If I could, I would instantly bring you all here to Beaufort, South Carolina. There is a warmth and a goodness to this town that I have never in my life experienced, and I did count myself as a Southern Girl for 22 years of my life before moving to London a decade ago. The south, for me, will always be home. When I step off the plane in Charlotte, North Carolina and the customs’ official says to me “Welcome home, Ma’am” in a thick southern drawl, I relax from head to toe. This is a land where living is slower but not because of a lack of ambition or drive amongst southerners, as nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, this is a place where people work hard but know how to relax and enjoy their sweet surroundings. I always realize just how “London” I’ve become when I sit down for a glass of sweet iced tea with friends and notice I am speaking at about 100 words a minute while they’re stretching one syllable words to four and letting each thought roll out as sweetly and slowly as need be. It takes me a good two weeks to get back into the swing of things but when I get there it’s such a sweet moment in time. Back to the southern way of life and truly nothing’s finer, for me at least.
I could go on about my southern roots for ages, but my own experiences are just that, my own. What you need to do is get yourself down here to make your own memories and find your own path on the Southern trail of life. My aim is to brainwash you into the Southern way, one feature at a time, starting with an introduction to one of my favourite stores (market) in downtown Beaufort, SC, called Lowcountry Produce. It doesn’t get much more “Beaufort” than this marketplace.
Lowcountry Produce is located in the historic Beaufort City hall building. For years, this building sat vacant and now it has been given a new lease on life and is filled with the most glorious Southern delicacies from South Carolina and Georgia. From the restored front doors to the old pantries remodelled to act as grocery shelves, this market is a step back in time. A large island in the middle of the room serves as the heart of the marketplace where you will find everything from freshly cut meat to just baked cupcakes. Dotted around the island and down, what I presume to be, old hallways you will find tables set out for those wishing to stay a spell and enjoy some coffee, cupcakes or special southern treats. One look at their news board, however, and you’ll find that the one thing you can’t live without is the Pimento Burger. It is the one item on the menu that the world can’t stop screaming about. As it was 11am at the time of my visit, I thought it a tad early for such a delicacy. I’ll be back though and their burger might require a whole new story in itself.
311 Carteret St
Beaufort, SC 29902
Mon-Sat 8 am – 8 pm
Sun 8 am – 6 pm