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The New George Town Club

September 4, 2013

"The George Town Club that re-opens in October will not be the same George Town Club everyone remembers," says Elizabeth Miller. "The interior will be the first sign that things are different, but everything from the programming to the food to the membership will show that the Club is chic and hip and THE place to be in Georgetown!"

Andrew Law, Dan Sallick and George Hemphill (Photo by: Elizabeth Miller) Andrew Law, Dan Sallick and George Hemphill

Some of Georgetown’s finest talents have lent their energy and time to bring the Club elegantly into the 21st century. The vision starts with the space, but the plan is to shine a warm wood-paneled light on invited musicians, politicians, artists, and museum curators.

"Adding a focus on contemporary art in the redesigned spaces, particularly by Washington-based artists and architects, will not just add to the aesthetics, but more importantly to the creative dialogue happening at the Club," said Dan Sallick, George Town Club member and Hirshhorn Museum + Sculpture Garden Board member.

August 2013 (Photo by: Judith Beermann) August 2013

Leading the design team, interior designer Andrew Law explained, "We sought to preserve the venerable history of the Club's interiors - which include significant period millwork from both England and the estate of J.P. Morgan - while creating an environment that is relevant for today.  To that end, we incorporated linen on the walls, added custom tailored furnishings, and the antique rugs are now showcased atop a layer of sisal, creating interiors that are much more approachable."

Executive Chef Martin Galicia (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Executive Chef Martin Galicia

Remember the fabulous August Georges showroom? For over 25 years, Debbie Winsor has been active in the design community. "I am thrilled to be working with Bo Blair an Andrew Law to re-imagine the spaces at the George Town Club", said Wnsor. "We have left all the beautiful woodworking and unique features, but created something more clean-lined and up-to-date.  The Club is a treasure that we wanted to preserve and re-imagine for the future.  It will now be a place of simple elegance."

New furnishings AND a new Executive Chef: Martin Galicia. Chef Martin's cooking style combines his training in classical French cuisine with his experience working with fresh products, locally raised by Irish farmers and seafood caught in the Atlantic Ocean by Dingle's fishermen.Born in New York City, Martin was raised in Dingle in Southwest Ireland and began his career at The Lord Baker's Restaurant in Dingle.

August 2013 (Photo by: Judith Beermann) August 2013

Stay tuned for details on the grand re-opening.

The George Town Club is located at 1530 Wisconsin Avenue. Tel: 202.333.9330

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

August 2013 (Photo by: Judith Beermann) August 2013

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Isn't It Lovely?

September 2, 2013

Lovely DC owner Julia Simon (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Lovely DC owner Julia Simon

“When I got engaged three years ago, I started looking for a wedding dress, shopping here in D.C., and it was hard finding my price point. So I went to New York City for the weekend, where my sister lives, and visited Lovely. I fell in love with the store and the experience.” Julia Simon, now the owner of Lovely Bride in Georgetown, kept in touch, reaching out to the owner until she was ready to open Lovely DC.

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

Georgetown was the only place she wanted to be. “Much like the NYC and LA stores, Lovely DC was looking for a space with a romantic and welcoming feel, some historical character to play up, in a neighborhood surrounded by other great small businesses. Georgetown offers all of that,” said Julia.

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

After scouting around for a few months, she found the perfect spot. Flooded with light, above Urban Chic in Book Hill, the loft space, uncommonly spacious, is actually the width of three row houses. The exposed brick and distressed wood serve as a warm, romantic backdrop for the elegantly flowing gowns.

Julia holding a Sarah Seven gown (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Julia holding a Sarah Seven gown

Filling the market gap with great designs at accessible price points, the boutique offers a beautiful environment, great service, and a carefully curated selection. Julia explained, “Lovely has something for everyone, from the classic D.C. bride to a more relaxed bohemian beauty. We carry some of the coolest up-and-comers like Sarah Seven, Carol Hannah, and Ivy and Aster as well as some of the classics, Anne Barge, Lea-Ann Belter, and Nicole Miller. The price point is also lovely with dresses from $1,200 - $5,000."


