My husband Brian and I live in the nice little Rosewood community, which is just minutes from anywhere in downtown Columbia. When the weather is nice, we often like to take walks through the Shandon neighborhood because of the ample sidewalks, beautiful houses, friendly people, and the occasional community dog bowl (Cooper thanks you really nice people!).
If we’re up for a longer trip, sometimes we walk all the way to Devine Street (about a 30-minute stroll each way), where I can occasionally be seen power-walking with Coop past a few of the fun little shops, such as Craft and Draft, HoFP Gallery, Britton’s, Handpicked, and more (quite the gamut down there, really!). It’s a nice little window-shopping excursion for the nicer days in #FamouslyHot Columbia, South Carolina.
On a Saturday afternoon this spring, Bri and I decided to make one of these treks (obvs before this HEAT WAVE hit…), as he needed to pick up something at Salty’s Surf Shop. So we opted to walk instead of drive (don’t pat us on the back just yet – we work at the same office and drive separately…), and then to stop across the street at Publick House for drink.
Publick House is a great little British-style pub that serves traditional English fare, such as Fish ‘n Chips (one of my absolute faves!!!), as well as some American classics, like Chicken Tenders and Wings. But the real winner here is the Raw Fries with Blue Cheese (CHEESE!!!!!) dressing. You. Guys. I could drink that stuff with a straw! Pour a little malt vinegar over it all, and oh my word.
Since we were walking with Cooper, we sat outside and the server brought him a bowl of water. Bri and I each ordered a pint, and as our walk in the sunshine had made us a bit peckish, we also ordered the Feta Artichoke Dip – another of our favorites. The sun was beating down and the flowers were blooming. Pretty much a perfect afternoon.
I absolutely love Publick House. It reminds me of my trip to England a few years ago in a way that nowhere else does. The booths and tables are so old-looking, and there is a British flag prominently displayed on the wall. There are dart boards in the back room, as well as walls and walls of bookshelves (with actual books on them). The food is delicious, and there is a “regular crowd” that seems to always be hanging about. It’s a great place to run into friends or even acquaintances you’ve not seen in a while. Since my husband grew up here in the downtown area, it’s rare that we don’t see someone he either went to high school with, plays (or played) soccer or tennis with, or that one or both of us knows from another context.
They also have a rather extensive beer menu, along with some wine and cocktails. The beer is typically served a bit warmer than Americans are used to, as the Europeans tend to believe that you can taste the complex flavors of the beverage better when it is not ice-cold. So if that offends your palate, you may want to order something bottled.
But it’s the kind of place you can go and just hang out for a while. Bri, Coop and I sat there for a long time that afternoon. When we had finished our mid-afternoon (indulgent!) snack, and savored the South Carolina sun just a little while longer, we (unfortunately) had to head back home. Alas, there were other things to be done that day.
After a pint of beer and some chips and cheesy dip, I gotta say: the walk back was MUCH more difficult than the walk there had been…