Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Palm Beach Social Diary

Finally warm enough to spend a day at the beach.
by Hilary Geary Ross

Christmas week in Palm Beach started off a tad too chilly,
oooh baby it was cold outside. Well sort of ... all the ladies were wrapped in cashmere and even furs, and the men donned scarves. In fact, even the plants were covered up too, to protect them from the frost!

Despite the “cold” (I know it is all relative), the tennis courts were filled as were the golf courses, and the restaurants were packed too. In the evening you drove down the streets to see parkers everywhere as there were several glittering parties every single night. The streets sparkled with decorated palm trees covered in twinkly lights shimmering away. I must say this tiny oasis called Palm Beach must be the most glamorous little town in the whole wide world.
Plants bundled up to protect them from the cold snap in PB.
Nativity scene at Bethesda by the Sea.
The Flagler Museum decked out for Christmas.
A Rolls in front of the Colony hotel dressed for Christmas.
Bikes built for a family with striped fringed canopies.
Vintage car driven by a dapper dude at night in PB.
Nick and Johnnie's Restaurant on Royal Poinciana Way.
More sparkling palm trees at Cafe L ' Europe.
The holiday festivities kicked off with a cocktail party at the Valentino boutique honoring the Palm Beach Zoo committee, followed later that week by the “Jingle Ball” held at the Breakers, benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County. It was chaired by Katy Dew Amling, Susan Bodnar Malloy, and Ross Meltzer with Carol Mack as Honorary Chair.
Emilia Fanjul with her daughter-in-law Lourdes Fanjul at the Valentino kick off cocktail party for the PB Zoo benefit.
Before the “Jingle Ball dinner, there was a silent auction of trees and wreaths with some wonderful ones designed by such stars as architect Tom Kirchoff, Interior Designer Scott Snyder, Mary Mahoney, landscape architect Mario Nievera, Jennifer Miller and more. After dinner they spiced up the party with some dishy dancers in “Santa’s helpers” suits movin’ and a groovin’, ooh la la. Santa might have blushed!
Cynthia Boardman and Carol Mack. This tree was designed and donated by Scott Snyder for the silent auction.
Earl Mack, Darlene Jordan, and Michele Kessler.
Martin Gruss and Carol Mack.
Joanne de Guardiola in Christmas red. "Jingle Ball" entertainment.
Ken Karakul and Pauline Pitt.
The following night Dan Ponton, along with Dr. Michael Zinner, toasted Dr. Elizabeth Nabel, President of Brigham and Women’s Hospital. They also celebrated the 28th anniversary of Club Colette with a sold-out benefit for the Daniel E. Ponton Fund for the Neurosciences.
Terrace of Club Colette.
Talbott Maxey and Dan Ponton.
Lobster first course at Club Colette.
There were “dueling” book parties too: on the very same night  famous designer and design director for Bottega, Tomas Maier (profiled last week in the New Yorker) along with the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach toasted Kim Mockler and his book Maurice Fatio-Palm Beach Architect, while Tiffany’s honored the very talented John Loring and his wonderful new book on  the Renaissance man, artist, architect and set designer Joseph Urban.

Now, now ... my favorites are the private parties and what could be more fun than adorable Marjorie Fisher’s annual ”pig out” at her dazzling lakefront house. Everyone loves Marjorie and her parties are always cozy, fun and so delicious! The party was dubbed  “pig out“ because the buffet was pure comfort food -- ribs, fried chicken, hot dogs, beans, chili, and ice-cream with coconut topping and hot chocolate sauce -- yummy!!
The seating chart for Marjorie Fisher's annual "pig out " dinner. Marjorie's fabulous red Christmas tree by her portrait.
The Fisher living room.
Pepe Fanjul, our dinner hostess Marjorie Fisher, and former mayor of PB, Lesly Smith.
Frank Chopin and Kate Ford. Lesly Smith and Kate Gubelmann.
Pepe Fanjul and Terry Allen Kramer.
Enter Nick Simunek.
The scrumptious dessert at the "pig out " dinner.
Another fun dinner was the one Lucy Musso gave at her divine brand new Schuler Award-winner of a house. After sipping champagne and nibbling on caviar, we sat down to a long narrow table on her loggia to find at each place setting, just for the fun of it: lit “antlers” and more!
Lucy Musso lookin' good in front of her dinner table.
Place settings at Lucy Musso's dinner. Joanne de Guardiola.
Jaye Keith. Kate Gubelmann.
The next night we popped into Steve Myer’s gorgeous ocean front house to be greeted by two cute young “angels” opening the doors in white outfits with wings ... oh my. We spotted more “angels,” who were in fact Cirque de Soleil entertainers, in the clear tent with snow white carpeting.

