A Night under the Oaks Stay at The Inn at Ocean Springs APR 16, 2018 Tricia McAlvain

The Inn at Ocean Springs is the most charming and romantic boutique inn on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi.  Imagine sitting on the porch of a traditional bed and breakfast with a Boho-chic modern twist, overlooking birds and squirrels playing amongst the azaleas and the wild wisteria. You’ll also find yourself within walking distance to everything you want or need for a day or even an extended stay right down the street from the beach and in the heart of the downtown district on Washington Avenue.  The scene is set for a secret starry-eyed staycation, your next lovey-dovey getaway, an elegant engagement setting, or perhaps a birthday celebration like I recently enjoyed.  But more about that later, as I tell you about how this amazing place and the couple who turned it into an intimate destination. 

Mr. and Mrs. Roxanne (Roxy) & Ted Condrey, originally from Louisiana, are the proprietors of The Inn at Ocean Springs. Their first adventure driving over to the Gulf Coast was for a day of sightseeing and taking in all the opportunities the coast had to offer. Since both of them have a background in Real Estate it became second nature to also look at potential properties. That special day would ultimately become the first day of their "Adventure of a Lifetime" forging their first interest of the City of Ocean Springs. They immediately fell in love with the city and the people, and felt the passion to have a bed and breakfast business in the heart of the downtown district. At the time, no space was available, but they felt a deep desire to help others create memories and discover the City of Ocean Springs in the same manner as they had.  

The Inn retains the perfect location and charming character of the original Ocean Springs Newspaper building, which was built in 1910. When the "for sale” sign went up the first day for the known historical building, the Condreys knew they wanted it, and the rest is history.  Their admiration and passion for the history keeps growing right along with their business.  It is most fulfilling for the staff to meet people from all over the world who find the same passion for the history of Ocean Springs, and accidentally stumble upon this treasure when it wasn't even on their itinerary.  

Their love for the locals, the tourists, and the desire to create a total experience led the Condreys to forge a friendship with their coffee wholesaler, Mr. Craig and combine their expertise to open The Brew at The Inn.  It is a remarkable spot at the front of the historical site, where you will find extraordinary gifts, coffee, and beers being served.  Tuxachanie Roasters coffee beans are from Guatemala, Columbia, Ethiopia, Honduras, or Tasmania. The 150 lb. bags of green coffee beans are picked up from the port in New Orleans, LA and then brought to Ocean Springs where they are roasted and brought to perfection. It is the perfect place to sit in the sun, listen to the birds and sip the perfect cup of fresh roasted coffee.   

During my overnight birthday escape, I fully experienced the luxurious hospitality offered at The Inn.  After checking in and meeting the staff who welcomed me like family, I soaked up the ambience of the Inn while lounging on the antique chaise in my room and gazed up to the historical high vaulted ceilings, as I read the journal left on the table with sentimental entries from former guests.  The essential oil bath products promised a tranquil experience that I was sure to undertake later in the evening.  Smelling the sea air I desired to first grab my quilt and fresh strawberries for a quick walk down to the end of the street to find the beach and the stunning Gulf Coast sunset.  In Ocean Springs the pristine landscaped beach buzzed with people, pets, and breath-taking sights of bridges, piers, and palm trees.  Then it was back to The Inn for a relaxing bubble bath with the anticipation of hitting the town.  Dressed for the evening, my friend joined me to walk towards the sounds, sights and smells in the night air of the downtown district.

Dinner with friends at Mosaic Tapas Restaurant was the perfect choice for a birthday destination with fresh guacamole dip, seared tuna, and several other tapas with the perfect mix of cultures from around the world. Walking back to The Inn we strolled in and out of the hangouts lining Government Street for a little dancing and live local music to end the evening.  No need for an Uber or my car which was parked in a privately secured area at The Inn.  

After a relaxing sleep in comfy beds, mornings at The Inn are filled with good smells and anticipation for a fun-filled day.  The bed & breakfast suites include a hot breakfast experience with fresh fruit, freshly squeezed juice, perhaps an individual quiche, breakfast tacos for two, or French toast are amongst the choices offered.  An extra touch of local artist’s pottery coffee mugs placed in the room are a reminder of the amazing coffee and fresh muffins and pastries also available at the The Brew.  

