SETTING THE SCENE

SETTING THE SCENE

When lifestyle expert Kimberly Schlegel Whitman creates, people take notice. Her elevated point of view is flawless. Here, Lance Avery Morgan gets up close and personal about her brand, ShopKSW, and how she inspires others so beautifully.

Photography by John Cain Sargent

When Kimberly Schlegel Whitman creates, people take notice. The author of eight books devoted to entertaining, she leads a beautiful life in Dallas with her husband, Justin Whitman (the son of 50s and 60s movie star Stuart Whitman) and their two children. The life she leads is the perfect subject for her tomes devoted to well, living the good life. Not only is she a genuinely warm and caring friend, she is an inspiration with her tips and insight on how we can all live our best life. A delight to be around for decades, it’s a treat to see her on-going success due to the robust efforts she gives to all she endeavors and triumphs doing. In an exclusive to Society Texas, get to know this dynamic woman in her own words…

ELEVATED P.O.V.

Lance Avery Morgan: Kim, I’ve known your great style as long as I’ve known you, for decades now–in fact, and you’ve always had great style. How did it all start?

Kimberly Schlegel Whitman: That is so sweet, but I’m not sure it is true. I know I have made style-mistakes before, but I like to try new things and experiment. I’m also “moody” in my style, so sometimes it changes. I’ve always been drawn to the classics…and I like to give them a little twist.

LAM: One thing that many other folks and I know is that your entire family has amazing style. How has that helped you hone your own stylish point of view?

KSW: This is what my next book is about–celebrating the things we learned from the women in our lives and thinking about how we incorporate those things into our entertaining and personal style in a modern way. We are featuring 25 women who embody this respect for tradition but have their own take on it.  For me, it was all about being bold and vivacious. My mother, as you know, doesn’t shy away from bright colors or dramatic statements in her fashion and in the way she decorates and entertains. She is always looking for fun, festive, new ways to celebrate, yet has a great appreciation for the traditions that are meaningful to her. I’m so lucky that she remains a strong influence on my family and me.

LAM: You’ve been such a successful, entertaining author, and a busy wife and mother. Tell me why you decided to move into tableware and home goods?

KW: I love setting the table, and I wanted to make it fun and easy for everyone. My book, Tablescapes, was my favorite one to write and style because I find setting the table so relaxing and joyful. I posted photos of my simple family tablescapes almost every day during the early parts of the pandemic. Although it felt frilly when there was so much going on in the world, it gave me comfort to be a little bit creative every day and set a place for my family to sit down together. It was a small part of the day that I could control when so much seemed out of control.

I received so many questions on my social media about table settings and people asking if I could help them coordinate something to match things they had or help them pick out something new. It dawned on me, with some nudging from my husband, Justin, that I could be selling my favorite curated items directly. That’s when I launched the digital platform, ShopKSW, to make it simple to find a curated tablescape that could be ordered, collected, and set easily. My favorite thing about the site is that I get so many messages from viewers who send me a photo of a set of china or glassware or linen they inherited, and we work on finding them additional pieces to give those antique treasures a fresh look.

TIMELY TRADITIONS

LAM: I love the heritage point of view you have incorporated, combining the older with the new. What are some of your personal favorite pieces?

KSW: Everything on ShopKSW is a favorite, or I wouldn’t have it on there!  I will say that when a set of Herend multi-colored Chinese Bouquet Dinner Plates was shipped off to a client in New Orleans, I was a little bit sad to say goodbye to them, so I immediately ordered more. I have always loved linens from D. Porthault, and I’m thrilled to be able to offer their unique products on the site. I’m also crazy about the traditional patterns such as Tobacco Leaf, Blue Canton, and Famille Verte by Mottahedeh. I love setting them in unexpected ways. The resurgence of Gio Ponti’s design for Ginori, Oriente Italiano, has been so exciting too. It is so much fun to set a table with all of those wonderful colors at my fingertips. I could go on and on about my favorites, but, actually, I love it all.

LAM: Your taste certainly reflects how you live on a daily basis. I always love seeing the beautiful environments you create for yourself and your family. What are some of your personal favorite tableware themes?

KSW: I always love a blue and white table. It reminds me of home and my mother’s blue and white breakfast room that I find so very comforting.

LAM: Beyond color, does tableware have a seasonal theme?

KSW: Absolutely. I think that cold, weary winters call for cozy and comforting settings while the vibrancy of spring calls for a vivid and colorful mix.

LAM: For spring, so our readers can be inspired by you even more, what are you loving most within your product line offerings?

