Summer with Talbots

Summer Styles from Tuckernuck

Monday, April 25, 2016

Magnificent Newport - Take 1

Hello, dear friends.  I hope that you had a great weekend.  If you recall, I mentioned that I was spending the weekend at a bachelorette party for one of my nearest and dearest in Boston.  It was so much fun -  I still haven't recovered. I'm happy to report that I didn't have to set up a GoFundMe account for bail money, so you're off the hook.  

Speaking of having a fabulous time, I was invited to join a small group of bloggers for a tour in Newport.  Anyone who has been reading my blog for some time knows that Newport is one of my favorite places in the whole world.  You can read my past posts here, herehere and here.  

Our first stop was The Breakers.  
It is the largest and most opulent of the "summer cottages" in Newport.

Fasten your seatbelts, ladies and gents.
It's a jaw dropper.  

The Breakers was built by my boyfriend, Anderson Cooper's great-great-great grandfather, Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1893.  By the way, my old homestead was built two years later.  Another thing I have in common with my boyfriend.

That's where the similarities end.  The Breakers holds over 65,000 square feet of indoor space.  It sits overlooking the water and thirteen acres of manicured grounds.  Two out of three floors are available for public viewing. 

As we entered the house, we were offered two audio tours.  I had taken the regular tour before so I opted for the children's tour so that I could report back to all of you with young children.

The tour is narrated in the voice of the house.  It tells you all about the family members and staff in colorful detail.  The speaker describes what a typical summer day was like for a lucky child of the Vanderbilt's.  The listener is introduced to the Chef and Butler, who say a few words.  

I highly recommend the children's audio tour.  It is so well done and enables the listener to get a feeling for what it would be like to live in this gorgeous home in its heyday.   

First stop is the parlor which is where guests were greeted.

The narrator describes how fun it is to slide down the grand staircase on a silver tray.

Note to self:  
next time pack tray in purse.

By the time I finished the tour I had a sore neck.  The ceilings throughout the house are beyond magnificent.

The acorn symbol was adopted by the Vanderbilt family in lieu of a family crest.  You can find the acorns everywhere throughout the house from the adorned ceilings to... 

... the floors.  This photo is from the billiards room.  Chalk up your cue stick - we'll be there before you know it!

The marble and the gilded wood that is displayed throughout the house will take your breath away.

Are you ready to be challenged?

I can just picture myself in a gorgeous gown snuggled in a chair reading Jane Austen.

I don't mind telling you that I felt a touch of motion sickness when I walked into this bedroom.

I'll take this one.  
Sista can sleep in the last one.

I can almost hear a cook like Mrs. Patmore instructing Daisy to crack some eggs!

I wonder who is in charge of polishing all that copper.

On to the butler's pantry...

How would you like to wake up to this view every morning?

As if that was not enough beauty, the gift shop offers lovely gift items.

This pic was taken with the queen of blue and white, Tina, from The Enchanted Home in mind, and all my other friends that adore blue and white!

Oh, there he is!  
I knew he was around here somewhere!

In closing, I highly recommend a visit to magical Newport.  If I haven't convinced you entirely, stay tuned for Part 2 that includes another summer cottage, Marble House, a fabulous restaurant, a vital resource for the sailor in your life, and a school that's concentration is yacht restoration.

Have you ever visited Newport?

Until next time...

Preppy Empty Nester
Preppy Empty Nester

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Feel free to contact me through comments and email. I love to hear from my readers!


  1. Wow -- that place is stunning!! Have never been there, but putting it on my list! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Visited Newport and some of the cottages including this one several years ago. On my list to go back to more. Hard to imagine that kind of life.

  3. Beautiful pictures! At first, I thought you were going to say the tour was narrated in Anderson Cooper's voice, and I was just hoping it included a few of his giggles. Ha!! I'm glad you had a good visit. I hope you have a great week!

  4. I can't even imagine what it cost to build and maintain such a magnificant place. The utility bills alone would be up in the stratosphere but probably pocket changed to Mr. Vanderbilt! As my son would say, this is just "stupid" money!

    I would love to visit Newport one of these days and if I do, I want you as my tour guide.

