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The n r e d Mo d o o h t n e r Pa e u s s I PA R E N TS W HO I N S P I R E | E F FO RT L E SS ST Y L E FO R MOM & DA D | T R AVE L I DE AS


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The moment I became a mother in 2010, life has never been the same. I had been a part of Carolina STYLE Magazine for a little over two years before the first set of twins made their appearance into the world.  I struggled with worklife balance for a bit, but I made it through.  As the E-twins were heading off to kindergarten,  I breathed a sigh of relief as that phase of life was complete.  But God has a sense of humor.  The stork arrived once more and God blessed me with another set of twins. Yes. Two. Sets. Of. Twins. But even though the parental strive for work-life balance never seems to quite achieve stability, it all seems to work anyway. Thank heavens. So this issue is dedicated to those parents who are balancing their personal lives, work lives, love lives and everything in between in addition to trying to raise well-balanced, healthy children. In this issue, we'll hear from a few other parents (page 28) as they too navigate the parental waters whether calm or torrential.

The E twins are approaching eight years old.

In our travel section, we've included a family-friendly destination that you can enjoy with your kids (and then drop them off at the camp for a few hours of kid-free time). We've also photographed Carolina Panthers standout and toddler dad Shaq Thompson (page 86) one of my favorite new mothers, now author, Katrina McCain (page 96) as she looks ever so radiant while showing us that Moms can still WERK it in front of the camera. And in true "bring your child to work day" fashion, my eldest daughter conducted her first interview for print with one of the Kidz Bop kids (page 23). The B twins will be two in June.

Hope you enjoy reading as much as we did producing it for you! Love and light,

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF @ITSBRIEW


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contents beauty 13

Beauty Buys Our Beauty Director, Jesse Pellington shares her beauty product must-haves for the season.

15

Beauty for All Charlotte-based Medspa owner Rachel Roff's Urban Skin Rx is now available nationwide.

events 17

Stylish Events in the City Riders by Lee ® Style Studio, Indochino Launch Party, UNCC' Green Tie Gala

10 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018

lifestyle 23

Kidz Bop Our seven-year old junior journalist shares what to expect at the Kidz Bop concert coming to Charlotte.

25

Flex Your Hustle According to Charlotte resident Sydney Crouch, girls run the world.

27

28

36

Paying It Forward If there were such a thing as a poster child for “paying it forward,” Neal Emmons may very well be in the running for the position.

Beauty and the Baby

Roxy Te Owens proves that having a baby doesn't have to stop the show,

Modern Parenthood

These families make parenting looks so cool.


travel 46

72 Hours in St. Lucia Only have 72 hours in St. Lucia? Here are a few great things you can do.

56

Spirit Filled Southern Soul NOPSI Hotel is the first luxury hotel to open in New Orleans in a generation.

62

A Weekend Away at Wintergreen Resort

fashion 86

Shaq Thompson, Linebacker for the Carolina Panthers shows us comfortably yet casual looks for life off the field.

Perfect for a week or a weekend, here are just a few things that can make your summer family vacation memorable.

70

Retreat to the Lake

92

The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee is a Southern retreat located in Georgia, just 75 miles east of Atlanta.

80

Palm Beach Weekend Take a trip to Palm Beach to explore the iconic Brazilian Court Hotel.

The Fashion Playbook

The Future of Fashion Two Carolina-based designers help women feel great in the skin they're in.

96

The New Modern Mama Katrina McCain is preparing for her new baby - and looking effortlessly stylish in the process.

11 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018


Editor-in-chief  Bridgette Wright

Creative Director Design Director Beauty Director Editorial Assistant Carolina STYLE Social Media STYLE Charleston Social Media Charlotte STYLE Social Media PR Assistant

Erin L. Hubbs Beth Bouknight Jesse Pellington Brittney Melton Kristen Cheatam Julia Nunez Jerry Yan Justyce Watson

Lifestyle / Giving in STYLE Writer Zacch Estrada - Petersen Feature Writers Kristen Cheatam, Brittney Melton, Julia Nunez, Jerry Yan Junior Journalist Evynne Chanel West

OUR MAILING ADDRESS 15105 John J. Delaney Drive, Suite 177, Charlotte, NC 28277 +1-704-313-8102  |   TellUs@CarolinaSTYLEMag.com

Carolina STYLE Magazine is published by STYLE Media, LLC.   SUBSCRIPTIONS www.CarolinaSTYLEMag.com/subscribe

www.CarolinaSTYLEMag.com


beauty buys

4

for the lips Moroccan Magic

1

3

for the face Urban Skin Rx

for the ears Wally's Natural

2

for the face Jane Iredale

5

5

for your face Laura Mercier

6

for your scent

for the hair

Dolce & Gabbana

Carol's Daughter


Michelle Dianne Salon


|beauty|

beauty for all Written by Brittney Melton

Diversity, inclusivity, and award-winning are three words that come to mind when we think of Urban Skin Rx. Developed by Rachel Roff, Urban Skin Rx is a product line that was designed to help offer scientifically researched corrective skin care products for all skin tones and colors. After receiving her license at the National Aesthetics Institute, Roff entered the beauty industry and began working at a medical spa as a laser technician.  She quickly discovered the lack of education and services available for treating the common concerns and conditions seen in darker skin tones. She decided that in addition to this being a total injustice it was also a business opportunity. Her passion to see the beauty industry become more inclusive drove her to start Urban Skin Solutions Medspa and Laser center in 2006 in Charlotte NC. The innovativeness of her products and how they include melanin-rich skin tones led to accolades from Entrepreneur Magazine's Entrepreneur360 list as one of the “Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America”. Roff's products have been featured in other magazines including Essence, Ebony, and Cosmopolitan. As of January 2018, Urban Skin Rx is now available at Target stores nationwide and at Target.com.  The skincare line has also been endorsed by highly recognized model Eva Marcille.

Rachel Roff, Urban Skin Rx

“Hearing the words ‘Your products changed my life!’ never gets old and it’s so rewarding," said Rachel Roff, Founder of Urban Skin Rx. "To know that I have made an effective product that works and its demand is growing is a true blessing.” With the success of her launch at Target and her new, larger Urban Skin Solutions Medspa location, Roff isn't finished just yet. "I have so many ideas of more great products that I want to be able to put out. Body products, tools, chemical peels and more!" 15 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018


MARCH 24, 2018 Riders by Lee hosted an influencer event at GoodRoad CiderWorks in Charlotte. The event included a panel discussion including North Carolina influencer and body-positivity advocate Jessamyn Stanley, Riders by Lee designers Heather Collins and Noni Montaque, and Carolina STYLE Magazine's editor-in-chief Brie Wright. Â Riders by Lee is a brand designed for women, by women that offers sizes from 6-26 at a price point all women can afford. Written by: Jerry Yan 17| Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018


HISTORY NEVER AWAITS FROM BEHIND.

WWW.SHOPMADELC.COM

Made LIFESTYLE COLLECTION

@SHOPMADELC


MARCH 20, 2018 The INDOCHINO VIP event hosted clients, journalists, and bloggers for cocktails, mingling, and learning about INDOCHINO's store culture. Â The Vancouver-based men's boutique opened its Charlotte store in February in South Park Mall next to Neiman Marcus. Photos: Spark Strategic Ideas Written by: Jerry Yan 19 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018


OLE MASON JAR 148 Brevard Court Charlotte, NC


APRIL 21, 2018 Over 300 guests attended UNC Charlotte's alumni association annual Green Tie Gala raided funds for need-based student scholarships including Betty M. Stancil Scholarship Endowment, Dr. Gregory Davis Scholarship Fund, Marching Band Scholarship Fund, Honors Scholarships, and the My Brother's Keeper Scholarship Fund.   Photos: Ryan Honeyman, UNC Charlotte. 21 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018


| lifestyle |

Photo Courtesy of Kidz Bop

HERE COMES THE

KIDZ BOP

Wow! What song from the concert is your favorite? I’m one of the new Kidz Bop Kids but I’m super excited to perform our new hit single, Finesse.

