Aiken is home to many fine southerners, and there is one woman in particular who has made a name for herself through her love of southern hospitality, etiquette, tradition, and most of all, fashion.


Sissy Brodie has lived in Aiken for over 80 years. While she is known for her humor and wit, she is also known for her acquisition of over 300 hats. She wears them year-round, no matter the season. Some are simple and some she embellishes. Each has it’s own uniqueness and story.


“My love for hats began when I was a young girl,” explained Ms. Brodie. “I’ve been wearing them for as long as I can remember. My mother dressed me in hats and I wore them whenever I could. As I grew older, ladies in the community would leave me their hats when they passed away. I would come home to boxes of hats on my front porch and have collected them ever since.”


She continued, “you know, as I child, my family would drive by The Willcox – my father wouldn’t let us enter because we were locals, but I remember stopping to take family pictures on the front steps. My friends and I would also run to The Willcox after primary school and hide behind the bushes outside the old tea room, where the pool is now located. My girlfriends and I loved to get glimpses at the elegant woman inside The Willcox. I would see their beautiful dresses and hats and listen to them stirring the sugar in their iced tea. I swear I can still hear them today, it’s a sweet memory I hold on to.”


Sissy has a reputation for giving back to her community. She makes pillows for friends in the hospital and teddy bears for families who’ve lost loved ones, she picks up weary bicyclists traveling through Aiken, hosts tea parties for young girls and teaches them southern etiquette. Her favorite subject to teach is ‘how to wear hats’ to women who think they don’t look good in them. She encourages women by saying, “It takes a certain ‘hattitude’ to wear a hat. If you think you can’t pull off wearing a hat, then you must change your ‘hattitude.’”
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National Hot Toddy Day

Crackling fires, cozy chairs, close company, and a warm, spiced beverage.  We specialize in creating an experience and ambiance that can be described as high quality meeting easy going elegance. The Lobby Bar is furnished with large sofas and chairs, walls wrapped in curly pine, and is anchored by large stone fireplaces. You’re likely to find people gathering for professional purposes or intimate social gatherings. We know our guests visit us for a multitude of reasons, and we love finding any reason for celebration.

This January we are celebrating National Hot Toddy Day at The Willcox. For those who may not be familiar with what a Hot Toddy is, you are in for a treat. A Hot Toddy is a warm cocktail that originated in the UK, and then has been found throughout history as the cocktail of American Southerners. It is still known as a southern winter staple today.

At The Willcox, we use Bourbon as the base spirit for our Hot Toddy, however, it can be crafted with Whisky or Rum as well. The spirit is poured over a mixture of sweet honey dissolved in hot water.  It is finished with a little bit of fresh lemon juice and a twisted strip of lemon peel garnish.

The Lobby Bar was voted as the area’s best, including the  “Place to See and Be Seen,” during happy hour and home of the “Tastiest Original Cocktail.” Matt is our mixologist and the friendly face that will greet you at our massive, solid oak bar. We invite you to come sit by the fire, order your own Hot Toddy, and relax and enjoy true Southern Hospitality.

Hot Toddy Recipe

Stir honey and hot water in a 2-cup measuring cup until honey dissolves. Add bourbon, and twist a strip of lemon peel over each drink, then add to glass.

  • 2 oz Burbon
  • 1 Tablespoon of Honey
  • 2 Teaspoons Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 Cup of Hot Water

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MOTHER’S DAY 05/14/17