  5. Thanks for sharing and adding one more place to visit to my travel list!!

  6. Did you get your boyfriend's newest book written with his mom? I can't wait to read it! I haven't been to Newport for probably 40 years or close to it. I remember it being quite spectacular. This is totally magnificent -- hard to even pick a favorite room or photo although I'm lovin' that kitchen!

  7. Katie, Newport is one of my favorites too. It's been a few years since my last visit, so thank you for taking us along. Looking forward to Part 2.

  8. Katie, Newport is like a second home to me, I went to Salve some 30 plus years ago for two years and fell in LOVE, My daughter graduated from Salve in 2011 and was fortunate to get a job and live on Block Island for two years and Narragansett for another year and a half. I spent as much weekend time and time off from work there as I could. So love everything and every moment spent there, Will now have a new [lace to fall in love with as she has moved to Charleston SC and first trip their is slated for June. Happy travels.

  9. of my favorite places AND my birthplace!!! I think I got invited on the same trip - it would have been fun to meet up. Next time I get something like that, I will let you know. Looking forward to Part 2!! Have a wonderful week, my dear!! xoxo

  10. My brother and his wife on their way there soon. I'll send this link over to them, thanks!

  11. When I was a little girl, my Dad went to the Naval War College. We lived in a mansion on Ruggles lane right across the street from the Breakers. Our beautiful home had been converted into 3 temporary officer's quarters. It is now a dorm for Salve Regina University. In the winter we would take cafeteria trays over the the Breakers and sled down the back steps. Kennedy was President and one day we climbed through a culvert pipe and got onto the property of Fairholme Estate. Pres Kennedy was swimming in the pool and the secret service told us to climb back through and go home. I was only about 7, but what a fun place to live for a year. We were certain that all of the old homes were haunted!

  12. I can never get enough of that beautiful place! Love your photos and I can't wait to hear more details. I am making a list for my next (long overdue) trip there. Glad you didn't need any bail money in Boston...

  13. No matter how many times I go it never gets old. There is so much to see and it sure does get you dreaming doesn't it...about how it must have been to have been a guest at one of their legendary parties, if only those walls could talk!
    Newport is a true gem of a place, and the perfect weekend getaway:) Enjoy the soggy day.

  14. Oh thank you Katie for taking us along. I love nothing more than to tour estates. I cannot even imagine a life that the Vanderbilt's lived...just like the Biltmore Estate...magnificent! Anderson Cooper is indeed a very special guy. I have been a fan of Gloria for many years...I am going to linger over these photos awhile! Hugs!

  15. NO< NEVER.........but when I come to see YOU it is on my LIST of things to do!I WOULD LOVE IT!

  16. I used to go with my parents and then with husband when we were first married. Stopped as son got older. You have inspired me to go back again, SOON!!! xo

  17. Beautiful! It looks like you had a picture perfect day for your visit!

  18. Just gorgeous. I would love to see it in person someday. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Love Newport - the mansions, the water, the beaches, the shops, the restaurants.
    Looking forward to more details of your trip.

  20. Newport is always a stunner...when my niece was graduating from Salve Regina, she was also being commissioned an Officer in the US Army on the same day, a Saturday. She forgot to get the silver dollar she needed to give her father when he saluted her for the first time. I quickly went to save the day. First, I drove around Newport like Chevy Chase in European Vacation, "...look kids the Breakers"... Next, I couldn't find a bank that was open, someone actually suggested I go to a fountain at one of the "summer cottages" and pull one out of the fountain. Finally, I found a branch that was open, but alas no silver dollars, a customer overheard me and told the bank manager who just happened to have one in her desk...we made the exchange and my niece paid her father for the salute. The restaurants in Newport are fabulous.

  21. We lived on Aquidneck Island for four years and made many visits to the "cottages" on Bellevue Avenue - fabulous! If you get a chance, head over for the Coaching Weekend; it's held every three years and August 2018 is the next one - By the way, note to self: do not take sip of coffee and then read your note to self to take tray in purse on next visit. Oh, dear, what a mess I made, lol! Did you visit Astor's Beechwood before it closed to the public? We went on two of the living history tours - we were "guests" and went through the house with a member of the staff, a friend of the family from next door (Rosecliff) and Elsa Maxwell - Cole Porter was on the piano, what an experience. Sorry sad it's no longer available. Thanks for a lovely trip down memory lane.


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