Archive for August, 2010
It’s that time of year already (what some parents call “the most wonderful time of the year”), when the kids head back to the classroom, college kids descend on campus, and professionals capitalize on clothing and supply sales, sprucing up the office space with a little this and that while adding a few key pieces to the wardrobe.
I’m loving these coastal-inspired leather belts by Patty Anderson, who also creates jewelry and accessories, at Island Outfitters on Thames Street in Newport (we’re also looking forward to her new line of footwear, set to debut soon). There’s a host of belt options from conservative to bold to metallics and adorable brushed molten pewter buckles with three-dimensional scallop shell, anchor, starfish, sand dollar, flower, and sea turtle designs!
I was also charmed by the adorable Lilly Pulitzer stationary stash found at Chace N’Lulu on America’s Cup Avenue, which included indulgently preppy note cards, calendars, agenda books, pink and green pencils, circle notes and more (like the Lilly dry erase boards I spotted online). You may have spotted the Lilly jeep in town over weekend (above)–it is simply adorable!
What happens when more than half a dozen designers and clothiers converge to celebrate their talents in the City-by-the-Sea? From Boat Shoes to Blazers: A Summer Style Soiree, a chic to-hosted by Forty 1° North, Kiel James Patrick and Unabashedly Prep, “a style blog bent on accentuating youthful, Ivy League-inspired style with traditionally preppy roots,” planned for this Thursday evening. Local retailers Island Outfitters and Pink Pineapple are part of the team in addition to men’s lifestyle brand Bonobos (known for their signature pants with colorful pocket and waistband linings). Cocktails by Brinley Gold Rum and a delightful pairing of Del’s Lemonade and Svedka Vodka, plus cold Narragansett Beers will keep spirits lively. Limited space still available, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Area hotels employ hundreds of locals whose combined roles contribute to the success of each, but Daniella Giorgio at the Hyatt Regency Newport may have the most coveted position: Director of Fun. Imagine her as a land-lubbing Julie McCoy, steering guests to an array of onsite diversions for all ages and abilities. From yoga on the spa deck and wine tastings to volleyball and learning tricks behind the bar, Giorgio’s job is to show visitors the spoils of Newport. We sat down with the busy DOF recently, and here’s what she shared:
- What are some of the things guests most frequently ask?
They generally want to know information about the Hyatt itself as well as information about Newport. Since the activities department offers free bike rentals, a typical question would be, “Where is the best place for a bike ride?” I typically send guests down Thames Street to Ocean Drive for an incredible 10 mile scenic route right along the coast.
2. What are some of your fun suggestions for families? Young adults? 20s to 40s?
More popular activities for families include our Movies on Lawn, held three times a week, and our Parachute Play, and parents can join in with their children to wave the parachute and play games. The kids love it. For adults, we offer weekly wine tastings and a mixology session with one of our Hyatt bartenders. For a slower more relaxed pace, watercolor painting is offered on Saturday mornings where guests sit in our Adirondack chairs and a local artist teaches the class of mostly novice students. There is also football, soccer, bocce, croquet equipment and more.
Just a bit ago, I had to hop down to the Big Apple and, taking a look at the time I’d have to hit the road, I decided to take the train. Amtrak departs Kingston, Rhode Island, up to nine times daily, and frankly, if you score spot opposite the I-95 side of a railcar, the view is stunning as you cruise down the Southern New England coastline (ps: CLICK HERE for information about Amtrak’s VISIT RHODE ISLAND DISCOUNT). The flora and fauna throughout the tidal marshes proved to a stark reminder of how vital this coastal ecosystem is, especially when speculation of the long-term effects of the BP oil spill in the Gulf still dominate the news. Zipping through the wetlands by rail (I even saw a mature buck quenching his thirst near the Connecticut border), I couldn’t help but crunch the numbers: More than 640 miles of coastline in the Gulf region have been oiled (reported in multiple media outlets). Its 160 miles from Kingston to New York City. Just for some perspective, 640 miles is the distance from Kingston to Cape Hatteras in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
The Spiced Pear at The Chanler on Cliff Walk has stepped up by donating a portion of the restaurant’s proceeds throughout the summer to the National Wildlife Federation’s Oil Spill Prevention Fund, adding to the nearly $4400 already raised. So, if you’ve been dying to try their now-famous “Not Just a Burger” Kobe Burger that was rated #3 on GQ Magazine’s 20 Burgers to Try Before You Die,’ (a list made even more famous when Oprah’s BFF Gayle King jet set across the country to savor a handful of the winners), or their the popular Lobster BLT (at right), now is the time. The donations will be ongoing through September 30th. Don’t forget: the terrace at The Spiced Pear is still offering $0.25 martinis (up to two) with the purchase on an entrée. I suggest their own Spiced Pear martini!
