Years are like the tides. They’re repetitive, but one brings new things and takes some other things away. This past year has been a king tide year, with many of us experiencing the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. And so here we are, at the end of one year and the beginning of another. A year in review article seems a bit maudlin at first glance, given the circumstances of the past year, but a brief look at the past 12 months’ issues of Coastal Illustrated provided a different perspective. It’s certainly been a difficult year, but there were so many bright spots. We’ve decided to pay homage to some of those happier moments we found throughout the year – visiting with influencers, armchair traveling, whipping up delicious cocktails and heavenly food, pursuing recreation, supporting local small businesses and finally, indulging in fine dining. Toward the beginning of the year, we attended the Southern C Summit on Sea Island, and learned from some fascinating women entrepreneurs, makers and influencers. We explored luxury traveling with travel experts Ann Owens and Alexa Scott, and entertained the options of staycations as well. There were refreshing summer cocktails to be made, and Patrick Richardson Head PGA Pro at the Sea Island Golf Club took us on a tour of his favorite nine holes in the Golden Isles. We visited small business owners who manufacture and sell their products right here at home, and we learned all about wild game food from Chef Tom Delaney. There are complementary articles that carry on these themes in Coastal Home as well. And, if you’d like to refer back to the specific articles, we’ve provided links for you to do so. Enjoy!
Sallie Holder, author + entrepreneur and Lydia Fenet, author + auctioneer
In February, we met Sallie Holder and Lydia Fenet. Holder, an entrepreneur life coach and author, and Fenet, an author and auctioneer at Christie’s, were keynote speakers at The Southern Coterie’s annual Sea Island Summit. The summit brings makers, influencers and creatives together for networking, education and fun. Holder had just released her book, “Hitting Rock Middle,” and Fenet spoke about her best-seller, “The Most Powerful Woman in the Room is You.” Both are daughters of the South, and had some words of wisdom for goal-setting and getting women where they want to be in their careers and personal lives. Both had wonderful experience-based advice to share, like this pearl of wisdom from Fenet, which is a fantastic reminder of how treating people matters:
“No one will work with you if they don’t like you, Ultimately, the goal is to bring people up with you; if you step on them on the way up, there will be a target on your back.” –lydia fenet
Alexa Scott, travel advisor and Ann Owens, travel advisor
Oh, how we long to travel once more. If you’re like me, you spend entirely too much time on the internet looking at pictures of faraway places, and imagining yourself there. So far, I’ve virtually visited every resort on my bucket list. In our travel issue, we spoke with two local travel advisors, Ann Owens of Travel Service and Alexa Scott of SmartFlyer. Both had excellent advice. Owens is known for her trips to Africa, and a number of island residents have accompanied her there over the years. But, she also recommends other remote areas, including Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada, where the Northern Lights are frequently visible. Other recommended activities in Yellowknife include snowmobiling, dog sledding and ice fishing. Owens also recommends Costa Rica and Yellowstone National Park for their outdoor activities, Belize for diving and hiking, Borneo to see the orangutans and Nepal for snow leopard encounters..
Scott is a partner at SmartFlyer, a full-service luxury travel agency based in New York. She also had tons of advice for readers, and recommended the following as places to visit as soon as things return to a semblance of normal – Tokyo, Malibu, Buenos Aires, Italy, the Bahamas, New York, Vietnam, Africa, Barbados, and Iceland. Iceland comes highly recommended because of its proximity to the U.S., and the availability of adventures, spas, boutique hotels and unique experiences, including snowmobiling on glaciers, snorkeling through plate tectonics and relaxing at a geothermal spa. Morocco is also high on the list. Scott has a town and country option that includes spending several nights in a riad in Marrakech, visiting the markets and taking a tangine cooking class before traveling to the Atlas Mountains for hiking, camel interactions and hot air balloon rides.
