News Ticker

Dining in the garden on a spring day

IMG_1874A cool breeze and a colorful floral display in the recently refurbished garden delighted patrons March 31 as they dined on a menu featuring  Chicken Saltimbocca at the Woman’s Exchange  spring luncheon served at historic Pena-Peck House in downtown St. Augustine. The day’s luncheon also included garden vegetable pasta salad, toasted herb bread and Salt Caramel Pannacotta.

IMG_1871The greatly anticipated luncheon series is sold out in mere hours after the schedule is announced, Judy Riggle, current Exchange president, told the gathering. The Exchange has much to celebrate, Riggle continued, including the fact that the garden has been restored following the havoc caused last fall by Hurricane Matthew. She noted that a 300-year-old Sago Palm survived the storm, as did a hot pink bougainvillea, New plants, the president noted, were selected because they represented the time the Peck Family lived in the home. The last survivor of the Peck family was Miss Anna Gardener Burt, who was a founding member of the Woman’s Exchange. When she died in 1931, she willed her property to the city of St. Augustine to e exhibited as a house museum. As the story goes, the city was lacking funds and was going to decline the gift. At that point, the Exchange offered to step in.


Margo Pope, left, a past Exchange president, and Judy Riggle, current president, stand beside the hot pink bougainvillea that survived Hurricane Matthew.

The Woman’s Exchange dates back to 1892 in St. Augustine, and has been headquartered in the Pena-Peck House since 1932.

The spring series continues through April 11. It is sold out, but there is a waiting list.

The fall series begins Oct. 24, with dates including Oct. 27, 31, Nov. 3, 7, 10 and 14. Reservations will be accepted beginning at 10:30 a.m. June 1, and Riggle cautioned that those wishing to attend a luncheon should call early because the demand is great. Call 904-829-5064. Further information about the Pena-Peck House, the luncheons, the consignment shop and rental of the facility is available by calling the house or e-mailing No luncheon reservations are taken by e-mail. Luncheon cost is $31.95 per person including tax; with a $5 coupon to be used in the shop on the day of the luncheon.

About Anne Heymen (100 Articles)
Retired after 49 years in major media publication, Anne spends her time as Contributing Editor to PluggedIn whenever her two cats allow her some time to herself.

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