Museums, art galleries, restaurants, and an array of eclectic coastal shops of all sorts are within walking distance from your suite. Guests staying at The Inn have the exclusive SO-GO District Passport giving discounts to eight participating local merchants.

Later in the day you can meander over to the Natural Juice Bar and Café which is where I met friends. I enjoyed a fruit smoothie and a made to order sandwich. If you’re more in the mood for a local craft beer, The Brew also offers beer on tap open to Mississippi brews only:  The Natchez Brewing Co, Natchez, Chandeleur Brewing Company from Gulfport, and Southern Prohibition from Hattiesburg. 

Not only will the Condrey’s hospitality at The Inn meet all your expectations for the romantic vacation, but they also offer another location for a more family friendly vacation in the City of Ocean Springs at the Bradford House.  It too is situated in a historical 1900's house featuring two spacious suites, king master beds, living rooms, a full kitchen (Vancleave Suite) with eleven foot ceilings, original pickle stained walls, a Southern style screen porch and all the same posh privileges expected. All suites at both locations are individually designed and include luxurious bedding, unique furnishings, organic amenities, flat screen TVs, free Wi-Fi access, mini-refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, and private bathrooms. Make your stay special by securing a special bottle of wine for the room or reserve two beach chairs and umbrella set up on front beach to enjoy your time in the sun.

"My goal is to provide guests the ability to take a deep breath. That moment to pause and replenish is what is so desired while on vacation." Kristin Smith, Manager of The Bradford House and The Inn at Ocean Springs. She provides the high quality hands-on performance with every detail of each business.

If you are longing for a one-of-a-kind experience, don’t wait for your birthday…. book it now because you won’t want to miss what’s waiting for you at The Inn at Ocean Springs.


The Inn at Ocean Springs

623 Washington Ave

Ocean Springs, MS 

(228) 875-4496


https://www.oceanspringsinn.com/


The Bradford House

1212 Bowen Ave

Ocean Springs, MS

(228) 875-4496



Salvetti’s Italian Grill FEB 7, 2018 Chris Dearman

Salvetti’s Italian Grill is owned and operated by Dan- ny and Shaleigh Salvetti, who met years ago when while working together at Salvetti Brothers restaurant, owned by Danny’s two older brothers back in the nine- ties. Deciding to continue the legacy after his brothers closed shop, Shaleigh and Danny opened Salvetti’s Italian Grill on Bienville Road in December of 2010. When the opportunity to move to the larger, original location that was home to Salvetti Brothers in down- town Ocean Springs arose, they moved their business in February of 2015 and have thrived ever since.

"We still use some of the same recipes,” Shaleigh said of classic menu items. "Danny has kicked them up a notch and tweaked a few of them, but generally we just updated some of the entre´es to keep up with the times. We try to freshen up the menu every six to eight months, but it doesn’t matter if something you want is still on it or not. If we have the ingredients, we will still make it for you.”

You will want to start with an appetizer or two. The Eggplant Fries topped with melted moz- zarella and served with marinara, and the Lump Crab Cakes served with a "seafood explosion” sauce are popular choices. Sal- vetti’s homemade Spinach & Artichoke Dip with fresh Italian bread made daily is one of Shaleigh’s favorites, and you can’t go wrong with the never breaded, just sauced and tossed Chicken Wings that come in a variety of flavors.

If looking for healthier options, Salvetti’s Antipasto Salad made with mixed greens topped with Italian cold cuts, cheeses, vegetables, and olives is quite popular. The traditional Grilled Chicken or Shrimp Caesar Salad is also a great choice.
Salvetti’s is the perfect place to go for lunch with a variety of hot or cold selections from their Calzone & Subs menu. Sub sandwiches such as the Italian Sausage, Philly Cheesesteak, or Meatball are sure to please, and the Calzone options of Cheese, Veg- gie, Pizza, or Sausage promise to satisfy. If you can’t decide between the two items, try the "Salvetti Classic Calzonewich” which is a huge hit with the regulars. Created years ago by the three brothers when playing around in the kitchen, it combines ham, salami, prosciutto, and provolone that is ov- en-baked in bread dough, then stuffed with lettuce, tomato, onion, and Italian dressing.
Traditional dishes are also a staple at Savetti’s with their large selection of hearty Baked Italian Specialties. Bring your appetite when ordering the Lasagna, Sausage & Peppers, Baked Ziti, or the Chicken, Shrimp, Eggplant, or Veal Parmigiana. There are also excellent pasta dishes found on the Favorites section of the menu. Linguini with Clams, Carbonara, Primavera, and Alfredo are just some of your choices. The Shrimp Scampi comes with beautiful, large Gulf Coast shrimp saute´ed in a made-to-order garlic butter white wine sauce that was crisp and delightful, and the Salmon Piccata was cooked perfectly and delicious.

