FLORAL AMBIENCE

FLORAL AMBIENCE

San Antonio Botanical Shines With Stunning Al Fresco Gala 

By Jake Gaines   Photography by Greg Harrison

THE SETTING: Over 500 guests in fashionable floral and garden-inspired attire enjoyed a beautiful breezy evening at the San Antonio Botanical Garden for its annual Splendor in The Garden gala. The décor, living walking florals, by Artisan Oddities was a delight to behold. The floral, ribbon decor, and sparkling tree lights by Trinity Flowers’ Danny Cuellar, Danesa Woehrle, and Alex Woehrle were a feast for the eyes.

 

THE STYLE: The gala was a wandering affair through the San Antonio Botanical Garden as guests were serenaded by Carlos’ Guitar. Greeted by butterfly ballerinas, attendees strolled down the promenade to the iconic Lucile Halsell Conservatory Courtyard for the cocktail hour featuring live music, butterfly ballet vignettes, and delicious hors d’oeuvres. As the sun was setting, guests were escorted to the Greehey Lawn, set ablaze in twinkling tree lights. The beautiful new space is ringed with a massive canopy of oak and cypress trees. The seated dinner consisted of 68 beautifully adorned tables at which a gourmet meal was served. Following a Ballet Conservatory of South Texas performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, complete with glowing butterfly wings, guests heard remarks from San Antonio Botanical Garden Board of Directors’ President Karen Greenwood, Mayor Ron Nirenburg, Botanical Garden CEO Sabina Carr, and Event Chair Susan Shown Todd. The afterparty in the Betty Kelso Center had guests dancing to DJ Catwalk’s beats into the night.

 

THE PURPOSE: The record-breaking signature fundraising event raised nearly half a million dollars to support the San Antonio Botanical Garden. The mission of the organization is to enrich lives through plants and nature. One way the Garden does that is by connecting more than 60,000 children to the natural world by funding educational programs throughout the year. Programs include Little Sprouts, Terrarium Ecosystem, Early Childhood Lifecycles, the Children’s Vegetable Garden, summer camps, culinary health and wellness, drop-in programming, and the Family Adventure Garden.

THE STARS ARE BRIGHT

THE STARS ARE BRIGHT

Stars In Recovery Gala Celebrates With Music

By Cynthia Smoot Photography by Thomas Garza Photography

THE SETTING:  The 33rd Annual Jim Bradshaw Memorial Stars in Recovery event featuring the legendary Ray Wylie Hubbard took place at Artspace111 in Fort Worth, with pandemic protocol in place and hundreds more watching virtually. Upon entering the venue, guests browsed the silent auction items while enjoying a stripped-down performance from local musician Rachel Stacy. 

THE STYLE: Once inside the reception hall, Event Chair Shauna Jenkins welcomed attendees and brought Recovery Resource Council CEO, Eric Niedermayer and Board of Directors Chair, Maureen Maidlow to the stage to share new findings of how alcoholism and drug addiction are impacting the North Texas community. Hubbard had the audience chuckling with his many anecdotes and stories. It was an exciting surprise when Hubbard treated guests to a song and closed the show by singing, The Messenger.

THE PURPOSE:  This year, the council celebrates 75 years of service to North Texas as the gateway to health and wellness for individuals and families seeking help with substance use disorders and mental health issues.

TURBO STYLE

TURBO STYLE

With a high-performance vehicle like the McLaren 720S Spider, something special is in store that unleashes on the road, according to our luxe automotive expert, Michael Satterfield of The Gentleman Racer.com.

By Michael Satterfield Photography courtesy of The Gentleman Racer

WHEELS UP…ON THE GROUND

Sliding behind the wheel of the McLaren 720S Spider is an event, with its futuristic gauge cluster, electrochromic roof, and panel of switches and screens, one feels like they just climbed into something more akin to a fighter jet than a car. A push of the start button brings the 710-horsepower twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 screaming to life, and with the push of another button, you lower the retractable hardtop.