KSW: This spring, I’m planning some tablescapes that all seem to have a lot of green, which represents new life. I think we all long for a colorful, joyful, and refreshed season ahead. I have quite a bit of Bordallo Pinhero’s Cabbage Leaf, Mottahedeh’s Famille Verte, and all of the vibrant colors from D. Porthault and Ginori 1735.

 

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SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE

LAM: I know you also love and offer vintage pieces. Tell me about the appeal of pieces that have a story behind them and why this is attractive to buyers?

KSW: We have a wonderful exclusive with Opaline Atelier, two Canadian artists who describe their pieces as re-enhanced glass. I love that word for vintage and antique pieces, re-enhanced. Whether they are altered, as Opaline Atelier does or simply set in a new way, I love that we can bring new life to items that were treasured by someone before. We have an exquisite collection of vintage Gucci, Hermes, and Dior on the site as well. They are so unique and special, and I am thrilled to be able to offer them. 

LAM: You really do offer an array of selections for anyone’s refined tastes. How do you source for new products to offer on your platform?

KSW: I only offer products that I do or would use, myself, so most of the products are from brands that I use regularly.  When I find something unique that I want to try, I always give it a test run before purchasing it for ShopKSW.

LAM: Do your travels inspire you? I recall you found some great pieces in Paris when we were there at the same time for Becca Cason Thrash’s American Friends of the Louvre gala.

KSW: Great memory, and yes, travel has always been an inspiration. When I was young, my parents took my siblings and me on a trip around the world.  We learned so much and met so many wonderful people along the way. Among other things, we saw how others entertained and dined in different parts of the world, and that was very inspiring to me. I am sure it shaped the way I love to entertain more than I realized it would, even as a child.

LAM: Never underestimate the power of a stylish child, I say. What advice would you give to any budding lifestyle expert, based on what you have learned so far?

KSW: Don’t be afraid to try something unique, and remember that there is so much to learn from traditions. I think a mix of the two is always best.

LAM: I know how important philanthropy is to you and your family.

KSW: Working with NorthPark Center on their incredible Ambassador Program has been such an honor for me.  The program has been an excellent way for NorthPark Center to make the most of its resources to help the community. As its chair for the last five years, I have had the privilege to work with so many inspiring community volunteers and non-profit professionals. Beyond the financial support that NorthPark Center often provides, there are so many other ways that they can lift up these worthy causes. From exhibitions in the shopping center to in-store events to hosting gatherings, the incredible team at NorthPark makes the most of the resources they are able to share.

This year, I also continue to serve on the Children’s Cancer Fund’s advisory board. We are working on ways to continue raising funds for support and research. As so many galas and fundraising events have been canceled, it is so heartwarming to see all of the creative ways that non-profits continue to meet the needs of their beneficiaries. I also am the owner, once again, of the RSVPCalendar.com. The previous owners returned the website to me in January of 2020, and I’m working on other ways to support the non-profits that we are designed to lift up through our blog and social media.

Plus, I am doing some corporate collaborations. The Kimberly Schlegel Whitman in collaboration with Antonio Melani for Dillard’s–the dress and footwear collaboration launched on May 14th.Then, there is the Kimberly Schlegel Whitman in collaboration with CasaMia. CasaMia curates tablescapes in a box. The is for a garden party and features the Bordallo Pinhiero plates.

LAM: Fantastic. Part of your entertaining finesse includes your cuisine that is such a crowd-pleaser. Any favorite recipes that you’d like to share?

KSW: I would be happy to share a couple. These have always been a success….

SIDEBAR: FROM KIM’S TABLE

Parties Around A Punch Bowl

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SAVORY TOMATO TART

I love to serve my guests comfort food, and this take on a tart is just that. I guess you could call it the cousin to a pizza, but the buttery and flaky phyllo dough makes it feel fancy!

1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 sheets phyllo dough
1/3 cup melted butter or olive oil,

For brushing
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese 1 cup grated Swiss cheese,

Divided
4 tomatoes, sliced 1 egg
1/4 cup milk
10 basil leaves

MAKES A 9 X 13-INCH TART

In a large skillet, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is translucent. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400° F. Layer the phyllo sheets flat in a jelly roll pan, brushing the top of each sheet with butter or olive oil. Sprinkle the mozzarella and Swiss cheeses over the pie crust, reserving 1/4 cup cheese. Next, spread on the onion and garlic mixture. Then place tomato slices side by side, covering the tart completely with tomatoes.

