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Brooke and Stephane Carnot Host Georgetown House Tour Patrons' Party

April 24, 2019

"I believe so much in the mission of St. John's. Georgetown has an immense amount of wealth and also a needy population." Brooke Carnot explained, "Its great to see where the rubber meets the road. You can become attuned to your neighbors. I'm so grateful to be involved."

Constance Chatfield-Taylor, Robert Devaney, Belinda Winslow (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Constance Chatfield-Taylor, Robert Devaney, Belinda Winslow

Brooke and Stephane Carnot welcomed several hundred guests to their elegant Georgetown home Wednesday evening. The occasion was the annual Georgetown House Tour Patrons' Party, a tradition established in 2001 by the Grande Dame of Georgetown, Frida Burling. 

Jennifer and David Romm (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Jennifer and David Romm

This annual kick off for the Georgetown House Tour benefits St. John's ministries to homeless adults and children, the unemployed, senior citizens, and young children in DC schools. Tickets are still available for the Tour on Saturday, April 27, 2019. 

Dr. Tina Alster, Paul Frazer, Barbara Crocker (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Dr. Tina Alster, Paul Frazer, Barbara Crocker

The lavish tented garden party was an opportunity for friends and neighbors to enjoy cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, and chat about the upcoming House Tour. 

Jeanie Pim and Linda Battalia (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Jeanie Pim and Linda Battalia

The Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church, Rev. Gini Gerbasi announced the establishment of the Frida Burling Community Service Award.

Rev. Gini Gerbasi, Tycely Williams, Belinda Winslow (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Rev. Gini Gerbasi, Tycely Williams, Belinda Winslow

Presented to Tycely Williams, Junior League of Washington President, the award honors the organization for their involvement and support of the Georgetown House Tour for over 25 years.

Jackie Pletcher and Charlie Eisen (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Jackie Pletcher and Charlie Eisen

Rev. Gerbasi shared with guests the eight decades long connection. "Frida Burling joined the Junior League of Washington in 1934 at the age of 19. For more than 82 years, she passionately led dozens of successful programs which strengthened the lives of thousands of women, children and families, and meaningfully mentored hundreds of young women within the Junior League of Washington."

Belinda Winslow and Kate Michael (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Belinda Winslow and Kate Michael

"Frida was a force of nature, fiercely committed to improving the lives of others through her work ... She was also a brilliant fundraiser, raising millions of dollars for projects around the city, including the Junior League's headquarters on M Street in the heart of Georgetown."

Reid Dunavant and Samira Farmer (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Reid Dunavant and Samira Farmer

"And even this party was her idea-- a way to bring together people she loved with a cause she cherished."

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

Frida's daughter Belinda Winslow was moved by the presentation which recognized her mother's life-long commitment to the underserved. 

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Luigi Hervé: Leopold's Pastry Chef Extraordinaire

March 31, 2019

It's the Rostbraten vom Angus Rind and Esterhazy that keep me coming back to Kafe Leopold since the day it opened in Cady's Alley 14 years ago. 

Pastries at Leopold's (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Pastries at Leopold's


Anthony Lanier’s vision of a contemporary Austrian konditorei is a delightful mix of  coffeehouse, restaurant, bar, bakery plus nightclub with its adjoining L2 Lounge.


From breakfast to nightcap, everything’s delicious, including the Julius Meinl coffee, especially with those almost croissants. 


What's most notable, thanks to French chef Luigi Hervé, is all their exquisite desserts (yes, not just that amazing five-layer hazelnut cake).


This 35-year old Loire Valley native landed at Leopold's 10 years ago after training in Switzerland, Spain, and in London with master chef Pierre Gagnaire at the two starred Michelin Sketch restaurant.

In the kitchen with Luigi Hervé (Photo by: Judith Beermann) In the kitchen with Luigi Hervé

Armed with a masters degree in pastry, a five year apprenticeship that included one year studying bread-making alone, plus a stint as chocolatier in St. Tropez, Hervé does it all.


He makes it look easy but creating picture-perfect pastries every day is not without its challenges. Consider humidity, seasonal variations in fruits, and of course, customer sensitivity to allergens.


Tasting everything is one of his secrets to consistency.

What’s your favorite, I asked Hervé? “The Frasier.” Yes! My second favorite after Esterhazy!

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Digest Design II: 2019 AD Design Show Picks

March 25, 2019

Representing the fabulous metal artist Gary Magakis I discovered 30 years ago, Todd Merrill Studio was the first booth I wandered into. 

Gary Magakis's china bench designed exclusively for author (Photo by: Gary Magakis) Gary Magakis's china bench designed exclusively for author

The world’s top talent in furniture, accessories, lighting, art, kitchen, bath, and building projects came together last weekend at Architectural Digest Design Show on New York's 92 & 94 Piers. I came for inspiration.


In addition to DIFFA's dazzling Dining by Design tablescapes to benefit AIDS support programs, here are my five favorites from a stunning show:



E.M. Soberon table (Photo by: Judith Beermann) E.M. Soberon table

Harvested from fallen trees in the forests of Mexico and South America, Eduardo Martinez Soberon designs high-end architectural furniture combining wood, stainless steel, bronze, iron, glass and acrylic.


Soberon began his career as an architect and furniture designer in Mexico in the early 1980’s and now designs for exclusive hotels, restaurants and private residences around the world.



Vitrea thermostat (Photo by: vitrea-sh.co) Vitrea thermostat

Completely customizable products to control and connect your interior spaces, Vitrea fuses streamlined style with smart technology. 


Glass touchpads, mounted flush or floating, switches and thermostats can be placed in either a horizontal or vertical position and personalized with engraved words or icons for easy identification.


Simply installed and configured, Vitrea is compatible with existing systems including Lutron. Glass frames for electrical outlets complete the customized look.



The Nook Collection (Photo by: Judith Beermann) The Nook Collection

Inspired by nature and from the curves of the node of a tree where the branch extends out from the trunk, Pandemic Design Studio'The Node Collection is an indoor/outdoor modular ceramic wall mounted planter system.


Each piece can be hung individually or assembled together in groups to create a sculptural living wall with application flexibility and irrigation system compatibility. 



Plexi-Craft (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Plexi-Craft

We all love transparency. The Sweet Dreams Crib, part of Plexi-Craft's The Signature Collection is completely see-through, non-toxic,100% recyclable and all edges are safely rounded. 


This New York-based company has been making custom acrylic furniture since the 1960’s.



London Basin Company basins (Photo by: Judith Beermann) London Basin Company basins

Founded by interior designer Anna Callis and her daughter Nathalie, London Basin Company designs and makes exquisite hand-decorated porcelain basins for bathrooms.


Coordinating vanities and mirrors too.

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