New Orleans Welcomes Newport

Audrey Goforth photographs

New Orleanians have had a long history with Newport, Rhode Island, starting in the 1930s when J. Edgar Monroe bought Rosecliff in Newport for $50,000. Jimmy and Minnie Coleman and Lynne and Hunter White have houses in Rhode Island and have made many friends there. Lynne and Hunter just had famed author and lecturer Bette Pardee and her friends from out of town for a visit, and of course had a special party in her honor featuring her book, Private Newport at Home and in the Garden. Pardee was a contributing editor for Bon Appetit for 10 years, the host of the PBS series, “The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House” and a frequent guest on Good Morning America, so Lynne decided that her friends had to meet Pardee. She planned a light brunch and served coffee and champagne so everyone could see Pardee’s book and listen to the plans for Pardee’s next book, Living Newport – Houses, People and Style, which will be available next September.

I asked Pardee why she decided to write these books about Newport. She said that the catalyst was when she and her husband Jonathan were going to build a house in Newport, but there was nothing on the market. Many books have been written about the large mansions in Newport that are open to the public, and approximately 4 million visitors go just to see them. What Pardee found interesting is that many of the private residences look the same as when they were built in the late 1800s. Some properties have been in the same families for generations – much like in New Orleans.

Pardee’s books step inside the iron gates and beyond the privet hedges of privately owned mansions to reveal a diverse collection of architectural jewels and spectacular gardens.

Here we’ve included a photo of Bette Pardee and one of the Christmas photos in her latest book, as well as photos from her party at Lynne and Hunter White’s.

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