Bloomsbury Inn

1707 Lyttleton Street, Camden, South Carolina 29020
Innkeeper(s): Bruce and Katherine Brown

Designing Your Entry (the magic of the entry is you) 29 Oct 2015, 9:12 am

The magic begins before you ever open the front door, but today we are focusing on what awaits one just inside the door.  The perfect entryway is the window to your home or your business or your life.  As a re result, this first impression should reflect you.

The entry or entry hall may be one of the smaller rooms but it is one of the most important.  Or, it may be a large, grand statement.   It is the first impression you make…it is the first room that is seen…it sets the stage for initial opinions.  It is also a very functional space.  So it should be very welcoming.  It might be soft and gentle; it might be contemporary and engaging; or, it might be wild!

Regardless of style, there are several basic ideas to consider:

  1. Color is the first impression.  Select carefully a color palette that well-represents you and that transitions well into all rooms that open off the entryway.  Determine your core colors upon which you will base the entire space.  It might be one color for a monochromatic approach or three colors that enhance your final delivery.

It is time to think walls, flooring, ceiling.

2.  The flooring of the entryway should be selected to withstand the expected traffic, ranging from wood to tile to cork to carpet.   Once the primary flooring choice is made, don’t forget to strategically place the entry rug.  This first rug has a solid purpose:  collect everything crossing the threshold that should immediately stop upon entry.   Additional rugs are for décor.

 3.  The lighting should be designed in layers. First, good lighting for secure entering is necessary.  This might be a simple overhead light or a grand chandelier – it must flood the space with light when necessary.  To easily adjust the “feel” of this overarching lighting, a rheostat works wonders.  To further adjust the feel, space permitting, it is nice to have either wall sconces or table lamps as the second layer of light for the entry.

 4.  Introduce furniture based upon available floor space. Remember, this is the entry…leave room to entry.  It is nice to have a space to sit to tie a shoe or remove a muddy boot:

 A flat surface beside a table lamp is also enjoyed by those who enter with something in their hands.    Depending how formal the entry, a guest book or a business card dish might be present.

5.  Corralling shoes, warps, mittens, etc. can be challenging. Some entries have the perfect closet, while others have none.  If there is no closet, consider hooks or pegs or be prepared to place these items into another room.  But, above all, the entry is not the space for clutter.   If you intend to leave your keys upon entry, you need a hook or a small dish specifically for the keys.Call it old fashioned, but an umbrella stand can certainly save your flooring from water drips and damage.

 6.  A critical item that is often over looked is the mirror. A quick glance upon entering or just before departing is always appreciated. 

7.  If the space is large enough to host a table, a settee, books, plants, etc., by all means enjoy the additional decorating challenge. If the entry hosts a set of stairs, never – absolutely never, store/place anything on the stairs!

 The entry creates the first impression and is also the last impression.  Make the entry functional, as well as inviting. And, make sure it is not a “catch all” space.

Press Releases 22 Oct 2015, 10:14 am

Inspected and Recommended by Select Registry

and the South Carolina B&B Association.

Travelers’ reviews of Bloomsbury Inn on 2015 Travelers’ Choice Award, ranked one of the top 25 bed and breakfasts, of an estimated 17,000, in the United Additional Reviews

2015 Travelers’ Choice Award, ranked one of the top 25 bed and breakfasts, of an estimated 17,000, in the United States. Bloomsbury Inn moved from position 18 in 2014 to position 12 in 2015.

September 2015, This Old House, “Porch ceilings: We painted the ceiling with Atmospheric blue.  It’s said to deter bugs.  Spiders and wasps don’t build on the ceiling.  I was a little skeptical took, but it really works!…Editor’s note:  While anecdotes may seem to support this paint idea, there’s no empirical evidence for its effectiveness.”

Fall 2015, BBOnline, featured a recipe from Bloomsbury:  “Bloomsbury Egg Nests….This simple egg dish is amazingly elegant and delicious!”

Summer 2015, Tesla Motors, “Bloomsbury Inn, a select Registry property now offers a Tesla car charging station and a universal charging station!”

April 2015, Vacations to the Americas, “Bloomsbury, situated in the Camden historic district, is a lovingly restored antebellum home with uncompromising attention to detail and a warm and welcoming environment. Sitting on two quiet acres of manicured grounds, several garden sitting areas and the wrap around veranda offer peace and tranquillity. Cool relief from the South Carolina summer can be found in two parlours on the main floor. ”

June/July 2014, The Virginia Sportsman.  “Bloomsbury Inn…Elegant surroundings and exceptional services have landed the inn on the B&B of The Year list multiple times.”