Lovely DC's Fall Trunk Show Schedule:

  • Nicole Miller – September 13th – 15th
  • Theia – September 20th – 22nd
  • Hayley Paige – October 4th – 6th
  •  Anne Barge – October 17th – 20th
  • Lea- Ann Belter– November 15th – 17th

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

Lovely DC is located at 1632 Wisconsin Avenue (2nd floor). Tel: 202.735.0674

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The Setai

July 29, 2013

“Who needs St. Barths?” I never thought I'd hear myself utter those words. But after a much needed, long weekend at The Setai  in South Beach, I found it to be the most beautifully perfect beach getaway. And I can't wait to return.

(Photo by: thesetaihotel.com)

Granted, Miami is everything from trashily hip to decadently decayed but, like many American cities, it’s also got a rich history all its own.

With great nostalgia, I recall the sandy ocean breeze to which I awoke after the 24-hour car ride with boys I didn't know, the first time I arrived in Florida. There was no such thing as South Beach then, just Miami. After four decades of trips to South Florida, this one is far and away, my favorite. Karmically proximate to the Collins Avenue block of my teens, The Setai is a slice of zen nirvana wedged between renovated 20th century hotel icons.

(Photo by: thesetaihotel.com)

You will not want to leave the premises, unless it rains. Ok, I did sneak off to Bal Harbour and Lincoln Road for a little retail therapy, but as soon as the skies cleared, I rushed back.

Restored in 2005, this 'Art Deco Fusion' hotel property was originally built in the 1930's as the eight-story Jack Demsey-Vanderbilt Hotel (Dempsey was a construction partner). This Asian-inspired, luxury resort changed management last year. I cannot speak to the change, only to a flawless experience.

(Photo by: thesetaihotel.com)

Incidentally, the Art Deco district in Miami Beach was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. The district is made up of four neighborhoods: Espanola Way, Collins and Washington Avenues, Museum Park and Flamingo Park.

As with many hotels that cater to their clientele's every whim, The Setai does not disappoint. But that's not a reason to fall in love. Lush oceanfront landscaping, culinary excellence, world-class spa pampering, and aesthetic kinship are. The hotel's Ercuis cutlery is the stainless version of my silver pattern.

Gray antique bricks from Shanghai decorate the lobby floors. The entranceway, with its warm, wood-panelling, is dotted with comfy brown leather armchairs. Strategially-placed citrus fruit and floral arrangements are everywhere. Malaysian seashells tile the bar and outside, teak courtyard seating, stone sculptures, and waterfalls. Meander past the lounging areas (magically lit at night) to the three pools, spa and gym, outdoor restaurant, and of course, the private beach.

(Photo by: thesetaihotel.com)

Each oversized room has every luxury you expect,  masterfully designed with natural materials, lots of recessed lighting and built-in conveniences. There are 75 rooms, 50 suites, and a 10,000-square-foot penthouse suite with balconies and private pool.

Menus at the bar and two restaurants (a third is currently under renovation) offer an eclectic mix of Asian, French and American. Add a bit of Italian and that also describes the summer clientele.

Chef de Cuisine, Thomas Griese (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Chef de Cuisine, Thomas Griese

Chef de Cuisine, Thomas Griese, prepared THE most luscious steak frites with chimichurri sauce. The secret, he confided is their exclusive beef purveyor. Culinary skill is definitely the other secret. Another memorable meal was the wild salmon with ratatouille and escalloped potatoes. Capuccino, croissant and The New York Times  made for a perfect pre-sunbathing Sunday morning.

The first thing you notice when you venture outside to the three pools (set to three different temperatures) is the intoxicating fragrance of jasmine. No, not air freshner, but from a maze of squarely-sculpted shrubs trimmed to privacy height that surround the cabanas and separate the pools.

(Photo by: thesetaihotel.com)

When you look up, you'll see the 40-story glass tower, better known as The Residences at The Setai. Imagine calling this place home!

So now you know this is quite a swanky place. But what makes The Setai so perfect? 1) proximity to DC (two and-a-half hours from home to beach), 2) exotic serenity a few blocks from Ocean Drive, 3) world-class service, dining and ambience, and 4) a private tropical beach minus a postage stamp of a landing strip.

Note to self: plant jasmine.

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