Thursday, January 5, 2012

Celebrating the visits of old friends

View of Sharon and Geoffrey's house from across the pool.
Last Thursday night just before the New Year, Sharon Sondes and Geoffrey Thomas ("Mugsy") threw open the doors of their glamorous British colonial-style manse in West Palm Beach over the holidays and gave one of their famous drinks parties.

The tables were heaped with the hostess’ little English tea sandwiches that are so uniform they look as if her fabulous housekeeper Luz had cut them with a laser. There were little delicately fried homemade spring rolls, huge bowls of guacamole fresh from the Sondes-Thomas’ own avocado trees, smoked salmon, shrimp, pate, as well as caviar with blinis.

New Yorkers who have attended Sharon’s famous cocktail parties are all aware of Luz’ signature "finger food" that turns into a six-course dinner by the time you're through nibbling.
Sharon Sondes and Kooki Fallah.
Kooki and Mugsy. Sharon and Geoffrey.
Sharon, a Lehman heiress, who technically still retains the courtesy title of Countess Sondes – from her brief marriage to the late Henry, 5th Earl Sondes – and her longtime partner Geoffrey live between New York and Palm Beach.

The evening was to celebrate the visits of old friends Kokoly "Kooki" Fallah, the effervescent Persian beauty (and champion bridge player) who divides her time between London and Marrakech, producer Marty Richards (winner of several Tonys, and an Oscar for “Chicago”), and best-selling author Barbara Goldsmith (her most recent is "Obsessive Genius," a biography of Marie Curie). Marty is about to celebrate his 80th birthday party on January 17th in New York at a party hosted by Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Laura Codman and Steven Stolman. Luz (Fabulous Everything).
Susan and Tim Molloy with Kenn Karakul.
Mary Hilliard and Sharon.
Joyce Reuben and Sally Ann Howes. Sidney and Donna Ward.
Kooki Fallah and Nadine Kalachnikoff.
Joan Jakobson, Mitch Rosenthal, and Eleanora and Michael Kennedy.
Among those cheerfully chatting and sipping the Cristal on the terrace overlooking the gardens and pool were Gigi and Harry Benson, Jackie Weld and Rod Drake, Terry Allen Kramer, Kooki's special guests British philanthropists Joyce and Simon Reuben (he's doing a special project to help disadvantaged areas with Mayor Bloomberg and the Mayor of London), John and Joan Jakobson, Earle and Carol Mack, Kate and Hashem Khosrovani, Lars Bolander and Nadine Kalachnikoff, David Koch, Peggy Siegal, Kimberly DuRoss and Jonathan Moffat, Bob Nederlander and Pat Cook, Mark Rosen and Arlene Dahl who came with Sally Ann Howes; Sharon's cousin Billy Bernhard and Catherine Cahill, Countess Mona de Sayve and her mom, super decorator Ann Downey.
Jim and Sara McCaan. John Jakobson and Gerry Goldsmith.
Helen Guest and Vicky Reynolds.
Firooz Zahedi and children.
Ashton and Margo de Peyster. Bob Nederlander.
David Koch and Kooki Fallah.
Catherine Cahill. Gerry Goldsmith and Mona de Sayve.
Also: Jerry Goldsmith, Bill and Regine Diamond, Margo and Ashton de Peyster, Helen Guest who dropped by for a few minutes without Winston, Vicky Reynolds, Eleanora and Michael Kennedy, Dr. Mitch Rosenthal , Beth de Woody with Firooz Zahedi, Annette Tapert and Joe Allen, Rodney and Donna Ward, Nancy Silverman, Steven Stolman, Susan Bodner, Jonathan and Somers Farkas, Dr. Patrick and Dana Hammond Stubgen with Oliver Hammond, Dana’s handsome eldest son, and Mai Harrison looking gorgeous as usual.

Sharon was disappointed that cousin Nick Loeb, son of John Loeb, wasn't able to nip up from Miami with girlfriend, actress Sofia Vergara. Nick’s father is getting married next week in New York to his fiancee, beautiful Sharon Handler.
Barbara Goldsmith with Enrique Martinez Celaya and wife.
Billy Bernhard, Terry Allen Kramer, Sally Ann Howes, and Marty Richards.
Lars Bolander, Kimberly DuRoss and Jonathan Moffat.
Annette Tapert and Mitch Rosenthal. Nancy Silverman.
Eleanora Kennedy, Marty Richards, Barbara Goldsmith, and Beth DeWoody.
Marc Rosen. Arlene Dahl.