 

With the top open, the sound gets even better. It isn’t the loud burble you would expect from a V8 or the high pitch whine of some supercars, but it’s a smooth rumble that feels more mature than, say, the howl of a Lamborghini. According to McLaren, the 720S will do 0-60 in 2.9 seconds, with a top speed of 212 mph. While those numbers may sound exhilarating, the 720S Spider manages to feel relatively normal to drive. In fact, the power comes on smoothly, so it is easy to find yourself doing triple-digit speeds quickly. Once you glance down at the speedometer and realize you need to slow down, a set of massive carbon-ceramic brakes and sticky Pirelli P Zero tires help bring everything back under control.

 

In today’s world of 1,000+ horsepower muscle cars, 710 hp may not sound that impressive, yet McLaren has decided to focus more on weight and balance than just adding horsepower into their cars. Thanks to their carbon fiber chassis, the 720S Spider comes in just 2,937 pounds dry, making it 83 pounds lighter than the 650S Spider and just 109 pounds heavier than the 720S Coupe. Because of this focus on weight reduction, a fully equipped McLaren Spider is still lighter than the stripped-down versions of Italian supercars.

 

EXPERIENCING THE ROAD

To really get the most out of the 720S Spider, you might want to sign up for the Pure McLaren Experience, hosted in the US at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin. Not only do you get to drive the same track as the McLaren Formula 1 team, but you can also get a ride-along with pro drivers who will show you the limits of what a McLaren can do in the hands of a professional.

 

If a track day isn’t in the cards, the Twisted Sisters is a great place to take a car like the 720S. Made up of Ranch Roads 337, 335, and 336, the entire loop is around 100 miles and starts and ends in the small town of Leakey, Texas. The Sisters follow the canyons and hills through a series of tight twisty turns and provide some amazing views but stay focused on the road…since it is one of the most technical drives you’ll find in Texas. Pushing it in the canyons, you really feel how well balanced the car is and how every part of it is built to perform.

 

Returning to civilization means traffic, potholes, and parking lots, but the 720S Spider settles down and becomes as drivable as any other car. In comfort mode, its quiet, smooth, front-end lift, and 360-degree backup camera, makes navigating parking spots worry-free. The only weak point is the McLaren 720S’s infotainment and navigation system takes some getting used to.

 

Being an exotic, it’s how normal it feels that makes the 720S Spider so good. It’s easy to drive, enter, and exit, the controls are intuitive, the trunk space is surprisingly large, and the dihedral doors open in less space than most standard cars. But with a flick of the switch, the instrument cluster lowers, the car tightens, and over fifty years of racing heritage is unleashed, and just like that, you’re behind the wheel of a truly spectacular supercar.

 

The 720S Spider also has one other thing going for it. Something that McLaren hasn’t always been known for…it’s actually pretty. While function always overtakes form, the McLaren 720S is one of their most elegant cars, and taking the top off makes it even better. Starting at $315,000, the 720S Spider is delivering significant value in the topless supercar space. With the new Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Roadster coming in at over $573,000 and a Ferrari 488 Pista Spider starting at over $350,000, the McLaren is the best deal for a very, very fast car with no top.

ALL THAT GLITTERS

ALL THAT GLITTERS

The best new books to give and receive? Look no further than these impeccably enticing choices that are perfect for any time of the year, according to our bibliophile, Lance Avery Morgan

CHARLOTTE MOSS FLOWERS

BULGARI MAGNIFICA: THE POWER WOMEN HOLD


By Tina Leung

Now marks the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the fabled jewelry house…with energy, impact, and daring creativity. Bulgari’s collection includes outstanding pieces of jewelry made at the height of creativity and artisanship and conveyed through expertise and craftsmanship.

$95. At RizzoliUSA.com.

SHOEMAKER OF DREAMS: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF SALVATORE FERRAGAMO

By Salvatore Ferragamo

This book traces Ferragamo’s origins as a village shoemaker to founding what would become a major global fashion brand. Charming and insightful, it also includes a thrilling series of encounters with Hollywood stars and notable global names.

$30. At RizzoliUSA.com.

DESIGNING INTERIORS
THE BEAUTY BRIEF

FACE TIME: A HISTORY OF THE PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAIT

By Phillip Prodger

With intimate personal portraits for storytelling, photographic portraiture has always served a number of functions. With a fresh and entertaining approach, here’s a history of the art form, examining many modes of portraiture—fine art photography, fashion, anthropology, narrative, street, and selfies.

$45. At ThamesAndHudsonUSA.com.