Spring 2014, The Connection, Kershaw County Chamber.  “It isn’t everyday that a small business in a small Southern city earns national recognition.  For the past eight years, the award-winning Bloomsbury Inn has consistently been judged to be one of the best inns/bed and breakfasts in the Nation.”

2014 Travelers’ Choice Award, ranked one of the top 25 bed and breakfasts, of an estimated 17,000, in the United States.

January 2014, Charleston Style & Design.  “The place to stay when you’re visiting Camden, South Carolina’s oldest inland town and Charleston’s sister city.” October 2013 Bloomsbury Inn has been rated among the best in the region! Bloomsbury has been awarded the

2013 Talk of the Town Customer Satisfaction Award.

2013 Bloomsbury Inn has been awarded the 2013 Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence.

March 2013, HGTV Magazine (April issue.  )   “If the experts fill you shopping cart…Cascade Complete…no spots, no film…award-winning Bloomsbury Inn, Camden SC.”

March 2013, Carolina Living Magazine.   “Oh what a beautiful Breakfast.  A beautifully set breakfast/brunch table is perfect for  entertaining guests, hosting a business meeting, introducing students to the art of dining, celebrating a special occasion or just to enjoy!  At your next fête, include these scrumptious poached pears with creamed stuffing, courtesy Bloomsbury Inn, in Camden.”

January 2013, Best American Retreats.   “Bloomsbury Inn is the only bed and breakfast in the State of South Carolina to be selected as one of the best American retreats.”

January 2013, TOWN Magazine Past Perfect.  “Camden’s Bloomsbury Inn is an elegant journey to the 19th century.  In a town known for its rich history, Bloomsbury is the ideal place to stay…getaway.  Set off by two acres of live oaks, camellias, and azaleas, the house takes its name Mary’s childhood home…”

December 2012, The Real Yellow Pages.   AT&T Bloomsbury Inn was selected as the cover photo of the Area Code 803, 2012-2013 phone book.

August-September  2012, Mary Janes Farm Magazine.   “We noticed that Bloomsbury Inn has been ranked as one of the top ten bed and breakfasts in the nation (more than once) — CONGRATULATIONS!”

June  2012, Victorian Homes Magazine.   “At Bloomsbury Inn, you don’t just get a room.  The proudly old-fashioned Southern manor calls them “bed chambers”, just as they should be.”

June 2012, Camden Chronicle-Independent.   Travelers’ reviews earn Bloomsbury Inn Certificate of Excellence.  Bloomsbury has been awarded the Tripadvisor certificate with a rating of 5 out of 5.

May 2012, Top Three Great Bed and Breakfasts Outside of Arkansas! Bloomsbury Inn. “You don’t have to salute your hosts in this Revolutionary War era town, but you’ll need to mind your Ps and Qs in this inn run by retired US Air Force colonels. Katherine Brown spent her career in protocol, and she attends to the tiniest details at this inn she shares with her husband, an instructor pilot. Don’t miss Katherine’s fabulous Praline Peppered Bacon breakfast.”.

May 2012, Camden Historic Landmarks Commission.   In recognition of restoration of the old kitchen house of Bloomsbury, the Browns were awarded the Historic Preservation Award.

May 2012, Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce.   Bloomsbury received the Community Pride award for continual restoration and showcasing of Bloomsbury.

March 2012, Southern Living.   “Azaleas fill the Bloomsbury Inn’s front yard.  End the day surrounded by history and hospitality at Bloomsbury Inn.  The spacious Bloomsbury Inn invites its guests to gather in the evening over a glass of wine and some friendly conversation — just the way Camden has been welcoming visitors for more than 200 years.”

2012, Images Business Biz!  “Built between 1849-1854, the Bloomsbury Inn was used primarily as a family residence until 2004, when Bruce and katheirne Brown bought Bloomsbury and transformed it into a bed and breakfast.”

Escapes 2011, Inns Magazine.   Bruce and Katherine Brown, owners of Bloomsbury Inn, are featured in the “Inn Life” special on entrepreneurs sharing their stories about leaving their old lives and embarking on an innkeeping career.  Like many innkeerpers, “Katherine and Bruce find the most rewarding part of innkeeping to be their guests.”

October 2011, South Carolina Living.   “Now is a great time to celebrate autumn.  The Bloomsbury Inn Southern Pecan  Cheesecake is a featured recipe in this autumn celebration.  The recipe is on the Bloomsbury Inn Recipe page of this site.”

