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Monday, May 2, 2016

Magnificent Newport - Take 2

Hello, dear friends.  It is a rainy, raw day here in the Northeast.  The Mister and I had a great weekend.  We had dinner with dear friends and also enjoyed a delicious lunch and caught a movie on Saturday.  We didn't get much planting done though because the nursery advised us it was still too early to tackle our window boxes and pots.  

This is the second part of my spectacular day in Newport with fellow bloggers.  If you missed Part 1 you can find it here

The next stop after The Breakers was another summer cottage called the Marble House.  A lovely lady from the Preservation Society met us and gave us a quick, entertaining tour.
The Marble House was built in 1892 for Mr. and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt.  William was Cornelius' (The Breakers) older brother.

The moment you enter this palatial mansion, you can see where it gets its name. 

Marble House was inspired by the Petit Trianon at Versailles.  Over seven million buckaroos were spent solely on the marble.  

Someone should put together a coffee table book highlighting the ceilings of the Newport mansions.
If you decide to take my advice and make a lot of money, you owe me half.

Enough marble yet?

I'm not sure this house is ostentatious enough for me.

Yeah, definitely not fancy enough for me.

William gave the house to his wife, Alva for her 39th birthday.  They divorced a few years later and she married Oliver Belmont and moved down the street from Marble House.  After Belmont died, she moved back into the house. Alva was a major figure in the women's suffrage movement.

I don't think that Alva spent much time in the kitchen.

Obviously, Alva was committed to her cause because she had this china designed.

Replicas of the china is for sale in the gift shop.

Alva later had a Chinese Tea House built which sole purpose was to host rallies for women's right to vote.

Next stop was lunch at Midtown Oyster Bar.  I have been to Newport quite a bit.  Every time the Mister and I visit, we like to try a new restaurant.  I would say the Midtown Oyster Bar is one of my top three favorite restaurants in Newport.  The food was outstanding as well as the service.  I can't wait to take the Mister.

Dan and Caitlin, two very impressive young people from Dockwa joined us for lunch.  Dockwa is a start-up company that is a unified booking and marketing platform that connects boaters to marinas.  You can read all about it here.  Forbes wrote an interesting piece about Dockwa here.

After lunch, we had a tour of the International Yacht Restoration School.  It is a non-profit trade school.

IYRS is a world-class, post-secondary school focused on teaching the highly technical and deeply craft-oriented skills.     

The school is open to the public.  I was in awe of the beautiful workmanship involved in these vessels.  This is another place that I will bring the Mister when we come back to Newport.  I could leave him here for hours while I get some power shopping done.

There are 110 full-time students and a 90% job placement rate.  There is a 12:1 student/faculty rate.

This is the Coronet - a schooner yacht which was launched in 1885.  It was designed for crossing the ocean in style.  It is 131 feet and a symbol of the gilded age.

This is a photo of the Coronet before the restoration process began.  IYRS acquired it in 1995.  It should be ready to sail in all its glory in three years.

The perfect ending to a delightful day.

Planning any trips to Newport this summer?

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. Wish I had be aware of the International Yacht Restoration School when I was in Newport. My husband and I would have loved it! It will be a 'must' on our next visit.

  2. The bedroom is definitely a bit plain for me, but perhaps I am a picky sleeper. If you ever get a chance, try to visit Hammersmith...it is a much smaller cottage, but an intersting tour. Love your photos.

  3. I have never been to Newport! I cannot wait to visit there! I love the "cottages" and have seen many documentaries about them, they are stunning.

    Love the Yacht School! Very impressive.

  4. Yep, those mansions are over the top fancy! It's interesting to tour them and imagine the life style of the ultra wealthy of that time period. They give "beach house" a whole new meaning.
    Some years ago, I attended a chamber music concert in one of the mansions, I think it was Marble House, but could have been The Breakers. Wonderful evening! If you like classical music, you should go for the Newport Music Festival.

  5. I don't think there's even a centimeter of the Marble House that could breath the word 'cosy'. Give me over-stuffed, upholstered and cushioned any old day......more English Country House, maybe. That said - these are fabulous places and I'd love to visit one day.