SAPPHIRE: A CELEBRATION OF COLOR

By Joanna Hardy

Showcasing sixty of the world’s most significant and renowned pieces of sapphire jewelry and artifacts, as well as many previously unseen designs, this features a stunning array of style icons wearing their favorite sapphire jewelry, including pieces from iconic jewelry houses.

$125. At ThamesAndHudson.com.

INVITING INTERIORS
FASHION IN THE 90S

AMERICAN COWBOYS

By Anouk Krantz

This tome showcases an incredible journey from an outsider’s perspective into the private world of the American cowboy. Real people and real stories, here is a remarkable and inspiring collection of pages where Krantz’s subjects come together to share their lives and celebrate the nation’s classic cowboy culture.

$80. At Amazon.com.

HERE WE GO, LOOP DE LOOP

By William Jack Sibley

Sibley’s third book is a vividly drawn, often very funny tale set in the fictional small Texas town of Rita Blanca that only a fifth-generation Texan could write. The book focuses on three ranching families whose lives are intertwined, all of which are at a point of transition. And, of course, trouble ensues.

$19.99. At BarnesAndNoble.com.

MID-CENTURY TRIM WHITE BORDER
ISLAND WHIMSY

THE UNITED STATES OF FASHION: A NEW ATLAS OF AMERICAN STYLE

By The Editors of Vogue

This celebrates the creators, artisans, and visionaries across the country while paying tribute to the democratization of American fashion. Organized by region and providing additional context for the designers and craftspeople featured, it’s a look at sustainable fashion for now and beyond.

$45. At RizzoliUSA.com.

MOVIE THEATERS: THE METAMORPHOSIS OF AMERICAN CINEMAS

By Yves Marchand, Romain Meffre and Ross Melnick

They are in every American city and town—grandiose movie palaces constructed during the golden age of the entertainment industry that now stand abandoned, empty, decaying, or repurposed. This significant new project poignantly eulogizes and celebrates the tattered remains of hundreds of movie theaters across America.

$80. At PrestalPublishing.com.

STAMPS STAMPS
ISLAND WHIMSY

CONTEMPORARY HOUSE INDIA

By Rob Gregory

Explore some of the most innovative, ambitious, and beautiful houses on the Indian subcontinent in the context of the country’s varied landscapes, climates, and historical influences. This book has remarkable insights into residences built by an array of leading and up-and-coming architects with plans that highlight the features of each project.

$75. At ThamesAndHudsonUSA.com.

THE MONOCLE BOOK OF ENTREPRENEURS

By The Editors of Monocle

Featuring advice from 50 experts and profiling an array of people running enterprises on every scale, the inspirational tales in this volume provide readers with insights into entrepreneurship.

$50. At ThamesAndHudsonUSA.com.

STAMPS STAMPS

WELL, HELLO YOU

WELL, HELLO YOU

With the holidays upon us, we’re ready to ignite the spirit of the season. Filled with family, friends, gifts galore, and plenty of memorable fun times ahead, join us as we bring you the best of the very best to enrich your days and nights.

Rembrandt Dress by Greta Constantine. Exclusively at The SIL, founded by Texas native Natalie Bond Bloomingdale. Made to order. $1,895. At ShopTheSIL.com.  

SEASONS’ EATINGS

SEASONS’ EATINGS

With the whirlwind holiday season upon us, we wonder how we’re going to enjoy all the new culinary offerings in the state. Leave it to our editors Lance Avery Morgan (Austin), Cynthia Smoot (Dallas), Jennifer Roosth in Houston, and Alexandra del Lago (San Antonio), to recommend the best of the newest. 

AUSTIN

So Well Done Austin Salad

LET’S GO HIGHER

Higher Ground is Austin’s newest social club catering to elevated souls with enlightened spirits. The new multi-level venue is a place to dance the night away and a house of worship to culinary delights and designer cocktails. Our favorite part? Beyond all the stained glass, we love the DJ booth that resides in a former pipe organ.

At HigherGroundATX.com.

The Lolo Austin Texas wine bar

SOHO ON SOCO

The new SoHo House on South Congress is the only SoHo in Texas. Taking its cue from the region’s art and environment, it’s an option for the creative types and those who love them. The clubby menu for cuisine and cocktails is exactly what you’d expect, and it’s perfect for lighter fare. We love the rooftop pool with a view of downtown and that it’s also a hotel.