May 2011, Garden Club of South Carolina.   The Bloomsbury Gardens were one of only three selected to be featured in the statewide Follow The Blooms annual garden tour. “The gardens were glorious,”  Judy Dill.

April 2011, University of Georgia.   The Bloomsbury Cold Fruit Soup recipe was one of only three fruit dishes and the only SC Bed and Breakfast recipe selected to be featured in the University of Georgia Sunset Competition.

March 2011, Balentyne Magazine.   “Unbridled Pleasure in historic Camden, South Carolina. Want to Visit Camden? You can step back in time by staying at one of the most beautifully restored B&Bs: Bloomsbury Inn.”

October 2010, Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce.   “Bloomsbury Inn once again brings national recognition to the Historic District with their selection as one of the top ten bed and breakfasts in the Nation, Best of Awards, 2010-2011.”

October 2010, Chronicle-Independent.  Bloomsbury Inn has been selected as one of the Top 10 bed and breakfasts in the nation as part of the Best of awards, 2010-2011.

May 2010, Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce.   “It was a beautiful garden party evening in late May when Bruce and Katherine Brown were named Kershaw County Business Persons of the Year. They were recognized for both their very success bed and breakfast, Bloomsbury Inn, but also for their continued support of the community.”

February 2010, SearchWrap.  ” Like many top inns, the chefs at Bloomsbury Inn use only fresh, local farm products. I never expected a South Carolina Inn to be full of such scientifically talented people. But they’ve experimented with hundreds of dishes, and the creativity of their top picks boggles the imagination: hot apple soup, poached pears and baked peaches with toasted peanut butter rolls, creamed eggs in a puff pastry, baked cinnamon-raisin French toast, toasted bacon-pecan bread, homemade biscuits with chocolate gravy, peppered praline bacon and their own version of Eggs Benedict: a delicate crème sauce over croissant, wilted spinach, peppered ham, avocado and poached egg. Exquisite.”

May 2009, Traveler Planners Radio Show.   “It was great to speak with Katherine Brown of Bloomsbury Inn, and we are very fortunate that she has agreed to share her signature recipe, Biscuits and Chocolate Gravy, with our listeners. Southern Living Magazine believes that Bloomsbury is an inn to remember and so do we.”

Fall 2008, The Connection.   “Local B&B chosen as innkeepers of the year. Out of 7000 US and Canadian competitors, Bruce and Katherine Brown, who own Bloomsbury Inn of Camden, were selected as one of the top innkeepers of the year in the annual Bed and Awards, 2008-2009.”

17 September 2008, Chronicle-Independent.   “Not just another plate. The first piece of Paneled Grape Westmoreland that Brown owned belonged to her grandmother, Sally Rose Stites Chisam. It is her favorite functional china, and is used for daily breakfast service at Bloomsbury Inn.”

Summer 2008 Voices.   “Viewers of Ken Burns’ Civil War series may recall the vivid journals of Mary Chesnut. The Bloomsbury property was built in 1849 by James Chesnut, Sr., and through the combination of loving care and military precision, Bloomsbury has, well, bloomed.”

May 2008 Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center.   “It is with great satisfaction that your Chamber of Commerce presents this 2008 Community Pride Award to Bloomsbury Inn for exhibiting the best in civic responsibility and leadership through its interest and personal contributions in maintaining and improving Kershaw County’s beauty and uniqueness.” 8 April 2008, “Manicured grounds….a new definition is Bloomsbury.”

Member of the Charleston Garden Club October 2007, The Honorable Mark Sanford, Governor of South Carolina.   “Congratulations! You are a great asset to our state not only through your successful business practices, but also by promoting our state’s history. I’m sure many of your guests leave the inn having learned more about James and Mary Chesnut and the Civil War era in which they lived. Jenny joins me in wishing you continued success. Take care. Sincerely, Mark Sanford”

September 2007, Bed and   The Bloomsbury Inn  was selected as one of the top B&Bs in the United States in the annual Best of Awards, 2007-2008.  With 6,500 eligible bed and breakfasts, The Best of Awards were presented based upon a qualitative and quantitative review of the nearly 10,000 independent reviews submitted to, the leading online B&B directory and reservation network worldwide. “We know how important independent reviews are. We’re delighted that inngoers concurred that Bloomsbury Inn is a favorite among those seeking B&B getaways,” explained Sandy Soule, Editor of and one of the most highly recognized authors in the B&B industry.  “Clearly Bloomsbury Inn earned high marks from reviewers for their fine accommodations, top amenities, and wonderful hospitality and service,” commented Soule.

