An equestrian sport, a tradition and a social pastime, Coaching Weekend was introduced to America in the1880s by Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt. It’s first venue was Newport and 130 years later this spectacle still plays out gloriously around our island. From Ocean Drive waterfront landscapes (above) to Bellevue Avenue estates to sylvan farms up island (below), Coaching was right at home again this past August weekend.
One of the hallmarks of “Coaching, Newport style,” Which takes place every three years, is the social aspect of “visiting friends” in their private enclaves. It is all about entertaining and being entertained. An annual event on the calendar is a luncheon at Greenvale Vineyards overlooking the Sakonnet River. As you can see from the images below, one feels as though they have stepped back in time…the handsome nineteenth century coaches are in impeccable condition, the elegantly groomed horses are matched pairs and liveried footmen sport gold-braided attire.
Another tradition that is enthusiastically embraced…hats!
After the de riguer afternoon nap, the action moved to “The Ledges”, where the coaches convened for the lighting of the lamps as the champagne corks were popped.
The evening ended, appropriately, with a white tie dinner dance at “Miramar,” a Neo- Classical limestone residence overlooking the ocean.
With a nod to the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel, and the hostess’s favorite color, pink…
Remember the famous banana leaf wallpaper, now a fabric?
Which was interspersed amongst the solid pink cloths.
And backing an especially inviting series of seating areas around the dance floor.
As a prelude to dinner being announced, the coaches pulled in on the south lawn to present the final guests.
I’m finishing with a little QUIZ for you, my faithful readers.
The following image so captures Coaching Weekend in Newport. Hollywood good looks, the handsome requisite top hat and tails, the insouciance…But when? Is it from an old photo album in the attic…or did Newport’s answer to Slim Aarons, Nick Mele, artfully “manipulate” his own photo from last week’s event?
Featured Image Credit, Elbow22.