Bloomsbury Inn in Camden, South Carolina is a welcome respite from the traditional hotel room on the road. When my daughter had a 2 day horse show in Camden, I decided to let her experience her first Bed and Breakfast in lieu of the standard fare Holiday Inn and Comfort Inn. Oh, what a wonderful decision that turned out to be! Thanks again, Trip Advisor! What really stood out to me was the Bloomsbury Inn is ranked in the top 20 inns/bed and breakfasts of an estimated 17,000 in the United States and has received the 2014 and 2015 Travelers’ Choice Award from Trip Advisor. Not too shabby!
The Bloomsbury is steeped in genteel Southern charm and warm home atmosphere, thanks to the care the innkeepers Bruce and Katherine have taken with their home. Lovingly restored to its Antebellum majesty, this home dates back to 1849 and is part of the National Register of Historic Places. Her first sense of what sets a B&B apart from a hotel came upon arrival. We were escorted to our room, the Sally Chestnut. Her parents, James and Mary Chesnut built the home as an in town home for Sally. After unpacking our things, we then joined our fellow guests, 2 couples traveling together, for cocktail hour. Over beverages, we shared conversation and Bruce and Katherine gave us some idea of the history of the Inn and Camden. After we left for dinner with her horseback team, my daughter said, “Wow, Mom, it’s really nice! Now I know why you wanted to stay here!”
And that’s the essence of what makes a B&B stand out–the personalized service and the sense that you have been invited to stay with friends in their home. The innkeepers take pride in their residence because it is their home, too. The welcome and hospitality is unparalleled. You are less harried, more relaxed, and reminded of simpler times.
Even though our horse show started early the next morning, we couldn’t leave without the breakfast portion of the B&B. It was simply a “to die for” breakfast. When I say Katherine is an exceptional cook, I do not mince words. Everything looked sensational, from the fruit compote with fresh whipped cream to the from scratch biscuits and homemade fig preserves. And that’s just the first course! One problem for me: I couldn’t eat any of it. I woke up feeling nauseous and it went downhill from there. But I can say this–even feeling as ill as I did, I could totally appreciate the effort and care put into preparing a bountiful breakfast (despite my hasty retreat from it.) Guess I didn’t avoid the stomach bug my daughter had the week before after all. But hey, that just means I have to go back to verify the food was as wonderful as my daughter claims, right?
I cannot recommend the Bloomsbury Inn more highly. While I had stayed in other bed and breakfasts, I was impressed by the friendliness and charm of our hosts and the sense of warmth and caring at their establishment. I couldn’t have asked for a better first B&B experience for my daughter!
Here’s a tip: Make your reservations early because the Inn has 4 bedrooms. But even if you find yourself in this part of South Carolina and need a last minute place to stay, don’t rule it out! It may be one of the the best phone calls/ internet searches for accommodations you make. Don’t sweat the dinner reservations either-Bruce and Katherine can give you the skinny on the restaurants so you can dine like the locals do (another plus since I try to avoid chain restaurants when traveling).
So for the Bloomsbury Inn, I would give it five out of five horseshoes! (Hey, it seemed fitting that we use horseshoes since Camden is horse country!) Equestrian AND mother approved!