Monday, October 15, 2012

Beautiful Boca Grande

One of the "secret" places in Florida- very hard to reach by car, and unknown to all but the most discerning of Florida travellers, Gasparilla Island- also known as Boca Grande- is the most charming and "old Florida" of towns in an island setting.  We took some friends there for the day on Sunday, had a fabulous lunch at the casual restaurant called The Pink Elephant -"The Pink"- and Dickie and I had black grouper "sliders" with a Sonoma Cutrer chardonnay...then we all mosied over to the hotel, known as the Gasparilla Inn, a very interesting old building from 1911- 
Nothing is more pleasant or enjoyable than sitting on one of the rockers on the front loggia of the hotel.  First owned by Barron Collier, then Bayard Sharp, and now the William Farish family, the hotel has been freshened up and is ready for the upcoming social season.  Boca Grande is also known as the tarpon fishing capital of the world.  The decor is like a screaming old money Palm Beach-Greenbrier look- all butter yellow walls, pistachio green carpets, and pinks and blues on seating pieces.  The lounge called BZ's (after Bayard Sharp) was my favorite, done in a very updated tropical look, with murals, seagrass, rattan, and a stunning pecky cypress ceiling, with killer views of the golf course and the back bay.
Here, (above) is the old train depot, from when old Boston society would come down in the early part of the 20th century and stay a can still see the tracks behind this building.

The boys insisted I get a shot of this adorable pink fuel pump- only on Boca Grande would you see this, the islanders are often seen cruising the village in their golf carts, complete with the golden retriever riding on the back.

This chair, from Hickory Chair, reminds me of the wall colour at The Gasparilla Inn...notice the small parsons table, a gift to me from the late Albert Hadley.  Rose Cumming banana leaf print in taupe on vintage chairs, small bouillotte lamp I got in the village in NYC.  Garden seat from Naples Lamp Shop, Naples.  The standing lamp behind the chair was a gift.  If you ever come and see me in Naples, maybe we can visit the island, a most charming place to visit...

Billy and I consulted on this house on Gasparilla Island, along with Carleton Varney, the New York designer, and two ladies who are the Brooke and Mimi of Boca Grande...many of the older properties on the island were designed by noted architect F. Burrall Hoffman, who is also credited with Viscaya, in Miami.  Hope you enjoyed this glimpse of an enchanted place, DF ***** 

1 comment:

  1. I have been to BG-it + your photos are grand.


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