7 July 2007, The State Home and Garden.   “It is a wonderful place and a wonderful home. The Browns accommodate visitors from all over who want to soak up the area’s rich history, and they greet all of them the same way…Welcome to Bloomsbury. Welcome to our home.”

3 May 2007, The State, Columbia, South Carolina.   “Nestled in nature, there’s room at the Inn. Guests at Bloomsbury Inn find birds, butterflies, history and great conversation. The Bloomsbury Inn joins more than 65,000 habitats certified since the program was launched by the National Wildlife Federation in 1973.”

2 May 2007, The State, Columbia, South Carolina.   That really is a special, special treat: Biscuits and Chocolate Gravy. Katherine Brown, owner of Bloomsbury Inn on Lyttleton Street in Camden, believes in presentation, too.

May 2007, Southern Living.   “Situated in a neighborhood of stately homes, the 19th-century home also boasts two acres of manicured grounds…AN INN TO REMEMBER.”

20 February 2007, The State, Columbia, South Carolina.  “Head to Camden on 3 March for a top-of-the-line kitchens tour in historic homes. You’ll see kitchens with state-of-the-art appliances and historic touches. The tour also includes cooking demonstrations by Camden chefs; demonstrations will be held in the original kitchen house of Bloomsbury.”

January 2007, National Geographic Society.   “The Officers and Board of Trustees have enrolled Bloomsbury as a member of the National Geographic Society, in recognition of support of this scientific and educational organization chartered in 1888 for diffusing geographic knowledge and promoting research and exploration.”

December 2006, South Carolina Home and Gardens.   “The Browns, perfect innkeepers…will welcome you to relax, step away from the stresses of daily life, and enjoy the comfort of being pampered. You will want to come back to Bloomsbury again and again.”

November 2006, She! Magazine.   “All of my life, I wanted a very historic homme on a quiet, quaint street…That is how Bloomsbury Inn came to be.”

2006 “The South Carolina Encyclopedia”, edited by Walter Edgar Page 771: “Rain porch. A sheltered exterior residential living area…notable examples…Bloomsbury (ca 1850) in Camden…”

24 September 2006 – The State, Columbia, South Carolina.   “Bloomsbury (the Colonel James Chesnut House), a circa-1849 home in Camden, features a good example of a rain porch. Rain porches feature elongated roof supports that produce an optical illusion of additional height and grandeur. They were common on houses built from about 1820 until 1860 in the 14 counties generally known as the Pee Dee.” It is also commonly referred to as the Carolina verandah.

30 August 2006 – Camden Chronicle-Independent, Camden, South Carolina.   “Then and now: Camden’s in-town estates. In 1916, the estate was downsized to “13 acres, made up of two parsels;” today Bloomsbury sits on two acres which features many native SC flora. “Katherine Lemay Brown, owner of Bloomsbury Inn in Camden, has been elected as the second vice president of the South Carolina Bed and Breakfast Association…responsible for insuring that the inspection policies of the association are followed and to recommend to the board any changes necessary.”

23 May 2006 – Camden Historic Landmarks Commission.   During the National Historic Preservation Month, Bloomsbury was named as an award winning historic property. The certificate was presented at the Camden City Hall by The Honorable Mary Y. Clark, Mayor of Camden, and Clarence B. Mahoney, Jr., Chairman Historic Landmarks Commission. Bloomsbury was specifically recognized for “renovation and re-use of c1830 Col James Chesnut home.”

22 May 2006 – Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center.   During the annual meeting, Bloomsbury was awarded a certificate of distinction:  “It is with great satisfaction that your Chamber of Commerce presents this Certificate of Distinction as part of the Community Pride program to Bloomsbury Inn for exhibiting the best in civic responsibility and leadership through your interest and personal contributions in maintaining and improving Kershaw County’s beauty and uniqueness. You are to be commended for the restoration of the historic Bloomsbury home and converting it into an upscale Inn. We, on behalf of the people of Kershaw County, salute you.”

20 April 2006 – The State, Columbia, South Carolina.   “Spring at Bloomsbury Inn in Camden…the beauty at this time of year draws many visitors to the two acres of gardens.”

April 2006 – Southern Living.   Bloomsbury was honored to host Annette Thompson, feature writer, and Meg McKinney, photographer, in anticipation of being featured in the travel section of an upcoming edition of Southern Living.