KIDS

In advance their Charlotte tour stop July 27, our seven-year old junior journalist and concert ticket holder Evynne Chanel, chats with Olivia (third from left) about what to expect at the Kidz Bop concert and a few of Olivia's favorite things. INTERVIEW BY   EVYNNE CHANEL WEST

What songs are you going to sing at the concert? We have lots of today’s biggest hits like Havana, Feel It Still, Thunder and so much more.

What is it like to travel around the country and sing songs? It's so much fun especially when I get to do it with all of my really close friends who are the Kidz Bop Kids. We have such a good time. So, what kind of food do you like to eat? My favorite food is pizza because who doesn’t like pizza, right? Yeah, I like pizza too! What is your favorite dessert? My favorite dessert is ice cream sundae with chocolate, whipped cream, sprinkles, all of that stuff.

What is your favorite subject in school? My favorite subject in school is history because I find it so interesting to learn about the past. What is your favorite number? My favorite number is nine because it’s my older brother’s baseball number. What is your favorite tv show? My favorite tv show is Fuller House. Thanks for talking to me Liv. Of course, it was so much fun. Thank you. I’ll see you at the concert. Yes, so cool. We can’t wait to meet you.

23 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018


|lifestyle|

flex your hustle Written by Zacch Estrada-Petersen

Who runs the world? Girls. Or at least they do according to Beyoncé. And in some small part, to Charlotte resident Sydney Crouch as well. Crouch is the visionary and backbone behind Flex Your Hustle, an online platform that bills itself as “an outlet to highlight the strong, amazing women who are working hard to make their own.” As a one-woman volunteer operation, Crouch finds, curates, and interviews game-changing women around the country. She then tells their personal stories, hoping to inspire other women that all things are possible, regardless of obstacles – societal or otherwise. “Just the nature of women and the work environment, they’re not always highlighted in the same way,” says Crouch. “So I just thought it would be great to have an outlet to share all of the amazing things that women do in the community.” Inspired by the personal story of her late grandmother, who forfeited her family inheritance to marry Crouch’s grandfather, she prides herself on sharing the stories of lesser-known trailblazers. “I like to highlight people who are doing different things,” she says. “And I like to pick people who may not be super well-known, in the sense that other publications wouldn’t necessarily have picked them up, but I did.”

Sydney Crouch, Flex Your Hustle

Now, Flex Your Hustle aims to encourage women the same way Crouch had to encourage herself to start it. “Putting this to fruition was kind of difficult for me,” she says. “I would even tell myself ‘Oh, I can’t host a blog.’ I always really wanted to, but I never found the feeling that I could [host a blog] until I finally said ‘Screw it, you can do this!’ And now interviewing all of these women and seeing that so many started what they’re doing from scratch, I think that’s something other girls can look up to and say ‘Everybody starts from somewhere, so I can start from somewhere too.’”

25 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018


| lifestyle |

paying it forward Written by Zacch Estrada-Petersen

If there were such a thing as a poster child for “paying it forward,” Neal Emmons may very well be in the running for the position. As a teenager, he knew he wanted to go to college, but his family’s financial situation at the time posed a serious obstacle. It was then that an unlikely resource came to bear. The wealthy grandfather of a high school companion stepped in and paid his entire way at Baylor University in Texas. Emmons graduated and embarked on his career, got married and started a family. Then after 20-plus years in the investment advisory field, he pivoted to what he felt was his true purpose. “I felt called to create an organization to benefit kids who were like me growing up – low-income, from single-parent houses–to help them get to college. For me, it’s like honoring my past and living a life of gratitude for that,” said Emmons. So in late 2010, Emmons officially launched the Project One Scholarship Fund, which provides a four-year scholarship (up to $25,000 total), as well as mentorship to all recipients. Most will graduate debt-free once additional financial aid is factored considered. After getting the foundation off the ground and raising money, Project One sent their first two kids to college in 2012.

Neil Emmons, Project One

As of right now, their scholarships have supported a total of 22 students, with three having already graduated. They’ve invested more than $600,000 worth of scholarship money into their students in the past six years alone, and they try to increase the number of new recipients each year – from an initial two in the beginning to a target of seven for the coming year. “At the end of the day, we all have a vested interest in making this a success,” says Emmons. “It takes a community coming together to make a difference.” 27 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018


Interior and Furniture Designer Roxy Te Owens of Society Social proves that having a baby doesn't have to stop the show, literally. I n the past year, not only did she give birth to her first child Austen Kelly, she co-starred in her own HGTV show "Carolina Reno" with her brother, San San Te.   W hile still in the process of learning to balance business and motherhood, Roxy inspires us to make life and our homes a little more beautiful.  Photos: Society Social


"Balance is more important than ever. You have to learn to let perfection go and just do the best you can. I'm lucky to have an amazing team to help keep the show on the road."

~ Roxy Te Owens

29 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018


This Duchess chair is handwoven rattan available in all Society Social fabrics.


Celine Grasscloth table in Mineral blue pairs delightfully in this inspired entryway with faux bamboo x-stools, pineapple lamps and Laura Park art.


The entire look, including these colorful Stevie Swivel chairs, is made by the Society Social  factories.


Oscar Owens (like de la Renta) wanted to share all his Society Social Shop bar carts, puppy chairs, and faux bamboo stools.


Modern  Parenthood Parenting is hard. No, really hard. But these adorable families share their parenting mantras, philosophies and values to help you stay focused (and encouraged) on the joys of parenthood.

STORY BY: KRISTEN CHEATAM JERRY YAN JULIA NUNEZ


Love your children enough to teach them respect, resilience, and tenacity."

"

Peter Carey Owner, PAC Public Relations (left) with partner, Joshua Anglero (right) and their daughters Angelina (8) and Elizabeth (7).   37 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018


"

Kate Brennan Influencer Kate Brennan of TheChicSeries.com pictured with daughters Isabella (4) and Summer (1). 38 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018

Get outside in the fresh air. My mother passed on this advice to me. It always seems to turn tears into smiles." ."


"

Understanding our son is a human reminds us of ourselves. It teaches us as we teach him in a patient way."

Sasha Manley Lifestyle Blogger at TheNaturalHighBlog.com pictured with husband Larry Manley, son, Photo: Emily Chidester

CG (2), plus a baby on the way! 39 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018


"

Being a parent is the most fulfilling and the hardest experience of anyone’s life, so give yourself a little grace to mess up."

Maggie Kern Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger at PolishedClosets.com pictured with son, Lincoln Taylor Kern (1). 40 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018


Do a little more with your children even if that means getting things done a little less." ~Trish Mears

"

Trish & Ari Blogging duo at TrishandAri.com pictured with Samantha (9) and Hayden (6) (Trish's kids) and Mathis (2) and Quinn (2m) (Arianna's kids).

Motherhood. We all do it differently, and that's okay." ~Ariana Hardimane

41 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018

"


"

Parenting isn't a competition. As long as your kids are happy, loved, and taken care of, you're doing a good job!"

Jessica Linn Blogger at LinnStyle.com pictured with Husband, Joel, Son, Brayden (5) and daughter, Catalina (6m). 42 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018


"

Motherhood is shaping you into someone better than you were before."

Courtney Inkpen Courtney Inkpen, Blogger and Social Media Influencer at TheDaintyDarling.com pictured with daughter Ryleigh (5). 43 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018


"

Enjoy the process of parenting. They grow up so fast!"

Tonia Scott Full time mother with twins Madison  and Marques II(3). 44 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018


"

Drink water, communicate, listen, put away your phone, pay attention."

