A SPECIAL EVENING IN CHARLESTON

Rachel Ford, standing outside the American Theater, which featured a special welcome message on the marquee.

Rachel Ford, standing outside the American Theater, which featured a special welcome message on the marquee.

My Charleston Wine + Food experience kicked off with a black tie soirée at the William Aiken House.  I was proud to represent the Sponsor, Tanqueray No. TEN, at the Soirée à la Belle Étoile: Dinner Under the Stars, co-sponsored by Brackish Bowties (actor Bill Murray is an owner!).

To prepare for the special evening, I got a blowout at Tease Blowdry Bar on King Street.  My stylist, Shayla, gave me a voluminous style to complement my formal attire.

Speaking of the dress, I ordered a gorgeous burgundy lace dress by Monique Lhuillier from Rent the Runway.  The ML Merlot Sheath featured sheer lace sleeves with a high neck and open back.  Black Stuart Weitzman Nudist sandals were a perfect contrast to the drama of the dress.  An edgy clutch with chain detail completed the look.

Before the event, we met our group at The Darling Oyster Bar for a round of Tanqueray and Tonics.  Next, Kyle and I staged an impromptu photo shoot before heading inside.  See some of our favorite shots below:

Once inside the gates, we were treated to incredible Tanqueray No. TEN cocktails, crafted by Mixologist Iouli Burroughs of Fish Restaurant.   Brackish's feather bow ties were beautifully displayed , and one of their local craftsmen was putting the finishing touches on lapel pins while we sipped.  

The five course meal by Chef Nico Romo was absolutely delicious!  During dinner, we enjoyed spirited music, performed by the Joe Clarke Big Band.  I was asked to say a few words at the close of the event, during which I touched on innovators William Aiken and Charles Tanqueray, and the date 1830 (the year that both men founded their respective companies).

Of course, we couldn't resist snapping just a few more photos before heading out into the night...