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Tag Archives: Newport

Rough Point

My Mom and I went to Newport, RI to tour the mansions… and we toured them!  In 3 days, we explored 6 Mansions.  It doesn’t sound like many, but when you go on the tours, it’s a lot.  We covered: The Breakers, Rosecliff, Marble House, The Elms, Chateau-sur-Mer, and Rough Point.

View from Rosecliff

View from Rosecliff

I am going to review them in the order I liked them… Meaning, if you only see one see the first one, if you can only see two, see the first two… You get the drift.

The Breakers Grounds

The Breakers is the best mansion to see.  The parking lot fills up pretty early, because it is the most popular of the mansions.  I am pretty sure it is the largest and most lavish of the Mansions.  From indoor fountains under the stairs to landings bigger than my apartment, this place is the epitome of the gilded age.  The audio tour was good – especially for an audio tour.

Entrance to Rough Point

My personal favorite, Rough Point- the Doris Duke house, had a live tour… which I like so much better.  The house was not as impressive as the tour guide’s knowledge, and Doris Duke’s story.  Her house was the most homey of all the mansions.  I loved hearing the stories about how some one actually lived in one of these giant houses.  Doris had her dogs running through her house and they were allowed on the outrageous furniture.

The Elms Grounds

The Elms is also a beautiful summer “cottage”.  I think this mansion had the most beautiful grounds.  The audio tour was well done, and the house was beautiful.  Completely worth seeing, unless you are starting to get mansioned out…

Marble House

Marble House was beautiful, and surprise, surprise, completely covered in marble!  It was surprising warm (in feeling, not temperature) inside, though.  The audio tour was well done, and told different anecdotes than the other mansions.  All of the houses did a fantastic job of giving you the idea of Newport in the gilded age, without being repetitive.

Chateau-Sur-Mer

Chateau-sur-Mer was weird.  It was a weird mansion, not as gilded as the other mansions, with much more dark, heavy wood.  Although it was very cool seeing the beginnings of the mansions of Newport, our live tour guide was an odd duck.  It made my mom and I laugh, and it was truly unforgettable.  The grounds are nothing to write home about… but I did like this house because it was so different.

Rosecliff

I disliked Rosecliff, and in fact, I would skip this tour.  This house was basically empty on the first floor, because it is still used for weddings and other private events.  The chairs stacked up on the patio really took away from the experience, on top of which, the furnished  rooms had all been redone in the forties.  It didn’t really reflect the Newport gilded age, and lacked the charm of Rough Point, or the unique experience of Chateau-sur-Mer.  It was a mehh for me.

The Elms

No pictures were allowed inside any of the Mansions, hence all of the outdoor photos.

http://www.newportmansions.org/
http://www.newportrestoration.org/

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The Courtyard

My mom and I took a girls weekend to the Fancy Fancy city of Newport, RI.  Normally, I don’t comment on the hotels I stay in, because, generally, a hotel is a hotel.  Well, The Francis Malbone House is a HUGE exception to this rule.  I LOVE this B&B.

For starters, the location is FABULOUS.  It is a little far from the Mansions or the beach, but it is smack in the middle of downtown, and a very short walk from the Wharf.  Parking downtown in horrible, expensive, and generally unavailable.  The Francis Malbone House has a parking spot for each room, right in the downtown area.  This alone would make it worth it.

Secondly, the rooms are quaint, quiet, and comfortable.  There is also a beautiful courtyard – perfect for reading, breakfast, afternoon tea, or a glass of wine after dinner.  But, this is only a small part of what makes this place special…

The real standouts are the breakfast and the staff.  This breakfast is included in the room charge, and seriously, DO NOT skip breakfast.  Or Afternoon Tea.  The food here is AMAZING.  There are two made to order dishes a morning – a sweet and a savory.  My mom and I ordered one of each and shared.  Waffles with fruit compote, perfect omelets, pancakes… you name it, it was delicious.  OUTRAGEOUS.  Not to mention the pastries, fruit, oatmeal, and everything else that was left out to nibble on.  I was so stuffed with breakfast that I only needed a snack for lunch… which was great, because I stuffed myself at dinner.

Not only was the staff friendly and attentive, Will had the BEST dinner recommendations.  It was surprisingly tough being a vegetarian in Newport, but the dinner recommendations were fabulous, for both my mom and I.  We were sent to places that locals go, not just the run of the mill tourist restaurants.  Being a self-proclaimed foodie, I was very happy to get the true flavor of Newport.  Believe me, I will be posting about all my dinners…

When you go to Newport, make reservations at the Francis Malbone House.  Call up- the staff is super friendly, and will give you amazing advice.  I am normally an online gal, but this staff is worth talking to…

http://www.malbone.com/

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