Well, after 5 days we made it to Florida! We had such a cold, gloomy Spring that the sunshine we so craved was almost too much at first. The world looked so bright…the sky so blue…the gardens so lush. But not to worry, we dived right in and embraced the beachier side of life.
I feel like the “beach” in Palm Beach is a little misleading, because the vibe here is much more citified, sophisticated and monied than what I’d typically imagine for a “beach” town. Tank tops and flip flops really don’t cut it here. You need to dress! Even for breakfast at the diner. But I loved it.
For our 3-day stay, we were so lucky to be hosted by my husband’s cousin, who put us up in the stunning apartment she had just finished renovating and redecorating. We were right across the hall from each other, so it almost felt like a sitcom in terms of meeting up for activities or cocktails. And we were within walking distance of most everything we wanted to do.
Known for its glitzy estates and chichi beach clubs, Palm Beach is undoubtably the crown jewel of Florida. You can’t miss a stroll on Worth Avenue, which is lined with upscale boutiques, galleries and restaurants.
When it came to lunch and dinner, I did feel like we were living in an alternate universe, because every meal was beyond delicious but also budget-breaking. Because our hosts generously insisted on treating for most, we didn’t leave PB broke — just a little bit in sticker shock. That being said, you only live once and we would recommend every restaurant we dined at.
Our first lunch was at Renato’s. Nestled in Via Minzer, Renato’s impresses in every way — from gourmet Continental and Italian cuisine to impeccable service and elegant decor. It was filled with “regulars” like our hosts (and we had fun pretending we were, too). Next up for lunch? Cafe Boulud, one of Palm Beach’s most coveted reservations. The French-American menu created by world-renowned chef Daniel Boulud features incredible seafood and produce. It’s definitely the spot to see and be seen. Our last night’s dinner was a stellar experience at Swifty’s, whose popularity is bred by a mix of rarified genealogy and a clubby/snobby NYC history. Call it chic and shameless. My artichoke starter was $18! (It was scrumptious.) There were five of us, and I’m scared to tell you what the check came to. To this day, I’m actually not even sure. Let’s just say the final tab had to be in the four figures.
But we didn’t just eat and drink in PB. In addition to long walks through town and along the beach, we spent a few quiet hours amidst an exhibition of American Impressionism at The Society of the Four Arts along with a stroll through their gorgeous gardens. And we scored some thrifty finds at The Church Mouse, a resale shop that’s filled with 4,000+ square feet of women’s and men’s designer clothing, antiques, artwork, furniture and more.
WEST PALM BEACH
We didn’t stay in WPB this trip (though we really love it and would highly recommend), but we went there twice for dinner. We love Table 26, which never fails to deliver global home-style comfort food in an upscale yet casual environment. So fab! On a more casual note, we also love Grato. This “neighborhood joint” is all about simple, delicious food (pizza!) and a super fun, friendly vibe.
It felt good to settle into six days of sun and fun — with sun protection, of course! We stayed at the pet-friendly Colony Hotel. It was our third time, and if you’re traveling with a 4-legged family member and enjoy old Florida charm, this is the place for you. Family-owned and operated, the hotel recalls the Flagler Mediterranean Revival Era. Located in the heart of Delray, it puts you in walking distance of countless dining and shopping opportunities. Your room rate includes a Continental breakfast every morning. They also have daily yoga classes — just $20 for hotel guests. The best amenity of all is the Cabana Beach Club. There you’ll enjoy 250 feet of private beach, a heated salt water pool, loungers and umbrellas, restrooms with showers, and an excellent restaurant for lunch or early dinner. The staff at both the hotel and club are stellar!
Lunch is served at the club every day except Tuesday, and we loved checking out the daily specials. On the Tuesday that we were there, other guests recommended takeout from Flybird. The fried chicken with two sides was a decadent treat and necessitated some extra laps in the pool! For dinner, we highly recommend Amar Mediterranean Bistro (right across the street from the hotel, rezzies a must), award-winning Caffe Luna Rosa with a great oceanfront location, great food, and great people-watching, J&J Seafood for a deliciously creative take on ocean-fresh catches of the day and more, and Anthony’s for coal-fired pizza and salad. All within walking distance of the hotel!
Look 2: Shift Dress (GenHappy, love the subtle lurex stripe!), Cotton Canvas Bucket Hat (old, J. Crew, this year’s version available in 9 colors with many on sale), Slides (old, Schutz, similar here (under $25!) and here.
I’ve recently partnered with GenHappy, a woman-owned design company founded by two best friends dedicated to bringing joy to women’s closets and their lives. GenHappy is also dedicated to sustainability practices and sourcing and conscious production that insures every person down the supply chain is paid and treated fairly. I can personally attest to the joy factor. Use code SPRITZ10 for 10% off your order! New collection (including the styles featured here) drops May 15th!!
Photos: MP & Chris Allegaert, Video Kristin Moore-Gantz @artdirectthis.
I know this post is a loooong one, but here’s a fun video of our days in Florida.