Newport by Land & Sea

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If you are looking for a perfect weekend in Newport, Rhode Island where the sand meets the surf, and history abounds, this is it. Between the salties in town for the Newport Bermuda Race and the sweeties for the Newport Flower Show, the town’s offerings for guests and locals alike are boundless.

This year, Rosecliff welcomes the show back to its original home suggesting the theme, “At Home.” The enchanting exhibits will showcase the relationship between flowers and the homes they beautify. The popular Botanical Arts division will include artists’ interpretations of items found in many homes: dolls, picture frames, the family dog and more.

After the intoxicating sights and scents inside the historic halls of Rosecliff, guests can wander out to the oceanfront lawn to explore many more breathtaking examples of botanic creations — cutting garden, home orchard, pollinator garden and many ideas to create your own stunning exterior settings.

And don’t miss the Marketplace that offers all that you need to summer in style. From florals to fashion, there is something to discover in this treasure trove of fine purveyors.

Here’s Hilary decked out at the Marketplace in GlamourpussNYC designed by friend and fellow Newportier, Courtney Moss.

Hilary & Courtney on a photo shoot when the models couldn’t get to Newport.
Hilary and Courtney on a photo shoot when the models couldn’t get to Newport. Pretty chic!

Devotees will be attending the Opening Night Reception for a sneak peak at the resplendent arrangements.  For what to wear and what to pack, I am going with a color scheme that makes wardrobe planning a seabreeze that we call “Eastern Seaboard” — the tried-and-true white and blue with bright gold accents.

Dresses:  Robert Graham  Leighton Paisley Flutter Sleeve Maxi  $495  / Alice & Olivia Lucy Ikat Cotton Shirtdress  $395   /  Farm Rio Flora Tapestry Maxi   $315   / Shoshanna  Jude Off The Shoulder Midi   $540  Accessories:   Elisa Johnson Oval Sunglasses  $150  /  Asha Angelina Lapis Earrings  $395  /   Valentino Garavani Small Bucket Bag  SALE $1260  /   Shoes:  Saks Fifth Avenue Metallic Platform Sandals  $265  /  Dee Ocelppo Madrid Wedges  $345

Since Hilary is a home-spawned gal, she will have the last word on the subject. “I have attended the Newport Flower show for as long as I can remember. The opening cocktail party, to me, is the kick off to summer. During the day, cool and comfortable is the name of the game as you peruse the amazing award winning floral arrangements and flowers. When you head outside to shop the boutiques while taking in the gorgeous view, wedges or flats are a must. And don’t miss the Ala Von Auersperg booth where I will be hanging my hat this year. Hope you will come and say hello!”

Dresses: Silvia Tcherassi Casandra Stripe Midi Dress  $1290  /  Zimmerman Pop Floral Pleated Shirtdress  $795  /  Cara Cara Candace Cotton Midi  $525  /  Ava Von Auersberg Annie Cotton Blouse  $475  /  Ava Von Auersberg Elaine Stretch  $275  /  Alémais  Players Rummy Linen Blend  $495  /  Ava Von Auersberg  Fiona Cotton Shirtdress In Indigo Palm  $475  /  Love Shack Fancy Floral Smocked Maxi  $395   Shoes: Castaner Carina Espadrilles Wedges  $150  Castaner  Brielle Espadrille Wedge  $320

Hilary was an incredible tour guide last summer. Here we are on the Wharf about to board a restored McMillen wooden yacht.

There are various botanical lectures and book signings throughout the show’s run — free to all ticket holders. Read the complete schedule here.

Next stop: Fort Adams State Park!

Friday brings another beloved tradition to the shores of Newport — the kick off of the Bermuda Race. For the first time in its 118-year history, the start will be just off the shoreline allowing for public viewing at Fort Adams State Park. Organized by the Bermuda Race Foundation in 1906, the 636-mile biennial Newport Bermuda Race is the oldest regularly scheduled ocean race, and one of very few international distance races.

If your invitation to board the committee boat has not yet arrived, head to Fort Adams State Park for the Starting Line Live Show powered by Ørsted, featuring live commentary, music, food trucks, and Regatta Bar featuring Goslings Rum and Whalers Beer — a true sailor’s delight!

The Bermuda Race Foundation, Inc. is a public charity whose mission is to promote national and international amateur sports competition, to serve as the Organizing Authority for the biennial Newport Bermuda Race, and to provide vessel safety inspections, educational services and training for offshore sailing and safety at sea.

In a sport where raconteurship is valued just a knot short of nautical skills, there is a story behind the story. The “Thrash to the Onion Patch” began with a slightly different mission, according to A Berth to Bermuda by John Rousmaniere. “The very first Bermuda Race was an act of rebellion. In 1906, the Establishment believed that it would be insane for amateur sailors to race offshore in boats under 80 feet. Thomas Fleming Day, the feisty editor of The Rudder magazine, vehemently disagreed, insisting, ‘The danger of the sea for generations has been preached by the ignorant.’ Certain that an ocean race would be enjoyable and safe — and also develop better sailors and better boats — Day founded one on his own.” Click here to read more of the lively history.

Photo: Daniel Forster/PPL

There are so many who volunteer for this amazing display of seamanship both on and off the water. Race Chair Andrew Kallfelz explains: “As we stand on the cusp of the 53rd Newport Bermuda Race, I’m filled with gratitude to all the sailors and volunteers who have contributed to making this iconic event possible. Their efforts in preparing for this challenge have been truly commendable, and now, the excitement of racing to Bermuda awaits.”

Bermuda is the prize for those sailors who compete in one of the world’s great offshore challenges. High wind, large waves, completely out of sight of land for three to six days on the high seas, the fearless are welcomed at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club with open arms and glasses full of Gosling. RBYC is the third oldest ‘Royal’ club outside the British shores and one of the premier yacht clubs in the world.

There are over 100 prizes awarded, including the coveted St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy, a silver and gold replica of the lighthouse, awarded to the winner of the largest division since 1954.

If you are a sailing or history buff, treat yourself to a read of the Bermuda Race Roll of Honor. Its tales will bring tears to your eyes and admiration to your heart.

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