At SoHoHouse.com.

Rebel Cheese Austin Texas

MOD MEX

Comedor (Spanish for dining room) is a new and elevated Mexican cuisine experience. The chic space in downtown Austin offers a pleasant vibe as well as superior Latin food. Famous for its fusion of spices, the menu offers many choices for any palate.

At ComedorTX.com.

DALLAS

pastry from La Tarte Tropézienne  dallas texas

ADVANCED MIXOLOGY

Experience worldly fare and craft cocktails at Milkshake Concepts’ striking new restaurant, Harper’s. The 7,655-square-foot restaurant features an alluring atmosphere and gourmet cuisine. With its top-notch culinary and mixology talent and vibrant ambiance, Harper’s was designed to stand out.

At HarpersDallas.com.

Georgie Dallas Restaurant

STEAK SUPERIOR

Dakota’s Steakhouse has been a downtown Dallas dining icon for over 37 years. This cool oasis is complete with a 20 foot, 5-tiered granite water wall, multi-tiered landscaping, lava rock fire pit, and black granite bar. The new below-ground patio has long been considered one of the city’s most romantic dining spots.

At DakotasRestaurant.com

Food from Rise & Thyme Dallas tTexas

WELL, HAY THERE

Haywire recently opened a second location nestled in Uptown. The concept offers guests delicious farm-to-table recipes and signature Texas dishes with southern favorites like fried chicken steaks and whiskey BBQ ribs to craft beers and a Texas-sized whiskey list. Pro tip: If you have six or more in your party, ask to be seated in the custom Shasta trailer on the spacious patio.

At HaywireRestaurant.com.

HOUSTON

Bottled Blonde Pizzeria + Bier Garden

ALL DAY & ALL NIGHT

The EaDo-style mega clubs, Sekai Nightclub and Dayclub and Wyld Child, both by Sekai Hospitality, offer an immersive, festival-like feeling of sights and sounds that will envelop guests in the largest indoor/outdoor space of its kind in the city. Its unrivaled and unforgettable guest experiences, paired with exceptional service, in dynamic, one-of-a-kind environments and locations are throughout Houston.

At SekaiHospitality.com.

Chocolate Crepe Sweet Paris Crêperie & Café

TULUM, TX

The new Casa Nomad is nestled in an intimate patio setting decked out in tropical and Tulum-worthy finishes. The concept sports a sultry-chic vibe and will feature music in the “jungle disco” style from the sand-covered streets of Tulum. Located in the Heights, join family and friends to enjoy delicious food and unique cocktails, then sit back to enjoy live music on the lawn or take in an on-site event.

At CasaNomadHTX.com.

Adair Restaurant Houston

CATCH THE 915

Lovers of new Mexican fare unite. The 915 (a nod to El Paso’s area code) brings a taste of El Paso to the Heights by serving up innovative south-of-the-border specialties. Most popular is surely the red chile enchiladas, green flautas ahogadas, brisket-stuffed flautas a la Chuco, and the nachos Montados.

At Facebook.com/The915HTX.

SAN ANTONIO

Salad from Jardin San Antonio

OYSTER’S BAY

From a dream formed while dining on oysters in Paris, voilà, the concept was born for Little Em’s Oyster Bar. With a wide array of both seafood and other delicious fares, the Dressed Oysters, with caviar, crème fraiche, and champagne, is a favorite on the varied menu.

At LittleEmsOysterBar.com.

Los Azulejos San Antonio

OH, MY DARLIN’

We love that Clementine is a family-owned, neighborhood restaurant serving up seasonal eats inspired by global flavors…in a casual setting. The New Orleans-inspired cuisine contains an array of seasonally fresh flavors and unique plates. The decadent desserts will spoil your taste buds.

At Clementine-SA.com.

Sandwich Best Quality Daughter San Antonio

CLASSIC CUISINE

Old school culinary techniques meet farm-to-table best describes Restaurant Gwendolyn. Its unique old-school approach includes an 1850s inspired menu…and no electric tools are used in the kitchen. A classic in the city, it’s a treat for both large groups and more intimate gatherings.

At RestaurantGwendolyn.com.