Archive for the ‘Newport’ Category

Tickets on Sale for 60th Anniversary Newport Jazz Festival, Aug. 1-3

February 9, 2014

The 60th anniversary of the Newport Jazz Festival taking place August 1-3, 2014 will feature three full days of music that give a look at the future of jazz, including more than 40 performances by some of the world’s greatest established and emerging jazz artists and devote an entire day dedicated to emerging artists..

Now presented by Natixis Global Asset Management, the Festival will feature the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Bobby McFerrin spirityouall, Trombone Shorty, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Robert Glasper, Dr. John, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Gary Burton, Gregory Porter, Jon Batiste, Dave Holland, John Zorn, Miguel Zenon, The Cookers, Snarky Puppy and more.

“We are thrilled to open the Festival on Friday with an entire day of musicians who have emerged on the scene with distinctive stories to tell through their music,” said George Wein, who has produced the Festival since its beginning in 1954. “We’re not just selling these artists, we might be selling the future of jazz. In fact, the only reason for me to be in the Festival business at this point in my life is because these musicians and others must be heard,” added Wein, now 88.

Also, the Newport Jazz Festival will present a symposium to discuss how jazz relates to popular culture in today’s society. It will feature jazz aficionados and historians, including Henry Louis Gates.

The International Tennis Hall of Fame will host the Friday evening concert, featuring Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and Dee Dee Bridgewater.

Festival-goers can play an additional role in helping to secure the future of jazz by supporting Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc. at its fundraising gala at the famed Vanderbilt summer cottage, The Breakers, including an appearance by Marsalis and other Festival artists.

Tickets are now on sale. For tickets and more information, go to http://www.newportjazzfest.org. For information on luxury bus trips to Newport, go to WBGO Travel at wbgo.org/travel.

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Newport Mansions Host Christmas Festivities at Breakers, Elms, Marble House

November 19, 2013
Alva Vanderbilt's grand Marble House, one of the Newport Mansions, is inviting guests for Christmas © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Alva Vanderbilt’s grand Marble House, one of the Newport Mansions, is inviting guests for Christmas © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The famed Newport, Rhode Island, Gilded Age mansions, The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House, welcome visitors for Christmas from November 23 through January 1, 2014. The Preservation Society of Newport County is presenting music, tours, shopping events, and visits from Santa Claus at three of America’s grandest historic houses.

New this year is a gingerbread house competition at The Breakers.  Four local pastry programs have created gingerbread models of the Newport Mansions that are on display in the kitchen.  The competitors are Clements’ Marketplace in Portsmouth, RI; Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School of Fall River, MA;  Fatulli’s Gourmet Bakery in  Middletown, RI; and Russell Morin Fine Catering of Newport and Providence, RI.

Returning to the Great Hall of The Breakers this year is the 15-foot tall poinsettia tree, which for the past few years had been displayed at The Elms.   The “tree” is made up of 150 individual poinsettia plants, grown in the Preservation Society’s own greenhouses.  The plants are removed and replaced several times during the six-week holiday season to ensure the display remains fresh.

Christmas trees of various sizes throughout the houses are adorned with new flickering LED candle lights. Additional decorations in the three houses include dozens of wreaths, hundreds of yards of garland and thousands of flowers, including poinsettia plants, lilies, roses, carnations and potted palms.  Ornaments reflect the colors and décor of individual rooms, and white candles illuminate the windows.  Additional highlights include an eight-foot decorated wreath on the grand staircase of Marble House, new large evergreen kissing balls hung in each house, and a pastel floral theme in the ballroom of The Elms.

Three Houses Open Daily

Christmas officially arrives at the Newport Mansions on Saturday, November 23.  The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House will be fully decorated and open daily for tours, except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, through January 1, 2014.  A Winter Passport ticket providing daytime admission to all three houses can be purchased for $28 for adults, $9 for children 6-17. Children under the age of 6 are admitted free.  Individual house tickets are also available. Tickets can be purchased online at www.NewportMansions.org, or at each property.

