There was enormous excitement at HQ on Merrion Square as the team made preparations for our trip to the US which this time included New York and Palm Beach. It was fabulous to catch up with the team at The Carlyle and get the update on the hotel’s exciting refurbishment. On the eve of our arrival, the hotel had been decorated in such an elegantly festive way, we felt more than a little Christmassy as we checked in. We started our trip by catching up with our wonderful friend, Marigay McKee, CEO of MM Luxe Consulting, based in New York and a former President of Saks, Marigay is 100 per cent tapped into the zeitgeist and has the Midas touch for all things luxury. Plus, she is so much fun!

A Christmas Tree at The Carlyle

Marigay McKee

You know I can’t be in NY without making my pilgrimage to Bergdorf’s to take in the Christmas windows and this was my next stop! This season’s theme is “Bergdorf Goodies,” and the store continues its tradition of fantastical storytelling with giant candy canes and gingerbread houses, candy-floss statues and neon lighting. I loved it, it was so playful and joyful! 

The Christmas Windows At Bergorf's

We had a wonderful dinner at the legendary 21 Club, a New York institution where hundreds of whimsical "toys" are suspended from the ceiling, including my own model Concorde airplane which has hung there for 21 years. We were delighted to be seated directly under it! I always receive such a warm welcome when I return to The 21 Club. It was fabulous to catch up over dinner with my friend Tham Kannalikham, one of the most interesting and knowledgeable classical interior decorators, who is currently working on The White House in Washington. I also had breakfast with the fabulous Charlotte Moss, another iconic American interior designer. Charlotte and I had not seen each other in 15 years and over breakfast, we picked up like it was yesterday. Charlotte has had another incredible year, and has recently published her latest book called ‘Entertains’ published by Rizzoli. In fact, the whole trip had a strong interiors theme (after fashion, interiors are my great interest).

At 21, With My Concorde!

We left a very cold New York and arrived to sunshine in Palm Beach.
We showed our collection in collaboration with Mary Mahoney, whose boutique on Worth Avenue has been a Palm Beach institution for over three decades, since she first opened as a D. Porthault linen boutique in 1985, gradually adding Limoges china, and other upscale collections and lines, to the mix. It is a destination for the discerning, and also a go-to for some of the US’s leading designers and decorators.  It was such a pleasure to meet so many of her elegant and gorgeous clients. Mary’s wonderful nieces, Mary and Tara entertained us royally and made us feel like locals. This wasn’t a stretch, by the way, having swapped a very cold New York city for brilliant Palm Beach sunshine, we were more than ready to embrace the lifestyle, and the very exciting culinary scene. We loved Bice, the gorgeous, buzzy Tuscan restaurant originally founded in Milan by Beatrice Ruggeri and now a hugely successful restaurant group. We also ate at Buccan on County Road, where chef-owner Clay Conley, a multi-award-winning chef, serves innovative exciting small plates in a modern American style. I can highly recommend both. 

An Interior At The Chesterfield, With Clodagh at Mary Mahoney

We stayed at the Chesterfield, part of the Red Carnation group, which also owns Ashford Castle in Ireland, as well as 15 other luxury properties, including a London Chesterfield in Mayfair, quite near our flagship store in London. Knowing how wonderful Ashford Castle is, I was sure we would be in very good hands. The location – on residential Coconut Row between legendary shopping destination Worth Avenue and long, white sandy beaches with gently swaying palm trees – couldn’t have been better. The building is charming. Designed in the style of a European bed and breakfast, The Chesterfield was built in 1926 and renovated in 1937 by Palm Beach architect John L Volk. The hotel, with its pink-washed walls and original ironwork, is registered with the Palm Beach Preservation foundation as a historical landmark. We loved its legendary bar, the Leopard Lounge, which many of our Palm Beach clients encouraged us to try, all in the interests of research, of course! We had a wonderful few days in Palm Beach, and plan to return.

A Christmas Tree on Worth Avenue