We all have attachments to our childhood. For some of us, the cravings or longings to return to the places of our youth are based on memories of families, seasons, friendships and first loves. For others, the wish to return home is founded on idealistic notions of a life we wished we would have had.
I fall into the first category. When I think of my home in foothills of the Smoky mountains, I get an overwhelming sense of belonging. Nostalgia flows over me and I get lost in memories. In a more honest moment, I admit my intense love for the Palmetto State might be shaped by a wish for simpler times. Who doesn’t miss a life with fewer responsibilities, and a time before the realities that come with growing older?
But there is much more than memories for this historically rich, complex state.
I got a chance to go back home this past weekend. Not the upstate I usually call home, but a visit to the Lowcountry. The culinary super-fest, Music To Your Mouth, was held in Palmetto Bluff. My timing was a little late on booking accomodations at the resort so I thought I would make the most of it and book something in nearby Beaufort.
At the last minute, I came across the historic Rhett House Inn located in the heart of downtown Beaufort, just overlooking the water. It’s a beautifully restored Greek Revival antebellum home turned bed and breakfast. The property is surrounded by live oaks draped with spanish moss and resurrection fern. My favorite feature was the wrap around porch with the blue-painted ceiling.
We were greeted at check-in with a glass of champagne before being shown to our first floor room off the parlor. We hardly had a chance to put our bags down when were offered a plate of rich mini red-velvet cupcakes. This place was amazing.
Before we rushed out the door that night, our host let us know that every evening guests of the inn were invited to the parlor for drinks around the fire. It looked so cozy but we didn’t have time. That is until we were stopped in our tracks with the quintessential Southern melt-in-your-mouth cheese wafers brought out warm from the oven. I couldn’t stop eating them and to be honest, I helped myself to more than my fair share over the weekend. They were so good in fact, I begged for the recipe before I left and they were kind enough to oblige.
The hospitality wasn’t limited to food and imbibing. It was so comforting to be back in a place where the words “y’all” and “honey” dripped off everyone’s lips. I felt so at home and felt the comfort of familiarity even though this was my first visit. This Carolina bed and breakfast is definitely on my “must stay” list.
Photography by Evelyn Laws