Sarah DamChambers Stylist, Brand Manager, Blogger at

ModernStyleMom.com with husband Jeremy Chambers and children Liyah (14), Sydney (9) and Jason (8). 45 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018


|travel|

72 Hours in St. Lucia Saint Lucia is an ideal destination for romance, adventure or rejuvenation. This lush Eastern Caribbean island is located east of Puerto Rico and Jamaica directly between the islands of Martinique and St. Vincent. Its coast is home to volcanic beaches, reef-diving sites, and luxurious accommodations. Only have 72 hours in St. Lucia? Here are a few great things you can do with your time. AS EXPERIENCED BY: BRIDGETTE WRIGHT

I’m staying at the Royalton St. Lucia, which is about a 90minute ride from the airport. It’s nestled in lush landscapes set upon one of the most picturesque islands in the Caribbean. For travelers of all ages, this modern resort features three distinct sections, including a family-friendly vacation experience in the general resort, Diamond Club™ for a higher level of service with exclusive pool, beach and dining areas, and Hideaway, an adults-only oasis. Immediately upon arrival, you can feel the sense of welcoming island hospitality as I’m greeted by cool hand towels scented with the refreshing fragrance of lemongrass. I’m a Diamond Club™ guest, meaning I'll experience the resort’s premium level of service including highly-trained butlers and a concierge to fulfill my every request. Diamond Club™ members are also privy to 

48 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018

exclusive areas around the resort including a pool, beach and lounge which is where I’m checking in at the moment.   My room key is a waterproof bracelet which is designed to withstand all of the dips in the pool, beach waves and mud bathing I’m about to enjoy during my island adventures. I’m introduced to my Butler, Danielle, who takes me to my room and gives me the grand tour. I must admit that at this point, I’m trying to contain my excitement but inside I want to break out into my best version of the Carlton dance (the Fresh Prince would be proud). Once inside my room, Danielle shows me how to order room service from my television and gives me a bright orange phone to carry with me during my stay.  “If you need me, just press this button, and I’ll come on the line to take care of your request,” Danielle explains.

The room is such that I could spend just about the entire vacation tucked away in my suite. I have a great view of the ocean and a large patio which I access through grand sliding glass doors. My posh bathroom has a walk-in shower and Royalton Resort's signature rain showerhead, a vintage style soaking tub and a private toilet room.  There is also Royalton’s signature DreamBed™ complete with high thread count sheets. After unpacking, sitting on my balcony, lost in the sights of the beach and the sounds of the waves, I head out to dinner to begin the first activity of my 72 hours in St. Lucia. Thursday 6:30 pm Dinner at Calypso The Royalton St. Lucia has eight all inclusive, internationally themed, reservation-free dining options. First up is dinner at Calypso, a stylish


venture 29


and modern restaurant that serves elevated West Indies cuisine. For starters, you can try their Jerk Surf and Turf Spring Roll, West Indies Assorted Patties or Big Island Crab Cake, which was my choice. The Jamaican Coconut Crusted Snapper was a delicious option for an entree or order the famous Saint Lucian Chicken Roti. Friday 9 am Breakfast at Gourmet Marché International Buffet Gourmet Marché has a wide selection of local and international flavors and various buffet stations including a Gluten Free station, a Vegan station and a station just for kids (though I witnessed adults sneaking a few of the red velvet pancakes). 10 am Sights of St. Lucia with Nexus Tours After breakfast, I’m headed out with a group on the Tout Bagay excursion with Nexus Tours. This is a must-do 

50 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018

activity when you visit St. Lucia.  Our bus is wi-fi enabled and takes us from the resort lobby to the Rodney Bay Marina where we board our yacht for the day. We sail for about an hour or so, but honestly, I can’t remember as the waters and mountains make it easy to lose track of time. This is the moment where you stop and take in the absolute beauty of the picturesque panoramic views of the island and the ocean. 11:30 pm Toraille Waterfall As we begin to dock in the town of Soufriere, a fully functioning pirate ship starting to set sail (fun fact: Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed partially in St. Lucia). We are headed to the Toraille Waterfall, one of the most significant falls in St. Lucia. It’s the perfect spot for a refreshing splash as the falls cascade off of the tip of your head, back, and shoulders.  The experience is invigorating. 


A SENSORIAL EXPERIENCE Born of Volcanic origin, the Island of Saint Lucia offers a burst of natural splendour with every turn.


12:30 pm Morne Coubaril Estate The Morne Coubaril Estate is a living museum and adventure park. Start with a walking historical estate tour (also available by horseback) through a small village of replica stick huts similar to those used two centuries ago by local villagers. We stopped at the cocoa house to taste cocoa beans and experienced the process of fermentation, bean drying and the cocoa dance used to polish the dried beans. On tour, we passed by the Monplaisir family’s grand estate house (the owners of the property) to another live demonstration near the coconut truck. Have you ever witnessed the de-husking of a coconut?  It’s a “don’t try this at home” skill but beautiful to see it done for you. The coconut is sliced in half revealing coconut water. Sip while you look out at the mountains and blue sea  52 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018

below. Finally, before leaving the property, stop at the onsite, rustic restaurant for a Lucian buffet lunch, served with probably the most delicious limeade you’ll ever taste and dessert made from fruit harvested at the estate. 3 pm Mud Bathing at the Sulphur Springs Ever wanted to walk in the footsteps of Richard Branson or Oprah, if only but a moment? They both visited the warm Sulphur Springs, a dormant volcano famous for its detoxifying capabilities that are noted to help heal sunburns, eczema, arthritis, sore joints, and more. The mud bath is also indicated to help you look 12 years younger. You’ll know the exact moment you are getting close to the springs as your nostrils will fill with the stench of rotten egg. No worries, you’ll soon adapt to the smell to be able to enjoy the experience.  The temperature of the mud 

bath is about 100 degrees, not very hot, says one local. As you walk down the four-step entry, your body temperature will soon begin to adjust to the change. Suddenly, what was once the heat of the air becomes a cool breeze as your body luxuriates in the warm sulfur springs. Buckets of fresh mud are gathered by attendants, and fellow visitors huddle over the buckets to experience the rejuvenating benefits of the treatment. Regardless of your adventure level, health needs or desired age reversal, the Sulphur Springs is worth a quick dip. Tip: wear a dark-colored swimsuit as the sulfur springs will change the color of white or light colored attire.   After mud bathing, it’s back to the boat for the final sail to the hotel. Rum punch is passed around, and the party is turned up to 10. During our sail, we came upon that same 


pirate ship we passed in Soufriere. This time, they weren’t so friendly and caught us off guard with the dramatic and thunderous sound effects of their replica cannon.  At least they thought it was funny. I was trying to find my breath and stop my heart from racing. We all laughed afterward.

my Butler, Danielle: turn down service included a warm bubble bath (topped with rose petals) with a cool bottle of champagne. Saturday Today is the day to take full advantages of the Royalton St. Lucia’s all-inclusive resort including unlimited reservation-free dining.

7 pm Dinner at Hunters Steakhouse Watch chefs in the open kitchen as they perfectly prepare your steak. Not your average steakhouse, salads and steaks are artfully plated and taste just as good as they look. Wine connoisseurs will enjoy knowing Hunters has an onsite sommelier who can suggest a pairing from their plentiful selection in the wine cellar.

10 am Beach Yoga Beach Yoga is part of Royalton Fit™, a program that brings guests a variety of fitness and wellness classes taught by professional and certified instructors. Beach yoga is a great chance to change up your fitness routine and workout with a view – the beautiful crystal blue waters and white sand of the beach.

After returning from a full day on the island and fantastic dinner at Hunter Steakhouse, I returned to a surprise from

11:30 am Lunch at Grazie In the mood for some calamari or a pasta dish? Grazie is a delicious choice. This trattoria has a wide range of Italian cuisine. The 

traditional menu makes this a great stop for comfort food and for a meal with your family or friends. 2 pm Babor Ritual at The Royal Spa If you are an avid spa enthusiast, you are going to find The Royal Spa to be one of the best retreats you have experienced, especially their spa lounge.  The spa lounge is by far one of the most unique and impressive rooms to relax before (and even after) your spa service. In addition to soft lighting, refreshing fruit water, and spa snacks, this room has queen-sized beds for lounging and relaxation.   The rest of the spa is also a relaxation oasis with a beautiful pool, steam room, rain shower, sauna and a bucket shower. For those who are new to the concept of a buck shower at the spa (like me), allow me to explain briefly as I found it truly   53 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018


fascinating. After some time in the sauna, when your body is well warmed, hop into the bucket shower, pull the handle and douse yourself with cold water. The sudden cooling of your skin speeds up your metabolism, accelerates blood flow, and gives you a burst of energy. During my spa appointment, I experienced the Babor Ritual treatment which is a body scrub and mask, followed by a full body massage. It also includes your choice of aromatherapy: lavender and mint, energizing lime and mandarin or balancing cashmere and wood. 3:30 pm Light Bites at SCORE Sports Bar Another on-site dining option that will make you feel right at home is SCORE, which has a casual sports bar atmosphere. If you are a sports fan, you’re going to love Royalton’s Sports Event Guarantee™ meaning you will never miss a game that’s currently airing. Pop in for wings, drinks and some pretty good bar food.

54| Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018

4:30 Pool or Beachside Cabana Naturally, you will want to take some time to experience the pool and beach – it’s one of the main reasons you vacation on an island. The pools are gorgeous and plentiful – choose the lap pool, the pool with the swim up bar or the splash pool for kids complete with a pirate ship. The beach provides an equally beautiful yet slightly more lavish experience with private cabanas that have hardwood floors and intimate suites with massage tables. The beach is the perfect area to mingle with other guests or create a private, picture worthy gathering in the cabana.


7 p.m. Farewell Dinner and Drinks at Zen During the last night in St. Lucia, my travel companions and I met at Zen for our final dinner on the island. Zen serves Teppanyaki-style Asian cuisine. The chefs entertain you with their culinary skills and bright personalities. It’s a great place for an energetic gathering.  10 p.m. Cocktails and Dancing at XS Disco Bar Get ready to put your dance moves to the test as the XS Disco bar plays American hits as well as Island favorites. One moment you are doing the Cupid Shuffle and the next you are learning one of the new island dances that the locals are more than happy to teach. Know that whether you take this trip with your family, as a duo, girls/guys trip or even solo, there is going to be something for everyone. The Royalton St. Lucia and the plentiful adventures on the island will be noted as one of your best, if not the best, travel destination you will ever experience.

55 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018


New Orleans Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m addicted to luxury—lush accommodations, mouthwatering food, and rich experiences— that’s how I like to travel! Needless to say, when the opportunity to visit New Orleans popped up; I couldn’t say yes fast enough.


I

t had been a long, hot summer and I needed one last getaway before fall settled in for the long haul. This experience was my very first trip to NOLA, and I wanted a full experience; plus, I was overdue for some fun in the Big Easy.  Where to Stay During my visit, I stayed at the historic NOPSI Hotel and was blown away by the accommodations provided. From the moment I set foot in the grand lobby, with its vaulted ceilings and stone terrazzo flooring, the staff was super friendly, courteous and conscientious. NOPSI, which stands for New Orleans Public Service Inc., is in the former headquarters of the city’s power and transportation company. The hotel is a historically rich and iconic building in the middle of the Central Business District right on the corner of Baronne Street and Union Street, renovated with elegance and charm in mind. With 217 guestrooms, 76 luxury suites and a host of meeting spaces,

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NOPSI has the necessary accoutrements to fit a variety of needs for those traveling on vacation and for business. The charming hotel houses all the modern conveniences and amenities that the contemporary traveler desires and expects —gorgeous décor, convenient location and fantastic customer service. I was in heaven from the moment I walked in my superbly decorated luxury King suite. Did I forget to mention that the bathroom was like walking into a spa? And that bed, goodness! Where to Eat (and Drink!) There are so many incredible places to enjoy a meal in New Orleans, but if you are staying at the NOPSI Hotel, you won’t have to travel far.  The hotel is home to Public Service, a sophisticated casual dining restaurant that pays homage to the spirit of the former New Orleans Public Service Inc. Public Service is the neighborhood gathering spot for locals and hotel guests alike.  Executive Chef Farrell Harrison’s Gulf Coast inspired contemporary menu is prepared in an open-display kitchen that includes a modern raw bar and an open flame rotisserie. Because I’m enamored by all things vintage, I was happy that the restaurant’s classic two-story glass façade, exposed brick, and beautiful custom-built craft bar appeals to that aesthetic. For me, brunching is a sport. And no one does an iconic jazz brunch better than Commander’s Palace. Located in the middle of the Garden District, and according to the restaurant’s website, it’s been a New Orleans landmark since 1893. For me, Commander’s Palace was like walking into a piece of history. Not only was the food amazing, but the white glove service made me feel like I was transported to a different era. This was southern hospitality at its best.  My favorite part—being serenaded at our table by a jazz trio.  And they took requests!

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Another option for a tasty midday meal is Galatoire’s right on Bourbon Street. It’s an upscale party that is always jumping. Founded in 1905 by Jean Galatoire, the restaurateur brought all the traditions and recipes from his village of Pardies, France to create Galatoire’s. Years later, the same ambiance, grace, and jovial culinary experience are still there.  There is a dress code so ladies and gentlemen, be sure to dress accordingly. More of a dinner person? An excellent place for an intimate dining experience is Balise (especially if you are feeling sassy). It’s in a renovated 19th century Creole townhouse and offers traditional NOLA cuisine with a creative modern twist. Balise Executive Chef Justin Devillier has been named a James Beard Award finalist for Best Chef: South (2012-2015), was the James Beard Award winner for Best Chef: South in 2016 and was also awarded “Chef of the Year” by New Orleans Magazine in 2014. Simply put, the food and cocktails are worth it. Please put this restaurant on your to-do list while in New Orleans. Where to Play New Orleans is infamously known for The French Quarter and all the trappings available on Bourbon Street; however; I highly recommend taking in the sights and sounds of the city a bit differently.  I adore art and who knew that New Orleans is becoming a hub and powerhouse for contemporary art?  I took a walking tour of the Arts District of New Orleans (ADNO), and it was beautiful. Gorgeous artwork from local, national and international adorns the galleries in the district. It’s a great way to spend a leisurely Saturday afternoon.  Pro tip: wear comfortable shoes and have a hearty breakfast at Willa Jean in the South Market District, then walk over to the galleries while taking in all the architecture and culture along the way.

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"The view of NOLA's skyline truly made me feel like a VIP." Also, if you love a good cocktail and are a spirits aficionado, you must take Drink Lab’s Classic New Orleans Cocktails Class. The highlight for me was learning how to make an authentic Hurricane (with some cocktail history thrown in for good measure. I’m going to be a hit at my next soiree). Drink Lab founder and master bartender Daniel Victory was an engaging instructor and made the hands-on experience very special for all of us. When I go on vacation, I enjoy checking out the scene at my own hotel.  A good hotel bar can make or break a trip sometimes.  Above the Grid, which is NOPSI Hotel’s rooftop pool and bar, did not disappoint.  The view of NOLA’s skyline was worth the trip.  That along with the beautiful crowd, live entertainment and cocktails at one of the private cabana tables truly made me feel like a VIP. Definitely no complaints here.  Likewise, I also indulged at NOPSI’s lobby bar and patio underCURRENT.  I encourage everyone staying at NOPSI to take the time for a drink at underCURRENT, you’ll feel like you’ve walked into a 1920’s elegant cocktail party in the French Quarter. Perfect place to be casual and cute while seeing and being seen on the “scene.” Issue 27 | 234


A WEEKEND AWAY AT

WINTERGREEN RESORT

Looking for a place to retreat, to bond with your kids, or for adventure? Wintergre four-season mountain retreat located on 11,000 lush acres of the Blue Ridge Mounta this and more.   AS EXPERIENCED BY: Bridgette Wright


N

een Resort, a ains, has all of


ARE WE THERE YET? Great for a week or a weekend, here are just a few things that can make your summer family vacation memorable. Wintergreen Resort, a four-season mountain retreat located on 11,000 lush acres of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is the perfect place for adventure with the entire family. Plus while some of your time at the resort can be spent building stronger relationships with your kids, you can also drop them off at one of the nationally renowned children’s programs for some much needed time with your significant other or even by yourself.  