PS: As long as we’re talking cuisine, my Amtrak adventure reminded me of the Café Car’s delightful little cheese “plate.” While Mini Babybel Gouda and Carr’s Table Water Crackers may not be considered gourmet, what a nice departure from chips, pretzels, et al. Who knew? Nicely done, Amtrak.
The buzz around town (no pun intended) is all about this weekend’s inaugural Newport Winefest, a three-day event (Aug. 20-22) touting itself as “the largest outdoor wine and food festival in New England.” In addition to wines from around the world to enjoy at the Grand Cru Tasting, expect spirits and specialty beers to savor, wine seminars, and cooking demonstrations by local and regional chefs, and a Chefs & Champagne Brunch (2 sessions). It all takes place the Newport Yachting Center. Ticket prices start at $65 and vary on the number of events you package into your experience. For a wine seminar schedule CLICK HERE, for a cooking demo schedule CLICK HERE, and for general info including how to purchase tickets, CLICK HERE.
In the fashion world, fall is on the brain, and two shops in Newport are hosting designers and reps (even an author) to showcase their fall collections and latest offerings. This Friday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Angela Moore will be hosting a Jack Rogers and Lilla P trunk show at her charming Bellevue Avenue boutique. The classic line from apparel and shoe designer Jack Rogers will include platforms, jellies (they’re back) and espadrilles, which you may have seen in In Style magazine. Classic style is also palpable in the designs of Lilla P, with pieces direct from the designer’s Meatpacking district design studio in NYC. The brand has been praised for their modern take on the iconic cotton tee shirt, including the Origami shirt that ties 10 ways as seen on Good Morning America. The shop is also hosting a book signing featuring Karen Weinreb, the author of the book The Summer Kitchen, who has planted roots in Newport. Marie Claire called her most recent release is “an irresistible beach read!” And there’s plenty of summer left to sink your toes in the sand and unwind with a good read. You may recall Weinreb’s appearance on Oprah in January, where she shared her story of her husband’s secret life. Champagne and treats, served during show hours, promise to sweeten the experience.
Down on Lower Thames, hot young designer Elise Fargnoli brings her Francesca Joy line of stunning, hand-painted totes, wristlets, chemises and more to Wish on Friday and Saturday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. The St. Michael’s Country Day School grad and Providence native has made a splash on the Palm Beach shopping scene and brings her artistic flair to her beloved City-by-the-Sea for two days of fashionable fun.
Angela Moore, 190 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, (401) 619-1900
Wish, 664 Thames Street, Newport, (401) 848-0202
I dropped by Jennie Kay – A Beauty Parlour, in Middletown, to check out the new digs of hair stylist, make-up artist and newlywed Jennie Kay Murphy. (I was lured by the classic “beauty parlour” tagline…so cute, totally vintage!) The studio space is charming, adopting a sleek but warm aesthetic and just enough room for Jennie to work her magic (mostly with MAC and Stila products). She revels in making brides their most beautiful for their big day, but she also has created glam looks for celebrities, pageant beauties, motion pictures (including 27 Dresses) and casts of the musicals The Color Purple, The Wizard of Oz and Jersey Boys in between editorial shoots. She’s as super sweet as she is talented- check out her web site site to learn more by CLICKING HERE.