Home & Garden

Pass cottage by sea will host Valentine Tea

JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALDA sign from a former New Orleans restaurant hangs in the kitchen of the house in Pass Christian that will host the 86th Valentine Silver Tea on Feb. 12.
JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALDA sign from a former New Orleans restaurant hangs in the kitchen of the house in Pass Christian that will host the 86th Valentine Silver Tea on Feb. 12. SUN HERALD

The house might be new, but its design fits right into its surroundings on Scenic Drive in Pass Christian.

The 86th annual Valentine Silver Tea, hosted by the St. Monica Guild of Trinity Episcopal Church in Pass Christian, will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Feb. 12 at the beachfront home at 701 Scenic Drive. There is no charge for the tea, but donations will be accepted.

The donations support outreach ministries such as The Boys and Girls Club of Pass Christian, The Food Pantry, Mercy Flights Southeast, Wilmer Hall Children's Home in Mobile, Trinity's Benevolent and Discretionary Fund and missionary work in Chile.

Tea, coffee, chilled wine and homemade tea delicacies will be served as a youth chamber group provides background music. The Guild requests that spike heels not be worn to protect the floors of the home.

The husband and wife homeowners moved into their new house in June. Designed by Peter Brower of Hilton Head, S.C., it complements the guest house in the back, which dates to the 1840s and the house that once stood on the property. The homeowners say the guest cottage was the home of the original landowners' children's teachers, and the house next door once was the school.

"It's a Coast cottage, which makes it feel like it's been here forever," the husband said.

Millwork by Peter McCarthy can be found throughout the house, including the living room and the study. The detailed millwork, of sinker cypress, adds to the timeless feel of the house, while spacious rooms make modern living easy.

"I believe the millwork makes the house," the wife said.

The homeowners especially enjoy the deep enclosed front porch, which encourages relaxation and gazing out at the Mississippi Sound. A brass compass on the floor of the porch ephasizes the seaside location.

The couple chose interesting light fixtures for each room, including one that features oyster shells for the living room and one that suggests marsh grass and hangs over the dining table.

More unusual touches include a guest room mirror set within an old mantel and an attractive woven rush chair in

the study. The study itself hints at the husband's interest in sailing, with red walls behind the bookshelves and other subtle nautical references.

In the back foyer, however, an antique wooden scale model of a sailboat, about 5 feet long, is the focal point next to the staircase.

The countertop of the bar in the dining room is of unusual Syrian limestone.

"I love the light blue vein in it," the wife said. "And there's almost a shell-like pattern, which is great for us."

The kitchen, a popular gathering place, includes two mini dishwashers in the island plus a warming drawer, and a large walk-in pantry. Perhaps the most eye-catching feature is the colorful hanging sign salvaged from the popular Fatted Calf bar in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

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