The Residences The residences at Wintergreen resort can accommodate anywhere from 2-10 people. We stayed in a three-bedroom, top floor condo at “The Cliffs” which had beautiful vaulted ceiling and a priceless view of the mountains. The property has 230 villa-style condominiums and rental homes, from studio suites to nine-bedroom homes, each offers a fully equipped kitchen and a comfortable living area.  Most accommodations have fireplaces and a balcony or deck.  While on the property I also toured this beautiful nine-bedroom mansion with a wood view and gorgeous gourmet kitchen.   


Copper Mine Restaurant Once you settle into your condo or home, head out for a bite to eat at The Copper Mine Bistro. Bring the family for dinner for soups, salads, tapas, small and large plates, gourmet pizzas and more. This eatery has a comfortable bistro and classic Mediterranean cuisine. Everything is delicious, but try the seafood pasta which is served with shrimp, scallops and a succulent lobster tail.  The Caprese Salad is served with pesto here and makes for a delightful small bite if you’re not super hungry. The Copper Mine Bistro also offers breakfast and dinner year round and adds lunch during ski season. Kid Adventures – The Treehouse Program Kids and adults alike will love the programs for kids – for different reasons of course. Your children will enjoy the indoor and outdoor activities such as guided nature walks, arts and crafts, story time, games, songs, and playground time. You will enjoy it because you can leave them in the care of good hands while you hurry off to the vineyards or other fun outings without your kids.  Designed for children ages 2½-12, the Treehouse Program has “Fun Experts” who know how to keep everyone active and happy. All Treehouse programs require reservations and children are grouped according to age and ability. A healthy staff/child ratio is maintained so that the resort can efficiently provide children with a quality experience.  There is also a junior golf or tennis program for your future Arnold Palmer or Serena Williams. My kids raved about their time at The Treehouse for weeks after our trip.

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While the kids are away, the parents can play. Just a short drive to the valley is Veritas Winery & Vineyard. Veritas Vineyards and Winery began in 1999 when Andrew and Patricia Hodson planted five acres of grapes as a passion project. Over the past two decades, Veritas has grown to include over 50 acres of vineyards and has succeeded in consistently producing a range of sophisticated and elegant wines. Â Schedule a tour to see this award-winning winemaker in action, then stay after the tour for a tasting with their expert winemakers and event managers. Sit in their signature wine tasting room (and admire the word LOVE made from wine corks) or sit outside on the beautiful porch and enjoy the valley breeze.

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EAT, RELAX, REPEAT The Edge, Family Restaurant The neighborhood place to meet and eat, The Edge is family friendly and boasts spectacular views of the mountains. Perched over slopes and valleys, this casual eatery is ideal for groups and sports a largescreen television and a pulsing schedule of seasonal live entertainment.  The upbeat lunch and dinner menus include tempting appetizers, seasonal salads, flavorful sandwiches and hearty entrees all served with the best view of the mountain. Hubby and the kids loved this place. The Spa at Wintergreen Resort Spend the entire day at the Spa at Wintergreen Resort or as much time as your schedule will allow. Pencil in some time to arrive early (or stay for a while after) and indulge in all of the amenities available at the spa such as the pool, steam room, the luxurious rainfall shower, and sauna.  The Spa at Wintergreen is peace and tranquility on the mountaintop. Try one of the soothing services such as rejuvenating facials, herbal wraps, hot stone therapeutic massages, or their selection of restorative mountain mud and mineral treatments. The Market Grocery Since your usual grocery store will be at least 30-45 minutes away, The Market is going to be your best bet for stocking your fridge with groceries to cook in your condo or home.  The newest member of Wintergreen’s dining family is located in the heart of the Mountain Village. The Market specializes in custom-creating mouth-watering gourmet deli sandwiches and salads, fresh baked goods and sizzling pizza. The Market stocks an array of gourmet cheese, crackers, chips, yogurts, beverages and jams and jellies too. 67 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018


Lake Monocan Park If you love boating and biking, Lake Monocan Park is a 20-acre lake in Stoney Creek open daily during the summer season. The area has a sandy beach, picnic areas and a floating trampoline that the kids will love. Wintergreen Resort registered guests, Wintergreen Members and guests of Members will enjoy exclusive access on Saturdays. Dinner at Devils Knob Golf Course Want a meal with a view? Devils Grill at Devils Knob Golf Course is perfect for lunch, cooling beverages after a round of golf or an elegant dinner in a clublike atmosphere. The popular outdoor terrace features inviting al fresco dining served with stunning Blue Ridge Mountains sunsets.  Specializing in modern approaches to Southern-inspired cuisine, Devils Grill features an eclectic and creative menu in an elegant and upscale dining setting.

One of the dishes you must try is the shrimp and grits. It’s unlike any other shrimp and grits recipe you’ve seen. The grits are fried into sticks. Also, instead of the Tasso ham, the dish is prepared with thick slices of pork belly. It is even more delicious than it looks.  Wintergreen Summer Music Festival Set among the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, you’ll hear classical, jazz, pop, and Broadway musical selections under the tents at the Resort. Wintergreen Performing Arts produces high-quality symphonic and chamber concerts in addition to music education and outreach programs to infuse the Blue Ridge Mountains and beyond with music year-round. My family and I had a great time at this resort. In fact, the kids still talk about the visit. Though Wintergreen is a popular winter destination for skiing and other invigorating snow activities, a summer, fall or late spring visit is just as much fun - and memorable. 69 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018


Retreat to the

Lake


The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee is located in Georgia, just 75 miles east of Atlanta. This decidedly Southern retreat is situated in Reynolds on the shores of Lake Oconee, a 17,000-acre golf and lakefront community.


Atlanta International Airport, a quick jump away from our hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, we were whisked away to our home away from home for the next three nights.  Atlanta has a bit of a reputation for traffic, but on this particular Monday, the commotion on the roads was light, and we were soon whizzing by forests and fields as we headed east out of the city toward Lake Oconee. Per my usual travel ethos, I 

had not researched the trip or location at all before departure. I like to be surprised by the property and be able to have an unfettered reaction to a place without any previews that would color or bias my initial understanding. That said, I couldn't resist and peeked at a map on my phone on the way. To my delight, Lake Oconee was within a rather vast national forest: trees in perpetuity and clean, unblemished waters. Satisfied, I closed the map and enjoyed the rest of the ride to our hotel, The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee Turning into the entrance, the natural lines of forests transitioned to the refined edges of manicured lawns and sculpted landscape as we approached the front of the property. A sizeable welcome mat of green lawn laid rolled out in


front of the entrance to the hotel. Pulling up beneath the porte-cochére, we were greeted by a host of helpful staff that gathered our luggage and guided us inside. At the front desk, we were warmly welcomed and quickly checked in. The aesthetic is that of a classic arts and crafts era lodge. The two-story vaulted ceiling with rough-hewn beams in the lobby soared loftily above. Bay windows provided our first glimpse of the lake beyond, set calmly in a bed of mature pines and southern forests. The large open hearth of the stone built fireplace warmed the room. Rich leather sofas and a variety of seating areas suggested where I would be spending a lot of time in the next few days. I will also mention that the dates of our stay were in the waning days of fall approaching Christmas, relevant because in the center of the 74 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018

lobby a full-size gingerbread house was under construction. This marvelous structure was built using real gingerbread baked by the hotel pastry chefs, with an assortment of candies and treats used in clever ways to decorate and ornament the structure. Our visit was over before the gingerbread house was complete, but it was a lot of fun to watch as it transformed into a structure sure to dazzle and fill families with holiday cheer. With our room secured, we moved down the hallway to settle into our new accommodations. On the way, I noted the arts and crafts details again: dark wood paneling, era-appropriate furniture, even cast bronze door numbers. The carpet has the pattern and color of autumn leaves on a quiet forest floor. Altogether, the effect was a place both natural and refined, a place to relax and unwind. Our room, a