Hated to leave as it sure looked like fun!!
Greeted by “angels” at the entrance of Steve Myers' PB bash. Our host, Steve Myers.
Carol Rohrig and Bill Finneran. Carlos Morrison.
Our next stop was the annual black tie traditional Christmas dinner at Emilia and Pepe Fanjul’s beautiful house. This small glamorous gathering is the highlight of the season as it exemplifies the Christmas spirit with a great big tree, mistletoe, fireplace hung with stockings, carolers, wonderful wines and a delicious menu ... and best of all ... good friends! 
Pepe Fanjul at his annual black tie Christmas dinner. The beautiful Fanjul Christmas tree.
Emilia Fanjul Pfeifler with her mother Emilia Fanjul.
Mila Mulroney and Liz Mezzacappa. Alexandra de Borchgrave and Jackie Duberstein.
Drinks in the Fanjul library before dinner by the fireplace.
Carolers in period costumes.
Percy Steinhart. Cristina de Caraman, Jackie Duberstein, and Carol Mack.
Dixon Boardman chatting with his stepmother Cynthia Boardman.
Lally Weymouth and Damon Mezzacappa. Beth de Woody and Paul Wilmot.
Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Hilary Geary Ross.
Dr. Jim Walsh, Raysa Fanjul, and Mila Mulroney.
Santa party favors.
Next came heavenly Christmas at home with our families and there is nothing better that that! Another night we popped into the Wally Findlay Gallery for a drinks party to honor the Palm Beach Centennial Committee and to see the terrific exhibition of photographs of Palm Beachers on display. We spotted the Meigher family, Parker Ladd and Arnold Scaasi and many more.
Wally Findlay gallery hosted a drinks party to honor the Palm Beach Centennial Committee. Arnold Scaasi and Grace Meigher in front of their photograph.
On Sunday night we joined Melania and Donald Trump at the Trump International Golf course for the spectacular Sunday buffet that is so popular as the food and service are top drawer. We chatted with pals such as Karen and Richard LeFrak, Ken and Jackie Duberstein, Michele and Howard Kessler and more, and then feasted on the delicious, delectable buffet.
Donald and Melania Trump at the Sunday night buffet at the at Trump International Golf Club.
Vanessa Trump. Karen LeFrak and Donald Trump.
Festive champagne with candy canes.
The following week we dined royally at Dixon and Arianna Boardman’s beautiful house. Finally, hooray, hooray, along came warmer weather just in time for the Coconuts dance at the Flagler Museum, preceded by a seated dinner hosted by “Coconut” Michael McCarty at McCarty’s, natch!

As the seated dinner was mostly attended by Coconuts, we all jumped up at 10:15 to head to the Flagler Museum to dance into the New Year. The highlight was the absolutely fabulous fireworks display so generously donated by Julia and David Koch. Had to be the most dazzling display of fireworks I have ever seen!  
McCarty's pre-Coconut dinner seating chart.
Coconuts John Mashek, David Koch, and Wilbur Ross.
Julia Koch and Talbott Maxey. Julia Koch's beautiful back in a gold sequin Kaufman Franco dress.
Judith and Rudy Giuliani.
Laddy Merck, Jackie Astor Drexel, and Mike McCarty.
Harry and Gigi Benson with Mark Gilbertson.
Harry with his CBE pin.
Laddy and Dede Merck.
Muffy and Don Miller.
Dianne de la Begassiere, Michael Haver, and Kristen and Charlie Krusen.
The fireworks, generously donated by Julia and David Koch for the Coconut New Year's Eve dance.
New Year's Day there were at least five parties that I know of: lunches, brunches, cocktails and more. Bill Finneran had an open house as did Nancy and Don Carter too, plus adorable photographer Mary Hilliard had a cocktail party. What a great kick off to 2011! Happy New Year to all!
Don and Nancy Carter's wonderful lakefront house.
Nancy and Don Carter.
The dock.
The front driveway.
Another New Year's Day cocktail party hosted by Mary Hilliard and Leonard Harris.
Johnny Damgard and Britty Cudlip.
Muffy Miller, Mark Gilbertson, and Grace Meigher.
Amanda and Elizabeth Meigher.
Bea Guthrie and Catherine Cahill.

Photographs by Hilary Geary Ross