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James Andrew and Matthew Niewenhous

James Andrew and Matthew Niewenhous

When WIJW was in its infancy, I was incredibly moved by the tremendous support that I received from fellow bloggers — so I am always thrilled when I can promote a site that I think has a unique voice. When WIJW shared a visit to the event, “Mansions in May” at Blairsden (read here), Matthew J. Niewenhous, — who had done a treatment on Blairsden himself — nicely reached out to me to have a look at his site, The Gilded Butler. Needless to say, I became an instant fan. We eventually arranged a meet, and over a few martinis we decided to make this collaborative post!

Old Westbury Gardens

Old Westbury Gardens

Niewenhous combines stunning photographs — mostly in black and white, which adds to the glow of nostalgia — with considerable research. He skillfully renders his finds into an engaging historical and personal account, giving one an exceptionally well rounded glimpse into both the past and the present. No one knew more about the inner workings of a house and its family than its butler—and we think Niewenhous, with his similarly penetrating insight, has created the most perfectly fitting rubric for his blog.

Old Westbury Gardens

Old Westbury Gardens

I’m sharing here a few of my favorite aspects of Old Westbury Gardens as well as a pretty striking portrait of the dashing Niewenhous and yours truly – but do stop in over at The Gilded Butler – I am sure you will be as enthralled as I am.

Old Westbury Gardens

Old Westbury Gardens

James Andrew

James Andrew

For an afternoon at Old Westbury Gardens my ensemble is inspired by the brilliant Italian film ” La Grande Bellezza” and the sartorial splendor of its lead character, Jep Gambardella. I’m sporting a Tom Ford red cotton jacket, white cotton shirt with French cuffs, white cotton twill pant and white suede cap toe lace up shoes, Charvet white silk pocket square, JKP woven white cotton belt, vintage straw hat, moon stone cuff links, vintage Rolex, and my fragrance Creed Windsor.

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  1. Dearest James,

    Thank you for sharing Matthew’s wonderful blog. I have already added it to my favorites list knowing that I will easily be engrossed in the subject of architectural history! It is the one thing that I have enjoyed the most about blogging, which is the opportunities it has provided me to meet the most interesting and cultured people who often share my own passions (you included!). Ill look forward to sharing a martini (or two) with you during my next trip up to New York.

    All the best,


  2. Karena says:

    James, thank you for the introduction. This is one of the great things about blogging and social media; the sharing of other special people, their accomplishments, creativity, and sites. On my way to get acquainted with Matthew!

    The Arts by Karena

  3. James Andrew says:

    My Dear Michael Hampton,

    I am so happy to hear that you have become an instant fan of The Gilded Butler. I do really like what he is doing and I look forward to his posts.

    A martini or 2 sounds just sublime!!!

    Much Love


  4. James Andrew says:

    My Darling Karena,

    It is all about sharing I believe and what wonderful ways we have to share – esp social media.

    Do enjoy The Gilded Butler!

    Much Love


  5. La Contessa says:

    LOVe the look of this place and just read about THAT BUTLER and his obsession of all things from the PAST………..will sign up for his BLOG too!
    That photo of the two of YOU on the steps……….WOW!I have not seen that movie yet!Have heard about it………..soon it will be on NETFLIX so then I will for sure see it!Can’t believe how far behind I get sometimes!Maybe too many blogs?…………….NEVER!

  6. jon k says:

    amazing!!! super jealous !

  7. James Andrew says:

    Darling La Contessa,

    He really is a terrific young man and has a unique voice- I am sure I have created endless instant fans for him.

    Old Westbury Gardens is just so sublime – what a backdrop!

    Have you been?

    Much Love


  8. James Andrew says:

    My Dear jon k,

    We need to plan some adventures in that case!!!!

    Much Love


  9. I absolutely LOVE Old Westbury Gardens!! I took a piece of peeled paint (on the ground, I promise!) to copy the color of all the garden things (as in the arbor you pictured); and painted my garden chairs the exact color! How about the walls of glass on that loggia ( where YOU are upon the divine slipcovered sofa)that go down into the floor!!! Did you SEE that???

    Huge walls of glass drop down into the floor! All those years ago!!!

    Love the “gilded butler”!!


  10. James Andrew says:

    My Darling Penelope Bianchi,

    I just adore that story and you of course!!!

    That colour is perfection!!!

    Thought of you and those splendid slipcovers – I used to know the fabric – I thought it was by Scalamandre but alas – It has slipped- my brain.

    Isn’t he clever – This Gilded Butler – a very fresh approach!!

    Much Love


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