well-sized space with all the accommodations you would hope for: a king size bed, a couch, both a shower and a tub, and the coup de gras, an outdoor patio with views between windsculpted pines out to the beckoning lake beyond. Exploring the Property We had some downtime and knowing The RitzCarlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee had an extensive golf course we decided to explore the hotel and property first. We walked by a scale model of the hotel and surrounding area. A confirmed “map guy,” I spent some time here, studying the location of our hotel and it’s relationship to the lake overall. As I noted earlier, much of the property was in a national forest and is forever green and natural. There is currently a boom in construction in the area, and several communities were either established or planned for several fingers around the lake. Budding communities had staff in the map room ready to help find your future home here. We continued by the photo concierge, documenting a wedding at the property, and down the hall to the main lobby. We discovered several large ballrooms, patios with views out to the lake, and a gift shop. I found the business center that had several computers and printers. Surprisingly, they also had a full-size plotter. That is quite an excellent item for those travelers who need to print a set

of blueprints for a meeting. I have been in that situation on business trips and would have much appreciated this amenity. With the details of the hotel absorbed, we headed outside to explore the grounds. Trickling water sounds greeted us when we opened the door to the patio below. A simple fountain in a small courtyard gave the perfect amount of refined style and quiet calm as we began our outdoor explorations. Past this, we strolled down toward the lake. The path leads to the lake alongside a babbling brook left in a natural glade of shady trees and lush vegetation. Bench swings sit on promontories overlooking the stream offering comfortable locations to sit and listen to the stream songs. The Infinity Pool Further down the hill, a bridge crosses the stream leading you to the pool area. A kids pool is first to greet you, then a hot tub, and finally, the main pool. The pool is an infinity pool with a dark, pebbly bottom, like standing in a mountain lake. The infinity edge (water flowing over one end of the pool) aligned with the lake gave the pleasant illusion that the pool and the lake were one harmonious stretch of calm, beautiful water. At the edge of the pool, another mountain lodge style building sits. This building is Gaby’s restaurant, which will deliver food right to the  75 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018


pool. I saw several families utilizing this amenity, as a way to get their children to eat something as they ran with youthful zeal around the pool. Leaving the pool area, we made our way to the edge of the lake. We passed the kayak rental area (which we added to our to-do list), and down to the charming lakeside fire area. There were several pods set up next to the edge of the lake. The central feature of each was a chiminea, and surrounding this, Adirondack chairs. I could easily imagine the scene: watching the sunset over the lake and trees, a small and cozy fire warming your toes as the lake laps at the shore just feet away, all while sipping a warm drink in the comfortable recline of the Adirondack chairs. I learned later that the hotel would also serve you a full dinner here, made fresh in the restaurant, and delivered right to this lakeside retreat. Dinner at Gaby's After sitting a while, we made our way back to the hotel and our room. We passed the time on the patio, watching the wind sway the trees and ruffle the lake, as we waited for the dinner hour to arrive. Dinner this night was at Gaby's restaurant, the same restaurant that during the day provides food to the pool. We entered the stone clad edifice, and again, were greeted by a crackling fire and smiling, attentive staff. 

The restaurant had many fine dishes (especially the fried chicken and mac and cheese) and some tasty local IPA’s on tap. After dinner, we walked up the hill to our hotel past the grand fireplace and into our cozy room. Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds The next morning, we shuttled to the Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds, a related amenity area a few miles down the road from the hotel. The centerpiece of this area is a charming barn. As I understand it, the barn was initially an Amish built barn from Pennsylvania. The barn was purchased, brought down and re-assembled. The Amish are known for their peg and beam construction so the relocation of the barn was made somewhat easier since the pegs can be pried loose. The barn was taken apart like a Lego set, then reassembled. And so it was, and further embellished to create a

"GABY'S HAD MANY FINE DISHES AND SOME TASTY LOCAL IPA'S ON TAP. "

lavish meeting/dining space with a vibrant rural character. At one end of the barn, a massive stone fireplace. The mantle stone itself was quite a showpiece, an irregular stone of enormous size that makes one ponder the effort required to wrestle such a stone into place. Soft amber light poured from rustic fixtures that provide both illumination and atmosphere. A full kitchen was nestled into the corner to provide support during catering events while a grill station outside offered additional cooking options. In this space, we met our travel companions and discussed our itinerary.

The Sporting Clays We were some of the first guests to enjoy the newlyfinished course designed by renowned shooting champion Justin Jones. The extensive course is intended to capture the spirit of British clay courses beautifully laid out with a series of stations all connected by a gravel path that winds through the fields and forests. Each station has its unique look and feel, and its challenging clays. With the touch of the button, the cleverly concealed target throwers magically disperse clay from a tree, a shrub, or a lichencovered clutch of boulders. My wife and I have little experience with guns, and neither have ever been on a sporting clays course. The instructors were expert at making us calm with the shotguns, explaining the use and safety of the firearms we would be using. I have shot a few guns before in my youth, but my wife never has. I thought she might not be up to the task, but with the gentle, proficient guidance of the team, they soon had her shooting. Soon after, she was an expert and quite a bit of an eagle-eyed marksman. I suspect we might have a new activity we may take up when we get home.  Archery After a few fun-filled hours shooting clays that soared to the left, to the right, away from us, bouncing over water and skittering across the ground, we gathered our equipment and

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made it back to the barn. Our next activity was archery. Set in a woodland area the archery course is also with different stations strategically assembled to teach the basics of archery. Our guide has trained several Olympic athletes and was calm, experienced, and patient. This achievement was crucial as again, my wife and I had never shot bows before. Outfitted with some elegant looking compound bows, we spent the next few hours learning about archery, chatting with our instructor, and occasionally, wandering the woods looking for errant arrows. Reynold’s Kingdom of Golf After archery, we enjoyed a perfectly timed lunch of fresh salad, bread, pizza, duck pasta and sweet treats prepared onsite back at the barn. The next adventure was over at the Reynold’s Kingdom of Golf where the guides and local experts analyze your golf swing and advise on what can be done to improve your game. As the guides watched golfers swing, a pleasant string of conversations about golf, players, and life unfolded, and I pleasantly passed the time listening. This experience is a must for any golf enthusiast. One of the unique golf related items was the Taylor Made Experience. This technology trailer was once on the PGA Tour, making clubs for the athletes

during the games. The experts here were full of fun stories about the athletes but also explained how golf clubs could be made to each player’s unique specifications using the tools contained in this trailer. It was good fun mixed with today’s sports technology. We spent the rest of the afternoon on a private chartered fishing trip arranged by the hotel concierge. We were picked up from the hotel dock and sped off to get some hooks in the water in a forested cove in the sunshine. Our guide was a pleasant man with good stories and wealth of local knowledge (about the lake, community, and the fish). We spent about an hour catching striped bass. My wife and I eventually surrendered our

"LINGER LONGER IS TRUE TO ITS NAME WITH A DELICIOUS MENU AND EXQUISITE PRESENTATION. " gear and asked for a boat ride around the lake. Motoring along the lake, we could see the preserved shores, the tasteful development areas, and a very alluring natural area referred to as ‘Little Stone Mountain.’ Kayaking The next morning, after a classic breakfast in the hotel restaurant, we were scheduled to go kayaking on Lake Oconee outside our hotel. I love sea kayaking and have been on a few fantastic trips around the country. So getting to spend some time

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on the water was a big bonus for me. As mentioned, the hotel had racks of kayaks available. We selected our boats and joined our guide on the dock, ready to paddle through the morning mist. The view back to the hotel was breathtaking, as you could see that grand hotel as it perched on a small hill with a carpet of green grass rolling from the doors down the lake. From there, we paddled on, exploring the coves and bays along the forested edges of the lake before heading back to the hotel and the rest of the day’s activities. Dinner at Linger Longer Steakhouse Dinner this evening was the most formal so far at Linger Longer Steakhouse located onsite at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee. This restaurant was only a fiveminute walk down a softly lit path through the pines. Linger Longer Steakhouse is true to its name with its warm tones, multiple fireplaces, a modern, delicious menu including an exquisite presentation. With the outstanding personal service, and to quote my wife “Great name, I do desire to Linger Longer,” consider this restaurant when reserving your special event or vacation. Exploring the Grounds The following morning after in-room breakfast, we spent time exploring more of the grounds. We walked the 


"I LOVE CITIES. BUT IT IS ALSO NICE TO BE ABLE TO ESCAPE THE CITY OCCASIONALLY. " paths that connect the area winding under the pine trees. Occasionally bronze sculptures of wildlife were tucked along the roads that wandered past the lake with incredible overlooks of the golf course, and past the cozy cottages that are a part of the hotel for guests who prefer a bit more private luxury. After a final delightful lunch, this time featuring a golf view, our trip was at an end. Shuttle service picked us up and delivered us to the Atlanta airport. As we sat and waited to board the plane, it gave me time to reflect on our trip.