Whisk the egg and milk together and paint the edges of the tart with this mixture. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese over the tomatoes and bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove tart from the oven and sprinkle the basil leaves over the tart. Cut into mini squares.

TIPS:

  • This tart is extremely easy and very versatile. At the end of a long week, when you don’t know what to do with your leftover tomatoes, this tart is the perfect answer for a supper at home.
  • Don’t be afraid to try different cheeses if Swiss isn’t your favorite. • Use any variety of tomatoes with this tart.
  • For an alternative that is more pick-up friendly, try filling phyllo shells with the ingredients instead of layering phyllo sheets.

 

PINEAPPLE SPICE BARS

I have many happy recollections of my grandmothers opening Tupperware containers filled with a variety of “squares” that they would set out on beautiful silver trays or tiered tea stands. I had so many favorites and loved their small size and precise cuts because I knew that I could sample a few! For an adult party, the rum glaze is a scrumptious alternative.

3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup crushed pineapple 1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon salt

GLAZE:

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar 3 tablespoons milk
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

 

RUM GLAZE:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar 1/4 cup dark rum
Grated zest of 1 lemon

MAKES A 9 X 13-INCH PAN, OR THINNER BARS IN A JELLY ROLL PAN

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In a bowl, cream the sugar and shortening together. Stir in the crushed pineapple and molasses. Add the egg, beating well.

Mix the soda, spices, flour, and salt together in a separate bowl, then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. If your mixture appears too dry, add a scant amount of milk until just moistened. Spread batter into a
9 x 13-inch pan (for thicker bars) or a jelly roll pan (for thinner bites). Bake for 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from oven and let cool about 1 hour before glazing with one of the two options.

For the glaze, melt the butter, brown sugar, and milk together over medium heat, whisking constantly until mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla; whisk until smooth. Pour glaze over the cake, adjusting the thickness of the glaze by adding milk or confectioners’ sugar as needed.

For the rum glaze, mix all ingredients until you have a pourable glaze. Drizzle over the spice bars.

TIPS:

  • For an extra flavor of the islands, try adding 2 teaspoons of dark rum to the bar recipe along with the wet ingredients.
  • These bars are an easy transition into fall and Christmas if you substitute the pineapple for brown sugar.
  • We like our bars extra soft. For a firmer bar, bake a bit longer.
  • If you don’t have a strong sweet tooth, I recommend the thinner Rum Glaze alternative, which includes an extra kick.
  • Flowers stuck into a leafy pineapple top makes a festive decoration.
PLAYING ALL THE ANGLES

PLAYING ALL THE ANGLES

A stellar impression starts from the ground up, so why not make yours with the most colorful, pastel, and perfectly chic shoes that spring has to offer? Any heel height will do, because it’s all about a towering attitude as the weather turns warmer, according to our Lance Avery Morgan.

Belgian Crystal Embellished Slingback Sandal

Belgian Crystal Embellished Slingback Sandal, by Amina Muaddi, $1030. At Bergdorf Goodman