If you are in the mood for pizza, Salvetti’s has both traditional and specialty pies that will have you wanting to come back to try them all. The Margherita pizza is a wonderful combination of fresh ingredients, and Danny’s favorite the New Yorker, topped with pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms, and jalapen~os is perfect for those wanting their pizza to have a little extra kick.

Salvetti’s Italian Grill is open Sunday through Thursday from 11am to 9pm, and Friday and Saturday from 11am to 10pm.
 
They have daily lunch and dinner specials, and a full bar with a 2-for-1 domestic beer, wine, and well drinks Happy Hour from 3-6pm Monday through Friday. Be sure to inquire about catering services for your next event.
 
Salvetti’s Italian Grill
708 Washington Ave
Ocean Springs, Mississippi (228) 875-7071 www.salvettis.com www.facebook.com/Salvettis



Unique Places to Stay Along the MS Gulf Coast FEB 6, 2018 Chris Dearman

If you are looking for something with a little more character than just an average hotel room for your next vacation of business trip, you may want to consider one of these unique Bed & Break- fast or boutique hotel options that the Mississippi Gulf Coast
has to offer.
 
The Smithsonian named Ocean Springs one of the twenty best small towns to visit, and if you want to see why, you may want to plan a stay at The Roost, which Architectural Digest named the "Most beautiful hotel in the state.” Located in a beautifully restored historic building surrounded by 200 year-old majestic oak trees, it features six charming themed suites that are within walking distance to both the beach and downtown. A fantastic restaurant called Eat. Drink. Love. is also on property. http://www.roostoceansprings.com
 
If you want to be closer to the historic downtown, The Inn is a charming boutique inn featuring two guest suites located in the heart of the Ocean Springs shopping district. Housed in building that was built in 1911, it provides modern and luxurious amenities while keeping its original character. It also houses a new coffee bar called Brew. http://www.oceanspringsinn.com
 
If being closer to the beach is more your style, Front Beach Cottages is the place for you. Originally constructed in the 1940s and 50s as fish- ing shacks for locals, all the cottages have been completed renovated and updated with modern amenities, while maintaining the original charm of the era in which they were built. The themed guest rooms at Front Beach Cottages each have their own unique feel, personality, and design, and are found just around the corner from beautiful Front Beach. You can even wash the sand off with your own private outdoor shower.
 
Moving along the Coast to Gulf- port, The Guest House at Gulfport Landing was built in 1906. Located just a few blocks from the beaches, casino, restaurants, and the port, this luxurious bed & breakfast offers five elegant suites housed in a turn-of-the-century home. Restored in 2014, it features private baths, clawfoot tubs, fireplaces, and the chance to stay in one of the few surviving historic homes on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
 
If you are looking for something more modern, the Hotel Whiskey or the Hotel Pass Christian may be more your style. The Hotel Whiskey is a boutique hotel located in the quaint downtown district and only 300 feet from the beach. It houses eleven beautifully appointed rooms, and is home to Whiskey Prime Steak house, a fine dining restaurant known for the serving the best cuts of Prime beef.
 
Hotel Pass Christian is a ten room boutique hotel overlooking the beautiful Pass Christian Harbor. The four-story building has suites overlooking the harbor, and all the rustic chic rooms have features a fitness center, salon, spa, and across the street from the local favorite restaurant Bacchus On the Beach.

If you back to a time of relaxed Southern hospitality. f you are looking to stay in somewhere less modern in Pass Christian, the Oak Crest Mansion Inn is the epitome of Old Southern charm and hospitality. Built in 1920, the historic home is located on over twelve acres of park-like land and houses five suites with period furnishings that will transport you back to a time of relaxed Southern hospitality.

