Thursday, September 1, 2011
This year the Ninth Scrumptious Summerville Kitchen Tour, an annual benefit for Dorchester Children’s Center – a Summerville based child advocacy center – introduces a new venue, Shepard Place. The 2011 tour, to be held in just a month, on Sunday, October 2, from 1-5 pm, departs a bit from its traditional older home theme, remaining historic, but with an intriguing twist. Those attending this usually quickly sold-out event will find history alive in the location, neoclassical home and landscape designs and in the styles and stories of the resident families.
The Shepard Place Community, a close knit neighborhood of one street and adjacent lane, is nestled on part of what was, in the early 1900s, Dr. Charles Shepard’s world renowned Pinehurst Tea Plantation. This enterprise produced many teas including an Oolong variety which won first prize at the 1904 World’s Fair. Known locally as the Tea Farm, the plantation hosted famous visitors including Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft.
In just 31 days some 19 homeowners in this community will open their doors to help abused and neglected children and to host those interested in exploring one of Summerville’s loveliest areas which has retained the grand trees and lush foliage of a century past. As many residents told me while I was basking in an advance “peek” into tour homes, it’s the best of both worlds – older styles married to modern updates.
Tour goers will enjoy a colorful variety of exteriors, beautifully landscaped gardens and courtyards, and what is always found on the inside, no-two-alike expressions of personal décor. One traditional feature is common to all: porches. These are the setting for frequent impromptu – and planned – porch parties, which residents also told me are a delightful asset to the community.
While you are on the tour, wending your own way into a mix of captivating kitchens, you can enjoy adjoining rooms and their uniqueness, adding to the afternoon’s ambiance. So: what can you expect to see on a leisurely stroll through this neighborhood on the first Sunday in October?
Let me count (some of) the variations: a replica of the 2001 Charleston Symphony Design Home featuring a dining room with an aged leather look on the walls and a metallic copper ceiling; a home with tropical interior and exterior design accents; barrel and coffered ceilings, archways, columns, a butler’s pantry, unique uses of beadboard, tile decks, brick patios, tabby walkways and wainscoting in a host of presentations. You’ll be pleasured by: historic interior colors such as Chinese Wisteria and Low Country Spoon Bread; furniture in styles ranging from antique to distressed and reclaimed pieces; and a bedroom dedicated to three generations of a family’s history. If you’re anything like me, you’ll also come away with tantalizing ideas to incorporate into your own domain.
If that’s not enough to attract you, each residence will offer different chef-prepared foods, fresh floral arrangements and live musical entertainment. Don’t miss out on one of the most delightful afternoons of the year while at the same time supporting Children in Crisis. Tickets, priced at $50 each, went on sale yesterday and can be obtained via the Scrumptious Summerville.com website. Directions to the tour area can be downloaded there as well.
Come on out. Sample this tasty tour.