Holiday Evenings at the Newport Mansions

Holiday Evenings at the Newport Mansions provide a unique opportunity to see these historic houses lit up for a night-time celebration. Guests can take a leisurely self-guided tour through the museum, enjoying live holiday music and a stop for cookies and pastries, eggnog and cider.  Holiday Evenings at The Breakers are scheduled for November 30 and December 7, 14, and 28, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. On December 21, guests can enjoy a Holiday Evening Duet: The Elms and Marble House, and see both of the houses for the price of one, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Admission to Holiday Evenings is $28 in advance, $35 at the door.  Children 6-17 are admitted for $10. Children under the age of 6 are admitted free.  Preservation Society members enjoy reduced admission, $25 in advance, $30 at the door.  On December 21, a single ticket provides admission to both The Elms and Marble House, as well as shuttle service operating between the two houses.  More information, including the schedule of Holiday Evening entertainment, and advance tickets are available online at www.NewportMansions.org, or call (401) 847-1000.

Visits with Santa Claus 

Children can visit with Santa Claus in a spectacular setting at each of the three mansions on Sundays in December.  Santa will make public appearances from noon to 3 p.m. at The Breakers on December 8, Marble House on December 15, and The Elms on December 22.  The visit with Santa is included in the regular admission price.

About The Mansions

The Breakers, a 70-room Italian Renaissance-style palazzo, was designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt and completed in 1895 for Cornelius Vanderbilt II, President and Chairman of the New York Central Railroad.  Its interiors include rich marbles and gilded rooms, a 50-foot high Great Hall, mosaic tile floors and ceilings, and open-air terraces with magnificent ocean views.

The Elms is an elegant French-style chateau built in 1901 for Philadelphia coal magnate Edward J. Berwind.  It serves as a backdrop for monumental artworks, including wall-sized 18th century Venetian paintings and Chinese lacquer panels.  The Elms is situated on a 10-acre park with an elaborate sunken garden.

Marble House was the summer home of Mr. and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt. Built and furnished at a reported cost of $11 million, it was the most lavish house in America when it opened in 1892.  It became a grand stage for Alva Vanderbilt’s climb to social and political power, first as a leading society hostess and later as a leader of the “Votes for Women” campaign.

The Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island is a non-profit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and dedicated to preserving and interpreting the area’s historic architecture, landscapes and decorative arts.  Its 11 historic properties—seven of them National Historic Landmarks—span more than 250 years of American architectural and social development.

For further information, visit www.NewportMansions.org.

Newport’s Preservation Society Costume Exhibit at Rosecliff Traces 20th Century Fashion

June 7, 2013

As the summer playground to many of America’s wealthiest families, Newport was once a swirl of couture dresses in a seemingly endless string of balls and entertainments. The Preservation Society of Newport County’s annual costume exhibition at Rosecliff (1902) this year highlights 20th century fashion and the way designers marketed changing styles and silhouettes to American consumers. The 11 dresses on exhibit are among the finest garments in the Preservation Society’s collection, from designers such as Chanel, Givenchy and Halston, among others.

Among the highlights of the exhibit is a 1925 evening gown by Callot Soeurs of Paris. With its straight profile, this evening dress epitomized the style of the period. The increasing popularity of automobiles and dance crazes such as the jitterbug necessitated shorter hemlines and ushered in a new silhouette for the 1920s. Heavy corsetting and layers of skirts were out, girdles and bras that flattened out the figure were in.

From the late 1930s to the mid ’40s, dresses were back to having a more defined waist and fuller skirt to emphasize the female figure. The exhibit includes a 1941 tea party dress made of cotton organdy which demonstrates this style.

Additional highlights include a 1965 red skirt suit by Chanel, a 1985 cotton organdy pant suit with glass beads by Halston, and a wool cocktail dress by Givenchy from the 1990s.

