Speaking with a gentle drawl or twang, the folk here make visitors feel welcome. It’s all a part of the Southern charm. Savour this and more on Trafalgar’s Tastes and Sounds of the South guided holiday.
So celebrated are the region’s friendly locals, the term “Southern hospitality” is a well-worn phrase widely understood to describe their collective welcoming attitude. This was on show throughout our journey.
Our lunchtime stop en route from Memphis to Natchez – a Piccadilly self-service cafeteria at the Robinson Road shopping centre – emphasised this Southern charm. As well as a horde of ultra-friendly locals, the restaurant was full of immaculately dressed and joyful American families who had arrived straight from church for their Sunday lunch. We joined in as the parents said Grace before the eating began. There is nothing like meeting the locals!
Piccadilly Cafeterias, we later found out, are something of a Southern institution, with the first opening in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, back in 1944. As well as an affordable option, the experience was a genuine taste of Mississippi and its people.
Back on board, as we pulled off the main highway, we drove by a number of traditional timber-clad Southern bungalows, all with customary rocking chairs on their porches. The scene conjured vivid, colourful imagery of Southern folk gently rocking away an afternoon’s feast at the end of a long summer’s day. It was an image as comforting as the meals we had just indulged in. And that’s the thing about a Trafalgar guided holiday – it’s not just the final destination that counts, but what you see, who you meet and what you experience along the way.
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