Southern Graces launches new dinner, tea service in downtown Beaufort (with photos)

Photo by Riann Chapman Mihiylov

Southern Graces Bistro came to The
Beaufort Inn
 in March 2009 delighting tourists and locals alike with a lunch menu and Sunday Brunch. Now owners Bethany and
Christopher Hewitt are taking another step to grow their business. 

They have expanded their offerings to include afternoon tea and dinner Tuesday-Saturday,
effective yesterday.

Always mindful of expansion, the couple (both chefs, who continue to run their catering
and event design business Southern Graces)
has brainstormed these possibilities
since last summer. But when they sat down one evening at home, and
together created the new dinner menu in only two hours, they knew it
was the right decision and the right time. It was just, a “natural
and organic progression,” Bethany explains.

“Dinner allows us the opportunity to
offer food that's more creative than lunch,” she says. Beaufort has
no shortage of fabulous restaurants offering a modern and urban
experience, and that's not what Southern Graces Bistro has set out to
do. Rather, the Hewitts wanted to provide a “beautiful, southern
historic environment, “ Bethany describes. Something
that says, “quintessential Beaufort.” And at the same time, “we
want to keep it comprehensive and interesting enough to keep locals
coming back,” she adds.

The dinner menu doesn't disappoint,
either. Chef Christopher – who worked with renowned chef
Bobby Flay, serving as his Executive Sous Chef at Flay's restaurant
Mesa Grill – cooks up delicious items utilizing
local sources as much as possible. Diners will find items like the
Beaufort Bay Shrimp Wrap, Sweet Tea Salmon, and Steak Frites of the

Southern Graces didn't stop their
expansion with dinner though. Bethany is passionate about afternoon
tea. And has been for almost her whole life. “In 8th grade, I sold tickets to my friends for tea at my house. My parents
dressed up,” she reminisces.

For too many, “afternoon tea”
conjures up images of stuffy ladies on their best (and most boring)
behavior. But Bethany and Christopher are careful to change that
impression. While afternoon tea at the Bistro will include beautiful
bone china teapots and cups – from Bethany's own collection – it
is definitely not a “high tea” experience. Bringing their
“indigenous spin on tea fare,” the menu will include items like
the Glam Tomato Sandwich and a Cucumber sandwich with mint tea- and
citrus-infused cream cheese, Bethany explains. Of course, guests can
also dine on scones, sweet treats, and fruit and cheese, as well.

Not only will the food boast a new take
on a classic tradition; the tea will too. The pair has taken some of
their favorite teas – from exotic locales like India and North
Africa – and blended them with local tea from a nearby plantation.
That means that the teas you drink at Southern Graces can only be
found there.

Pair the delicious menu and tea with
Bethany's extensive design expertise — she's styled events like the Country Music Television Awards, as well as numerous weddings and corporate events — and you've got an experience that men and
women, old and young, will enjoy.

To celebrate their expansion, they held a grand opening reception on Thursday complete with a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Mayor Billy Keyserling.

Afternoon tea will be served
Tuesday-Saturday, from 2-4 p.m., and dinner from 5-9 p.m. The Bistro
continues its lunch service from 11-2 Tuesday-Saturday and Sunday
brunch from 11-2. Reservations are suggested, but not required, and
can be made by calling 843-379-0555 or emailing

228 Photo by Riann Chapman Mihiylov

229 Photo by Riann Chapman Mihiylov

230 Photo by Riann Chapman Mihiylov