Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Palm Beach Social Diary

Worth Avenue at high noon.
by Hilary Geary Ross

Palm Beach has been blissfully warm. Hey, you could even say tropical! Well, maybe there has been a tad bit of rain but hardly worth mentioning. The sun has been shining, flowers are blooming, so everyone is out and about enjoying the glorious climate, riding their bikes, walking their pooches or cruising tops down in their convertibles.

The days are filled with all kinds of activities, golf, tennis, swimming and even surfing!
Flowers blooming ...
Dogs awalking ...
Cruising ...
Campion Platt outside the post office.
A model wearing evening clothes off Worth Avenue.
Worth Avenue parking lot.
Bill Pannill driving a Tesla (with no hands!). A perfect Palm Beach car.
Golfing at the Breakers.
At the Beach ...
Of course, at night the calendar is filled with small and big festive dinners, book signings and worthy charity events. A standout was the small perfect Christmas dinner that Emilia and Pepe Fanjul annually host just a few days before Christmas at their beautiful house.
Santas on the staircase of Emilia and Pepe Fanjul's house. My place setting.
Dinner placement.
As the weather was perfect that night we had cocktails outside in their softly lit romantic garden. What could be better than chatting with dear old friends and catching up with some new ones while sipping vintage champagne under the stars? Into a scrumptious dinner with vintage wines and just before dessert, costumed Christmas carolers arrived. Heaven!

Among the guests were Princess Maria Pia of Savoy and Prince Michel de Bourbon-Parme, Lally Weymouth, Raysa and Alfy Fanjul, Helena and Roman Martinez, Cynthia Boardman, Wilbur Ross, Countess Christina de Caraman, Alexandra and Arnaud de Borchgrave, Tommy Quick, Pauline Pitt and Jerry Seay, Carol and Earle Mack, Lesly Smith and Dr Jim Walsh, Jay Keith, Giney Burke, Katherine and Damon Mezzacappa, David Ober, Felix Mirando, Percy Steinhart and more.
Host Pepe Fanjul and Prince Michel de Bourbon-Parme.
Alexandra de Borchgrave, Earle Mack, and hostess Emilia Fanjul.
Princess Maria Pia Di Savoia and Katherine Mezzacappa.
Pauline Pitt and Damon Mezzacappa.
Arnaud de Borchgrave and Alfy Fanjul.
Carol Mack, Pepe Fanjul, Jerry Seay, and Jay Keith.
Lally Weymouth and Earle Mack.
Raysa Fanjul, Countess Christina de Caraman, and Hilary Geary Ross.
Jay Keith and David Ober.
Percy Steinhart.
David Ober and Jay Keith.
Raysa Fanjul and Tommy Quick.
Emilia Fanjul and Dr. Jim Walsh
Santa cookie jar party favors.
Have to say being down in PB this time of year is a dream as the magical little town glowed with Christmas decorations, lighted palm tress, and the centerpiece being the Christmas tree on Worth Avenue towering above all the buildings, much to the delight of all the families who flew in for the holiday.

The festivities paused for Christmas family time and Santa arrived on time, whew!
Christmas tree on Worth Avenue.
Flamingo Christmas lights.
Pelican sunning.
Oh my, this little town rocks big time on New Year's Eve with great, big parties in every club, restaurants all with record-breaking attendance and an exuberance extraordinaire.