The Line Sandal, by Boettega Veneta, $930. At Bottega Veneta

The Line Sandal, by Boettega Veneta, $930. At Bottega Veneta

Lock and Key Sandal, by Ton Ford, $1150. At Tom Ford

Lock and Key Sandal, by Ton Ford, $1150. At Tom Ford

Rose Amelie Ankle Wrap Sandal, by Christian Louboutin, $995. At Neiman Marcus

Rose Amelie Ankle Wrap Sandal, by Christian Louboutin, $995. At Neiman Marcus

Hangisi Crystal Buckle Satin Flat, by Manolo Blahnik, $995. At Neiman Marcus

Hangisi Crystal Buckle Satin Flat, by Manolo Blahnik, $995. At Neiman Marcus

Patent Leather Buckle Wedge Sandal, Roger Vivier, $875. At Neiman Marcus

Patent Leather Buckle Wedge Sandal, Roger Vivier, $875. At Neiman Marcus

Flower Halter Kitten Heel, By Prada, $995. At Neiman Marcus

Flower Halter Kitten Heel, By Prada, $995. At Neiman Marcus

Satin sandal, by Rene Caovilla, $980. At Saks Fifth Avenue

Satin sandal, by Rene Caovilla, $980. At Saks Fifth Avenue

Basette Pearly Stud Napa Flat, by Jimmy Choo, $675. At Jimmy Choo.jpg

Basette Pearly Stud Napa Flat, by Jimmy Choo, $675. At Jimmy Choo.jpg

Karma Crystal Ankle Wrap Sanda, by Amina Muaddi, $1345. Bergdorf Goodman

Karma Crystal Ankle Wrap Sanda, by Amina Muaddi, $1345. Bergdorf Goodman

Promenade Sandal, by Fendi, $850. At Fendi

Promenade Sandal, by Fendi, $850. At Fendi

Turqouise Tulle Satin Colibri Slingbacks, by Fendi, $980. At Fendi

Turqouise Tulle Satin Colibri Slingbacks, by Fendi, $980. At Fendi

Net Ankle Tie Pumps, by Bottega Veneta, $930. At Bottega Veneta

Net Ankle Tie Pumps, by Bottega Veneta, $930. At Bottega Veneta

YSL Opyum Sandal. $1150, by Saint Laurent. At Saint Laurent

YSL Opyum Sandal. $1150, by Saint Laurent. At Saint Laurent

A LOVE MATCH

A LOVE MATCH

Meredith Bond And Matthew Taylor McCord Wed In Fort Worth

By Natalie Bond Bloomingdale

Photography by Stephen Karlisch

As girls, of course, my sister and I would dream of walking down the aisle in a big white gown, so it was sensational to see my sister’s dreams come true as wedding bells rang for the Vernon girl and her Dallas boy when Meredith Bond became the bride of Matthew Taylor McCord in Fort Worth. The couple has their mothers to thank for their introduction. Pamela Bond, our mother, and Susan McCord, the future groom’s mother, play tennis together in Wichita Falls and were relentless in the set-up. Matt agreed to meet Meredith one morning for breakfast and a tour of Vernon, our hometown,  and then…the rest was like a fairytale. The proposal was also sporting. “After we landed in the Faroe Islands together, the first place I wanted to see was the waterfall at Gasadalur,” said the bride, Meredith McCord. “After taking quite a few photos, it was time to leave as the sun was setting–and Matt seemed in a pensive state. Looking back, I know he was wondering if this was the right spot to propose. I wasn’t expecting it to happen on this trip, so it was a wonderful surprise when he popped the question.”  

Following the engagement and pre-nuptial events all across Texas, including a rehearsal dinner hosted by the McCords for family, friends, and out of town guests at the Clay Pigeon restaurant (the site of one of the couple’s  first dates), the wedding ceremony took place at the First Presbyterian Church of Fort Worth. On the big day, Meredith wore a strapless white silk Mikado dress designed by Nardos Imam, a Dallas-based dressmaker. Attached to her garden-style bouquet of white O’Hara roses, lilac, cream peonies, and white lisianthus was a silver and diamond lavaliere, a family heirloom on our mother’s side. She wore diamond earrings as the something borrowed from me, and for something blue, she carried a small handkerchief with a blue monogram, a gift from our sister-in-law, Meredith Louise Bond. 

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The bridesmaids wore formal black gowns, adorned with matching gold and pearl earrings by San Antonio-based jewelry designer Nicola Bathie, a gift from the bride. I served as a matron of honor, of course. Her bridesmaids were: Catherine Elizabeth Almeida of Prosper, Texas, Meredith Louise Bond, sister-in-law of the bride of Dallas, Katie Diane Braddock of Yulee, Florida, Meghan Brooke Goddin of Austin, the sister of the bridegroom, Anna Renee Hoppe of Yukon, Oklahoma, Leigh Dodson King of Fort Worth, and Kristen Payne Polito, of San Antonio. 

Serving as the best man for the ceremony was Byron Parker Chaddick of Midland. The groomsmen were:  Shelby Henry Carter of Aspen, Colorado, Joseph Blake Garret of Huntington Beach, California, Mason Albert Schwarz of Austin, Maddox Morgan Womble of Dallas, and Stephen Tyler Goree, Christian Michel Patry, and Chipman Russell Seale, all of Midland. The ushers for the ceremony were: James Alfred Bloomingdale of Los Angeles, the brother-in-law of the bride, William Blaine Bond of Dallas,, the brother of the bride, Cristopher Holt Conger of San Antonio, Chase Tiernan Conway of Dallas, Chris Hopkins Goddin, of Austin, the brother-in-law of the bridegroom, Thomas Chandler Isbell of Tucson, Arizona, Brandon Stephen McCord of Metairie, Louisiana, a cousin of the bridegroom, Michael Caleb McCrea of Fredericksburg, and Winston Steel Kelly and Blake Winfield Braun, both of Midland.