The Preservation Society’s costume collection helps to trace the changing role of women in American society over the centuries. The creation of one-of-a-kind garments, known as haute couture, has represented the pinnacle of high fashion since the 19th century. The allure of haute couture still captivates the imagination today; however, due to dwindling markets, collections now include fewer pieces than they did in the early 20th century.

Beginning in the 1960s, designers licensed their names for use on products and expanded their own lines beyond apparel. At the same time, the retail clothing industry diversified, providing more options at different price points. Today, haute couture collections no longer set the standards for how women should dress. Instead, they have evolved into marketing tools that shape a designer’s “brand” and increase sales of affordable products. Some devotees still buy haute couture clothing, but it is a shrinking population.

The exhibit is on display in the Lesley Bogert Crawford costume galleries on the 2nd floor of Rosecliff through November 22. Admission to the exhibit is included with any Rosecliff tour ticket, including multi-house tickets. Rosecliff is open daily for tours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through November 22, except when it is closed for the Newport Flower Show June 20-23. Newport Mansions tickets can be purchased online at www.NewportMansions.org, or in person at any Preservation Society property.

The Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island is a non-profit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and dedicated to preserving and interpreting the area’s historic architecture, landscapes and decorative arts. Its 11 historic properties—seven of them National Historic Landmarks—span more than 250 years of American architectural and social development.

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A Weekend of Coaching Returns to Newport, August 16-19

August 8, 2012


Authentic 19th century coaches drawn by matched and highly-trained teams of horses will return to Newport from August 16-19, 2012, in the triennial renewal of a Weekend of Coaching, hosted by The Preservation Society of Newport County. A gala dinner-dance in honor of the whips will be held at The Breakers © 2012 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.

Authentic 19th century coaches drawn by matched and highly-trained teams of horses will return to Newport from August 16-19, 2012, in the triennial renewal of a Weekend of Coaching, hosted by The Preservation Society of Newport County. The public will enjoy free viewing of the colorful and historic coaches every day, as they drive through the streets of Newport and the grounds of the Newport Mansions, celebrating and preserving a century-old sporting tradition.

“This is one of our favorite events because it is so unique and so much fun,” said Preservation Society CEO & Executive Director Trudy Coxe.” “We are very grateful to the members of the Coaching Club for staging this event in Newport again, and for making the Preservation Society the beneficiary of their fundraising efforts.”

The drivers, or “whips” as they are referred to in the sport of coaching, who are expected to attend are: Mr. S. Tucker Johnson, of Hobe Sound, Florida, President of the Coaching Club; Dr. Timothy J. Butterfield, of Derry, New Hampshire; Frederick E. Eayrs, of Middleboro, Massachusetts; Walter F. Eayrs, of Bristol, Rhode Island; Howard Fafard, of Framingham, Massachusetts; John Frazier Hunt, of Spring City, Pennsylvania; Herbert Kohler, of Kohler, Wisconsin; James Mather Miller, of Lakewood Ranch, Florida; Sir Paul & Lady Sarah Nicholson, of Durham, United Kingdom; Louis G. Piancone, of Gladstone, New Jersey; Claire Reid, of Southern Pines, North Carolina; Sir John Richards, of Cheshire, United Kingdom; Harvey W. Waller, of Stockbridge, Massachusetts; George A. Weymouth, of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania; and John White, of Newton, New Jersey.

The routes of the daily drives will be published in the local press and the Preservation Society’s website (www.NewportMansions.org), along with suggested viewing spots. In addition, there will be a free-to-the-public driving exhibition on the grounds of The Elms starting at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, August 18. The weekend will culminate with a formal Coaching Dinner Dance at The Breakers on Saturday evening.

The Honorary Chairs of A Weekend of Coaching are Mr. & Mrs. A. L. Ballard. David E.P. Lindh is the Chair, and Kenneth M.P. Lindh the Vice-Chair of the Weekend. Frederick E. Eayrs is Vice-Chair of Coaching.

