If the idea of getting stuck in school overnight sounds like a nightmare, don’t worry. At Sharon Manor, just on the outskirts of downtown Abbeville, that nightmare turns into a dream when you spend a few nights in the former schoolhouse turned boutique inn.
Yes that’s right, what was once a local school was transformed into a private residence and then, at the hands of Benita and David Chupp and their family, further elevated into one of the most unique hospitality properties in the area. The former auditorium/main hall is now the living room and dining room, smaller classrooms now house playrooms (and one very special feature, more on that in a moment), and the guest rooms, housed in former classrooms, are practically apartments unto themselves. With luxurious king beds, soaring ceilings, and kitchenettes, one night in these rooms is enough to banish any school-related childhood trauma.
There’s more to a stay at Sharon Manor than the unique backstory and fascinating architecture, however. It’s a feast for the senses, quite literally. Remember that one very special feature? Well, coffee junkies rejoice, because one of the rooms off the main hall is home to David Chupp’s pet project, Thru The Flame Coffee. David roasts the beans in a gorgeous coffee roaster, filling the house with aromas that would rival any big city coffeehouse. Guests get to enjoy that coffee pretty much anytime, either brewed directly in their rooms or at breakfast in the mornings.
And those breakfasts? Well, it would be hard to believe that Benita Chupp wasn’t a trained chef. Homemade jams and fluffy biscuits, sumptuous scrambled eggs, and more are piled high on plates for a country breakfast that is both elevated and homestyle at the same time. Chances are a fair amount of what is on your plate was raised by Benita herself right there on property (ask about the massive kitchen garden out back) or sourced locally. Bread and pastries from nearby Swartzenruber’s Bakery might be on the table, and Benita gets stone mill-ground grits from Timm’s Mill in Pendleton to make the creamiest grits you’ve ever experienced (she’s happy to share her secret – lots of cream). Wash it all down with more of their delicious coffee, and chances are the Chupps will even send you home with a bag.
It’s hard to think of a more unique, and delicious, stay, than a couple nights at Sharon Manor. Wandering the quiet grounds, relaxing in the hot tub, soaking in the history of this former schoolhouse, and yes, indulging yourself with one of the best breakfasts in the state, is more than reason enough to plan a trip to Abbeville.
Matt Lardie is on a never-ending quest for the stories behind what we eat and drink. From biscuits to bibimbap, Bordeaux to beer, the Durham, NC resident is thoroughly obsessed with sharing tales of edible traditions from across the globe. Follow Matt’s latest travels on Instagram and X.