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EXTENDED SUMMER AT THE BRAZILIAN COURT HOTEL PALM BEACH

James Andrew – The Brazilian Court Hotel Palm Beach. Sporting a Tom Ford pink silk “Spencer” jacket, white cotton French cuff shirt, pink and green silk madras pants, pink silk brocade slippers, green and white silk hounds tooth pocket square, Seaman Schepps shell and pink sapphire cufflinks, Cartier “Tank Divan,” and Creed Windsor fragrance.

Scott McBee and I have been pretty busy this summer and haven’t really had time for proper holidays, so we treated ourselves to a few mini-getaways instead!

Palm Beach is always a preferred destination and quite handy to New York – just a quick 2 hour flight. Some super chic friends of ours recently shared their gorgeous photos of the Brazilian Court Hotel in Palm Beach. Suitably intrigued, it was not long before McBee and I sorted some rooms there and were on our way!

I’ve always looked for hotels that capture the essence of a place, and I am quite pleased to say the Brazilian Court captures Palm Beach in the most wonderful way. The hotel was designed by famed architect Rosario Candela in 1926 and doubled in size come the mid-30s at the hand of the legendary Palm Beach architect, Maurice Fatio. A series of courtyards, lush tropical gardens, and classical/Renaissance architecture in the Mediterranean style give it a crisp elegant beauty. While there (and we were treated to the sublime “Astaire Suite”) one has the feeling of being a guest at a marvelous Palm Beach estate – true tropical splendor! And it is located right in the center of town with all the best of Palm Beach only a short stroll away.

We really had no mission other than to luxuriate and decompress – so most days we started with a brilliant breakfast at Cafe Boulud – the hotel’s restaurant), then we’d head off to lounge poolside. Later, we’d take a walk to the beach, maybe promenade down Worth Avenue, and follow this by a relaxing lunch at the Surfside Diner.

James Andrew. At The Brazilian Court Palm Beach wearing a Tom Ford cotton floral shirt, white cotton twill pants, magenta ikat velvet slippers, “Sergio” sunglasses, Lock & Co Hatters – straw panama hat, Cartier Tank Divan, James Kiel Patrick woven white cotton belt, Tom Ford Mandarino Di Amalfi fragrance.

We’d get dressed for the evenings, and dined at some of our favorite “old school” Palm Beach restaurants like Bice which has magnificent Milanese cuisine. On another night our dear friend Tom Samet gathered together a chic collection of friends and took us to a divine dinner at Buccan which serves innovative American cuisine made with fresh well-sourced ingredients.

September is a marvelous month to visit Palm Beach, with amazing deals to be had on hotels and dining, and it is so incredibly peaceful. It’s almost as hot in New York as it is in Palm Beach but one has a pool and the beach to enjoy, making it the perfect venue for an extended summer getaway.

VERSAILLES: A PRIVATE INVITATION

VersaillesPrivateInvitation_newedition_cover

Being forever fascinated by Versailles, I’m beyond thrilled to bring you Flammarion’s fabulous new book, Versailles: A Private Invitation by Guillaume Picon with photographs by Francis Hammond.

Of course there have been quite a few books on the subject, but I can say that this latest endeavor truly stands out with its many new and rarely seen before vantages – and it is a fascinating read as well. Photographer Hammond has been given unrestricted access to every possible point on the property (this is indeed a private invitation) and brings to bear all of his own creative sensibilities to capture the power, splendor, and grace that so pervades all of Versailles. And with complementary aplomb, writer Picon provides deep scholarly insight into the Kings and court life of France and presents fresh and illuminating source material that captures the very essence of Versailles.

photo by Francis Hammond from the book, Versailles: Private Invitation. Flammarion

photo by Francis Hammond from the book, Versailles: Private Invitation. Flammarion

photo by Francis Hammond from the book, Versailles: Private Invitation. Flammarion

photo by Francis Hammond from the book, Versailles: Private Invitation. Flammarion

photo by Francis Hammond from the book, Versailles: Private Invitation. Flammarion

photo by Francis Hammond from the book, Versailles: Private Invitation. Flammarion

photo by Francis Hammond from the book, Versailles: Private Invitation. Flammarion

photo by Francis Hammond from the book, Versailles: Private Invitation. Flammarion

photo by Francis Hammond from the book, Versailles: Private Invitation. Flammarion

photo by Francis Hammond from the book, Versailles: Private Invitation. Flammarion

photo by Francis Hammond from the book, Versailles: Private Invitation. Flammarion

photo by Francis Hammond from the book, Versailles: Private Invitation. Flammarion

