Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Washington Social Diary: Seeing Robert Duvall twice

Before the polo players took to the field, the Piedmont Hounds showed off on the field.
by Carol Joynt

Benefit chair, Danielle Bradley
One way to know that summer is making way for autumn is when the party invitations no longer are adorned with bouquets of daisies but instead a Thomas La Fontaine painting of polo ponies against a purple sky. That was the image on the invitation to come out to the Virginia hunt country for a brunch and polo match, benefiting the National Sporting Library & Museum. It was this past Sunday in Upperville, at the Virginia International Polo Club, where my hosts were the benefit chairs Danielle and Ron Bradley, with Jacqueline Mars as the honorary chair.

The only thing missing from the image on the invitation was a blustery wind, which arrived a brunch time and played mischief with the elaborate hats worn by mostly the women but also a few of the men.  It also took down one small tent, that covered the audio system, but did not mess with the main pavilion tent, nor did it deter the festive brunch party or the polo. In fact the wind, with the help of a helicopter, helped to dry the field that had become soggy during heavy rain the day before.

When she invited me to join the brunch, Danielle sent a nice note: “My husband is on the board of the NSLM. We collect sporting art and as we bought Locksley Manor in Millwood (originally part of Carter Hall) a couple years ago, we want to promote all the great things horse country has to offer. We do hope you can join us on Sunday, Sept. 13th.” 

I was familiar with Locksley Manor. It has the kinds of gates you notice while driving the winding two-lane road that leads to Millwood, Virginia. It’s a familiar route because I like driving out to the Shenandoah River – you cross it enroute to Millwood – and also that’s the way to Clay Hill, the home of jewelry designer Elizabeth Locke and her husband, John Staelin, where I have stayed and also written about here for NYSD. They, too, were at the Bradley’s table.

Danielle Bradley promised the event would have “something for everyone.” It certainly had a twist. The players were not men, but instead the world’s top women.
The top women's polo players arrive on the field.
Danielle Westphall uses her husband as a shield from wind.
And then together Danielle and her husband sing the National Anthem.
Saint Andrew's Society of Washington DC Pipe Band.
Some of the Ferraris.
The pavilion on the hill: at the Virginia International Polo Club on the grounds of Llangollen Estate.
They included Sunny Hale, a champion who has the distinction of having it both ways – playing on men’s and women’s teams; Lisa Salvo, the top Argentinian player, and the reason for Argentine Ambassador Cecilia Nahón to also be among Bradley’s guests; and Maureen Brennan, founder of the International Polo Club, owner of the Goose Creek Polo team and herself a winner of many tournaments.

“There are very few opportunities to see a game of this caliber anywhere in the world,” said Brennan. “This is the only scheduled women’s high-goal match in the country outside of the US Women’s Open.” The other players included Erica Grandomcar-Sachs, Jennifer Williams, Kristy Waters Outhier, Julia Steiner and Julia Smith.
Two-handed service and Bite size maple doughnuts with scrambled egg.
The polo players were the stars of the event ...
... and also posed with movie star Robert Duvall.
What she wears to work.
The Queen and King of Virginia horse country — Jacqueline Mars and Robert Duvall.
The polo stars were eager to pose with another star who was at the party, movie star Robert Duvall, who makes his home, with his wife Luciana Pedraza, in Virginia horse country not too far from Upperville. Bob and Luciana chatted and posed with the polo players and also with Jackie Mars. Mars and Duvall are essentially the Queen and King of Virginia horse/hunt country, and guests fawn over them accordingly.

