Sunday, October 29, 2006
Last Tuesday I went to Bergdorf Goodman to celebrate All Hallows Eve and the new windows that my friend, Douglas Little created.
Douglas is one of the most talented people I know and tonight he amazed me once more.
The party was held in the 7th floor restaurant over looking Central Park. A four man jazz band was there to greet guests with banjos and brass upon entering the room and to the left was the most over the top table I have ever seen. Well, I have seen such things before, in Douglas' creations. But to have it not as a visual, but as a functioning table where one can eat the fruits, frommage and festooned cookies was a real treat.
There were stuffed birds, mounds of fruit and black candles ensconced in candelabra’s (which Douglas' minions were relighting through the night). The chocolate skulls were beyond! Douglas sent his small skull cast to the pastry chef who used it to create chocolate, white chocolate and caramel treats, which once bitten into, would ooze cherry cordial, chocolate mouse or caramel.
The china pattern was Royal Copenhagen's Mega Musel, which is near and dear to me since it is my pattern as well. For an extra over the top addition, cookies were created with the same cobalt blue floral pattern that is on the china.
At the bar there were two massive hand blown absinthe decanters which bartenders were pouring lethal concoctions called Black Widows. Ancient Regime Supermodel, Carmen Del'Orifice had several and once I saved her glass from an eager bartender she laid two gorgeous and silky smooth kisses on my cheeks.
I met some great people that night including Mr. Drut from Maison Gerard and Andrew Pollard from Kiki de Montparnasse. We talked in depth about the Kiki 'Petting Ring" which I find the best invention since sock garters.
The night ended with drinks at The Pierre and a stumble into a cab.
Trick or Treat?
For a slideshow about Douglas' windows, please click here:
I have found Nirvana.
Every fall mom and dad and I spend a long weekend somewhere seriously autumnal. One year it was Asheville another Newport, and this year we opted for Greenbrier, West Virginia.
The Greenbrier is one of the last great resorts of the old South. I would count my one love Sea Island, Georgia, but alas they have grown too big for their britches and become a monstrous mega resort more suited to corporations than families (I haven't actually been yet, but from the pictures I have seen the Cloister has lost its intimacy- hopefully I’m wrong!)
I arrive Thursday morning, mom, dad and my niece Danielle is coming by car and will pull up around 4PM in time for cocktails. They show me to my room and I about pass out. It’s rotten! Green plaid carpet, blue plaid sofa, watercolor chintz curtains that look like they are from the $1 store and very low ceilings.
I look at my bellman and say, "This just wont do."
After a couple of calls I am escorted to an enormous room with yellow rose wallpaper, 12-foot ceilings and flooded with sunlight. I find a quaint vase of roses and a box of chocolates that read, "Happy Anniversary Mr. & Mrs. Alley". Ooops, guess they got the aforementioned crappy room. I promptly unpack and take the chocolates to reception. The flowers I keep, they are a nice touch with the wallpaper.
The hotel is going through a bit of a renaissance at the moment. Dorothy Draper revamped the interiors in 1948 and there was a retrospective on her going on at the City Museum of New York that recently closed. I caught it right before the trip and it was a great crash course in her and the hotel.
The Greenbrier is a bit of a compound with rows of old cottages in the back, a train depot turned Christmas shop in front and acres of golf and trails in the middle. It began as a place for people to take in the sulfur water from the spring. They were said to cure malaise and give the body a fresh start (this was before took daily baths). So like its cousins in Europe like Baden Baden and Bath, the Greenbrier became a great health retreat. After the war, when the hotel was used as a hospital, it needed a major face-lift. Enter Dorothy.
I think Mrs. Draper was part of an LSD experiment because her choice of color is simply outrageous. It’s amazing and shocking to the eye. Turquoise bold stripes, red and pink in the same room, emerald green carpets and chintz galore.
The weekend was one of the most restful of my life. Feasting on great food, dressing for dinner every night, racing Danielle in the indoor swimming pool, shopping in the cottages, exploring the antique stores in town and of course cocktailing.
Every night ended in the Olde White bar to listen to a warbly jazz mistress bop, whiz and bang through an array of standard favorites.
The highlight for me was a fantastic private ride through the mountains. Danielle and I signed up for horse back riding and it ended up being a group ride through the golf course. Boo.
The guide told me to sign up for a private tour and he would take me out for a real trek the next morning.
Is this my Brokeback fantasy come true?!
Alas no, but Danny was an excellent guide and great companion through the mountains. We cantered through the crunchy leaves half way up the mountain and took in the rolling hills and sunken treasure that is the Greenbrier. Cimarron, my horse was a great ride and I could of gone on for hours.
The trip was over before we knew it and it was time to bid the Greenbrier a fond farewell. Twas the perfect fete to fall.