Sit back, relax and have a glass of ice tea on the verandah. That’s the atmosphere one learns quickly to adapt when you pull up the drive to Bloomsbury Inn in historic Camden, South Carolina. The azalea bushes will be bursting with color and the surrounding trees will keep the heat at bay as you rock away the afternoon on the front porch of this historic Antebellum home. Innkeepers and owners Katherine and Bruce Brown will greet you with a warm smile and show you around their lovely home after you have settled into one of four antique-filled bedrooms, or bed chambers, as the innkeepers refer to them.
I was on a whirlwind tour of Camden, so I wasn’t able to join Bruce and Katherine on the verandah for Owners’ Hour. This special cocktail time takes place in the afternoon where fellow guests gather to share nibbles and learn a little about historic Camden and this fabulous house once owned by Mary Boykin Chesnut. I love the rocking chairs on this classic wrap around veranda, with its white pillars reaching from the ground to the roof top. If you’re lucky, you might find Miss Kitty Stray walking across the front porch. Don’t worry if you suffer from allergies, this is a pet-free house and the individually-controlled thermostats in each room feature Trane CleanEffects for allergen free air.
History lovers will want to linger in the parlor to soak in the Southern history of this home – if these walls could talk. Fortunately, Bruce Brown is willing to share the storied past of this Antebellum home, built in 1854, and explain the names attached to each en suite bedroom and a little background on some of the members of the Boykin family.
If you love cooking, following Katherine into the dining room to learn about Grandmother’s iron skillet biscuits with house made jam or ask for her recipe for cold peach soup. If I wasn’t traveling with carry on luggage, you can bet I’d be bringing home a jar or two of the strawberry lavender preserves. If you make your own marmalade you’ll want to visit Bloomsbury Inn during the month of September for the famous Jam Off.
In addition to the multi-course gourmet breakfast, guests will be treated to fresh baked cookies waiting in your room.
Once you’ve walked around the two acres of manicured gardens, you’ll want to relax in your room before walking or driving into town for dinner. Located four blocks from downtown, you’ll find plenty of things to see and do in historic Camden.
I stayed in the Sally Chesnut Bed Chamber, but all rooms include complimentary wifi, private en suite baths, television, desks, robes and slippers. Of course, the rooms include hair dryers, alarm clocks and umbrellas for the occasional rainy day. I liked the oatmeal bath soap, but in my house, I’m the only one that prefers French-milled soap over liquid soap. Perhaps this is one of the amenities, besides fresh baked cookies, that makes me a bed and breakfast lover? I’m not one for dollies and lace, but I do love an inn that pays attention to the details. FYI, Bloomsbury Inn has earned the stamp of approval by Select Registry.
Take advantage of the concierge service offered at Bloomsbury Inn. Katherine will arrange for a horse-drawn carriage ride for two or a romantic dinner downtown, upon request. There’s also hot tea and coffee available at all hours. Be sure to try the Charleston Tea Plantation, made and grown locally in South Carolina.
Rooms rates start at $175 at this historic inn. If you happen to be visiting during the Carolina Cup, be sure to reserve a room far in advance.
Bed & breakfast review and all photography by Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown.