Progressive Dinner, Dickens' Dinner, New Year's Eve Events Mark the Holidays at Charleston's Charming Inns

An evening of gourmet cuisine, a lively telling of a Christmas classic and a champagne toast at midnight are just some of the ways to celebrate this holiday season in one of the South’s most charming destinations.

Charleston, SC, September 02, 2009 --( An evening of gourmet cuisine, a lively telling of a Christmas classic and a champagne toast at midnight are just some of the ways to celebrate this holiday season in one of the South’s most charming destinations. The Wentworth Mansion®, downtown Charleston's only AAA Five Diamond property, and its AAA Four Diamond, Mobil Four Star on-site restaurant Circa 1886 are hosting a series of holiday events and special overnight packages throughout December.

Progressive Dinner
The restaurant’s Progressive Dinner is an annual tradition that takes visitors by horse-drawn carriage to three of Charming Inns' historic and elegant establishments -- the Kings Courtyard Inn, Circa 1886 and the John Rutledge House Inn, all decorated in grand style for the holidays -- for different courses of a four-course gourmet meal.

The 24th annual Progressive Dinner runs Dec. 1-5, 7-12, 14, 15, 17-19 and 21-23 and begins at 5:30 p.m. The cost of the dinner is $95 per person, including tax and gratuity, but excluding beverages.

The John Rutledge House also offers an overnight package for two people that includes accommodations, the Progressive Dinner (excluding beverages), a rickshaw ride to Kings Courtyard Inn and a Junior League Party Receipts Cookbook. Cost starts at $349 per night. Or stay at the Wentworth Mansion® Monday through Thursday from $489 per night as part of a package that also includes the Progressive Dinner for two, excluding beverages.

Dickens Dinner
Guests can take a trip back in time to the Victorian era when the Wentworth Mansion and Circa 1886 were built at the annual Dickens Dinner held Dec. 16 at 6:30 p.m. Storyteller Tim Lowry will regale diners with a lively retelling of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" while they enjoy a four-course dinner inspired by the novel. The dinner is $70 per person, excluding tax, gratuity and beverages. To complement the dinner, Wentworth Mansion® is offering a special "A Christmas Carol" package for two guests, including the Dickens Dinner (excluding beverages) and one night’s accommodation. The cost is $475 per couple.

New Year's Eve
Guests can count down to the New Year at Circa 1886 during two different seatings on Dec. 31, 6:30 and 9 p.m., at the restaurant’s New Year’s Eve dinner. Circa 1886 will serve a five-course meal with a glass of champagne for $100, excluding tax, gratuity and additional beverages. Wentworth Mansion® is also offering a special two-night package, starting at $1,050, to coincide with the dinner for visitors who want to continue the celebration into the night. It includes dinner for two at Circa 1886 on any night besides Sunday, two commemorative etched champagne glasses and a bottle of champagne.

About Wentworth Mansion®
Located in the heart of historic downtown Charleston, S.C., the Wentworth Mansion® is a 21-room, AAA Five Diamond luxury hotel that offers guests a taste of southern hospitality in an intimate setting. Elegant rooms and expansive suites feature gas-lit fireplaces with their original marble mantels, king-size sleigh beds with European linens, inlaid design floors, whirlpool tubs and double, glass-walled, walk-in showers. Guests can relax at the Spa at the Wentworth Mansion®, a full-service on-site day spa, enjoy a 360-degree view of the city from the hotel's rooftop cupola or dine on sophisticated southern cuisine with a twist at Circa 1886 restaurant located on the hotel grounds. For more information and reservations, please call 1-888-466-1886 or visit

About Circa 1886
Set inside the historic carriage house for the award-winning Wentworth Mansion® hotel at 149 Wentworth St. in Charleston, S.C., Circa 1886 is a AAA Four-Diamond, Mobil Four Star restaurant offering traditional southern cuisine with a modern twist in a sophisticated, historic setting. Executive Chef Marc Collins, named by Esquire Magazine as a chef to watch in 2001 and co-founder of the successful Charleston Wine + Food Festival, presents innovative southern dishes, which draw on the rich culinary history of Charleston during the time period when the Mansion was originally constructed. Collins also brings a French influence and a touch of 21st century culinary artistry to his creations. Circa 1886 has received numerous accolades, including the DiRoNA award for fine dining in North America, as well as the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.

The restaurant is open for dinner Monday through Saturday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., and prices range from $8 to $16 for appetizers, $20 to $30 for featured courses, and desserts start at $10. For more information and reservations, please visit or call (843) 853-7828.

Circa 1886
Lyn Mettler