Palm Beach Power Players
Multitasking millennials Rob Gray and Teddy Vlock represent Wellington, Florida’s new guard who are reinventing the winter horse capital. Having met through show jumping, the Canadian and Connecticut transplants founded T&R Development for hip, peer-directed projects. “Properties weren’t designed for the needs of the modern equestrian,” Gray says of the influx of year-round residents who want the whole package. “People would relocate their horses and rent for season, but now they’re looking to own a farm here with location, design, amenities and their horses right in their backyard.”
In addition to owning property in the Palm Beach Polo Club, the boys snapped up the last remaining land in the Mallet Hill enclave with boldfaced names like Bloomberg, Jobs and Kellogg as neighbors. Priced at roughly $15 million and $23 million, the farms will be ready for their two- and four-legged occupants by Fall 2019. The internationally ranked Vlock understands the appeal of putting down roots. “Most shows last a week, so you can still have a normal life by keeping your home base in Wellington,” he says.
Tired of driving to the coast for a decent meal, the partners also opened the Trophy Room. The cosmopolitan restaurant and lounge’s spacious terrace with a fountain and box hedges mask its strip mall setting. Blue velvet seating and Carrera marble tables further depart from country clichés.
“We’re going for a St. Tropez concept, where dinner organically flows into hanging out and listening to music over drinks,” says Gray, who previously ran the Gallery, a pop-up cocktail bar at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Portioned for sharing, their new American menu covers enough ground that people could easily dine here a few nights a week. Dishes range from light (yellowfin tuna tartare with strawberry and za’atar salsa) to heavy (pumpkin lasagna) fare; and simple (bacon burger) to progressive (roasted bone marrow with radish salad). “Being such a sophisticated, international community, there’s a big need for good food here,” Gray adds.
If the stunning Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club is any indication of real estate development firm Fort Partners’ abilities, get ready to be wowed by the multi-million-dollar makeover of its Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach. Designer Martin Brudnizki’s ice cream palette and beachy materials like terrazzo and rattan better suit the 209-room hotel. Other additions are poolside rooms with large balconies and Florie’s restaurant from two Michelin-starred chef Mauro Colagreco. 2800 South Ocean Boulevard; fourseasons.com.
Golf in Palm Beach
Golfers are going gaga over the fully renovated Ocean Course at The Breakers Palm Beach, making it the Sunshine State’s oldest course, dating back to 1897. Rees Jones, who reinvented the resort’s sister championship course, installed challenging undulations and water hazards among its 18 holes. Sustainability such as salt-tolerant grass was also a priority. Before rounds, golfers can practice at John Webster Golf Academy’s new putting green studio. One South County Road; thebreakers.com.
Eating in Palm Beach
After testing the waters last winter, seafood-centric Maven returns for the full season with a new retractable roof and live music. “My wife Eliza designed the interiors,” says David Silva, part of the crew behind Galley Beach and Afterhouse seafood bistro and wine bar in Nantucket, Massachusetts.
Like Galley Beach, lunch is a scene at Maven. Executive chef Scott Osif sources Holman’s Harvest greens from nearby Loxahatchee Groves for the tuna tartare and avocado sandwich with sesame dressing. Dinner items include bigeye tuna and grilled Spanish octopus. Florida citrus, a winter treat, comes in a fennel curd and pomegranate dessert. 207 Royal Poinciana Way; mavenpalmbeach.com.
Art in Palm Beach
Los Angeles and Palm Beach art gallery curator Sarah Gavlak has always been a bit of a gypsy, having set up shop in interesting spaces from a Manhattan apartment to Worth Avenue’s Via Encantada. She’s on the move again to the Royal Poinciana Plaza with inaugural exhibits by Israeli artist Nir Hod and a group presentation of her roster of women and LGBTQ artists. 340 Royal Poinciana Plaza; gavlakgallery.com.
Shopping in Palm Beach
Lilly Pulitzer gifted itself a new flagship for its 60th anniversary. With the nearly 4,000-square-foot location on Worth Avenue, the brand also returns to the origin of its late namesake designer’s tropical-printed shifts. Exclusives are limited-edition heritage capsule collections and an onsite print designer for custom shifts in Mila and Gabby styles. 240 Worth Avenue; lillypulitzer.com.
Alice + Olivia by Stacey Bendet follows its Florida foray in Miami with a second location at the Royal Poinciana Plaza. Patrons of both stores will notice crossovers like Cuban and flamingo themes as well as her now signature sculptural drapery of white plaster. 340 Royal Poinciana Plaza; aliceandolivia.com.
Roller Rabbit, a Worth Avenue destination since 2011, hopped over to the Royal Poinciana Plaza. While at it, the boho-luxe brand unveiled a new store design of pale woods, fabric-swathed dressing rooms and images from its global travels. Beyond the full assortment of women’s and children’s ready to wear, accessories and bedding, the flagship carries pajamas in limited-edition colors and prints. 340 Royal Poinciana Plaza; rollerrabbit.com.