The Preservation Society of Newport is hosting its 18th Newport Flower Show from June 21st to the 23rd at Rosecliff Mansion. This year, the theme is Jade: Eastern Obsessions, which will take attendees on an exotic journey through Far Eastern traditions and beauty. Floral designer Hitomi Gillian will be sharing her skills on the latest techniques and designs while Harriett Henderson will be there to share her experiences throughout the Far East and how Western gardens have been influenced.
The weekend kicks off with the Opening Night Cocktail Party held on Friday, June 21st at Rosecliff Mansion. The cocktail party lasts from 6pm to 9pm. Guests can enjoy fresh floral arrangements, “horticultural extravaganzas,” a cocktail buffet and shopping.
As you enter the Moon Gate into Rosecliff on Saturday and Sunday, you will be greeted by “zen-full” inspired gardens. There are a variety of events happening throughout the weekend to keep you entertained and enjoying the flower show. Lectures and Demonstrations will be happening throughout the weekend and will cover topics such as; Chinese Brush Painting, Florals inspired by Far East Traditions, the Spirit of Jade in Newport Landscapes, “Asian Small Bites,” A Tree Tour of the Elms and Chepstow, Jade Garden Plants, and many more. There is also shopping at the Oceanside Boutiques, which is an anticipated Newport tradition. Garden accessories, clothing, gifts, jewelry and decorative items will be available for sale.
It is amazing to me that after over 15 years of living in Newport that I still stumble upon a new hidden treasure that Newport has to offer. Sometimes these treasures are just around the corner from the Inn and other times a discovery that my wife and I make on one of our many walks around the city. Following is a list of some of the less obvious attractions/things to do/places to eat on Aquidneck Island that may not be included in the typical Newport guidebook. Most locals know about these items but this post is more for our guests and visitors to Newport.
- Southern End of the Cliff Walk/Rejects Beach – The most beautiful part and less traveled part of the Cliff Walk is the Southern end. On Summer days when town and the beaches are packed full of people you can hike this portion of the Cliff Walk and see only a few people. The same goes for Rejects Beach which is located near the end of the Cliff Walk and only a few hundred yards from the famed Bailey’s Beach Club. To get to both of these areas just take the trolley which is a short walk from the Inn. www.cliffwalk.com
- Sachuest Point – The Cliff Walk understandibly tends to get the most attention as a great outdoor activity during all four seasons in Newport. However, if you enjoy being outdoors Sachuest Point is a great seaside walk overlooking second beach in Middletown. A great place for birders, Sachuest Point also has free and ample parking. Visit the Sachuest Point website for more information.
- Newport International Polo Series – Occuring every Saturday starting in June, the Newport International Polo Series features the U.S.A. versus a multitude of International teams including such far away places as Ghana. Grab some wine and cheese and watch the entertaining game of polo field side. www.nptpolo.com
- Pineapples On The Bay – Located at the Hyatt Hotel, Pineapples has one of the best views in Newport. Unimpeded views of the Newport Bridge and the harbor can be had from any of the many outdoor tables. Plus, Tuesday is half price appetizers and there is free validated parking. Visit the Pineapples website for more information.
- Castle Hill – Castle Hill Inn and Resort is located on Ocean Drive and situated right at the entrance to Newport harbor. A huge wedding venue with room rates climbing into the $700-$800 range during peak times, Castle Hill is a great place to grab an afternoon cocktail or a dinner priced lunch. Dinner, although top notch, should be avoided unless you plan to dine early. Why pay the top prices if you cannot see the water?
In the spirit of Fall and Halloween, the Friends of Ballard Park will be hosting the 10th Annual Ballard Park Pumpkin Tour. Pumpkins decorated by various members of the community including school groups, community groups, artists and others, will be displayed along the trails of Ballard Park on October 13th from 4:30 to 9pm. Parking will be available at Rogers High School, which is located across from the park. Ballard Park is Newport’s only Nature Preserve, and this event brings in thousands of people every year. It is free and open to the public. It will be held rain or shine and guests are advised to bring flashlights to help guide themselves along the trails.
The week before the Tour, pumpkin carving parties are held across Aquidneck Island in preparation for the showcase. Pumpkins range from simple jack-o-lanterns, to elaborate carvings. After the Tour, before cleanup on Sunday the 14th, the public is invited to come and take the pumkpins home to display for themselves. This is a great event that brings the community together, and keeps the public interested in maintaining this 13 acre preserve.
The 22nd annual Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival will be held on October 13th and 14th from 11am to 5pm. In 2005, Coastal Living Magazine named this festival one of the “10 Fabulous Fall Festivals on the Coast,” so don’t miss out on the chance to be a part of the fun. Admission is free, and there will be live entertainment as well as tons of seafood from various local restaurants and fisherman’s associations. Enjoy a wide variety of seafood, from lobster dinners, to stuffed quahogs (a RI favorite), to oysters and clams. Cafe seating will be set up throughout the wharf, so you’ll have a place to enjoy both the food and the entertainment.
So this weekend is the International Oktoberfest here in Newport. I thought it would be fitting to have a recipe involving beer for you all to make and enjoy whether or not you’re able to celebrate downtown. This is a Bed & Breakfast, though, so I was hoping for a recipe your could enjoy for breakfast, but most recipes involving beer are for stews or chicken and what not. There’s always beer bread, but thats kind of predictable. Thankfully, I found something involving beer for the most important meal of the day, so for all you beer lovers who want to bring some beer into your breakfast, here’s a recipe for Beer Coffee Cake.
- 2 cups all-purpose biscuit mix
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 2/3 cup beer
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1/4 cup chopped peacans
- For coffee cake: in a bowl, combine biscuit mix, sugar and ginger
- In a separate bowl, combine beer and egg
- Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients, stirring lighly, just until moistened
- Pour mixture into a greased 9-inch round cake pan
- For topping: combine flour, sugar, cinnamon and pecans
- Cut in butter until the mixture is crumbly
- Sprinkle over coffee cake batter
- Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes
- Serve warm or cold
The 7th Annual Newport Mansion Food & Wine Festival will be held this weekend, September 21-23 at Rosecliff, the Elms and Marble House. This three day festival will be home to over 100 of the world’s finest vintners and over two dozen of New England’s finest restaurants and caterers. This year’s special guests are Emeril Lagasse and Jacques Pepin. The festival includes two days of “Grand Tastings” on the Marble House lawn, cooking demonstrations by national and regional chefs, seminars led by wine experts, live and silent auctions, the Collectible Wine Dinner at the Elms, and the Wine & Rosecliff gala celebration. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste some of the world’s best wines!
Newport has a variety of festivals happening all year round, and coming up this weekend, June 22-24th is the Newport Flower Show, held at Rosecliff Mansion. This years theme is Salsa – A Celebration of Latin Cultures, so the colorful designs and exotic plants will be inspired by Latin music and dance. Gardners of all levels participate in this event to show off their creativity with the colors and design of their flower arrangements. Rosecliff is the perfect backdrop for this event and is a beautiful Mansion to visit any time of the year, not just during the Flower Show.
The Opening Night Cocktail party is held on the 22nd and there will be food and wine and all kinds of surprises to kick off this wonderful event. The following days will be filled with flower designs and shopping at the Oceanside Boutiques and Gardeners’ Marketplace. All proceeds of this event go to the Preservation Society for the restoration and maintenance of the land and gardens.