We started off the evening by popping into Deborah and Chuck Royce’s house for drinks, then off to a black tie seated dinner at Judy and Alfred Taubman’s dazzling ocean front house with lake to ocean views designed by the legendary architect Addison Mizner. It is such a treat to dine chez Taubman, as they always gather a wonderful group, and the food and wine are impeccable.
Coconuts 2012. Back: Michael McCarty, Percy Steinhart, Will Matthews, John Mashek, Peter Summers, Blair Meyer, Troy Maschmeyer, Dan Hanley, David Ober, Chris Meigher, David Koch, Laddy Merck. Front: Piper Quinn, Harold Paull, Richard Cowell, Wilbur Ross, Rodney Dillard, Alex Fanjul, Willie Surtees, Girard Brownlow, Jon Ylivasker (Lucien Capehart Photography).
Next stop was the wildly popular Coconuts dance held at the Flagler Museum, right on the Intracoastal waterway. We were greeted by a receiving line of the Coconuts group headed by Chief Coconut Alex Fanjul with fellow Coconuts Girard Brownlow, Richard Cowell Jr., Dan Hanley, David Koch, Paul Maddock, Troy Maschmeyer, John Mashek, Will Matthews, Michael McCarty, Chris Meigher, Laddie Merck, Blair Meyer, Blakely Page, Harold Paull, Piper Quinn, Wilbur Ross, Peter Summers, and Willie Surtees.
Nick Acquavella and Jack and Dolly Geary.
Gigi and Harry Benson.
Tinsley Mortimer going Coconuts.
But this year they put aside their traditional white jackets with red carnations and donned black jackets with white carnations to mourn and recognize the loss of the former Chief Coconut beloved Bob Leidy. The evening was especially fabulous thanks to Julia and David Koch’s wonderfully generous gift of 30 minutes of glorious fireworks set to music that all of Palm Beach gets to enjoy. Bravo to the Kochs!
Fireworks at the Coconuts ...
Did things slow down a bit after that? Not exactly! A couple days later Tomas Maier, the brilliant creative director of Bottega Veneta, had a book signing at his super chic store on Via Mizner for his new book on Bottega Veneta, When Your Own Initials Are Enough. The book is terrific and I love his store too with its well-edited clothing and gifts.
Tomas Maier signing his new book.
Tomas signing When Your Own Initials Are Enough.
Kelly Klein at Tomas' book signing.
Afterwards we shuffled over to Danny Ponton's Club Colette for a scrumptious dinner hosted by Tomas along with Talbott Maxey. The menu was delightfully light, starting with a mixed green salad then a choice of Dover Sole or Chicken Paillard. Yum!

Among the guests were Julia and David Koch, Andrew Preston, Michele and Howard Kessler, Kelly Klein, Dan Ponton, Annette Allen, Kenn Karakul and more.
Tomas with Hilary Geary Ross and Wilbur Ross.
Next night brought the ever popular Hospice Evening benefit chaired by Lori Dodge, Lucy Musso and Tom Quick at the Breakers. It was truly a lovely evening — with wonderful food, decor and great music to dance to by “Heat Wave.” After a fashion show of beautiful Carolina Herrera clothing, we headed into a seated dinner. There were practically no speeches, just a brief thank you. Bravo!
Lucy Musso and Tom Quick at Hospice fundraiser (with Mandy Ourisman and Helena Martinez in background).
Britty Bardes and Johnny Damgard.
Wilbur and I never miss Emilia Fanjul's wonderful charity dinner "A Night of Great Expectations" to benefit the Everglades Academy and Glades Academy Elementary Charter Schools (that Emilia founded I might add), at Cafe Boulud in the Brazilian Court Hotel. This small cozy charity is truly run like a private party, as you are surrounded by pals and treated to a delicious dinner as Daniel Boulud always does.

After yummy icy cold Bacardi tropical cocktails in the courtyard, we were treated to a dinner of Butternut Squash Risotto, Duo of Beef, then a choice of scrumptious Profiteroles or Strawberry Shortcake. Yum! This was followed by an auction of irresistible items sold by Jamie Niven, auctioneer extraordinaire and chairman of Sotheby's, the Americas.
Ken and Jackie Duberstein with Pepe Fanjul.
Ken and Jackie Duberstein with Harry Benson.
Cynthia Boardman, Jamie Niven, Alfred Taubman, and Countess Christina de Caraman.
Raysa Fanjul.
Alfred Taubman, Countess Christina de Caraman, and Jamie Niven.
Jamie Niven auctioning off the wonderful prizes ...
The following evening we headed off to Mar-a-Lago as guests of Nancy Brinker for the "Perfect Pink Party "benefiting the Susan G. Komen for the Cure that Nancy started in her sister's memory to fight breast cancer. Nancy was also our former Ambassador to Hungary, former Chief of Protocol and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom besides founder of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, wow!!!

We sipped drinks outside by the pool at Mar-a-Lago, which was certainly in the pink, literally washed in glowing pink light (really wonderfully flattering to all). Into dinner and dancing with a terrific auction by Tommy Quick who sold off all kinds of goodies from a Seabourne cruise, to hours on a "Jet Suite" plane charter and more.
Mar-a-Lago lit in pink in honor of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure perfect pink party.
Drinks in pink by the Mar-a-Lago club pool.
Drinks outside Mar-a-Lago.
Violinists serenaded before entering the ballroom.
The ballroom at Mar-a-Lago.
Nancy Brinker, founder of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, with governor Rick Scott of Florida.
Donald Trump.
Wilbur Ross and Governor Rick Scott.
Anne and Jerome Fisher.
Nancy Brinker and Howard Kessler.
Our table at Mar-a-Lago.