In The Magazine

Summer in Southampton

by R. Couri Hay Photographed by Cornelia Guest
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
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HORSEPLAY


“I ran away when I was five years old after a fight with my mother,” said Cornelia Guest, whose mother was Boston Brahmin and style icon C. Z. Guest. “I was headed down the driveway on my pony, Ivanhoe, with my terrier, Jack, when I ran into my father. I told him I was leaving home and he asked if he could come with me. I said ‘Yes, please,’ but the next morning I magically woke up in my own bed.” Cornelia’s father was Winston F. C. Guest, a ten-goal polo champion and heir to a U. S. Steel fortune. Cornelia also told tales of the trouble she got into for jumping the picnic tables at Old Westbury Gardens. “And I didn’t care who was sitting at them,” she laughed. These memories were recounted at a gala dinner dubbed “HorsePlay” that she co-chaired with Ellen Niven, which benefited the preservation projects of this fabled house and unparalleled gardens that spread out over 160 acres.


Westbury House, the Charles II–style mansion built to resemble Battle Abbey, the home of John Phipps’ British wife, Margarita, in 1903, and its formal gardens are open to the public and provide a glimpse into Long Island’s golden past. The estate was used as the inspiration for Daisy Buchanan’s house by Baz Lurhmann in his 2013 version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. It was also used as a backdrop by Alfred Hitchcock for North by Northwest with Cary Grant and Love Story with Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw. In the living room is a portrait by John Singer Sargent of Cornelia’s great-grandmother, Mrs. Henry “Annie” Phipps, and her father Winston, whose godfather was Winston Churchill. Cornelia’s godparents were the former King Edward III, Duke of Windsor, and his Duchess, Wallis Simpson. Cornelia’s parents entertained them frequently down the road at Templeton, the estate Cornelia continues to reside in with her eight rescue dogs and a donkey named Madonna. Have you ever? The magical evening, with a dinner by Sterling Affair, honored Jane Greenleaf. Supporters included Mary and Howard Phipps Jr., Carol Large, William Ivey Long, Mary Snow, Kimberly Bohner, Calvert Moore, Carolina Herrera, Freddy Bancroft, and Jennifer Griffin of Hunter’s Moon Farm in Muttontown. The tent and red tables, overseen by Nina Campbell, were awash in burgundy colored flowers and had a polo theme. Sponsors included Hermès, J.P. Morgan and Land Rover. oldwestburygardens.org


HIGH FASHION, HIGH TEA


Muffie Potter Aston & Gillian Miniter toasted the New York Botanical Garden at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée. The tea featured a fashion show by Dennis Basso, Bellinis and fresh scones that a surprising number of ladies took home. (You know who you are.) Among those sipping, nibbling and eyeing the sables up for sale were Joanne de Guardiola, Elyse Newhouse, Somers Farkas, Ivana Trump, Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin, Andrea Stark, Barbara Tober, Zoe and Janna Bullock, Harriette Rose Katz, Sharon Bush, Maggie Norris, Dori Cooperman, Karen Klopp, Lucia Hwong Gordon and others of that ilk and stripe. dennisbasso.com Basso donated a portion of the sales to the garden. “The first three women to get to the store get a free sable coat,” joked Basso as the ladies left. nybg.org


THE PHIL’S FREE CONCERTS IN THE PARKS 


“I was nervous until I started,” said Yankees legend Joe Torre of his stirring narration of Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait with the New York Philharmonic. “It’s like baseball; you wait to play the game, and then once you start all you think about is winning.” The Spring Gala celebrated 50 years of Concerts in the Parks and honored Didi and Oscar Schafer for presenting this series since 2007. “It’s the most rewarding thing we do,” Didi told me. Ray Kelly and special events chair and composer Karen LeFrak lead the applause for Maestro Alan Gilbert’s program, which included iconic music from the fresh air performances including Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. $1.2 million was raised. nyphil.org


GUILD HALL GOES FUNNY 


“The one percenters have come together to celebrate one of their own,” said Martin Short at Guild Hall’s 30th Annual Academy of the Arts Lifetime Achievement Awards Gala. The night honored cartoonist Jules Feiffer, photographer Ralph Gibson, and Short’s friend Matthew Broderick. “Matthew is a nice guy and he won’t say anything bad about anyone unless he trusts you, and then it gets ugly.” (Short costarred with Broderick and Stockard Channing in the witty It’s Only a Play.) The painter Eric Fischl, who is the new president of the Guild’s Academy, introduced Linda and Harry Macklowe, who received a Special Award for Leadership. Guests included Laurie Anderson, Ross Bleckner, April Gornik and Guild Hall’s executive director Ruth Appelhof. guildhall.org


SAFARI ROUNDUP 


Blake Lively takes her Maltipoo Penny to be pampered and fluffed at the Dog Store on East 61st Street, which is also frequented by Beyoncé, Cesar Milan and Elton John. Now Hamptonites can drop their pooches off at Edward Alva’s new 5,000-square-foot Dog Store in East Hampton. In addition to the wide array of grooming services, your best friends can also have a massage, be walked on the beach, take a yoga class, go to sleepaway camp and have access to the best veterinarian teams on the East End, headed up by Dr. Cindy Bressler. The store also has an elaborate selection of pet accessories that will make your pup a top dog. thedogstoreny.com . . . Southampton Hospital president Robert Chaloner has been busy opening both the Audrey and Martin Gruss Heart and Stroke Center as well as the dedicated entrance to the Ellen Hermanson Breast Center. Their gala on June 20 was chaired by Jean Shafiroff, who is also chairing the Southampton Animal Shelter’s gala on July 18. southamptonanimalshelter.com . . . Douglas Elliman chairman Howard Lorber is the Honorary Chairman of the Hospital’s Annual Summer Party and Jean Remmel will chair the benefit for the 14th time. “It’s my swan song,” said Jean, who promises surprises at the black-and-white-themed Fantasia fete that will feature music by society bandleader Alex Donner. southamptonhospital.org . . . Designer Lisa Jackson will open a pop-up of her Madison Avenue shop LJ Cross at JANGEORGe in Sag Harbor that will showcase her diamond-encrusted
jewelry and home accessories. ljcrossny.com
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