How Palm Beach Reignited My Creative Spark With Pretty Sights Galore


I hadn’t been anywhere in nearly a year, before (finally!) packing an overnight bag for a Palm Beach staycation. My 48 hours in this storied destination that’s having a resurgence was wonderfully gratifying. Brief trips coerce you to soak up the best of.


It felt like I was staying in my own relaxed pied-à-terre at the gracious 32-room White Elephant Palm Beach. A relative newbie to the island, the local iteration of the Nantucket mainstay is housed in a Mediterranean Revival structure built in 1924 and recently reimagined by Elkus Manfredi. Done in warm neutral interiors, the classic hotel evokes the feel of a grand home. Art lovers will appreciate the contemporary works (think: Robert Rauschenberg, Donald Baechler, Orit Fuchs, Kenzo Okada) hung throughout the lobby, rooms and suites. Book it for its cozy, boutique flavor. Seek out assistant manager, Rickey Kalinowski, who has charm in spades and anticipates your every need.

white elephant palm beach exterior

White Elephant Palm Beach charms with boutique-inspired rooms, top-notch dining and Mediterranean-Revival architecture. (Photo: Carmel Brantley)


Treat yourself, or loved one, to a sweet gift. Luxury paper goods get me every time. I recommend popping into Old World stationer, Il Papiro, on Worth Avenue, for handcrafted decorative papers, leather journals and note cards. It’s a step back in time to Florence. Plus, you’ll get an endorphin hit knowing you’ve supported lovingly made, one-of-a-kind products.

Every time I think of needlepoint, it reminds me of my great Aunt Sara, who was an expert in all things yarn. Gosh, I wish I knew where I misplaced that pink-and-fuchsia tassel-fringe poncho she knit for me back in the ‘70s. Alas, it’s gone! The sadness I feel about having lost it is somewhat nullified when I head into Lycette, a feel-good throwback and needlepoint heaven of sorts (even for those who do not stitch). I especially love proprietor Jessica Chaney’s featured canvases of Pink Zinnia, Pink Dahlia and Two Koi & Lilly Pad.

lycette palm beach

Lycette celebrates the art of needlepoint with interiors as colorful as its canvases. (Photo: Chris Salata/CAPEHART)


Lunch at Le Bilboquet, the chic French New York restaurant that, like so many, now has a second home in Palm Beach (they officially opened in February). I enjoyed a leisurely meal while perched on a champagne-yellow banquette and overlooking the courtyard. Between the magenta bougainvillea, night-blooming jasmine and stylish clientele dressed in frocks from Ulla Johnson, Valentino and Zimmerman, you’ll feel transported to the Mediterranean. Order the house specialty, poulet cajun.

Pack stylish yet loose-fitting pants (those Covid ones that you wore after eating too many banana breads) so as to not feel guilty overindulging at Saint Ambroeus. Go for the One of These Days negronis and split a spaghetti alla carbonara with your date, as I did. Skip dessert at the restaurant and satisfy your sweet tooth at legendary Sprinkles. A scoop of toasted coconut is apropos for the locale.

le bilboquet palm beach sketch

Le Bilboquet Palm Beach opened its doors to its Worth Avenue location this winter. (Art: Ece Soner)


Set an early alarm and hike the scenic Palm Beach Lake Trail before it gets busy with bicyclists and dog walkers. It’s hedge-watching heaven on one side (plenty of pretty rooflines peeking above the greenery) and lots of bespoke boats, reminiscent of a Ralph Lauren ad, docked on the lake side. Have your sunhat, water and iPhone at the ready.

Design lovers, mark your calendar for the 4th annual Kips Bay Decorators Show House Palm Beach, running from April 8 – May 9, 2021 and showcasing a stellar line up of top-tier interior designers including Brittany Bromley, Kemble Interiors, Nicole White Designs and Mally Skok.

kips bay showhouse

The exterior of the home selected for the Kips Bay Decorator Show House Palm Beach 2021. (Photo: Living Proof Real Estate Photography)

Palm Beach in two-days is my ideal…the better to crave going back for more.

For looks and pieces inspired by this relaxing Palm Beach respite, check out PJ’s Picks Getaway: Palm Beach.