The Chairs of the Coaching Dinner Dance are Mrs. Mark (Leslie) Hull; Mrs. David E.P. (Lynda) Lindh; Mrs. Kenneth M.P. (Elaine) Lindh; Mrs. David J. (Beverly) Little; Gladys V. Szápáry; and Mrs. Guy F.C. (Mary) Van Pelt.

Tickets for the dinner-dance in honor of the whips at The Breakers are $450 per person, and reservations are required. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.NewportMansions.org, email Events@NewportMansions.org, or call (401) 847-1000 ext. 140.

The tradition of coaching grew out of the 18th and 19th century mail runs in England, which later made their way across the Atlantic to the United States. The horse-drawn mail coaches were eventually replaced by railroads, but nostalgia led to the development of coaching as a sport. The Coaching Club of New York was formed in the latter part of the 19th century, eventually becoming part of the social fabric of Newport in the summer. The Wetmores, the Bells, the Vanderbilts and the Belmonts were all active members, bringing their coaches together to go to the races, the polo games, and the Casino.

The two types of open-air vehicles used in the sport of coaching—a Road Coach and the slightly smaller Park Drag—employ a team of four horses. All seating is outside, with the driver, known as a “whip,” sitting in the slightly elevated right front seat, and the whip’s wife or female relative taking up the “box seat” on the left. The rear bench of the coach holds at least two specialized footmen called grooms. Two center benches can hold up to 10 passengers.

The Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island is a non-profit educational organization accredited by the American Association of Museums and dedicated to preserving and interpreting the area’s historic architecture, landscapes and decorative arts. Its 11 historic properties—seven of them National Historic Landmarks—span more than 250 years of American architectural and social development.

For more information, call 401-847-1000 or visit www.NewportMansions.org.

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Tickets on Sale for 7th Annual Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival

July 17, 2012

The Elms is one of the historic Newport Mansions hosting the 7th annual Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival, September 21-23 in Newport, Rhode Island, featuring world-renowned celebrity chefs Emeril Lagasse and father-daughter duo Jacques and Claudine Pépin, as well as exclusive wines from around the world © 2012 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.

The Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival celebrates its 7th year as the most sophisticated wine and food festival on the East Coast. The event returns September 21-23, featuring world-renowned celebrity chefs Emeril Lagasse and father-daughter duo Jacques and Claudine Pépin, as well as exclusive wines from around the world, and fabulous food from the region’s most-celebrated restaurants and caterers. Sponsored by FOOD & WINE, the Festival takes place in the historic Newport Mansions, Rosecliff, The Elms and Marble House in Newport, Rhode Island.

The fun kicks off with the Wine & Rosecliff Gala, where guests will enjoy vintages uncorked exclusively for the evening alongside delicious food pairings. The activities continue throughout the weekend, with a 2-day Grand Tasting, informative seminars with some of the industry’s most respected personalities, auctions, and new this year, a Collectible Wine Dinner at The Elms.

Tickets to the 7th annual Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival, including the Grand Tasting on Saturday and Sunday, as well as all-inclusive weekend packages, are on sale now, and may be purchased at http://www.NewportMansionsWine andFood.org.

Ticket packages are tailored to satisfy the interests of all guests, whether in town for the day or the weekend. Individual tickets are available for each event, but for those guests who want to enjoy more of the weekend, combination tickets are available. The Connoisseur’s Package includes Wine & Rosecliff admission and either the Saturday or Sunday Grand Tasting at Marble House. For those who want to experience everything that the Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival has to offer, the Wine Lovers Weekend Package, new this year, provides admission to Wine & Rosecliff, one Grand Tasting day, the Collectible Wine Dinner, and three seminars.