2005 Candlelight Tour of Homes, Camden Junior Welfare League.   “Bloomsbury, one of the most significantly historic homes in Camden, South Carolina…is located on two acres of city property which features native flora of South Carolina. 100+ year old Live Oaks, Magnolias, fruit trees and many varieties of Azaleas and Camellias…The home features twenty-plus over-sized rooms with thirteen foot ceilings…Inside the loving restored home, with uncompromising attention to detail, the Browns have created a warm and welcoming environment for all who traverse the doorways.”

December 2005 – Charleston Magazine.   “Take a step back in time and experience the holidays in true Colonial-era fashion…Only a short drive from the Kershaw-Cornwallis House is historic downtown, where more than a dozen buildings – including the circa 1850 Bloomsbury House – will open their doors as part of the Camden Junior Welfare League Candlelight Tour of Homes.”

7 December 2005 – Camden Chronicle-Independent, Camden, South Carolina.   “The greenery is being garlanded; the Christmas trees are being decorated; and the candles are almost ready to be set aglow…The Browns, who have lived in 13 states, Europe and the Pacific, bought the house in November 2004 and have opened it as a bed and breakfast.  They have filled their home with antiques and such furnishings as a hand-carved table and chairs and hutch in the Gentlemen’s Parlor and World War I artwork.”

November 2005 – Golden Life, Pee Dee Area.   “Bloomsbury Inn, as the property is called, is not just another large antebellum house…The Browns offer more than a place to sleep and the morning meal.  They are hosts at the personal level, becoming acquainted with their guests and engaging them in conversation.  Dr Brown said guests respond well to that opportunity, pointing out it is one of the reasons people stay at bed and breakfast inns.  The Browns also offer a tour of the historic house…”

19 October 2005 – Camden Chronicle-Independent, Camden, South Carolina.   “A stay at the Bloomsbury Inn is complimented by true Southern hospitality, gourmet breakfasts, complimentary socials and well-appointed bed chambers…uncompromising attention to detail with luxurious amenities.”

18 October 2005 – The State, Columbia, South Carolina.   “The couple last month opened The Bloomsbury Inn, an upscale bed and breakfast in a historical downtown Camden home.  They searched nearly every small town in South Carolina before settling on Camden.  It really just has wonderful attractions and good Southern charm.” 2

September 2005 – Camden Chronicle-Independent, Camden, South Carolina.   “Stewards of history…They [Bruce and Katherine Brown] are completing renovations and landscaping work in anticipation of opening Bloomsbury to the public as a bed and breakfast…It is a house they plan to call home the rest of their lives.”

Common Earth Farm: Stuffed Dates 1 Sep 2015, 12:42 pm

You cannot even begin to imagine how wonderful this simple stuffed date is.  I promise that they will disappear off the serving dish before all else.  When my friend from Common Earth Farms first introduced me to these, I was totally hooked.  So, of course, I stole the recipe and now claim it as my own:   aka  Bloomsbury Inn Stuffed Dates.


Fresh Dates (you can find them at the better grocery stores); buy at least 2 per person and you won’t go wrong with 3 per person.

2 Fresh Limes (zest only)

Feta Crumbles (plain goat cheese feta is best)

Quality Almonds, 1 per each date

Sea Salt

Olive Oil (or as Rachel coined EVO)

Since I am one who likes to have all in order before I begin, I zest the limes before I begin.  It keeps very well in a covered dish so the task can be done earlier in the day.  I use a non-stick skillet.

Carefully pit the dates; be certain to extract the pit without cutting the fruit in half.

Place one whole almond in each date.

 And, then stuff the date with the feta.  Fill the pitted area full and press the date back together.  Fill it full, but be careful not to overfill.

Heat the skillet over low heat.  When warm, place the dates in the pan.  Drizzle olive oil over the dates…not too much, but enough to sauté the fruit.  Turn the heat up and sauté the dates; they will turn a little brown.  Be careful to turn them continually so as not to burn a spot.

Remove the dates to a pretty serving dish – a Mediterranean plate is perfect.  Sprinkle sea salt to taste and all of the lime zest over the dates.  Serve hot!

I started out by saying “simple” stuffed dates, and they are easy to make and delicious to eat.  They are well complimented by white wines…my friend, Gail,  would serve a chardonnay, but sauvignon blanc also pairs well.

Bloomsbury Jam-Off 2015 18 Aug 2015, 3:11 pm

The third Bloomsbury Jam-Off  is scheduled for Sunday, 27 September 2015!  Yes, Jam-Off (amateur jam-off).  A panel of jam-loving judges will be selecting the top three entries in the entire universe.  Well, the top three of those j-petitors(contestants) who make a submission to be judged.  The top three entries will be awarded a Jam-Off Certificate and Prize.

