Had coffee at The Palm Courtyard at The Breakers (Palm Beach - not Newport, RI!) yesterday, which is a lot more exciting these days. (I stayed there back in the early 90's and spent most of my time with my head buried in paperbacks...although Brooke Shields, Billie Jean King, Dudley Moore, and lots of international royalty and socialites hung out there during the tail end of the 20th century.) Now, there's a place you can get coffee, a big fancy fountain and a bunch of shops, including Guerlain and Lily Pulitzer, both synonymous with the Palm Beach lifestyle and ladies who wear ten carat diamonds. No joke: I met one such lady while finishing my coffee. #WellPreserved (Turning 90 but looked about 70 tops.) She ended up telling me all about selling off her Pucci and Norman Norell recently and how her granddaughter is trying to break into the fashion world. (And she apparently worked briefly as a stylist for one of my former employers. Small World.)
Speaking of Lily Pulitzer, in case you're unaware, she had a nervous breakdown after marrying into the Pulitzer fam and opened up a juice shop on Worth Ave. (the Rodeo Drive or 5th Ave of Palm Beach) as part of her recovery. It was the shift dresses made out of inexpensive, colorful fabric that she made to wear while working in that juice shop that were the next big thing though. Next thing you know, everyone wanted to be seen in them. The rest of the story is the stuff of fashion daydreams. (Btw, the 'Lily for Target' collection was unveiled yesterday and practically sold out in only a few hours. Holy Shift Dress!)
The #PattyJDotCom Gossip-y Guide To The Breakers And Palm Beach
What To Read
- Lilly: Palm Beach, Tropical Glamour and the Birth of a Fashion Legend - The definitive Lilly P., written by a former editor of Town & Country, the go-to glossy mag of the PB set
- The Prize Pulitzer by Roxanne Pulitzer - The story of Roxanne's scandalous marriage and divorce from Palm Beach socialite and newspaper heir Herbert. During the trial, the tabloid media nicknamed her 'the strumpet with the trumpet'. (It had nothing to do with music. You'll have to read the book - or Google her ASAP - to find out.)
- The Kennedys: An American Drama - It includes the story of RFK's son David's tragic drug overdose at The Brazilian Court hotel in PB in 1984. (What can I say? My father was Irish Catholic and my family is #obsessed with Kennedy history.)
- True Prep: It's A Whole New World by Lisa Birnbach - In this update of Birnbach's hit from 30+ years ago The Official Preppy Handbook, she expands on the idea of exactly who can be preppy. In other words, it's no longer the domain of card carrying WASP's named skippy. Lobster print pants and boat shoes, however, are still must wears.
What To See
- Mar A Lago Club, 1100 S. Ocean Blvd - Many PB'ers did not want Donald Trump to turn Mar A Largo (It means "Sea to Lake".) into a private club after he bought it in 1985. But he got his way. It was originally a private residence built for Post cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post. Chew on that with your Post Toasties!
- Estee Lauder's House, a stone's throw from Mar-A-Lago - Estee's long gone (In the days before Kendall Jenner was their spokesmodel, my aunt Betty swore by their Youth Dew fragrance, lipsticks and foundation.), but her legacy lives on via this 1930's Neoclassical dream house and her granddaughters Jane, who now runs Clinique, and Aerin, who has her own namesake line of cosmetics and fragrances. (Someone who once chauffeured them from the airport told me that all - and I do mean ALL - of their luggage was numbered.)
Where To Eat
- Echo, at The Breakers - The newest and (according to my ten carat diamond wearing friend from yesterday) most popular restaurant at The Breakers. They specialize in Asian food and small plates. I hear they're completely booked up after 7pm most nights.
- The Colony - Another iconic hotel in PB that features a variety of dining options including The Palm Court, which has been completely renovated and redone. Hey, everything old is new again, right? Great for people watching.
Ciao For Now,