  6. I used to live in RI, and spent a lot of time in Newport. It always made me feel like I had a little vacation in just one day. Now, when I visit, I make sure to go to the Black Pearl for their chowder. I took it for granted when I lived there, I used to be able to pick it up frozen and thaw it for dinner on a chilly night. There's also a lovely house tour each Spring run by St Michael's Academy. It might have already taken place this year, I think it's in April, but you must go next year!

  7. Now that I have followed you to Newport I feel like I have seen some of the best parts of it. You have saved me so many steps. However, do you think next time you could get some more pictures of the marble? Looks like you had a wonderful time. I'm jealous! xo Diana

  8. Such a great post! As you know, I LOVE Newport! You are so lucky to live as close as you do. I really have to talk my husband into another trip there. Actually, I don't think he has ever been there. I have only gone with friends in the past. Thanks for the wonderful tour and for adding that cute golden retriever at the end!
    Have a great week!

  9. Well, think I need to put a visit to Newport on my Bucket List for sure. What beauty and love the workmanship at the trade school. How interesting!

  10. Gorgeous! I would love to see this in person, thank you for sharing!


  11. Those summer homes in Newport are so fabulous; they make me wonder what the owners' year-round homes looked like.
    I'm glad that you didn't tackle your window boxes and pots yet - too early. I do mine mid-May and cross my fingers about frost.

  12. I had no idea Alva Vanderbilt had such a commitment to women's suffrage. That's impressive. Looks like she could have funded the movement! Marble House makes Downton Abbey looks like the low-rent district where we go slumming on Sundays. The dining rooms alone tell the story. No wonder so many American women were seen as prizes by Brit nobles to help perk up the bank account! It also explains why in Downton, Shirley MacLaine didn't seem all that impressed by the abbey when she came to visit. If she lived like the Vanderbilts, it would be like the little sweet estate down the way.

  13. I loved visiting Newport last summer. The Newport Flower Show was amazing and our group had dinner in Alva's Chinese Tea Houe! You are so lucky to be able to go often!

  14. Love Newport. Fortunately, I live close enough to visit often, as well. If you've never been to the Newport Flower Show, I highly recommend it. It is at Rosecliff, June 24-26.
    I don't plant anything before Memorial Day. Our weather is just too unpredictable until then.
    Love all your photos.

    1. Maureen.. thanks for the heads up on Newport Flower Show. I will definitely put it on my calendar. Have a great week.

  15. Wow -- fancy schmancy as we say in Nebraska!! :) Wish I was planning a trip to Newport! I am planning a trip to a castle -- Cinderella's castle! :) Have a great day!

  16. Oh my stars and garters I would have been in pure heaven on this glorious tour! I took a class on Women in American History last year and I remember Alva from my readings.
    Have a glorious day dear one!

  17. THOSE CHAIRS...................ARE SO ME!
    SON leaving TODAY!!!!!!!!!I need TO MAKE A PLAN!

  18. Your next President may want to take over Marble House as yet another retreat for himself. That golden bedroom has his name written all over it. Suspect he'd pitch the china though ...

  19. Newport looks absolutely breathtaking, Katie! Your pictures are to-die-for!

  20. Ahhhh...I can never get enough of Newport!! Thanks for sharing and have a terrific week!! xoxo

  21. Your pictures are beautiful! Thank you for sharing. I hope you have a great week!
    Blessed Messes

  22. I love your tours of the Northeast, Katie. What interesting places you visited last weekend. Talk about an amazing place to call home, right? Love that pic of the dog at the end.
    Have a fantastic day!
    xx, Heather

  23. I can't believe that there are spots in Newport that you had not yet discovered. How cool is that yacht restoration school?!?!?! And, hats off to Alva and her work to allow us to vote!

  24. You are the second person this week to recommend Midtown Oyster Bar! We are big fans of IYRS, my husband has done some work for them. Dockwa looks promising - I shall download the app.


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