Garden & Gun Jubilee
Charles Towne Landing, Dec. 6-8

What raises eyebrows  higher than seeing pretty photos of a $15,000 shotgun in a magazine? Holding that gun in your hands.

Got a wife who isn’t sure how she feels about guns  (or perhaps she is sure, and it’s not favorable)? Let her hold that gun. Between the intricate metalwork and the price tag, she’ll at least appreciate that it’s a thing of beauty.

At their inaugural Jubilee weekend, Garden & Gun met their stated objective. That was confirmed on the way home from the event on Sunday, when my wife (who did touch a fancy gun) quipped, “I feel like I just walked through the pages of Garden & Gun.”

Unbeknownst to her (no, she hadn’t read my preview piece in this week’s City Paper) that was the magazine’s goal. And Garden & Gun come-to-life is a heck of a lot of fun.

We beelined for the Bloody Mary bar upon arrival, opting for High Line Distillery’s recommended gin version. Thank you, I’ll have another.

Just outside that tent, Rodney Scott and his crew were dishing out generous portions of their stringy pulled pork with its signature kick, washed down perfectly with Edmund’s Oast latest in-house brew, a highly drinkable Mild Ale made with Charleston Tea Plantation black tea and English hops. “Too many people mistake hop quality with bitterness,” said Oast’s new brewmaster, whose name we promise to remember next time.

Thus satiated, we hobnobbed our way through what remained of the various crafts, knives, clothes, furniture (and guns) after three days of eager picking-through. Giant $2,000 busts of a Roman emperor-looking dude? No thanks. $300 oyster knife? So gorgeous they could make a Lowcountry oyster produce a pearl. Ornate wooden paddle? Tempting, but my paddleboard actually cost less. One more bite of super savory wild boar salami from goat.sheep.cow? Yes, please.

On the way out the door, we were lucky enough to  score a  serious bargain on a Fraser Fir Christmas tree from the N.C. Christmas Tree Association set up outside, and they seemed genuinely grateful for us to take one off their hands at less than half price. Now we just need an artisan tree stand. The one we got at Lowe’s just doesn’t do this puppy justice. 

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