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FAREWELL CAPE MAY

James Andrew, Cape May

James Andrew, Cape May

In addition to studying the incredible architecture on Cape May, there are many other amusing diversions to be had, including visiting the splendid lighthouse, hiking nature trails, bird watching, walking the sublime beaches, and of course hitting a few of Cape May’s divine dining establishments. In particular, I would suggest stopping at the legendary Lobster House which is really like five restaurants put together. We had a superb lobster luncheon there served al fresco aboard the Schooner “American.”

I’d also suggest Chef Lucas Manteca’a Red Store. Manteca – a James Beard nominee – serves seasonal cuisine with a South American flair inspired by his Argentinian heritage. It is the ultimate in organic farm-to-table cuisine. They actually grow their own organic produce for the restaurant at the Fincas del Mar seaside farms. Manteca (a gorgeous surfer-type) has a rather impressive resume having worked with the likes of Alain Ducasse and David Bouley in New York City.

For the most fabulous farewell Cape May dinner we gathered chic friends to dine at the Peter Shields Inn. The set in the most glorious Georgian Revival mansion built by Peter Shields who had great plans to reclaim Cape May’s former glory in an effort to halt the mass exodus to Newport. He aspired to build a seaside resort to rival what was then happening in Newport. In addition, Shields commissioned Philadelphia architect Lloyd Titus to design a summer cottage for his family with the same level of grandeur. Sadly, Shields lost his son in a boating accident, and subsequently gave up his grand plans for Cape May…and like many others at the time, he moved to Newport.

Peter Shields Georgeian Revival Cape May Mansion

Peter Shields Georgeian Revival Cape May Mansion (Click to enlarge).

The Peter Shields Inn serves sensational seasonal cuisine. Like many places in Cape May, one brings one’s own liquor, so if you’re planning a visit, do stock up on rosé. The food and service is stellar (though sadly I cannot say the same about the decor which was rather plain and commercial, but as you know, I am a bit particular about these things. I do feel that it is a missed opportunity to capitalize on this beautiful setting.

Cape May Light House

The Cape May Light House

Cape May Lighthouse out building.

Cape May Lighthouse out building.

I’m pictured enjoying one of the many glasses of chilled rosé we had on the porch, and bringing a bit of my own brand of chic to Cape May! I’m wearing a Tom Ford pink silk “Spencer” jacket, white cotton shirt with French cuffs, pink and green silk madras plaid pants, black and white silk pocket square, ivory suede loafers, vintage Rolex, a set of moonstone cuff links, and my fragrance is Creed Original Cologne.

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A WEEKEND ON CAPE MAY

James Andrew on Cape May

James Andrew on Cape May

It seems I’m becoming something of a professional house guest, and with quite a few recent invitations, I’ve been very pleased to spend some wonderful weekends out of town.

Speaking of which, I had the most delightful stay in Cape May, New Jersey, this weekend. My super chic friends Mark Alden Lukas and his partner Edward Celata were our most gracious hosts.

Lukas has been summering on Cape May for all of his life and has become, as you might imagine, an authority on all things having to do with the place, including its rich architectural heritage! In fact, he himself acquired a glorious Gothic Revival house that was transformed into a Colonial Revival in 1904. Lukas has been lovingly and painstakingly restoring the house to its original splendor and beyond.

During my stay, Lukas treated me to the most terrific architectural tour. The story goes that in the late 1880s, Cape May went out of fashion, and people took to Newport and Atlantic City instead. As a result, Cape May basically fell asleep for almost 100 years. A massive 1940s hurricane and another in the 60s destroyed much of what once stood on the beach front, but for the most part the town is a snapshot frozen in time. During its hay day, the people of Cape May indulged themselves with all the fashionable and important architects, and subsequently there is a really fantastic diversity of architectural styles to see.

Gallagher House in the Second Empire style

Gallagher House in the Second Empire style

Cherry House in the late Federal Style c. 1840s

Cherry House in the late Federal Style c. 1840s

Physick Estate, Stick style, 1879. Attributed to Frank Furness

Physick Estate, Stick style, 1879. Attributed to Frank Furness

A lovely little folly.

A lovely little folly.

I’m pictured in front of the Mainstay Inn. It’s a bracketed American Villa style building originally built in the 1870s (and known then as Jackson’s Clubhouse, a gambling hall and gentlemen’s club). For a morning of touring, I’m sporting a straw hat from India Hicks’ chic Harbour Island shop- The Sugar Mill, a YSL black cotton poplin safari style shirt, Tom Ford black linen sateen pant, Ralph Lauren black alligator belt with sterling buckle and Louboutin black leather sandal/espadrilles, vintage Rolex, and my fragrance is Creed Orange Spice.

Needless to say, after our tour, it was off to lounge on the beach and sip a few bottles of very chilled rosé.

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FREDERICK P VICTORIA FLOOR MODEL SALE

James Andrew at Frederick P Victoria

James Andrew at Frederick P Victoria

No doubt, many of you are familiar with the genius that is Fredrick P. Victoria. Since the 1930′s they have played a rather important role in defining what is chic in the interior design industry. I became an instant fan from the moment my mentor Albert Hadley took me to their ravishing gallery on East 55th Street many years ago. The selection of both vintage and bespoke possibilities there have always been quite endless.

I recently paid a visit to my exquisite friends Tony and Freddy Victoria there to see what beauties I might add to both my own and my clients’ collections. I’m always able to find something, as they have an almost overwhelming selection of objects, and in every style imaginable! Their atelier is now located in Long Island City, and a preview of their current floor model sale can be found of the fabulous Peak of Chic site or visit F.P. Victoria’s Floor Model Sale. Of course, one doesn’t really need an excuse to visit and peruse their incredible treasure trove – it is always worth a trip for the inspiration alone. All this being said, I urge you to take advantage of some of the remarkable bargains you’ll find at the wondrous Frederick P. Victoria, and prepare yourself to be delighted!

Spending a sublime afternoon with the Victorias, I’m sporting a Tom Ford era Gucci white linen jacket, linen plaid shirt in turquoise and lavender and black leather tasseled loafers, Tom Ford lavender silk mini herringbone weave pants, Ralph Lauren black alligator belt with sterling buckle, Charvet Paris turquoise silk pocket square and my fragrance is Creed Royal Water.

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