Be sure to follow the rules for the Jam-Off:

* All submissions must reach Bloomsbury not later than 15 September 2015:    Bloomsbury Inn, 1707 Lyttleton Street, Camden SC 29020
* Each submission must be made in a pint jar or smaller, home canned (NO commercially produced items please)
* Unfortunately we cannot accept refrigerator jams
* Acceptable submissions include jam, jelly, preserves, fruit sauces and fruit spreads
* Each submission must be accompanied by a card containing:
    J-petitors Name, Address, Telephone Number and Email Address (email addresses will not be shared/sold)
           Title of Submission
          Category of Submission (jam, jelly, preserve, sauce, spread)
         Recipe (this recipe will be shared upon request…so please do not send Auntie Margaret’s Secret Recipe)
* Be sure to tell your friends they should also make a submission (ok — they don’t have to be friends)
* Everyone who submits a jam for competition is invited to the Jam-off event on 27 September

Homemade jams are on the breakfast table every time breakfast is served at Bloomsbury Inn in Camden, South Carolina.  Peach Margarita with hot biscuits from Grandmother Sally Rose’s iron skillet…Strawberry Fig with chocolate croissants…Pineapple Spice with hot crescents…

Inn guests are always asking for recipes, regional secrets and tips.  In fact, many want to learn how to can jam and jellies.  So, in 2013 the competition was opened for j-petitors to submit their best jar of jam and recipe to compete in the first Jam-Off.  Today, you can submit yours.

So, j-petitors start canning now and be sure to have your j-tastic submission in by 15 September 2014.

Deep Cleaning 17 Jul 2015, 1:23 pm

To really clean a room, be prepared to work!  Every room of your property should be deep cleaned each year.  Grandmother Sally Rose referred to this process as “spring cleaning”.  Surprise!  It does not have to be done in the spring.  But, she did it in the spring because at that time she swapped from the winter window coverings and rugs to the summer ones.

Overwhelmed, yet?  The process to really cleaning a room is very simple — we do every room in Bloomsbury Inn every year:


  1. A ladder that will allow you to reach the top of the shelves and windows

  2. A vacuum cleaner

  3. A wet mop if your floors are not carpeted

  4. A long-handled duster

  5. A pail

  6. Clean cleaning rags

  7. One magic eraser bar for any really tough spots

  8. Carpet/spot remover

  9. Vinegar, 1 part, and water, 3 parts

  10. Water for you to drink; it is important to remain well-hydrated when working hard



  1. Remove everything from the room. Today is also the perfect day to repaint the room or to touch-up as required on the current paint finish.

  2. Always work from the top down. Using your long-handled duster, dust around the top of your room to include crown molding, tops of window sills and doorways.

  3. Dust and wash all overhead light fixtures and fans. It is a great time to ensure all the those little light bulbs are shining.

  4. Dust/wash all window shutters/blinds.

  5. Clean all windows.  Spray windows with vinegar and water solution, clean the glass surface and the window frames.

  6. If the window coverings do not need to be dry cleaned, vacuum them using the long arm attachments to your vacuum.

  7. With everything removed, clean all built-ins and all wall hangings.

  8. Use the feather duster to finish dusting all walls, chair rails and base boards.

  9. Using the vinegar and water solution, wash all vent covers, chair rails, base boards, fireplaces door frames and doors, etc.

  10. Vacuum the entire room north to south; vacuum the entire room east to west.

  11. If your floor surface is solid, mop with the vinegar/water solution.

  12. Using the carpet/spot remover to clean any small spots on the carpet/rugs. If needed, completely shampoo the carpet/rugs.  Account for this step in your timeline as you cannot put any furniture back in the room until carpet/rugs are completely dry.

  13. Vacuum all fabric furnishings (this would include mattresses/bedsprings, etc.)…yes, under the cushions and the bottoms of the furniture. Now is a good time to rotate cushions and pillows.  Spot clean fabric as need be.  Wash all non-fabric portions of the furniture with the vinegar/water solution.  If the carpet/rugs are completely dry, return the fabric furnishings to the room.  This is a great time to rearrange your furnishings!

  14. Wash all remaining furnishings with the vinegar/water solution. By now you should be on your 2d or 3d pail of solution.  Return all furnishings to the room.  Be sure that you have all rugs and furnishings sitting as you desire.

  15. It is now time to return everything that belongs back in that room, be sure you dust or preferably wash with the vinegar/water solution every item that your return to the shelves, table tops, etc. Vacuum the lamp shades before you wash the lamps.  When you have returned what belongs in the room, dispose of or properly store all the leftover items.  

