Bettie Bearden Pardee is a former magazine editor, Newport hostess and author whose latest coffee table book, Living Newport: Houses, People, Style features the homes and lifestyles of the tastemakers of this “City by the Sea.”
Ms. Pardee served for 11 years as a contributing editor at Bon Appetit Magazine, where she produced the on-location feature “Entertaining With Style.” She is active as a chair of many Newport social events that are staples of the social season. Who could possibly be better qualified to give us an up close, insider view of rarified Newport? In Living Newport: Houses, People, Style, Ms. Pardee gives us a front row seat to the sophisticated charm and social energy of parties, weddings, local traditions and stylish homes that are Newport.
Her book is divided into four seasonal sections, which tells us that there is always something worthwhile going on in Newport.
For example, Coaching Weekend. Coaching is an event that only appears on the Newport social calendar every three years. There is nothing casual about this event- the horses are matched pairs, the coaches are antique, the attire is specific, and the entertaining around this event is serious business, over the top. This book delivers us into the heart of quintessential Newport.
photo credit: Mick Hales
The incredible home pictured above is named Seaweed. It is situated on a bluff overlooking Bailey’s Beach, and was owned and occupied by five generations of a well-known family before selling to the current owners. While it offers views of the sea from almost every room, the well-preserved architecture and stylish interior design will send you into visual orbit.
photo credit: Meredith Brower
This is Bellevue House. Owner Ronaly Lee Fleming artfully merged follies with the history of garden into his design scheme. “Ron’s follies” include four structures (which function as guest quarters in the summer) that take inspiration from Samuel McIntire’s Federal architecture, “epitomizing the escapist notion central to the aristocratic mind-set that creates these illusionary gardens”.
The houses we are made privy to are iconic Newport with grand architectural heritage which dates back to 1639. The lawns are expansive and velvety; the gardens are well manicured and loaded with sophisticated charm. The interiors express the sense of pride and stewardship that the locals are committed to. Ms Pardee graciously draws us into the rarefied Newport world, revealing the personal side of this magical place. Order your copy of Living Newport: Houses, People, Style here.