Tea by the Sea at The Harrison Inn
When husband and wife Andrew Bares and Kelly Lavorgna came to Cape May in search of a shore house, opening a bed-and-breakfast was not exactly what they had in mind. After looking at three or four shore houses, Bares suggested investing in a B&B instead. The couple purchased the former Summer Cottage Inn in March 2015 and fully remodeled the property.
“We have an interior design company, and we also upcycle furniture. We saw it as an opportunity to do something fun and bring together all of our skills,” Bares says. The B&B turns 150 this year: It was originally built in 1867 as a summer cottage for Samuel Harrison, a wealthy Philadelphian.
In October 2016, the couple purchased the Pharos Inn, a B&B next door, and now operate both houses as The Harrison Inn. “When we met the owners for dinner to discuss purchasing their driveway and garage, they joked, ‘If you buy the garage and driveway, we’ll throw in the house for free,’” Lavorgna says. They quickly reached a deal, and the Pharos at the Harrison now brings this year-round B&B to a total of 16 bedrooms and bathrooms.
The Harrison offers a rotating hot breakfast menu and daily cold staples such as yogurt and fresh fruit, as well as afternoon tea. Savory items include eggs Benedict with salmon or sausage-and-spinach quiche, while sweet items might include banana pancakes or waffles topped with berry compote and dulce de leche ice cream. Afternoon tea includes Lavorgna’s personal favorite—blueberry scones (made with fresh Jersey blueberries) topped with lemon drizzle.
The Harrison’s newest venture will include an afternoon British tea that will be open to the public, which Bares and Lavorgna hope to launch in April. The tea will feature scones, sandwiches and canapés for Cape May visitors to enjoy in the Harrison’s English garden, in two dining areas or on the inn’s wraparound porches. Springtime also brings April’s Exit Zero Jazz Festival; relax at the Harrison for afternoon tea in between performances by the area’s best jazz artists.
The Harrison Inn
613 Columbia Ave, Cape May