  16. Are you tired, yet? You are not finished.  If I missed any surface, clean it, too.  Sit in every location to be sure the room is arranged for the intended purpose.

  17. Now it is your time to clean-up and put away all your supplies. Finally, you can clean yourself, fix a fresh drink and enjoy your perfectly cleaned room.

That is the proper way to deep clean a room.  The most  difficult part is removing larger furnishings, so I always like to have a helper.  Plus, working with someone is far more fun than doing the job alone.

Happy cleaning!

Bloomsbury Quiche 11 Jul 2015, 7:23 am

Perfect Butter Pie Crust

1 ¼ cups flour

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup butter

¼ cup ice cold water

Spray oil

 In a large bowl, combine flour and salt.  Chop your butter into small chunks, cut the butter in the mixture until it forms small coarse crumbs.  Add the ice cold water, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture forms a nice smooth ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hour or up to 32 hours.  Place your ramekins onto a baking tray.  Spray your ramekins with baking oil spray.  Roll the dough out to 1/8 inch.  Cut the dough into circles to fit your ramekins.  Press the dough into the bottom of the dish and up the sides, at the top you can leave a country feel or decorate it with a fork or spoon marking.  Note:  This crust will fill 4-6 ramekins depending on the diameter and depth of your dish.  You can also use this to fill one 9-inch pie pan.  At Bloomsbury, ramekins are always used because they present on a breakfast plate so nicely.

 Quiche Filling 

6 farm fresh eggs (allow to rest at room temp for at least 30 mins), beaten

¾ cup heavy cream (I use Half and Half)

1 cup baby spinach

½ pound cooked/crumbled bacon

¼ cup sweet onion

1 cup grated Gruyere cheese



Divide spinach, bacon, onion and cheese evenly between your ramekins.  Sprinkle a very light puff of nutmeg into each dish.  Beat your eggs into a large bowl, salt and pepper to taste.  Divide egg mix evenly between your ramekins.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 mins, until they are puffed and the center is set.  Serve immediately.

Enjoy this beautiful Bloomsbury Quiche — make it just for you or for your family and friends.  It will be the hit of breakfast.  Better yet, visit Camden, South Carolina where you can be treated to one of the best breakfasts in the South.

White Grape Punch 21 Jun 2015, 2:46 pm

My great niece is co-hosting a Ladies’ Shower for a bride-to-be.  She asked me to suggest a punch recipe.  My go-to non-alcoholic punch is very classy and just as easy as it is classy.  It can be served from an elegant punch bowl or from a fun summer pitcher — it is always a hit!

White Grape Punch

1 container Welsh White Grape Juice

1 large bottle Canada Dry Ginger Ale

Crushed Ice


Pour each container over crushed ice — I love to use the Sonic ice (yes, you can buy it by the bag — just go through the drive-thru and order a large bag of ice).  My first choice is to garnish with fresh mint sprigs, but there are so many options:  frozen grapes, lime spirals, fresh strawberry slices, kiwi slices (peeled).  I promise this will be perfect for a Ladies’ Shower.

Bloomsbury Egg Nests 10 May 2015, 9:46 am

Mother’s Day Perfection

Bloomsbury Egg Nests

A few days ago, I was researching new breakfast ideas to be used at Bloomsbury Inn, Camden SC.  I especially wanted something beautiful for Mother’s Day 2015.   I decided on a menu of:

Fresh Fruit Cup, dressed in local honey and fresh lime

Biscuits right out of Grandmother’s iron skillet

Egg Nests

Pepper-praline Bacon

and, Garden Fresh Tomato, seasoned and dressed

I decided on this menu, because I liked the elegance of the Egg Nest.   I knew that our farm fresh eggs from Wil-Moore Farms, Lugoff SC, would be perfect.  Then my friend from the Taraworth House, Fairfax VA, send me a recipe for Egg Nests with Gruyere.  Fresh eggs and Gruyere solidified the decision.

Bloomsbury Egg Nests

(Truth be told, I was so busy building a beautiful plate for guests that I failed to make entrée photos.  As a result, you are seeing the plate I made for my wonderful hubby.)

Ingredients: (serving for 1 so you can adjust the recipe to serve 2 or 3 or 4..I made 6 and would not make more than 6 at one time as the egg whites had to be whipped and whipped)

  • 1 farm fresh egg

  • a pinch of salt

  • 1/8 cup grated Gruyer cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 450 with a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Select a glass bowl (not plastic) for the egg whites.  Be positive the glass bowl and the beater whisks are dishwasher clean)

  • Separate the egg yolks and whites. Place the whites into the squeaking clean glass bowl; and, place the yolks (one per cup) in small dishes or cups.  Make sure you have no yolk in the whites or they will not fluff up correctly.  And, you must have a squeaky clean bowl for the same reason.  If you allow your eggs whites to rest for a few minutes at room temperature, they will have more volume when whipped.

