Design & Décor, Holiday, Living with Style, Seasonal, The Newport Diary


Gorgeous at Christmas: Part 2

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As I was out-ing and about-ing in Newport at this magical time of year, I was taken again by the charm of our “City by the Sea.” With almost perfect weather and clear, crystalline nights, the holiday lights seemed to shine brighter and the shop windows appeared even more fetching. So join me as I lunch at Castle Hill or pop into Marble House for my first taste of Christmas in this Preservation Society grand cottage (see my Marble House post). Each image provides a decor sensibility that prompted their inclusion in this post (complete with personal asides). Call it my Christmas 2021 photo archive–in no particular order, but a smattering of images that give you a sense of the pleasures of Newport at Christmas…with great takeaways!

Firstly, Christmas trees just bring a smile to my face. How about you? Here at the Breakers, the color combinations couldn’t be more different but each bring their glitter to the breakfast room, a bedroom–in my book, few things are as romantic at the holidays as a Christmas tree in this private sanctum–and the library.

Photo Credit: Vibrant Optics for Private Newport
Photo Credit: Vibrant Optics for Private Newport

I’m a fan of Castle Hill Inn, the small jewel Relais and Chateaux retreat with it’s spectacular view at the point of the island; their holiday mantel and tree always provide inspiration…against such wonderful Shingle style woodwork.

Such a jolly scene. Year after year, Royal Male (a tongue-in-cheek take on Royal Mail) helps assuage my longing for London architecture and shopping!

Prepping for a special dinner and thankful that I planned ahead last January with designing these personalized napkins (I’ve always said I would monogram anything if it stood still long enough…must be my Southern upbringing).

Sometimes I just need my ancient Santa as the centerpiece on the salon mantel (perhaps because we’re having Christmas dinner in this room and in his own little way, he can be one of the celebrants).

And speaking of centerpieces…why stop with one tree when two make such a statement? There’s a lesson here! The Grand Hall of The Breakers as I’m sure Mr. Vanderbilt would have imagined it (had he spent Christmas in Newport…).

Photo Credit: Vibrant Optics for Private Newport

The sun wanes in the western sky–making for a wonderful shot like this at Newport’s oft-visited Clarke Cooke House restaurant.

A small but grand statement at the end of a long, formal marble hall, The Elms, Newport’s eighteenth century-inspired French chateau.

New in the last two years, The Breakers mansion, and its landscape, becomes an outdoor magical wonderland at night with its grounds and paths awash in thousands of festive lights.

And so finishes my last post before December 25th…a taste of the Newport I love and know so well during a season that is in such marked contrast to summer. Hope you’ve enjoyed these moments together…may the peace, love, and beauty of the season be yours all year long.


Featured image credit, Vibrant Optics for Private Newport

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Bettie Bearden Pardee

About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

17 thoughts on “Gorgeous at Christmas: Part 2

  1. Beautiful trees decorated by very talented team of decorators. I loved each one. What a treat to enjoy this sight and enjoy the moment. Maybe next year the country will be in a healthier place.

  2. I love the creativity of each of these decorated trees- especially in the bedroom at the Breakers where the tree mimics the wallpaper! Have a wonderful holiday season, Bettie!

  3. Just stunning–wish I was there to see it all. Wishing you & yours a glorious Christmas & all good things in 2022!

  4. Bettie, you always capture the best “WOW!s” What talented people decorate those lovely, tasteful trees, mantels and doors. I think Newport gives London a “run for it’s money.”

  5. Can’t say how much I enjoy every one of your posts but most especially at the seasonal times of the year each holiday brings it’s own special joy and beauty
    Thank you so much for all the pleasure you bring to so many all year long. One day I’ll visit again. Merry Christmas 🎁

    1. Darling Bettie, Always enjoy your posts! So many happy memories of good times together. Just saw Betty Goodwin in Kansas City and see Lucinda Seale all the time, since she and I live in the same condo. Remembering your darling mother and her visits to Pine Bluff and how wonderful she was when I brought a group to Atlanta. Merry Christmas, With so much love, Elsie

  6. Thank you so much in letting us into your gorgeous and inviting home. I look forward to your pictures, especially at Christmas time! It’s so lovely to see Newport all dressed up for the Holidays!
    Newport is so magical at anytime….however, Christmas goes beyond its beauty!
    Newport is fortunate to have you share it all with us!
    Merry Christmas!
    Warmly,
    Colleen Messing

  7. Darling Bettie, Always enjoy your posts! So many happy memories of good times together. Just saw Betty Goodwin in Kansas City and see Lucinda Seale all the time, since she and I live in the same condo. Remembering your darling mother and her visits to Pine Bluff and how wonderful she was when I brought a group to Atlanta. Merry Christmas, With so much love, Elsie

  8. I realize that as I have aged and my eye sight isn’t what it used to be that, sometimes, I can appreciate the contrast of colors, rather than the mutation of such. Beautiful pics as always and thank you@

  9. We love to visit Newport any season of the year but especially during the festive holiday season. I chuckled at your comment that you “would monogram anything if it stood still long enough”. My married surname is Pizzi so I am especially fond of monogramming items that say “Two Pizzis in a Pod”; of course, a play on words of the phrase “Two Peas in a Pod”. My husband and I have ornaments, napkins, our calendar journal as well as a brandy decanter that are monogrammed with the family initial and that phrase. What good is life if you don’t joyfully smile your way through it even when times are challenging. Merry Christmas to you and yours and a Blessed New Year, too.

  10. Oh, Bettie, how these wonderful photos make me homesick for Christmas in Newport! I worked in all the larger PSNC houses and so loved being there when they were decorated for Christmas. It looks as if they outdid themselves this year! On a side note, the music room / ballroom at The Breakers, so beautifully displayed in the top photo, will be featured in Julian Fellows incredible new dramatic miniseries, The Gilded Age. The room will actually become a ballroom in 1880s New York – in the film they cover the sconces with globes to make them look like gas lights. This will be the first time ever that the PSNC has interior filming at The Breakers for a theatrical film. Before this they only allowed documentaries to be filmed inside The Breakers. This series should be a real treat for all of us.

  11. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family. May the beauty and joy of the season stay with you all year as well. Here’s to a beautiful and fabulous growing season in 2022!

  12. Absolutely stunning Newport and all the holiday festivities. . . .thank you so much Bettie for opening the door for the world to see what creations Newport has given us to enjoy at this time of the year.

    Wishing you and yours a Blessed Christmas with Glad Tidings.

    Anna Louise

  13. Oh I have LOVED this!!
    Merry Christmas to you!!
    I got to meet you here in Dallas at he Writers Garden with my friend Mary Lauren Faulkner
    All the best 🙂

    Peggy Zadina

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