After the ceremony, the grand reception was held at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Guests were greeted by a saxophonist at the entrance, where they were encouraged to sign a large pictorial book of the Faroe Islands. A jazz combo in the Modern Museum of Art Café and Terrace Courtyard serenaded the arriving guests.

Upon the newlywed’s arrival, the guests were ushered into the grand lobby of the museum, where a proliferation of floral décor in neutral hues greeted them for a seated dinner. Then, the white acrylic dance floor was waiting for the guests to continue the merriment with Blind Date of Austin, the band for the affair.  They played Stand by Me as the new couple was introduced and danced their first dance.

After dinner, dancing, and the cutting of the five-tiered candlelight-colored cake, the newlyweds exited the reception in a classic 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air sedan through a line of guests throwing white rose petals and sharing warm wishes for the future. “I was so pleased with the way Gro Designs, our event design and planning team, took my vision and transformed the Modern into such a beautiful space,” said Meredith McCord.

Meredith graduated from Texas Christian University and obtained her master’s degree from Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth. She is now a licensed professional counselor. Matt, a cum laude graduate at Saint Edward’s University in Austin, is an oil and gas landman in Midland. The couple’s tropical paradise honeymoon was in the French Polynesian Islands of Tahiti, Moorea, Le Taha’a, and Bora Bora. They now reside in Midland.

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BLOSSOM FORTH

BLOSSOM FORTH

With winter about to kick into high gear, we’ve mixed our favorite purses with some of the flowers that inspire us most. The outcome? Everything’s coming up roses, and more, in this season’s most desirous statement bags, according to our fashion forward-thinking Alexandra del Lago

COSMOPOLITAN LIVES

COSMOPOLITAN LIVES

Fall has never looked so luxurious, has it? We’re wide-eyed with optimism as we venture out again into the world, with these fresh looks, as well as some familiar favorites, will have you feeling warm all over as the temperature dips. These are some of the runway collection favorites, according to our fashion arbiter Jake Gaines, as you hit the town.

COURTING GLAMOUR

COURTING GLAMOUR

Palm Beach’s Brazilian Court Hotel offers the perfect celebrity-style getaway with old school Hollywood glam, according to our fun seeker, Rob Giardinelli.

Photography courtesy of Brazilian Court, author’s archive

There is so much to love about the Brazilian Court Hotel, located in the heart of charming Palm Beach. It’s one of the East Coast’s premier, five-star destinations…a beautiful boutique hotel that offers luxury mixed in with Old Hollywood glamour. Founded in 1926, and restored to its original Roaring 20’s elegance, this 80-room resort is the perfect destination for a host of luxe activities ranging from quick, ritzy getaways to weddings for a hundred guests or so. Best of all, it is a place where you can unplug and recharge…without the jetlag. Yes, JetSet without the jetlag.

The great thing about Palm Beach is that it is easily accessible from the four largest cities in Texas. While Dallas and Houston residents can fly into Palm Beach directly, Austin and San Antonio residents can fly to Ft. Lauderdale, as we did via a quick two-hour flight on JetBlue from Austin. Leaving no detail unturned, the team at the Brazilian Court arranged, after we landed, to have for Go Rentals, a luxury car rental company to have our car waiting with an attendant outside arrivals.  Popping into our luxury SUV, we jetted up I-95, and in about 45 minutes, we were arrived at the famed Brazilian Court.

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JAZZ AGE REDUX

Located in a residential neighborhood, we pulled into the Brazilian Court’s porte-cochère, which had the feeling of pulling into a grand Jazz Age estate, and we were promptly greeted by the valet and escorted inside to check-in. The staff, friendly and attentive, offered a series of can’t-miss recommendations that we tried out during our stay.

The porter escorted us through a stunning, leafy outdoor courtyard to our room. As we walked through the halls, we saw miles of walls adorned with vintage photos of celebrities who frequented these halls from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Our accommodations were a chic, bungalow-style room, with a massive private terrace to enjoy the beautiful weather.

After unpacking, famished, we strolled two blocks for dinner at Renato’s. It was an authentic Italian restaurant with an alfresco patio that reminded me of the delectable meals I had on my honeymoon in Rome and Venice…with the Risotto all’Aragosta being a highlight. Overhearing someone from another table mention there was a gelato place next door; we dropped into Piccolo Gelato for a light, refreshing dessert.

Against the backdrop of year ‘round picturesque weather, we savored our sweet treat as we walked to Buccan for a night-cap. An outstanding restaurant in its own right, our concierge, had recommended Buccan as the place where people in Palm Beach go to see and be seen whether it be for dinner or drinks. In the crowded and lively bar, we found two seats from another couple who finished grabbing a late supper and we toasted our first night in Palm Beach with a delectable Buccan T martini and smoked jalapeno margarita.

