. Tinsley, Lady Clare, Glen 40, and Pink Perfection.

Sidney Frazier, Vice-President of Horticulture at Middleton Place, says one of his favorite things about the camellias in the formal gardens is they provide a great burst of color that bridges the blooming gap between summer and spring. "Having color in the late fall and winter is wonderful," he says. "That is what the camellia plants do for the Middleton Place Gardens. The Middletons planted camellias for the same reason—they would be in bloom while the family was living on the property during the winter months."

[12  >>