There were entertainments besides wind, drinks, food, celebrities and polo. For example, a hat judging contest (inside the pavilion, away from the wind), with the famed milliner Patricia Underwood as the judge. There were tunes on bagpipe from the Saint Andrew’s Society of DC Pipe Band.  Because it was a polo match there had to be Champagne, and there was plenty, courtesy of Bouvet Ladubay of the Loire Valley; and hot cars, too, and for that there was a row of Ferraris provided by the Ferrari Club of America.
Up the hill in the wind. Hold on to your hat ...
The wind took away the tent that covered the sound system.
But it was calm and relatively warm under the pavilion tent, which stayed in place. 
Prior to the competition, brunch was served. Bradley’s other guests included Amb. Jean-Louis Wolzfeld of Luxembourg, Bill Walde, Mary Frances Walde, Carlos Mascias, the deputy head of mission at the Argentine Embassy; Susan Forbes, Lee Johnson, Lisa and Marvin Jawer, Lucia Henderson, Wilhelmina McEwan, Barbara Lewis, Michael Olding and Elizabeth Herndler.
Hat to hat.
Cool temperatures prompted guests to dress for fall.
Jacqueline Mars and her hat, Elizabeth Locke in hers. Beside Locke is Luxembourg Amb. Jean-Louis Wolzfeld.
Elizabeth Locke.
Patricia Underwood.
Taking in the action on the field ...
…with a wave. Elizabeth Becker on the left.
Danielle Bradley, Ronald M. Bradley, Mary Frances Walde.
Danielle and Ron Bradley, co-chairs of the polo tournament
The trophy.
Pretty table settings, delicious biscuits and waffles.
First course of salmon and bagel. The menu was prepared by Design Cuisine.
I had my eye on the desserts.

It wouldn’t be a trip out to the Blue Ride foothills without a stop at Brian Noyes beloved Red Truck Bakery for a fresh fruit pie or a liquored up cake. In addition to his first shop in Warrenton, he has opened a new and bigger bakery in Marshall. Devoted patron Robert Duvall – who gets around in the Virginia countryside – was among the first customers, being on hand for opening day, where he cut not the ribbon but cattle rope, using not scissors but a pocket knife. The knife and the rope are framed on the wall with a photo of the grand opening ceremony.
The new Red Truck "Rural" Bakery in the heart of Marshall, VA.
Brian Noyes at the helm of his new, open kitchen.
Brian is a happy man with the new location. For a few years explored possible spots for expansion; at various times he considered buildings in Aldie, in Middleburg, and Little Washington. The place that seemed right was Marshall, on Main Street, in a building that for decades was home to a modest country diner.

Brian has renovated throughout, and added a huge kitchen for more baking, and a bigger retail area, and also more seating. It is also open every day of the week, from early in the morning (get some good coffee and a pastry or muffin before hopping on Route 66 and the commute to work) until mid-evening (stop in again on the way home, to pick up dessert). He has everything else, too, including sandwiches and soups, and a popular mail order business, thanks to well-deserved praise from The New York Times, The Washington Post, Garden & Gun, Southern Living, Veranda, Washingtonian and, early on, New York Social Diary.
Regular patron Robert Duvall at the grand opening, cutting a cattle rope, not a ribbon; using a pocket knife, not scissors.
Red Truck has a wall of framed write-ups, including this early one from NYSD.
I have a lot of Red Truck Bakery favorites, but I’ll drive an hour out and an hour back to get his Pumpkin Pie, Key Lime Pie, Apple Pie, Double Chocolate Moonshine Cake (yes, you taste the hooch), and his Hi-Octane whole bean coffee. His “Bobby’s Breakfast-in-a-Box,” created for and named in honor of Duvall, is, like its namesake, a mail order gift worthy of an Oscar.

Red Truck Rural Bakery
8368 W. Main Street
Marshall, VA (Route 66 exit 27)
Autumn has arrived at Red Truck.
The doughnuts are chocolate, maple, apple, powdered sugar.
The new Red Truck has more inside spaces for enjoying pie, cake, cookies, muffins, soups and sandwiches.
The long communal table in the front room at Red Truck.
It may be a rural bakery but it is organized like a big business.
Brian Noyes reclaimed an old screen door for an interior entrance to the kitchen. 
Fresh baked, daily.
High voltage and delicious coffee.
The famous granola, fresh out of the oven.
The Red Truck focaccia is flavorful with herbs and olive oil.
A Red Truck fresh baked apple pie, minus two slices.
At a baker that specializes in Moonshine Cake, this t-shirt is apt.
Photographs by Carol Joynt

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