A few weeks ago on a gray Sunday morning, Jim and I were having coffee on the couch, wrapped up in layers of blankets. It felt like spring was still weeks away and the prospect of more cold, damp days ahead made me want to crawl back into bed with Lola.
Jim suggested we take a quick trip to Palm Beach for some warm weather and a visit to the West Palm Beach Antiques Show, which has been on my bucket list for years. I have been to Palm Beach several times — it's about two hours from my parents' house in Naples, so it's a do-able day trip. There's something about classic Palm Beach style that entrances me — I don't know if it's the lush landscaping and pink bougainvillea climbing the walls of the magazine-worth homes, the European-style cafes tucked away down narrow brick avenues, or the well-heeled women strolling down Worth Avenue, looking like they stepped right out of a Slim Aarons photograph. We quickly booked flights, reserved a rental car, and started planning our escape from dreary New York.
Here are some highlights from our trip —the most memorable being the day spent at the West Palm Antiques Show and an incredible brunch at the Colony Hotel.
Where to Stay
There are no shortages of beautiful accommodations in the Palm Beach area. My favorite place to stay is
The Chesterfieldand we were lucky there were rooms available, despite our last-minute planning. While The Chesterfield is more of a splurge, it's worth it at least once to experience Chinoiserie decor, the lush flower arrangements in the lobby, and the espresso martinis at the legendary
Leopard Loungebar. Other luxe accommodations include the
White Elephant (which has a sister hotel in one of my other favorite places, Nantucket) and
the Colony Hotel.
Even if you don’t stay at the Colony, I highly recommend indulging in brunch on the poolside terrace. I always go at least once every trip to enjoy a glass of bubbles and their heavenly eggs benedict. Best of all, you have a front row view of the “ladies who lunch” crowd — style inspiration for days!
The gorgeous dining area at the Colony Hotel
Where to Shop
Palm Beach and West Palm both have some amazing places to shops, with distinctly different vibes. These two areas are about 20 minutes apart, so you'll want to drive to make the most of your time. I like to browse the vintage stores along the South Dixie Highway. One of my favorite stops is Circa Who in West Palm. They have so many amazing pieces of décor and furniture — this is the epitome of Palm Beach style. Their offerings include a colorful mix of tropical, preppy, and Hollywood Regency styles — think rattan dressers, lacquered faux bamboo mirrors, and brass bar carts.
The best part is that the couple who own Circa Who also run the Mario Lopez Torres showroom located directly next door. Mario is an artist based in Mexico who makes stunning chandeliers that can be found in the chicest hotels around the world, including the Ken Fulk-designed Goodtime Hotel in South Beach. I often find myself in the showroom trying to figure out if there is any possible way to fit one of his chuspata woven pieces in my carry on without Jim noticing.
Rattan heaven in the Mario Lopez Torres showroom in West Palm Beach.
The highlight of our trip was was exploring the West Palm Beach Antiques Festival. This event is a Florida institution for interior designers, antique collectors, and dealers alike. The show has been held once a month for the last 20 years at the South Florida Fairgrounds. I was there for the unrivaled selection of designer vintage jewelry, but if you're in the market for anything from textiles to furniture to art, you'll find it here.
As much as I love sourcing jewelry for the KD shop, I also love talking to the dealers who are a wealth of knowledge about their wares. One dealer I met had a massive collection of costume jewelry — everything from Chanel to Kenneth Jay Lane. She was lucky enough to KJL personally, and she shared some amazing stories about him over mimosas at her booth.
A small sampling of the treasures that came home with me.
After a successful day of shopping, we had worked up an appetite and needed to refuel. My favorite lunch spot in West PaIm is the Avocado Grill, which has something for everyone - salads, grain bowls, sandwiches - and great cocktails. Another delicious option is Cholo Soy Cocina - try the rock shrimp ceviche, yuca fries, and definitely a margarita.
We wrapped up our trip by lounging at the Chesterfield's pool and grabbing a quick dinner at the Leopard Lounge before catching a late flight home to reunite with Lola and add new treasures to the shop.
If you visit Palm Beach and check out any of these spots (or discover new ones) let me know!