Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Palm Beach Social Diary

First sighting in months: sunbathers in Palm Beach.
by Hilary Geary Ross

Finally, at long last, hard to believe but it is a tad warmer in Palm Beach.
For the first time in months I even spotted sun bathers on the beach! Hallelujah!!!

The first weekend in March kicked off with the Preservation Foundation dinner dance brilliantly chaired by Michele Kessler ... and best of all she raised a million dollars.

All of PB turned up to support this important organization, so crucial to preserving the history of this very special town.

This year’s theme was "Chinese," and superstar interior designer, Scott Snyder, donated his talents to transform the Breakers into a magical Oriental dream.

You entered the glowing red cocktail area  to find not only a great big bronze Gong, but also the two ultra-chic Chinoiserie twin beds formerly owned by Lily Safra. These “beds” or sofas, flanked by red skirted round tables with candle-lit pagoda lantern centerpieces, were a highly decorative focal point and even better a place to sit!
Rod Drake and Mandy Ourisman next to the Chinese bed from Lily Safra's auction at Sotheby's.
Scott Snyder and Abigail Kuklis. Muffy Miller and Jamee Gregory.
Scott snapped up these beds at Sotheby’s in New York and lent them for the event. They are copies of a “pair made for the Hon. Francis Charteris of Armsfield, Scotland, circa 1754.”

Back to the party, after the cocktail hour, the gong was hit  to get everyone into dinner in the ballroom, where they found dragons, parasols, grand paintings of Chinese Emperors, tole lanterns, Blanc de Chine Kwan Yin figures and more! The red and black dramatic décor was nothing short of fabulous! The menu was Chinese too but the music was good old rock and roll by Jimmy Valig, and everyone did rock till the wee hours of the night!
Buddy Thompson sounds the gong.
Ambassador Mary Ourisman. Stanley Gaines and Evelyn Lauder.
Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and his wife Mila.
Don Miller and Helena Martinez.
Melinda Hassen and Kit Pannill.
Muffy Miller and Roman Martinez.
Jackie Weld Drake. Peter Gregory and Joanne de Guardiola.
Joanne de Guardiola and Karin Luter.
Howard Kessler and Leonard Lauder.
David and Jill Gilmour.
Preservation Foundation ball centerpieces. Chocolate "budda" dessert filled with coconut ice cream.
Shannon Donnelly and Brian Mulroney.
Jill Gilmour, Rod Drake, and Gaysie Gaines.
Next evening, John Mashek, President of the Preservation Foundation toasted his houseguests Jamee and Peter Gregory and Amanda Haynes Dale at a seated dinner at his house for about forty.

Amanda Haynes Dale.
After sipping cocktails for just the right amount of time, say forty minutes, it was into dinner to find four round  tables entirely white, pure refreshing white: flowers, candles, chairs, and all by the brilliant florist Bill Beers!

The menu was good old fashioned American: Caesar Salad, lambchops with French Fries, and Chocolate cake. Yum!

Among the guests were John and Robin Pickett, Joanne and Roberto de Guardiola, Carol Mack, George Farias, Susan and Phil Warner with houseguests Scarlett and Bill Roberston, Fernanda Niven and Mark Henderson, Pauline Pitt and Jerry Seag, Freddie and Ginny Melhado, Lucy Musso, Scott Synder, Cynthia Boardman, Jackie and Rod Drake, Cliff Klenk, Darcy and George Gould, Kate Ford, Frank Chopin, Steven Murray, Lesly Smith, Dr. Jim  Walsh, Lis and Richard Waterman and more.

Sunday after the usual tennis matches etc., we headed to Bob Nederlander’s (of Broadway fame) to see a screening of his darling Pat Cook’s last summer's performance at Guild Hall, followed by a buffet dinner.

It is a always treat to hear and see the very talented Pat as she not only looks like an angel, but sings like one too. Among the guests were Kate Ford, George and Darcy Gould, Ginny Burke, Eileen and Brian Burns and Bob Leidy.
Pat Cook and Bob Nederlander after a screening of Pat's perfromance at "Guild Hall."
We also popped into Café Sapore to toast Governor Mitt Romney and his new book No Apologies. Mitt drew a big crowd and a whole lot of applause. Another quiet little weekend in good old PB!
Rene Morrison, Hilary Geary Ross, Governor Mitt Romney, and Darlene Jordan.