Historic c.1812 Cottage

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Recently given "Three Stars + Sunflower" rating by the INNside Scoop Magazine. This rating has only been given to inns visited and rated "Extraordinaire" since January 2001.

Click here for a review by The Innside Scoop

Price House Cottage, Summerville
as reviewed by The Sandlapper Magazine

"If it rains," Jennifer Price had advised us, "you're in for a real treat."

That night, somewhere in the far depths of a snug sleep, pitter-patters were heard in the direction of "up." They quickened and loudened to firm plops. Was Jennifer's notion guiding the plot of a dream? No. In an instant, without opening my eyes and coming fully awake, I knew it was the real item: rain on a tin roof. I smiled and tumbled securely back into the depths.

For my wife Sherie, the queen canopied rice bed with rain on the roof was only part of the comfort. "My kinda place," she'd said the evening before, settling by the fire after a bubble bath. "They have throw rugs to warm your feet!" She also appreciated the extra pillows, blankets and towels - the first items she looks for. The hosts provide turn-down service, and Jennifer irons the 300-count cotton bed linens.

It's a gorgeously restored servants' cottage, approximately as old as the circa-1812 main house - one of the earliest homes in the part of town locals call "Old Summerville." The living room (comfortable furniture!) occupies one end, the bedroom the other, with the bath and full kitchen on either side of the connecting hall. Open ceilings with high fans in the two main rooms add to the spacious aura. Guests find all the extras, including phone and cable TV. Every angle and view is
photogenic, every object carefully placed, from the Old Charleston and floral prints to Jennifer's flower arrangements to the antique and reproduction furniture and rugs on the wide, heart pine floors.

Jennifer's husband David bought the house in 1974 and continued the restoration that had been started by a previous owner. The 800-square-foot cottage, secluded and charming, has won the Summerville Preservation Society Restoration Award.

During the week, the Prices provide a gourmet continental breakfast (sa-vory and sweet breads). On weekends, they indulge in one of their favorite hobbies: cooking. "One of the things we love to do," David said, "is cook. It's difficult to get inspired to cook just for yourselves."

"We both like to cook," Jennifer added, "but we cook differently. He cooks more creatively; I cook more . . . heavily."

Our meal began with carved cantaloupe topped with a mix of berries - a work of art - with white cheddar cheese and thyme biscuits on the side. The main course was baked avocado eggs with chopped ham, tomatoes, parmesan cheese and sour cream.

They also like to serve pumpkin Belgian waffles with maple syrup and whipped cream; corn meal Belgian waffles with smoked salmon and caviar crème fraîche; crème brulee French toast; basil eggs in a puffed pastry shell; and fried grits. Their summertime special is baked tomato pie with fresh basil and Vermont white cheddar cheese.

Jennifer is from Spartanburg and works as an interior decorator and operating room nurse. David, an ophthalmologist, grew up in Washington, DC, and came to the Charleston area as an Air Force doctor. He soon decided that after his service stint, he wanted two things: to establish his practice in South Carolina and to buy and renovate an historic house. Friends suggested Summerville. When his realtor brought him to this home, he asserted, without scrutiny, that he would buy it.

The idea for opening a B&B came in 1997, while the Prices were having some work done inside the main house and occupying the cottage. Having stayed at a number of B&Bs in America and Europe, they realized their own facility was uniquely attractive.

Notable lodgers have included the ambassador from The Netherlands and a travel photographer who now makes the cottage her venue when in the area on assignment. The Prices feature special offers like wine dinner packages in conjunction with The Woodlands resort (see the article on Summerville, pages 6-11 of this issue) and comp tickets to one of the area's famous gardens for guests staying three or more nights.

"We haven't had any people stay here who we wouldn't want to have back," David observed. "The thing that's shocked us is that when people leave, they thank us - as if we'd paid them to stay."

Come here and you'll understand. "This really is a very comfortable place," Sherie concluded, glancing around before we left. "It's a retreat - and a treat."

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Updated: August 7, 2004

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