Friday, April 4, 2014

Another Slight Detour

I know, I know, I promised more of Walda Pairon's work, and more of her beautiful design is definitely coming - only next time.  Today, I feel the need to post about one of the highlights of my southern sojourn last week.  Visiting good friends and relatives in South Carolina and Florida is always a delight especially after our long and very cold winter, but a restaurant in St. Augustine, Florida captured my heart.

St. Augustine, the oldest city in the U.S., was rather disappointing.  So much of it seemed very commercial and not great commercial.  Suffice it to say, the only reason I would visit the city again is to dine at the Ice Plant.  We asked a waiter at lunch what a really good restaurant for dinner would be.  He mentioned the Ice Plant first with no hesitation at all; we took him at his word and mentally thanked him over and over that night at dinner.

What follows is a history of the Ice Plant restaurant, images gleaned from Google Images, a video from Youtube and a recipe for the Brooklynite.

Below is the entrance to the restaurant where we gave our name but no reservations are taken.

Up the stairs with metal banister...

to this...

and this.  If you have ever seen my Pinterest boards, they include one entited "Design - Cool and Funky".  This restaurant embodied all the industrial design I  love - very cool and funky,

The owners traveled up and down the east coast choosing antique elements that would fit their building, such as these ice tongs...

and signage from other ice plants...

even a vintage radio.

Cocktails are one of their specialties.  There are identical two bars - this one...

and an identical bar in their overflow room which offers more moveable table arrangements and a space for cocktail classes.

Cocktails are one of their specialties and are such a bright contrast in the industrial space.

Cocktails are made with only the freshest ingredients and special ice shapes.

Note the very large cubes below.

The table to the extreme right was ours.  Can't really see the table, but hope you get the idea.

And this was our Brooklynite, recommended to us by our hotel's deskman.  He was right - we loved it and had another.  We asked our very efficient waitress if they ever shared recipes.

This is what she brought to us.  Had to order the Angostura bitters from Amazon which arrived yesterday and I can't wait to serve a Brooklynite to future guests.

Our appetizer - the pickled vegetable platter with cheese.  Tasted great with the Brooklynite.

This was our entree which we wanted to share.  The chef asked to bring it to us whole so we could see how beautiful it was before division.

We also shared dessert - a chocolate creme brulee with graham crackers and marshmallows.  One of the most delicious s'more I ever had.

Vintage sink in rest room which I only add because it was so cool.

And lastly, the video.  Hope you can see just how special this restaurant is.  I leave you with these words, if ever in St. Augustine, treat yourself at the Ice Plant.  I will.  And next post, there really will be more Walda.
Happy week-end,

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Discovering Walda Pairon

Discovering Walda Pairon

Of course people knew of Walda Pairon before I did, but when I found her, it was like finding Hugh Newell Jacobesen, Nancy Braithwaite, or John Saladino.  I was moving from an antique colonial style to a more serene colonial to a more sophisticated colonial to this wonderful Belgian style that somehow combined all previous favorites.  Walda Pairon's style spoke to me.  What follows are my first glimpses of her style.

First from 1991.

Many of the images from Vogue Decoration concentrate on her floral arrangements which seemed so natural and garden-esque to me.  

It's interesting that Walda, like Gerry Nelissin, sold many antique pieces from her own home collection.  I believe you will note the changes.

She emphasizes gardens, floral still lives and hired Jaques Wirtz to help design her garden in Kalmthout.

An outdoor table set for the celebration of her youngest son, Axel.  Two solid silver antique candelabras flank the table outside and then flank a table inside in a living room corner

Colocynths and lemons arrangement in the little veranda.

In this glimpse of her kitchen, notice the bread on the chandelier.

Those silver candelabras again, this time on dining room table.

I really love her stock room which may double as a mud room.

Walda's first husband was tragically killed in an auto accident.  She eventually marries Roger Souvereyns, seen here, a four-star chef whose restaurant Walda helped decorate.

The whole family, as well as the garden in which they sit, is so chic.  And she has a Lutyens teak bench tucked in the greenery!

Interesting tid bit about Louis the XIV.

Onto 1995 and an interesting story about how the following magazine came into my possession.  My second son was in college and his then girl friend was spending several months in France.   He felt it necessary to call her frequently before the advent of cell phones.  When we received a bill of over $500 for one month, my husband and I could have strangled him.  Much was forgiven when she returned with this magazine for me featuring an article on Walda Pairon.  My son, on the other hand, was not forgiven and still had to work off his $500 debt that summer.

Again, she is as chic as her gardens and design.

View of the house she chose to paint an ocher color similar to houses seen in France, a country she frequented often on antique-buying trips.  The twig chair was probably more for effect than comfort.  Isn't the autumn leaf-covered table dynamite??

The technique is discussed below.  One of the French teachers I taught with translated the text for me and, if anyone is interested, I still have her translation.

Another entrance.

Bow window in dining room.

Walda frequently uses bright colors as seen in the "salon's" sofa.

I tried to imitate her bowl of oranges and dried lemons...
sadly mine (below) never had her same panache.

A very different kitchen chandelier.

Remember this kitchen view.  In a future post, it will appear very different as she edits, edits, edits.

Love how she loves her dog.

Gone is the white side board and in with the new.

Walda's spheres - always unique especially amidst silver pieces.

When making our gardens, this magazine was one of our real inspirations.  I saved them all but now only buy them intermittently.  Still, seeing an issue brings back wonderful memories like wonderful magazines do.  I was thrilled when it featured Walda's garden.

How beautiful are her potted plants and statuary on this terrace?  She has three terraces.

Again that chair is beautiful to look at as is her potted hydrangea next to it.  She inspired me to pot two hydrangeas on either side of our teak benches.  (During the fall, I remove the hydrangeas from their clay pots, place then in plastic ones, and heal them into the compost pile with leaf debris all around them.  So far they have emerged happily healthy for another summer in their clay pots.)

Close-up of her leaf table cloth - inspirational but too daunting for me.

Walda seems all about structure in her garden and terrace with little color.  She doesn't "like using bedding plants or bulbs in (her) containers because they look so artificial and out of place."

Definitely a garden and home that never seem artificial or out of place.  Next time, more Walda but more interiors.

Very chilly here again.  March is still "coming in like a lion".  Stay warm, think spring and beautiful gardens.