For a unique place that is even older, Aunt Dot’s Bed and Breakfast in Bay St. Louis states it is one of the few true American Cottages still in existence. Built in 1840, the beautiful home was recently restored to historic specifications with rooms filled with family antiques and heirlooms. Guests of Aunt Dot’s can enjoy breath- taking views of the bay, the bridge, and the new full service marina.
 
 

The Roost Ocean Springs 604 Porter Avenue
Ocean Springs, Mississippi (228) 285-7989 www.roostoceansprings.com

The Inn
623 Washington Ave Ocean Springs, Mississippi (228) 875-4496 www.oceanspringsinn.com

Front Beach Cottages
207 Dewey Ave
Ocean Springs, Mississippi (228) 215-0969 www.frontbeachcottages.com

The Guest House at Gulfport Landing1114 32nd Ave
Gulfport, Mississippi
(228) 207-1540 www.theguesthousebnb.com

Hotel Whiskey
115 Davis Ave
Pass Christian, Mississippi 228-222-5172 www.hotelwhiskey.biz

Hotel Pass Christian
116 W Scenic Dr.
Pass Christian, Mississippi (228) 222-2062

Oak Crest Mansion Inn 5267 Menge Avenue
Pass Christian, Mississippi (228) 452-5677 www.oakcrestmansion.com

Aunt Dot’s Bed and Breakfast 222 N Beach Blvd
Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi (281) 787-3339 www.auntdotsbandb.com



Touching Lives through Furniture DEC 11, 2017 Tricia Leann

Find superior high-end and unique one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture that are custom painted, or rare and untouched table top accessories, silver, crystal, linens, throws, rugs, vases, and more at It's All Arranged in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. This is not your typical thrift store, but a finely curated consignment store where each piece of furniture tells a story.


Step into their huge spacious showroom of over a dozen consigned areas that are beautifully styled as if for an editorial in a magazine, and ready to complete your home or business with the help of Owner, Traci James.  The consignment space at It’s All Arranged gives Traci and at least a dozen team members of co-signers an exquisite place to showcase their items for sale. They offer a distinctive taste of interiors, furniture, accessories, gift items, and outdoor items as well. 

 

It’s All Arranged offers something for everyone from a signature piece as a souvenir from your travels through the Gulf Coast, or a statement piece for your home in one of the many styles such as farm house, mid-century, early American, French country, or shabby chic. "We can create your world," says James. Customers have been known to complete their entire home or business décor from It's All Arranged. Others have found 50-90% of their pieces from the ever-changing inventory. 


It is easy to find familiar furniture pieces often related to a fond memory that brings back treasures of your past that have been updated in a certain flare only found here. Custom built furniture can also be found such as farm tables, head boards, church pews, and more which are made with talented handmade precision.  The team of skilled custom builders has a knack to entwine designs of metal work with finely detailed wood craftsmanship to manifest ideas into reality.


If you want to learn the secrets of how to chalk paint and refurbish furniture, It’s All Arranged offers DIY Project Piece Classes. Call today to reserve three to four hours for private party instruction on any Saturday. Your day will be filled with fun, snacks, and the supplies you will need including Maison Blanche vintage paint and step-by-step instructions for a small project piece completed from start to finish to take home the day of the class. This class gives a unique hands on opportunity to experience the It’s All Arranged’s talent for touching lives through furniture.


It's All Arranged is proud to be the #2 retailer of Maison Blanche Paint Company of the DIY world vintage paints. 


It's All Arranged, LLC 

Awarded 2017 Retailer of the Year by Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce.

7325 Bienville Blvd. (Highway 90)

Ocean Springs, MS


228-215-1867 or 228-327-0556



Naturel Juice Bar & Café DEC 11, 2017 Chris Dearman

If you are looking for great-tasting, super-nutritious juices, smoothies, and foods, look no further than Naturel Juice Bar & Café in Ocean Springs. 


Since opening this past July, owners Samir and Aline Tomajian have been on a mission to help keep the people of the Gulf Coast living healthier by offering a large assortment of fresh, organic when possible, 100% whole fruits and vegetables throughout its menu.  


