Last summer, we went to visit our friend Katrina in Miami for what turned out to be a two day food extravaganza. This winter break, it was time to return the favor and show her around our home turf! But having only one day to do it all in, it was 9 am and we were already off to see Wellington’s Winter Equestrian Festival! Before going to college in Philly, Felicia and I had lived in Wellington all our lives.
Wellington holds the largest and longest running horse show in the world from January to March…[and] is considered the top International Equestrian destination for the diverse equestrian disciplines of show jumping, dressage, and polo. Each year [Wellington] hosts 26-goal polo matches including the USPA Piaget Gold Cup and the Nespresso U.S. Polo Open at the Palm Beach International Polo Club. -Wikipedia
Although the morning was a bit drizzly, we still got to see our fill of show jumping.
Keeping on a tight schedule, it was time to head over to Palm Beach for a Gilded Age style lunch at the Flagler Museum.
Gilded Age Americans saw themselves as the most highly evolved western culture in history. Because of this mindset, they felt free to borrow traditions and rituals from previous great western civilizations including ancient Rome and Greece, Italy, and the nation’s former ruling power, Britain. One of the most cherished and ritualistic traditions observed by Americans during the Gilded Age came from Britain – the practice of afternoon tea. – The Flagler Museum website
Open seasonally from Thanksgiving to Easter, Café de Beaux-Arts transports its diners back to the turn of the 20th century. Personally, I love this style of lunch because you get to try a little of so much! Tea sandwiches of:
- Egg Salad with Whipped Curried Mayonnaise
- Cucumber, Chives, & Herbed Cream Cheese
- Swiss Cheese & Turkey with Strawberry Mayonnaise (The group favorite)
- Chicken Salad with Shoestring Carrots, Celery, & Scallions
- Whipped Smoked Salmon on Pumpernickel with Fresh Dill
- Albacore Tuna Salad Garnished with Granny Smith Apple
- Old Fashioned Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese
All on assorted breads. And let’s not forget dessert:
- Traditional Scone with Cranberries (served with Clotted Cream & Strawberry Preserves)
- Lemon Curd Tart with Fresh Berries
- Chocolate Brownie
- Coconut Macaroons (too bad they weren’t their single vowel cousins)
But of course afternoon tea would not be complete without well… the tea! So it was the Whitehall Special Blend Tea and Lemonade Sweetened with Berry Juice to quench our thirst.
As satisfying as lunch was, we didn’t just go to Flagler for the food. It was Whitehall itself that brought us there.
In March 30, 1902, a story in the New York Herald described Whitehall, the Palm Beach home of Henry Flagler as, “More wonderful than any palace in Europe, grander and more magnificent than any other private dwelling in the world…” Flagler built the 75-room, 100,000-square-foot Gilded Age mansion, Whitehall, as a wedding present for his wife, Mary Lily Kenan Flagler. The couple used the home as a winter retreat from 1902 until Flagler’s death in 1913, establishing the Palm Beach season for the wealthy of the Gilded Age. – The Flagler Museum website
Similar in interior design and opulent fashion (not to mention practically across the street) is The Breakers Hotel, which was also originally owned by none other than the oil and rail tycoon Henry Flagler.
[In 1904] Rooms started at $4.00 a night, including three meals a day- Wikipedia
Nowadays, that’ll just cover your tip to the valet upon arrival. If you wanna spend the night, prepare to fork out somewhere around $579 with zippo meals included.
By this time, it was already past 2 pm which unfortunately meant no time to go to Champs Élysées Bakery. We were off to catch our matinee showing of FROZEN! Although initially not enthused by the trailer way back in November, I’ve gotta say this movie is definitely one of Disney’s best! I actually paid for the whole soundtrack on iTunes and have been listening to it on repeat since; it’s that good.
Some favorite musical moments:
Olaf: Winter’s a good time to sit close and cuddle / But put me in summer and I’ll be a… happy snowman! – In Summer
Hans: I mean it’s crazy / Anna: What? / Hans: We finish each other’s / Anna: Sandwiches! / Hans: That’s what I was gonna say! – Love is an Open Door
At 4pm, we weren’t quite hungry enough for dinner, so we spent some time window shopping around City Place.
Look, it’s Olaf!
Apparently cat hats are a new trend?
We didn’t go far for dinner as it was right on Clematis Street. And when we arrived to Palm Sugar we got quite the coincidental surprise; turns out the hostess at Café de Beaux-Arts (where we had lunch) worked nights at Palm Sugar. Talk about a small world! Gotta admit though, wasn’t very impressed by the food despite being initially drawn in by The Palm Sugar Lava Cake (a warm chocolate cake filled with green tea ganache and green tea ice cream).
Stuffed and in great need of some exercise, we drove back to Felicia and I’s house and played Just Dance 4 for the next hour and a half. All in all, it was a packed day of horses, tea, Gilded Age opulence, and Disney magic.