At the Movies

At the Movies

The title alone is cause to pick this movie for our Thanksgiving weekend selection. This 1942 romance, with Ronald Coleman and Greer Garson is a timeless classic. In fact, Greer Garson always claimed that of all the wonderful movies she made, this was her favorite. Based on the novel by the talented James Hilton, Random Harvest is an emotionally moving movie with several layers. Primarily a love story, it is also a statement about England’s class structure, and the sense of loss and identity during post WWI Britain.

This is a heartfelt movie where you will genuinely feel for the characters and anxiously await the resolution of the uncertain and winding plot.…

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Posted in children, entertainment, film | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments  

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

From my home to yours. Here is where we will be having our meal later today. I wish you, dear readers, the very best wishes on Thanksgiving for you and your family.

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Posted in dining room, entertainment, food and drink, holiday, interior design | Tagged , | 6 Comments  

Turkey Tabletop

Turkey Tabletop

Before we are catapulted into the “big” holiday of the season, I wanted to pay un petit homage to, what seems this year, to be the orphan child of celebrations. Thanksgiving offers so many lovely decorating opportunities that seem to be somewhat overlooked in favor of the overwhelming holiday coming down the pike. When I went around to my local establishments trying to find shots of tabletop decor to share, everyone had already moved on to Christmas – some segueing straight from Halloween with not even an acknowledgement. So, from my files, let me share some pilgrim cheer from present and past.…

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Posted in dining room, entertainment, food and drink, interior design | Tagged , , , | 34 Comments  

Windsor Wonders

Windsor Wonders

I’m sure many of you are aware of the upcoming (November 30) Sotheby’s auction “Exceptional Jewels & Precious Objects formerly in the Collection of The Duchess of Windsor”. The original historic auction in 1987 of “The Jewels of the Duchess of Windsor” included over 300 items and brought in $50.3 million, over six times its estimate, making it the highest valued jewelry collection ever sold. Wow!! This is not a sale of that magnitude. These 20 pieces, all from a single private collection have a pre-sale estimate of $4.8 million. But there are many spectacular pieces, several of which were cornerstones of the Duchess’ collection.…

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Posted in auctions, history, jewelry | Tagged , , | 22 Comments  

The Bad Boy of Bordeaux

The Bad Boy of Bordeaux

I am thrilled to announce Quintessence’s new collaboration. It is my pleasure to introduce you to Horseneck Wines in Greenwich, CT. A mainstay in the community since 1934, Horseneck was owned by the same family until 1989 when the current owner Terry Rogers purchased the business. With an extensive background in sales, distribution and importation of wines, Terry brought a broad knowledge to the store but her real passion is connecting with her customers. She has a reputation for recommending wines that have quality and value that you don’t necessarily see other places. Continuing the legacy of a “carriage trade” business, Terry explains “Knowing our customers’ needs and tastes is a very important skill here at Horseneck.” Her commitment to her customer base has paid off as the store has grown to become one of the top wine sellers in the country. …

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Posted in food and drink, wine | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments  

At the Movies

At the Movies

Today the offering is a more contemporary movie (1999). Based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith, The Talented Mr. Ripley is in my book a mini masterpiece of suspense. Like a modern Hitchcock, this film is a pleasure to watch for the aesthetics as much as the acting and plot. Beautifully directed by Anthony Minghella, the movie was shot all across Italy – from Venice, Tuscany and Rome, to Naples and the islands of Ischia and Procida in the Gulf of Naples, and Palermo in Sicily. Director of photography John Seale, who won an academy award for his work with Minghella on The English Patient did a brilliant job of romanticizing the already fabulous scenery and the soundtrack by Gabriel Yared, who also won an Oscar for the English Patient, is intoxicating.…

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The Swiss Are Coming! The Swiss Are Coming!

The Swiss Are Coming! The Swiss Are Coming!

Switzerland is an understated place. This small landlocked country is not prone to outward displays of exuberance or extravagance. You rarely hear about Swiss stars at Oscar parties, young Swiss “it” girls in the pages of Vogue or a bevy of Swiss restaurants in New York boasting its cuisine. Unlike its more outgoing French, Italian and German neighbors, Switzerland seems to hold its cards close to its vest, so to speak. And it’s not as if there isn’t talent there – it’s just that, like the country, their stars can be described with adjectives such as  reliable, consistent and tasteful – not exactly fodder for the National Enquirer or People.…

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Posted in art, food and drink, travel | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments  

I’m Ready

I’m Ready

I must admit that although we’ve had several beautiful days, I am definitely tiring of our overly warm November weather and ready for a change in temperature. When I came across this beautifully renovated British home, all I could think of was the allure of cooler days and what is soon in store. I imagined myself sitting in this lovely room after a good night’s rest

With my book and this tasty treat,

lounging in my cashmere robe

and slippers.

I’d then meander upstairs to get ready for the day.

I would think perhaps a bath might be in order

although I spent so much time enjoying my coffee while reading  that I might only have time for a shower

Then it would be time to go out and explore on this beautiful crisp fall morning.…

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Stellar Stella

Stellar Stella

I love a great marketing campaign. There are so many bad commercials out there that when you see something special it’s like a breath of fresh air. Stella Artois, the upscale boutique Belgian lager, has a long history and over the years its advertising campaigns have frequently had associations with films. Long known for their clever advertising, the brand offers access to many of its TV ads on its site.

But this year, with its switch to the English ad agency Mother, an even more sophisticated approach was taken. Over the summer they featured a campaign shot by Bert Stern, famous for his 1962 pictures of Marilyn Monroe, with the tagline, “She is a thing of beauty.”

And Wim Wenders also shot a video in this series.…

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Tim Times Two – aha!

Tim Times Two – aha!

I have a whole new appreciation for Tim Gunn! Who knew that the Project Runway judge and style guru also has a passion for serious design. At the tender age of 7, he evidently spent his allowance to purchase reproductions of Thomas Jefferson’s architectural drawings for Monticello! Now that is impressive. Yesterday, Gunn was the guest curator on one of my new favorite places, ahalife. His fortuitous pick presented me with the opportunity to write about not only ahalife but also the incredible designer, both of whom were already potential subjects.

Ahalife (as in the aha! of a wonderful discovery) is a two-month old website that they describe as an “online discovery destination”.…

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Posted in architecture, art history, learning, sculpture | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments