When I was looking around on the events calendar for the Charleston CVB I noticed the brunch at Middleton Place. I had been waiting to go there anyway and it sounded like a fun way to spend Thanksgiving.
We arrived at the marvelous mansion about 3 hours before our lunch reservations. The price for the buffet does include admission to the grounds and house so do take advantage of it. We checked in at the tent placed in front of where the buffet was served, collected our tickets, and took off touring.
This 1741 mansion was the home of Henry Middleton who was president of the First Continental Congress and his family. It stayed in the family for four generations of Middleton’s including Arthur who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and Henry who was a former Governor of South Carolina. The grounds are America’s oldest landscaped gardens and the gardens are listed as one of the 1001 gardens to see before you die. I do have a complete entry on the home and gardens its self in another journal to come.
When I made the reservations I made them for 3:30 but when we arrived and checked in the lady who checked us in wrote 3 on our ticket. So when it got close to 3 we headed back towards the reception building and when the 3 o’clock dinner bell was rung we went on to the building. Of course when we get there they tell us that indeed are reservations are not until 3:30 and they are completely full so we will have to wait. I notice a table for 3 in the corner empty. We go back outside and head back to the stables and amuse ourselves by playing with the resident sheep and other barn yard animals until the next dinner bell is rung.
At 3:30 we promptly go back to the reception building and wait and wait before anyone comes to seat us. And sure enough we are seated at that same table I saw just 30 minutes ago with the same bottle of water still sitting on the table indicating no one had been seated there at the 3 o’clock seating. We were seated and it took 15 minutes before our waitress hurriedly came over to take our drink orders.
This was a buffet so several large buffet tables were set up in the back in front of the fire place. Silver chafing dishes were filled to the brim with the traditional holiday trappings of Thanksgiving Day. There were biscuits, cornbread, stuffing, mac and cheese, beans, salad, soup, roasted potatoes, veggies, squash casserole, several other casseroles, and a corn dish. At the end a carving station for turkey and ham as well as the gravy. But no cranberry sauce! Behind was a large table with your choice of pumpkin or pecan pie. If you’re like me and not a fan of either pie your out of luck.
We returned to our table and the waitress had still not brought over our drinks. We waited almost 10 minutes before our drinks came around. When our waitress finally arrived we asked about butter for our bread. Our waitress informs us she believes the butter is gone but she will see what she can do. It is only 3:30 and the buffet goes until 4:30 so I guess they didn’t plan well. But upon a second pass to the buffet table I pass by a large table who received two plates of butter.
The food here is certainly enjoyable, just not outstanding. It is about the same quality as you find on your steakhouse buffet for about 2/3’s of the price. The corn dish is, however, outstanding and I go back for 2 more helpings of that. I just figure for $35 it should be something that wows me not something that I can get elsewhere cheaper. The service was horrible. After finally getting our butter our waitress never came back to the table until she brought our check. Our drink glasses are small and when we need refills we had to go to the bar and when Brenda wanted coffee after dinner she had to go to the bar as well. I know the place was busy but this was buffet so it is not that much work to keep plates clean and refill drink glasses.
The buffet is an annual