The South is home to many traditions. Hospitality reigns king, shrimp and grits are a staple, and beauty resides in Spanish moss strewn oak trees, soothing gentle waves washing onto sandy shores and local Jazz and Zydeco music. On our many visits to the commonly called “Lowcountry” of South Carolina, the quaint town of Bluffton is home to a terrific southern cafe, bakery and tea room we frequent often when there. It’s called The Cottage…
With its quaint location on popular Calhoun Street, The Cottage is tucked under the Spanish moss bearded oak trees of the charming town. With a wrap-around porch and wind chimes that play harmoniously in the gentle breeze off the May River, there is no doubt why this location is such a local’s favorite…
Above, you can see the dedication and creativity that went into every last detail at The Cottage. From the metal dragonfly that hangs on a porch wall beside the front door to the colorful and artistic signs to the babbling modern fountain standing in the front yard beside wrought iron park benches, you will feel a sense of warmth and welcome the moment you step foot onto the property.
Above, there is no item left out at The Cottage… suttle-sounding wind chimes that play a melodic tune as you dine on the wrap around porch, a bird feeder hanging cleverly from a tree in the front yard beside a cafe table and the massive healthy ferns pouring over the edges of their hanging planters all around the outdoor dining area are just part of the detailed mastery provided by the owners to create the perfect southern getaway…
A crisp glass of Chardonnay (upper left), southern sweet tea (much sweeter than iced tea on the west coast) and The Cottage menus (lower right)…
A quaint neighborhood view from the sidewalk, Spanish moss-draped Oaks and a view of the porch seating above offer a relaxed feel most anywhere one occupies at The Cottage…
At lunch, instead of bread, crackers are served with a tasty pimento cheese in a small white ramekin and fresh cut raw carrots above.
Maine Lobster Pot Pie
The Summer In Maine Lobster Pot Pie above is scrumptious with its peas, carrots, corn, mushrooms, leeks, scallions and hearty chunks of lobster meat topped with a flaky filo pastry and finished with a sour cream drizzle…
Grilled Shrimp Cobb Salad
Another favorite we’ve enjoyed at The Cottage is the Grilled Shrimp Cobb. Savory, delicious and enhanced with mixed greens tossed with a creamy buttermilk blue cheese dressing, crisp bacon, egg, tomato, avocado, and balsamic vinaigrette topped with perfectly-grilled large shrimp…
The Flounder Almondine, (top), is luscious with a nice buttery crunch. Panko-crusted, pan-seared and finished with sliced almonds, lemon, butter, white wine, and parsley makes this selection a local favorite!
Curried Chicken Salad Wrap
Above, the Curried Chicken Salad Wrap includes cashews, raisins, lettuce and chutney all wrapped up in an easy-to-eat thin flour tortilla and served with vegetable chips.
Shrimp and Grits
The Cottage prepares a beautiful version of traditional shrimp and grits. But this rendition is anything but traditional…it’s amazing! Above, the creamy cheddar stone ground grits are topped with a heaping mound of fresh local shrimp sauteed with bacon, onion, garlic, mushrooms and scallions and complimented with a delightful cornbread muffin.
The Fish Tacos encased in soft taco shells are loaded with tender chunks of local fish and accompanied by a salsa-filled avocado half.
Maine Lobster Avocado Roll
The Maine Lobster Avocado Roll is delectable with sizable chunks of Maine lobster that are marinated with celery, herbs and lemon on a garlic buttered New England frank bun with fresh avocado and a lobster au jus and served with potato salad and pickles.
The historic neighborhood that The Cottage is nestled within is cozy and quaint and filled with antique shops, art galleries, upscale boutiques, and endless other fun and exciting opportunities. Recipient of the 2010 and 2011 Reader’s Choice Award by Hilton Head Monthly and Best of Bluffton in the Bluffton Today, The Cottage is the original Carson Cottage now surrounded by four other more recently built cottages collectively called the Carson Cottages. The original Carson Cottage’s history dates back to 1868 when Confederate soldier J.J. Carson built the structure as his residence. In 1902, he formed the first Baptist Church of Bluffton in the home’s front room, which was later restored by Thomas Viljac in 2007.
- ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: You realize you have arrived in the south when you see how you are treated at The Cottage. With the staff’s kind and friendly reputation and delightful front porch setting, you’ll be making a mental note to return to this quaint establishment!
- FOOD / DRINK: Fresh ingredients, refreshing beverages, traditional southern sweet tea with mint (and a great raspberry iced tea, also), and an all-around terrific charming ambiance on the wrap-around front porch perfectly suited for relaxed lunching and calming dinners beneath the cover of massive oaks.
- LOCATION: The Cottage is located at 38 Calhoun Street in Bluffton SC 29910.
- HOURS: The Cottage serves breakfast Monday through Saturday from 8 AM – 11 AM, lunch Monday through Saturdays between 11 AM and 3 PM, Sunday brunch from 8 AM – 2 PM, and tapas on Thursdays after the Farmer’s Market closes next door from 5 PM. Dinner has been suspended for the summer of 2012 until Labor Day weekend. Afternoon Tea by reservation is only available during this time from 3 PM – 5 PM.
- SERVICE / STAFF: Always friendly, always courteous and hospitable and always happy to recommend something to your liking.
- PRICE / VALUE: Excellent value for the prices at The Cottage. We highly recommend visiting. Once you do, you’ll become a regular patron!
- CORKAGE FEE: $15 per bottle.
- CONTACT INFO: Phone: (843) 757-0508, Website: www.thecottagebluffton.com
- PARKING: Parking is available along Calhoun Street or any of the cross streets in the neighborhood.
- TOTAL BILL: With lunch entrees not exceeding $17.95 for their highest priced item, The Cottage is the perfect location for a long relaxed lunch, a seamless dinner, a quick trip to pick up some fresh bakery goods or for scheduled afternoon tea.
* Menu and prices subject to change without notice.