Cheri Leavy, consultant + Cheerleader Connector for Entrepreneurs
If a staycation is more your style, you’ll enjoy our feature titled “36 Hours in the Golden Isles.” Cheri Leavy provides the perfect itinerary for all the fun things to do and see on St. Simons Island. She begins with weekend with sips at sunset at The Lodge at Sea Island, and ends it with barbecue at Southern Soul. In between, Cheri recommends restaurants, servers, shopping, golf and sightseeing. It’s truly a guide to St. Simons Island in a nutshell. Some of her suggestions include: Dinner hotspots from casual to fine, recommendations for breakfast, shopping in Redfern Village and visiting the retailers along Frederica Road, in the Shops at Sea Island and on Market Street, having a spa day, playing a round of golf and going off-shore fishing. Sightseeing recs include the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and the St. Simons Lighthouse. For dinner in, Cheri provides info on where to get the best to-go charcuterie boards, and if you need a recharge, she suggests a visit to WakeUp Coffee for either a smoothie or one of their delicious lavender lattes.
Shaken and Stirred Summertime Sippin'
We love a good cocktail as much as the next person, and Cheri Leavy and I set out on a quest for some of the best available. These recipes hit the spot in the middle of the July heat wave, when we want to do nothing more than sit on a breezy porch and sip on a refreshing concoction. We visited mixologists and got their formerly top-secret recipes so you can duplicate the yumminess at home. There are recipes from Tipsy McSway’s, The TreeBar at Bennie’s Red Barn, Marshside Grill, Griffin Bufkin, Georgia Sea Grill and Village Inn and Pub. Many of these recipes can be easily converted from single-serving to pitcher-size batches to share.
I, for one, cannot wait for warmer weather just so it’s seasonally appropriate to sip on a charred pineapple cilantro margarita once again.
Janet Brown of Festive Bird on SSI and Carrie Morey of Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit in Charleston
With all of us cooking at home more frequently, and most of us expanding our repertoires, our feature on One-Dish Sunday Suppers certainly hit the spot. Cheri Leavy provides several recipes, including Janet Brown’s delicious jalapeño chicken stuffed zucchini, which has now become part of my regular rotation. You’ll find other tasty ideas, too, including a summer meal Cheri loves to prepare for friends and family – cast iron party shrimp and Ms. Em’s bread. It comes from “Callie’s Biscuits & Southern Traditions” by Carrie Morey, who founded Callie’s Little Hot Biscuit, in 2005, in Charleston, S.C. The biscuits are now available in grocery stores and shops, and her grab-and-go eateries in Charleston, Atlanta and Charlotte.
Patrick Richardson, PGA Sea Island Golf Club Pro
We certainly wrote a lot about eating and drinking, but even with all the restrictions we faced this year, outdoor activities, including golf, were possible, with some modification. We asked Patrick Richardson, Head PGA Sea Island Golf Club pro, about his favorite nine holes to play in the Golden Isles. Not surprisingly, several of his favorites were on Sea Island properties, but he also picked challenging (and beautiful) holes at Heritage Oaks, Brunswick Country Club, the King and Prince, Sea Palms and Jekyll Island. This is one tour that can be enjoyed both virtually, and in real life. Enjoy.
Suzanne Leroux of One Love Organics Michael + Lacy Putnam of Belham & Co.
In my profession, having a “favorite” anything is dangerous, because I don’t want my credibility to be compromised. Suffice it to say that I’m sometimes unsuccessful. In our “Maker’s Mark” issue, I had the opportunity to write about some of my favorite people – small business owners – who are the backbone of this country. I was astounded, amazed and proud at how much entrepreneurship, manufacturing and ingenuity was bubbling right below the surface of our community, and they deserve everyone’s support. The Coastal Illustrated feature, which centered on self-care, is packed with helpful information.
Chef Tom Delaney of Delaney’s Bistro
Toward the end of the year, we went into the woods and learned about cooking and eating wild game. Our friend, Chef Tom Delaney, of Delaney’s Bistro, shared recipes, cooking tips and wine pairings for all sorts of fantastic dishes that are perfect for the winter palate. Delaney also talked about the health benefits of eating game because of the way it is raised and harvested, and its low fat content. “It’s the healthiest way you’re ever going to eat red meat,” he said. Wild game is difficult to get, so when it’s on the menu, Delaney recommends ordering it.
It turns out, not everything about 2020 was bleak. But it’s now time to turn the page on a new chapter, and begin anew in 2021.
............ happy new year, everyone ...........