What were the highlights of The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee? Well, the food was exquisite and I relaxed and enjoyed some time away from my daily routines. I also thought about what my experience as a non-golfer visiting a golfing resort. Honestly, I would do it again. There were so many things to enjoy. Aside from the natural beauty of The RitzCarlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee, the friendly and attentive staff focused on ensuring a pleasant experience, the stunning lodge-style hotel, the sun-dappled walking paths, and the endless, fun, non-golf activities, the best part was the calm of The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee. I live in cities. I design cities. I love cities. But it is also nice to be able to escape the city occasionally. To reset and recharge. To spend time on a sunlit patio overlooking a glass calm lake, watching the ducks paddle along the edges of Lake Oconee. Sometimes it is nice just to be; to enjoy a little calm, sit quietly with your wife and just, be.  79 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018


"I

think you girls will really like this destination,” I exclaimed to my Mom & sister via text. Admittedly, I didn’t know much at all about Palm Beach before visiting. Neither had mom or sister. Consequently, we would refer to Palm Beach as Palm Springs for most of the days leading up to the trip.  But we were not headed to California for the weekend. We were headed to Florida to explore one of the most iconic hotels in American history, The Brazilian Court Hotel. The Scene When arriving at Palm Beach International (PBI) airport, we hopped in our Uber and enjoyed the short scenic tour of Palm Beach. We eventually made it across the bridge to a beautiful residential neighborhood where The Brazilian Court Hotel rested tucked away into the Florida foliage.  Not your typical hotel, guests feel so much at home that they will stay up to 90 days.

I feel so worthy but not worthy to be here. I’m not an Obama. I’m not one of Will and Jada’s kids.   I indeed do not have Beyoncé’s money. Palm Beach is the playground of the ultra-rich since Henry Flagler founded the city in 1911 (do the names Du Pont, Koch, Busch, and Trump ring a bell?). Mansions cloaked behind curtains of cascading bougainvillea line the ultra clean streets.   In my mind, residents had every right to be pretentious, but I found the opposite was exact. The History Built in 1926 and celebrating their 90th anniversary The Brazilian Court hotel heralds architecture by Rosario Candela, a famous New York architect who dared to go against the mold of the traditional Palm Beach architect Addison Mizner. Known for being eccentric enough to keep his blueprints hidden behind velvet ropes, Candela set out to create a stylish icon with lush courtyards and classic Spanish – Mediterranean architecture that defied the Hollywood theatricality of other Palm Beach hotels. 

Left: The Brazilian Court Hotel Entrance. Above: One of the spacious suites on property.

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FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH

By the time Swiss-born American architect Maurice Fatio added the south wing of the hotel and the now famous south courtyard in 1936, The Brazilian Court hotel was established as the H O W of SA MA NTHA epicenter Palm Beach society. ANDREWS STAYS

YOUNG AT 40

The Brazilian Court Hotel – What’s Inside We almost missed the entrance because The Brazilian Court hotel is beautifully hidden in plain sight. As we pass under palm trees and approach the front awning, I stopped to breathe deeply and take in the beauty of the neighborhood and the hotel’s front elevation. As we walk up the front steps, the inviting bell hops, eager to please but not overwhelming, greeting us and open the front door. Classically charming only begins to describe the hotel’s interior. I gaze around at furniture, fixtures and this adorable rotary style touchtone phone resting neatly on a wooden table. The front desk attendees work in front of a living wall backdrop. At check-in, they hand a uniquely charming room key. Instead of the standard key card system, the hotel chose to keep room keys made of nickel silver, just like the key you might use to open your door at home.  It’s also handed to you on a key ring with an adorably cute tassel. This discrete enclave of the rich and famous since the 1920s is most often

whispered about as a favored rendezvous promising anonymity for the affluent — all tucked within its lushly cloaked courtyards. Capturing oldworld European charm, The Brazilian Court is redefined for a new generation seeking a retreat within its soft, stucco walls. The Guestrooms I pulled out my key with the sunshine-colored tassel (one of my favorite colors by the way) and opened the door anxious to see what was on the other side. A truly unique property, the hotel has  

delightful surprise because we do enjoy Macaroons! Another fun discovery I wasn’t expecting was my private, oversized terrace which seemed to go on for days. It opened up to a large seating area – plenty of space to lounge with Mom and sister.  In retrospect, I chuckle as I think about how we walked around the room excited about the various details of our accommodations. We’ve stayed at luxury properties before, but boutique hotels always add unexpected charm, unique to each property.  

Celebrity Status Known to locals as a “home away from home,” the hotel is the preferred place for Palm Beachers to house their guests. The matriarch of the Kennedy family, Rose Kennedy, contacts the hotel each year during the holidays to accommodate her overflow of guests. Sophia Vergara hosted her 2015 rehearsal dinner in the courtyard and ballroom, a 1,150 square foot space 80 custom re-designed rooms and 1-3 bedroom featuring a high-drama, glass suites featuring mahogany crown molding, handskylight. Countess Luann forged, English, oil-rubbed bronze fixtures, D’Agostino (Real Housewives Provence-style wood shutters, and plush beds of New York) had her topped with imported linens, while still staying true wedding at the hotel on New to Candela’s vision of simple elegance. Year’s Eve bringing in 2017. One of the first areas I always check when away is the bathroom, which had an ultra air-jet bathtub with customized hydro-thermal massage menus and a large shower suite.  The bed was a comfortable king, and the team at the hotel left a delicious welcome gift for me on the sheets – a

In the past, many iconic Hollywood celebrities have frequented The Brazilian Court hotel throughout the years. In fact, a few of the larger suites are named after 


them: Bergman, Astaire, Hepburn, and Brando. We had the pleasure of touring the 1,700 square foot Valentino suite. I wanted to peek into the 1,900 square foot Hepburn suite as well, but it was currently occupied. The Art. The Pool. The Luxury Cars. The Lilly Pulitzer Bikes. In addition to 80 beautifully crafted guestrooms, the hotel boasts an art gallery, the Frederic Fekkai Salon and Spa (whose original flagship once resided in New York’s Bergdorf

One of the amenities we found most exciting were the Lilly Pulitzer bikes, which can be reserved by a quick phone call to the front desk. Utterly adorable and fitted with front baskets, we hopped on our bikes and cruised through the beautiful neighborhoods, to the beach and finally stopped for shopping on Worth Ave. Worth Avenue – The Rodeo Drive of the East Residing just a few high-heeled taps away from the hotel is Worth Avenue, the world’s most exclusive purveyor of luxury goods, art

The property has a beautifully scenic yet comfortably intimate pool.

THE ONLY INTERRUPTION IS THE WHISPERING OF LUSH FOLIAGE IN THE BALMY FLORIDA BREEZE. Goodman) and a scenic yet intimate pool. A bridal party was on their way to lounge at the pool right after my early morning swim. And by swim, I mean putting only my feet in the water because I was having a good hair day. The hotel’s sleek vehicle, the Cadillac Escalade, is available to chauffeur guests to the nearby beach along with complimentary umbrellas, water, towels, chairs, and magazines – which they will set up for you at the beach.

galleries and fine dining. One quick glance and you’ll notice Worth Avenue looks very similar to Rodeo Drive. Worth Avenue is home to Gucci, Chanel, Tiffany & Co, Saks 5th Avenue, Neiman Marcus and more.  At the end of Worth is the beautiful Worth Avenue Clock Tower.  Facing both the avenue and the beautiful Atlantic Ocean that lies behind, the Worth Avenue Clock Tower was built in 2010 as part of a $14 million facelift to the Worth Avenue Shopping District.   83 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018


THE BRAZILIAN COURT HOTEL EXPERIENCE - CAFE BOULUD The delectable dining experience at Cafe Boulud, located on the main floor of the hotel.