After a splendid night’s sleep in a king-sized bed with luxe linens, I woke up the next morning, foregoing breakfast and taking advantage of the Brazilian Court Fitness Center to burn off those calories from the night before. The gym, located in a building across the street from the main hotel, has everything you need to stay fit with treadmills, elliptical machines, free weights and medicine balls.

After my workout, we took a tour of this grand hotel with Ian Black, the director of sales and marketing. In touring the space, we learned more about the hotel’s incredible history. Designed by the legendary architect, Osario Candella, the Spanish-style resort is built through not one, but two courtyards–one built upon completion of the original hotel in 1926 and a second one added in 1936.

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WORTH IT

The current owners purchased the property in 2002 and set out to restore the hotel to its original grandeur, with some of the rooms maintaining a true 20’s authenticity. In fact, there are even USB-free room options available for those who truly want to unplug and get away from it all, just like the celebrities who frequented the hotel during the 1920s and 1930s.

Many of the suites are aptly named for the plethora of celebrities that occupied them, including: Katherine Hepburn, Fred Astaire, Douglas Fairbanks and Texas-born Joan Crawford, just to name a few. The main reason celebrities and notables frequent the Brazilian Court, then and now, is its close proximity to the action of the main attractions of Palm Beach such as tony Worth Avenue and The Breakers, yet it is far enough away from everything for notables to slip in and out undetected.

After our tour, we strolled down to Worth Avenue, the world-renowned shopping district of Palm Beach. First, everyone is beautifully dressed in brightly-hued colors year ‘round. Second, that attention to detail is evident everywhere in Palm Beach. Located only three blocks from the Brazilian Court, we did some window shopping at many of the luxury brands, including Gucci, Neiman Marcus, Tiffany, and Salvatore Ferragamo before finding a bite for lunch at Ta-boo. Known as the power-lunch place of Palm Beach, we saw that the much-coveted window-front table was available and popped into the restaurant to dine.

The window-front table proved to be the perfect spot to people watch as the chic shoppers strolled up and down Worth Avenue, among them a legendary, Academy AwardÒ-winning actor from the British Isles. While there, we enjoyed the mussel frites and Cobb salad, each the perfect mid-day bite to keep us going. After lunch, we headed back to the hotel for an afternoon of pool-side lounging and siesta while the gentle breeze of the palm trees swayed overhead. There are so many characters who stay at this hotel that eavesdropping the varied conversations of fellow guests is a true pastime here. During the afternoon, the hotel staff arranged for a treatment at the Brazilian Court Salon, where I was treated to my first, and very best, mani-pedi.

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DINING DELUXE

We ended the day staying at The Brazilian Court and dined at Café Boulud, the award-winning restaurant of celebrity chef Daniel Boulud. A mainstay in the Palm Beach dining scene since 2003, with additional locations in New York and Toronto, it would impress the most delicate of palettes. 

Opting for a table alfresco to take advantage of the picturesque evening, we enjoyed the five-course tasting menu and wine pairing. The tasting menu, which changes seasonally, offered red pepper risotto and one of my favorite fish dishes, pan-seared grouper. The meal was capped off with the most delectable dessert I have ever experienced at any restaurant, a transcendent grapefruit sorbet, which served as the perfect palate cleanser to an absolutely delectable meal.

Waking up early on our final morning in Palm Beach, we decided to walk to Ocean Drive and up and down the blocks of estates along the Atlantic Ocean for which Palm Beach is famous. Walking down street after street of the eight-figure Gatsby-eque homes, we could see  Old Hollywood influences in many of the homes, which had a Beverly Hills vibe and made me wonder how many of the stars of yesteryear stumbled from the estates’ parties to the Brazilian Court after a night of revelry.

Before taking off for the airport, we decided to grab a final bite at Surfside Diner. Located just a block from the Brazilian Court, it is a small, chic space with an old-style u-shaped counter in the middle. If you want to see a place that offers a slice of what life in Palm Beach is like among the locals, this is the place to go. We saw the proprietor engaging with regulars from 8 to 88, giving each guest the white-glove treatment for which Palm Beach is known.

After our meal, we bid adieu to Palm Beach, where our 48-hours felt like a week. So, the next time you are looking for a quick getaway from Texas to a beautiful, intimate and familiar resort, you must check out the Brazilian Court for a wonderful experience. I cannot wait for my next visit to this paradise.