"Our food doesn’t have any hormones, pesticides, or added preservatives,” Aline said of the food they serve. "We believe in helping improve the health of the people on the Gulf Coast, as well as helping local farmers by getting our ingredients farm direct.”


The Tomajian’s were born in Lebanon, and came to the Coast to work in the healthcare industry. Samir, who is a pain doctor, and Aline, who is a French-educated nurse, wanted to lose the weight they gained after he tore his ACL in a skiing accident, and during her recent pregnancy. Wanting to completely immerse themselves in a healthy lifestyle, they decide to open Naturel to help themselves as well as others. 


Naturel’s menu consists of salads, sandwiches, snacks, juices, and smoothies, alternating the options throughout the week for variety. On Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays their salad options include Edamame or Quinoa Bowls, a Spring Salad, or the Skinny Apple, which pairs sliced apples with spinach, cranberries, walnuts, and Feta cheese. They mix things up on Tuesday and Thursdays by offering a Chef’s Salad, a Burrito Bowl, the Tabbouli Naturel, and the Green Goodness, which includes spinach, kale, avocado, red onions, cilantro, chia seeds, black beans, boiled egg, mozzarella cheese, and a choice of brown rice or quinoa. You can top the salads with a homemade dressing such as honey mustard, strawberry vinaigrette, or balsamic vinaigrette. 


The sandwiches at Naturel are served with unique, gluten-free Ezekiel bread made from freshly sprouted, organically grown grains. The bread is naturally flavorful, bursting with nutrients, and rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and fibers. The two most popular sandwiches are the Turkey Avocado, that comes with tomatoes, cucumber, alfalfa sprouts, sunflower seeds, and choice of mozzarella or goat cheese, and the Big Smack Veggie Sandwich, which consists of spinach, sprouts, tomatoes, red bell pepper, goat cheese, fresh guacamole, and homemade Mediterranean hummus. 


To complement your salad and sandwiches, Naturel offers fresh fruit or Mediterranean hummus, and serve two different varieties of toast. Both are served on toasted Ezekiel bread, with the Elvis Toast being covered with peanut butter, banana, walnuts, and honey. The Avocado Toast has black pepper, red pepper flakes, and olive oil. Be sure to try some of the Lil Bites such as an organic peeled boiled egg, a homemade Energy Bite that consists of peanut butter, oats, flaxseed, chia seed, dark chocolate chips, and honey, or the fantastic, fresh made daily Guilt Free Chocolate Muffin. This delicious bite of goodness is made with banana, avocado, coconut flour, cocoa powder, honey, dark chocolate ships, and walnuts. 

You will want to wash down all this healthy food with a nutritious fresh-squeezed juice or smoothie. Aline suggests the Naturel Healing juice if you have pain or a headache, as the pineapple, cucumber, red apple, ginger, celery, lemon and lime combination is good for inflammation. She says their Detox juice combination of kale, green apple, celery, parsley, ginger, green grapes, lemon and lime is great if you have eaten bad all weekend and want a fresh, healthy start to the week. The Electrolyte juice, made with orange, lemon, honey, coconut water, and pink is great after a workout, and the Hangover Juice, made with carrots, celery, beets, celery, and ginger are great after overdoing it at celebrations. 


A Naturel smoothie is also a great way to get your nutrients. The most popular is the P-Nut, which is made with organic peanut butter, banana, Greek yogurt, oats, honey, and almond milk. If you need a good wake-me-up, try the Rise N Shine smoothie, which is made with organic frozen coffee, organic vanilla protein powder, banana, flaxseed, and unsweetened almond milk. You can also order Smoothie Bowls that are topped with ingredients such as fresh made granola, fruit, nuts, seeds, and dark chocolate chips. 


Naturel Juice Bar & café is open Monday through Saturday. When you visit, inquire about their Grab & Go meals, catering services, and detox juice programs. Also be sure to like them on Facebook to keep up to date on specials and new offerings. 


Naturel Juice Bar & Cafe

705 Bellande Ave

Ocean Springs

(228) 282-9694

www.facebook.com/NaturelJuiceBar

 http://www.natureljuicebar.com