Taking the Lilly Pulitizer Bike for a stroll in the neighborhood (above) and on Worth Avenue (below).

Haute Food – Cafe Boulud Finally, after a full day of play, we freshened up and headed to Café Boulud for dishes created by world-renowned Chef Daniel Boulud. Debuting new renovations in 2015, Café Boulud boasts an elegant, sleek contemporary design – complete with a shimmery ceiling made from seashells and Pecky Cyprus and an expanded glowing bar. Our host and waiter Curtis made recommendations that were right on the money! Delightful and pleasant, Curtis encouraged us to try something new and step out of our palate box. I was going to try grilled salmon, something I can make pretty damn good at home and a Mint Julep, but Curtis recommended that I try something different, something that would take me hours or even days to prepare.

My mother, sister and I ordered different dishes and then sampled each others’ plate. The grouper dish was fantastic! The fish taste incredibly fresh – like it was just caught and fished out of the ocean and roasted over an open flame.

“Sprinkle some olive oil in a pan, throw the fish in there and 10 minutes you’re done,” says Curtis assertively about my initial salmon option. “But this pork duo dish is something I think you’ll really enjoy." Trusting my waiter, I ditched my Mint Julep for the incredibly smooth White Cosmopolitan and switched my usual grilled salmon for the pork duo. Curtis was correct about both suggestions but especially the entree.

The Brazilian Court Hotel is now on our annual radar for an off-season summer vacation or in-season winter getaway. It's the perfect location for a gathering with some of your closest companions.

Satisfied with dinner, we couldn’t pass up dessert (I mean, we could but why?) So we sampled the Peach Tart, the Carmel – Ivoire Tart and Coffee Mille-Feuille. Curtis also brought out their version of beignets. Once again he promised we’d love them and once again he was right.

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The Fashion Playbook

Shaq Thompson, Linebacker for the Carolina Panthers (and father of a one-year-old baby girl) shows us comfy and casual looks for life off the field.


Superbowl Dressing up but not too much.

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Pre-game Looking your best, yet still casual, before the game.

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Half Time For relaxing with the boys.

makeup Michelle Diane Rodriguez Michelle Diane Studio styling assistant Alex White DaniLi Apparel Photographed at Loft & Cellar Charlotte, NC

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Time Out For leisure with friends.

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Post Game

Relaxed tie for a casual look after the main event.

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Riders by Lee ÂŽ designers Heather Collins (left) and Noni Montaque (center) with Yoga Instructor / body positivity advocate, Jassamyn Stanley (right).

All Photos: Riders by LeeÂŽ


THE FUTURE FACES OF FASHION Curvy and plus-size women are demographics that have historically been underrepresented on the runway. However, Designer Christian Siriano made a bold move in his Spring/Summer 2018 runway show, casting models of various sizes to celebrate his 10th anniversary. Another brand leading the charge for body positivity is Riders by Lee ® which makes clothing to fit women of various shapes, in sizes six to 24. From denim to casuals, tops to skirts and on-thego wear, the brand prides itself on offering fashionable clothing at a great value.   Two Riders by Lee ® designers Heather Collins, who designs denim, missy and plus bottoms; and Noni Montaque, the missy and plus non-denim designer and lead designer for tops; share a bit about their design process and the brand they believe will help women feel comfortable and confident in clothes that are figure flattering. What is your design process? Heather: We work together quite a bit because we want to make sure we are giving the consumer a consistent message. Noni and I work on trend development together then go out to the market and shop. I'm constantly using Noni as a sounding board, asking her opinion and we bounce ideas off of each other often. It’s about giving the customer a whole outfit, a complete lifestyle.

Where do you both look for trends? Noni: We look at the runways, fashion influencers, bloggers, Instagram, and various sources. After that, we try to find the main theme that’s running. Heather does a great job of condensing our information into three main trends for the season. When you're ready to design, do you sketch? Heather: We both use 3-D and virtual design. We start out with a 3-D avatar and once we decide how we want something to fit from there we start to build the actual garment. We choose the color, fabric, and shape, then we start to put all the components individually on the garment so that we can immediately see it in 3-D on a body (the avatar).  It has been super helpful to be able to see your designs instantaneously and it gives us creative control and instant decision-making.  What sizes are your avatars? Heather: Typically I am looking at a size 10 if I’m designing for missy and a size 20 if I’m designing plus size. But we can look at anything from 0 to a 30. Having avatars build in any size is great because it’s taking into account that women of different sizes have different needs.   

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"Every woman wants to be comfortable in her own skin." Jessamyn Stanley, internationally recognized Yoga teacher at the Riders by Lee® Style Studio event.

Noni: And the cool thing is that we have been able to take an avatar that is a size 10 and then change the avatar to show that she carries weight in her stomach or her hips. Then we have a size 10 with two different shapes and design clothes to see how a shirt would look on those two different body types. Tell me about the Riders by Lee ® woman. Who is she? What is her story? Noni: One of the things we always say about her is that she is a woman who is prepared for anything. Women wear different hats: we are moms, coworkers, friends, and daughters. That is the woman we try to keep in mind when designing. We want to make sure our looks are versatile enough that they can get her through her day.

Laura Long of Smart Southern Style at the Riders by Lee® Style Studio event.

Heather: She doesn’t necessarily need to be super fashion forward, but she wants to be stylish and comfortable. So we want to definitely make style and comfort convenient for her. What do you hope the Riders by Lee ® woman feels when she put on clothes you designed? Heather: As women, we all know what it's like to put something on and it not fit or not feel good on you and it changes your whole day. I want her to have an aha moment when she puts something on and says "wow this looks great." I want her to feel comfortable and confident. 

Davita Galloway of Dupp & Swat at the Riders by Lee® Style Studio event.

Noni: Clothes that fit well will give her a sense of confidence to go and take charge of her day. She feels her clothes saying "this is a representation of me, this is who I am, this is who I want the world to see me as when I go out to do my thing." Every woman wants to be comfortable in her own skin and I think if we keep that in mind while we are designing, then it helps us to hit the mark. 95 | Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018


Black dress (hm)


THE NEW MODERN MAMA Model, schoolteacher, and mother Katrina McCain is an inspirational powerhouse on the rise. She is one of the co-founders of Pearls of Hope, a community service organization that produces the annual charity event Fashion Beyond Borders that raises money for mission work in Roatan, Honduras.  She also recently published her first book, Beyond Being Good and debuted Be The She, a new line of lifestyle products.   Even with all of the aforementioned accomplishments and a beautiful toddler, McCain is now preparing for her new baby - and looking effortlessly stylish in the process.

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ERIN L HUBBS STYLED BY KYLE ALEXANDER MURRAY

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Pink two piece dress. Free People.


HAIR AND MAKEUP     MICHELLE DIANE STYLIST ASSISTANT    PARIS HOPKINS 

Tan Dress. Fitted-Twenty.

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Yellow floral dress. Farm Rio.


Yellow blouse. Top Shop. Green & grey maxi - H&M Conscious

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Black and white ruffle blouse. Gianni Bini. Striped Dress. Addidas


All white dress. Gianni Bini. Floral Shoes. Honnie by Ronke Sarumi. 103| Carolina STYLE Magazine | May/June 2018


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Carolina STYLE Magazine - The Modern Parenthood Issue  

Our new issue is here!  It's our first issue that highlights modern parents sharing their tidbits on life with kids. We also included two fu...

Carolina STYLE Magazine - The Modern Parenthood Issue  

Our new issue is here!  It's our first issue that highlights modern parents sharing their tidbits on life with kids. We also included two fu...