  • To the whites, add the salt. It is best to begin beating the eggs slowly; you can use your stand mixer or a hand mixer.  As the eggs begin to turn cloudy increase the mixer speed to high.  Whip on high until stiff peaks form.

  • Very gently fold in the Gruyere cheese. Repeat “gently” so as not to deflate the egg whites.  All that egg white volume is based upon whipping in tiny air bubbles and they are rather fragile.

  • Create an egg white mound on the baking sheet; form the white to resemble a nest with a definite indention in the center.

  • Place the baking sheet in the center of the 450 degree oven for 3 minutes. Remove the baking sheet and add the egg yolk to the center of the white. 

  • Return the baking sheet to the oven for 3 – 4 minutes depending on the desired brownness. The egg yolk will not be firm when served.

  • Serve immediately.

The Egg Nest needs to bake in a very high oven so the whites do not turn into a Meringue cookie.  To some this may sound time consuming or slightly difficult.  Trust me – it is neither.  This was the perfect Mother’s Day entrée at Bloomsbury.  Enjoy and happy cooking.


Bloomsbury Offers Unprecedented Mother’s Day Special 28 Apr 2015, 2:33 pm

The Gift of Travel

There are probably lots of things that Mom does not want for Mother’s Day, and there is certainly one that she would love to have!  First, what she would love to have:

A  visit to Bloomsbury Inn, historic Camden, SC.  She would love to arrive after 3:30 pm, get settled in and enjoy the gardens.  A very nice bottle of red wine tied with a beautiful bow would be waiting on the bed.   At 5:30 she will stroll to the front veranda for social hour and rocking chairs.  Guest services will be happy to suggest dining options for dinner.  Breakfast the next morning is designed just for Mom…Chocolate?  Strawberries?  Homemade jams?  Praline-peppered bacon?

Camden is a great place to visit and to allow Mom to unwind.  Checkout all there is to do:  Visit Camden SC.
This all inclusive special includes a beautifully decorated room, a bottle of red wine, afternoon social, full gourmet breakfast, top amenities and all taxes — priced perfectly for a special Mother’s Day surprise:  $225.00.  A two-night package can be booked for only  $399.00. or call 803.432.5858


Now that you know what Mom would love to have, let us give you some hints of what she does not want.  Of course she will smile and be so appreciative, but she really does not want:

  and she does not want…

  1. Solar Candles
  2. Pots and Pans
  3. Lunch at a kid-friendly restaurant
  4. Another mug
  5. BBq tools
  6. A lighted globe
  7. Small kitchen appliances of any sort
  8. A heart shaped anything that does not contain a gift certificate to Bloomsbury
  9. Measuring spoons
  10. Or, an oil change and wash

Yes, you can book for Mother’s Day weekend or you can get a gift certificate to celebrate her special day.  We look forward to hearing from you soon.  803.432.5858

One of my “go to” hors d’oeuvres! 23 Apr 2015, 12:00 pm

We do afternoon social everyday at Bloomsbury, and we often host fun events.  Bruce and I hosted one of our Scavenger Hunts this week.


Join the fun!

Everyone loves these!  We begin with a non-alcoholic punch on the verandah as guests arrive.  When everyone is assembled, the drivers are assigned and the other guests pick a number to determine which driver they will accompany.  Each car receives the same directions — off they go!

Upon return, we offer a wine and hors d’oeuvres social for all to enjoy.  One of my “go to” hors d’oeuvres:

 Bloomsbury Potato Rounds.

Wash and clean potatoes (I use new potatoes, one per guest)

Parboil the potatoes (not too soft)

Slice them thinly (4-5 rounds per potato, save the ends for soup)

Sprinkle a nice herb sea salt (or a smoked salt) over the sliced potatoes

Dollop each slice with a 1/4 teaspoon of real sour cream

Place a 1/6 teaspoon of good caviar on top of sour cream

Serve at room temperature…

These can easily be one of your most requested recipes…easy, delicious, and not seen at every event.

P.S.  Of course, we have Bloomsbury Scavenger Hunt prizes:  Bloomsbury Christmas Ornaments.  Bloomsbury Deneene Mugs.  Bloomsbury Homemade Jams/Jellies.

Scavenger Hunt Table