Wine seminars will be offered all three days of the Festival, offering entertainment and enlightenment for everyone from the curious new wine drinker to the most seasoned connoisseur. Seminar presenters will include Thirsty Girl’s Leslie Sbrocco, Master Sommelier Laura Maniec of New York City’s Corkbuzz Studio, Stuart and Suzanne Bryan of Pride Mountain Vineyards, and wine writer Jordan MacKay, among others.

The Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival is also sponsored by National Trust Insurance Services, Buitoni, Porsche of Warwick, United Airlines, Alex & Ani, Stella Artois, Dasani, Alaska Seafood, Clarke Luxury Showrooms, Dave’s Fresh Marketplace, Honest Tea, Vinho Verde & Wines of Portugal, Casa Cornoer and the Italian Trade Commission, Hyatt Regency Newport, Amtrak, Johnson & Wales University, Roseann Tully’s Intermezzo, Travelocity, New England Home and Yankee Magazine.

All proceeds from the Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival benefit The Preservation Society of Newport County, a non-profit organization accredited by the American Association of Museums and dedicated to preserving and interpreting the area’s historic architecture, landscapes and decorative arts. Its’ 11 historic properties—seven of them National Historic Landmarks—span more than 250 years of American architectural and social development.

For more information and to purchase tickets for the 2012 Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival, visit www.NewportMansionsWineAndFood.org, or call 401-847-1000.

MILL STREET INN, NEWPORT’S LANDMARK ALL-SUITE LUXURY HOTEL, JOINS SMALL LUXURY HOTELS OF THE WORLD

March 31, 2011

Gilded Age mansions, like The Breakers (above), are among the top attractions that bring visitors to Newport, RI. Make your lodging as interesting by staying in a 19th century mill converted to a luxury, all-suite hotel, the Mill Street Inn © 2011 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Newport, RI –

The Mill Street Inn, Newport’s landmark all-suite hotel was recently honored with election as a member of the prestigious Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ (SLH) brand.  Nestled in Newport’s historic hill area and featuring 23 newly renovated luxury suites, the Inn is offering several packages to guests visiting Newport this season.

A former 19th-century mill, the Inn was converted to an all-suite hotel in the 1980’s and has undergone major improvements under its current ownership.  Over $1 million has been invested in the Inn over the last few years to bring the property to its SLH status.  Only the world’s finest small luxury hotels are accepted into the SLH brand based on strict criteria.  The Mill Street Inn is now proud to be part of an unrivalled portfolio consisting of 500 hotel s in 70 countries.

Suites have been fully renovated throughout the hotel, combining historic charm with today’s modern luxuries.  Spacious suites, with exposed brick walls and original beams, are decorated with a contemporary style and nautical theme.  While maintaining the historical integrity of the Inn, the Inn is now also a member of the Green Hotels Association, incorporating green technologies such as energy efficient lighting and plumbing systems.  Gas fireplaces will also be added to the townhouse suites this spring.

In addition to the many renovations, each suite offers a list of hotel amenities including:  Aveda spa products, 300-thread-count linens, feather bed comforters, mini-bar, flat screen TVs, high-speed internet access and a complimentary breakfast each morning, with freshly squeezed orange juice and Nespresso coffee.  A rooftop patio with expansive views of the harbor lets guests enjoy breakfast on sunny mornings in the ocean breeze.

Dean Maki, the General Manager, says the hotel is preparing for a busy summer, but encourages travellers to also visit Newport this spring.  The hotel recently launched a springtime package deal that includes a two night stay, dinner at 22 Bowen’s, a mansion tour, bottle of wine upon arrival, and a continental breakfast starting at $255.  Visitors are encouraged to visit www.millstreetinn.com for further package details.

 Newport’s famed waterfront, excellent dining and speciality shops are within close walking distance from the Inn.   

Mill Street Inn, 75 Mill Street, Newport, Rhode Island, 401-849-9500, www.millstreetinn.com.

See also: NEWPORT IS RICH IN OFF-SEASON ACTIVITIES

NEWPORT OFF-SEASON: STORIES THESE GRAND MANSIONS DO TELL