As you may know, one of my favorite maxims is “imagination becomes reality,” but when I say this, I don’t mean to imply that things manifest without proper causes and conditions. Any great unfolding requires some fundamental (read: elemental) ingredients like singularity of vision, sustained effort, and of course material resources. The meeting of Louis XIV with the genius of André Le Nôtre, and the subsequent forty year undertaking to transform nine hundred and seventy-seven acres of marshes, grasslands, and forests into the crystalline grounds we experience now in the gardens of Versailles is one of those superlative examples of total alignment. And if we are considering my aforementioned maxim, then I have to say my experience at Versailles via “Versailles: A Private Invitation” has me thinking BIG! How about you?

Versailles: A Private Invitation is incredibly inspiring and a delicious read. Do snap up a copy! You won’t be disappointed.

SUMMERING IN ST BARTH

Ensemble for dinner at On the Rocks, Eden Roc St Barth – Tom Ford mango silk "Spencer" jacket, white cotton shirt with French cuffs, Seaman Schepps shell and pink tourmaline cufflinks, Cartier Tank Divan, Drakes white and navy dot print linen pocket square, vintage floral pant, Max Verre denim tasseled loafers, my fragrance Tom Ford Costa Azzura

Ensemble for dinner at On the Rocks, Eden Roc St Barth – Tom Ford mango silk “Spencer” jacket, white cotton shirt with French cuffs, Seaman Schepps shell and pink tourmaline cufflinks, Cartier Tank Divan, Drakes white and navy dot print linen pocket square, vintage floral pants, Max Verre denim tasseled
loafers, and my fragrance Tom Ford Costa Azzura

Scott McBee is rather keen on St Barth, so often we make a quick trip there every August – it’s actually a good time to go as well, since there are great deals and no crowds. We mostly schedule our trips just off-season to avoid the herds!

Casual chic is the order of the day: I only wore two jackets and was able to pack for eight days in one Vuitton duffle – substantially less than my usual! With such a minimal wardrobe, great care and consideration should be given to one’s selections: a mix of pattern and color so as not to be a total bore, and lots of linen. St Barth is an opulent boheme, so ikat, and batik work rather well. As you can see from our photos, I was not afraid to sport some rather vibrant colors, and mixing them with navy and white works well.

There are so many beautiful beaches to explore in St Barth, and some great culinary offerings as well. St Barth really is the most perfect escape from NYC – and this was a true holiday, with lots of rest and relaxation, lounging beachside and enjoying divine lunches and dinners – all accompanied by a great torrent of Rosé followed by the traditional vanilla infused rum as an after dinner treat. For dinner I highly suggest: Bonito, L’Isola, Eddy’s, Langouste, and On the Rocks at Eden Rock. While shopping in Gustavia be sure and snap up a piece of tahitian pearl jewelry strung on leather at Bijoux de la Mer.

Some more of my St Barth ensembles:

Dressed for dinner – I’m sporting Gucci navy cotton safari jacket, Indian white cotton voile embroidered kurta, vintage orange silk pants, orange suede espadrilles, Hermes Deux Zones Cape Cod watch, and my fragrance Creed Windsor

Dressed for dinner –
I’m sporting Gucci navy cotton safari jacket, Indian white cotton voile embroidered kurta, vintage orange silk pants, orange suede espadrilles, Hermes Deux Zones Cape Cod watch, and my fragrance Creed Windsor

Pre-dinner stroll around Gustavia – Here I’m wearing a vintage  shocking pink linen shirt, Burberry indigo ikat pants, Tom Ford Sandals, Hermes Deux Zones Cape Cod watch, and my fragrance is Tom Ford Costa Azzura

Pre-dinner stroll around Gustavia – Here I’m wearing a vintage shocking pink linen shirt, Burberry indigo ikat pants, Tom Ford Sandals, Hermes Deux Zones Cape Cod watch, and my fragrance is Tom Ford Costa Azzura

Pre dinner beach stroll – I’m wearing a vintage navy linen safari shirt and white and navy pin stripe linen pants, orange suede espadrilles, KJP woven white cotton belt, Cartier Tank Divasn, and my fragrance is Tom Ford Costa Azzura

Pre-dinner beach stroll –
I’m wearing a vintage navy linen safari shirt and white and navy pin stripe linen pants, orange suede espadrilles, KJP woven white cotton belt, Cartier Tank Divasn, and my fragrance is Tom Ford Costa Azzura