This was the home of Henry Middleton, president of the First Continental Congress, whose son, Arthur, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Today this National Historic Landmark includes America's oldest landscaped gardens, the Middleton Place House, and the Plantation Stableyards.
The gardens, begun in 1741, reflect the elegant symmetry of European gardens of that period. Ornamental lakes, terraces, and plantings of camellias, azaleas, magnolias, and crape myrtle accent the grand design.
The Middleton Place House itself was built in 1755, but in 1865, all but the south flank was ransacked and burned by Union troops. The house was restored in the 1870s as a family residence and today houses collections of fine silver, furniture, rare first editions by Catesby and Audubon, and portraits by Benjamin West and Thomas Sully. In the stable yards, craftspeople demonstrate life on a plantation of yesteryear. There are also horses, mules, hogs, cows, sheep, and goats.
A plantation lunch is served at the Middleton Place Restaurant, which is a replica of an original rice mill. American Way magazine cited this restaurant as one of the top 10 representing American cuisine at its best. Specialties include she-crab soup, hoppin' John and ham biscuits, okra gumbo, Sea Island shrimp, and corn pudding. Service is daily from 11am to 3pm. Dinner is served daily 5 to 9pm and is likely to include panned (pan-seared) quail with ham (a recipe from the late chef Edna Lewis, who was a consultant-in-residence here for years), sea scallops, or broiled oysters. For dinner reservations, call tel. 843/556-6020.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Very Highly Recommended 2010