Grab your friends or someone special, hop aboard the Spirit of Olympus and spend three leisurely hours cruising Sabine Lake aboard a newly refitted and extravagant yacht. My family and dear friend Nick enjoyed a five-star dinner and lively entertainment celebrating the latest courtroom victory of New Grace attorney and my sister Mimi Linton. The Spirit of Olympus embarks Friday night for dinner and Sunday for brunch from Golden Shores Marina, casually circling Lake Sabine. If you’re lucky enough to get window seats you’ll be treated to an unsurpassed view of some of the largest estates of the antebellum south (sort of South Carolina’s version of Newport, RI minus the cooler climate). Spirit of Olympus also offers a monthly day trip with a guide who outlines the provenance of these magnificent estates which were once plantations and have hundreds of years of history.

The wood-paneled dining room is over-the-top. Upon entering your feet will sink into plush Oriental carpeting. Crystal chandeliers sparkle throughout infusing soft muted lighting which lends a romantic atmosphere. Tropical plants abound, gently scenting the large room with their fragrance. Meals are served on Lenox china, with Oneida flatware and Baccarat wine glasses.NEWGRACENEWS.COM Spirit of Olympus

Olympus offers two menus; one’s regular with bistro –like fare (do not miss the goat cheese tart!) and the other is a tasting menu. The latter is a lovely four-course set menu starting with foie gras, followed by French onion soup, then chateaubriand or lamb rack, cauliflower and leek gratin and finally … a chocolate or raspberry soufflé. The foie gras was smooth and silky and my rack of lamb hits all the right notes. Mimi, the guest of honor, preferred the bistro menu – golden seared pork chops on a bed of potato and leek gratin with apple chutney as a side. The aroma was to die for! Mimi allowed me a generous taste of each. The chops were glazed with shallots and a honey balsamic sauce. The gratin had just the slightest taste of nutmeg. My special guest, Nick Spinelli, a bio-ethical researcher visiting from UNC, was a little disappointed with his chateaubriand. He found it to be slightly overcooked and dry. The youngster at the table, Mimi’s son Misha, ordered a scrumptious burger with cheese fries. Although I didn’t taste any of his food, the burgers was humongous and could easily feed two people. The meal was a perfect symbiosis of savory and sweet, rounded out by the soufflé for dessert.

The Spirit of Olympus’ sommelier Scott Henderson served the diners a sampling of German Rieslings and Napa Valley Cabernets. Misha had a sampling of action hero themed drinks. This delicious dinner, coupled with a sense of no urgency whatsoever other than to watch the sea slip by, fine wine and food is the very essence of a good evening. Our celebratory evening was really amazing, the music was right on point and the dance floor was packed with everyone having a blast. It was a great atmosphere the entire evening, everyone was really friendly and the staff was brilliant. Although it’s a bit pricey, for that special occasion it was money well worth spending. The Spirit of Olympus left us wanting nothing more than another evening aboard.