Debbie’s Week at a Glance: The last blast of summer freedom

Featured image
Dapper toastmaster George Farias at his Summer Supper.

Summer is not subtle in bidding adieuEvenings are downright cold, days crisp and night falls with a early thud. Kids are heading back to college and the elementary and high schools are ominously reminding the young ones that Calculus awaits.  It is this last blast of summer freedom that fuels the fun frenzy of parties. This week, three people famous for perfection — Amanda Hearst, Audrey Gruss, and George Farias — entertained. Woe to the parties that preceded or followed. 

My boy Will, in from L.A., fortified himself for the week to come with a serious steak at TBar-cousin to the one we all know in town, on 73rd and 3rd. With ‘’Impossible meats’ trending, it was a deliciously different treat.


TBar for a T-bone.

The weekend officially began with Audrey Gruss’s ladies lunch for her friend, Susan McCaw.  Audrey’s friends got the pink cue from the invitation and either wore that or, serendipitously, the other lunch theme color-navy. Is there a chicer color combo? No.


Audrey awaits.

The tables were covered in pink blooms, and blue and white porcelain. Even the waiters matched in their pale pink vests. But the real star was Audrey’s pal, Susan. Movie star beautiful and madly accomplished (ex-McKinsey, Ambassador to Austria, many board memberships and mother of two Stanford students and another high schooler, perhaps on the way), Susan has just relocated from California to Southampton. Gracious, funny and whip smart, she is the new girl in town, and a great addition.  Carol Mack, Gigi Mortimer, Kitty Sherrill and many others all agreed.


Colors of summer, pink and navy.

Lest we have a week without helping our critters, we gathered at Anne Hearst McInerney’s Ashgrove Farm to hear the news about the newly branded, ex-finn2finn, now Well Beings. This is how recently wed Amanda Hearst Rønning is honeymooning — helping animals.


Well Beings Co-Chairs, Amanda Hearst and Breanna Schultz.
Co-Chairs in front of their new logo.

How could “Well Beings” — a genius name for an animal welfare organization — not have been nabbed? Amanda agreed, and nodded enthusiastically at the floating logo in the pool.  Humans, donkeys and alpacas munched; and Finn, her very social Chihuahua, worked the crowd. Funds were raised to promote humane education (HEART), animal assisted therapy for Vets (ARF and SES), and pet friendly shelters for families who are victims of domestic violence (URI PALS).


Alliance Member Julia Fehrenbach Baldwin with a wild owl courtesy of Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center.
Repeat Roses team member socializing with the local Ashgrove Farm residents.
Randy Hearst with Anne’s Bella. My bad — I let her out.
Miniature horse local to Ashgrove Farm canoodling with guests.
“The Fritz Hansel,” alliance member Jeffrey Berman and Cori Lee Seaberg’s dog.
Anne Hearst McInerney with wild owl from Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center; and Cornelia Bregman, who is not wild about the owl.
Who wore it better (the flowers)? Amanda.
Vegan/Vegetarian bites by Robbins Wolfe Catering.
Well Beings bar.
The floating logo — so clever.

Then we were off to one of the most eagerly awaited parties of the summer-George Farias’s Summer Supper. George and his friend, the event design maestro David Monn, dazzle us every summer. I always suggest someone get married to fully enjoy these fantastic creations.

And George had another dinner, two weeks before, for Aggie Gund’s birthday, in a completely differently designed event. The art-oriented crowd — Larry Gagosian, Dorothy Lichtenstein, the Met’s Dan Brodsky and Esty, the Whitneys’ Scott Rothkopf and Dia Board Chair Nathalie de Gunzberg and Charles — took in David’s own masterpiece.


Harry Slatkin, Stellene Volandes, and George Farias.
Esty and Dan Brodsky.
Edward flirts with Kathy Rayner.
Aggie Gund’s birthday dinner.
Under the arbor.
Which do you like better? The arbor or potato theme?
Larry Gagosian and Dorothy Lichtenstein.

The dinner on this night was inspired by the former potato field, under it. But the simple potato would not pass muster, so it was heaped with caviar and preceded by velvety folds of salmon, and accompanied by a personal carafe of vodka. 

I’m afraid my ‘serf’ (not tsarina) was showing when I asked the waiter if there was a substitute for the caviar. My tablemates glared at me – thinking they’d get my unwanted fish eggs. But only at a George dinner would the little black beads be whisked away to be replaced with TRUFFLE caviar! I have found my reason for living.


David Monn’s magic.
Man of the moment, host, George Farias.
The big treat.

The pictures tell it all – woven branches, lush leaves and vines, burlap covered benches that felt like a shatoosh, and a loooong table, populated by some of the chicest, smartest folks in this berg, including:  Marlene Hess and Jim Zirin, Bobby and Barbara Liberman, Kathy Rayner, Pepe and Emilia Fanjul,  Katherine Bryan, Stellene Volandes, Lisa Jackson, and many other lucky guests, whose pusses you can see, here. And if the vodka didn’t get the better of you, there was a slinky lounge in which to do just that.

Alas, two legs of travel awaited, and so we kissed George and Edward, his handsome White Westie, goodnight and slipped off into this very good night.


L. to r.: Pepe and Emila Fanjul, who sailed in from Europe; Susan McCaw — yes, from the lunch. I told you.
Serena Boardman.
Lisa Jackson, Carol Mack, Lisa Fine, and Katherine Bryan.
L. to r.: And in from Texas, Ann and Mathew Wolf; Jim Zirin and Marlene Hess.
Up from DC, Secretary Wilbur and Hilary Ross.
Back from Nantucket, Jeff and Ashley McDermott.
L. to r.: George and Lisa McFadden Melas; Barbara and Bobby Liberman.
Terry and Libby Fitzgerald, with Earle Mack, down from Saratoga.
L. to r.: Jill Roosevelt and Ros L’Esperance; Chip Conlan and Milly de Cabrol.
George and Kathy Rayner.
L. to r.: Amy Phalen and Karin Luter; Debbie with Mark Gilbertson.
Alison Mazzola.
Edward. The End.

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