Touring: The Elms

Colette and I had a tasty lunch at the Vanderbilt Grace Hotel, where we had patio seating with this pretty, green view...

...while enjoying this roasted vegetable wrap.

Then we drove to the next Newport mansion on our agenda for the day, The Elms. This was the summer home of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Julius Berwind of Philadelphia and New York. The view of the back of The Elms.

At all of the mansions we toured, we were given the option of a self-guided audio tour headset. We accepted it at The Breakers and at our last stop, The Marble House. But we declined it at The Elms. We have a love-hate relationship with those audio headset tours. We feel like we learn more, and that's good! But we feel like we perhaps study and appreciate the beauty slightly less. And we relate to each other much less, and that's bad. So, for this house, we just walked through and admired and pointed things out to each other and chatted. And while it was a nice break from being "plugged in", I have much less to say about this house, because I learned less. Like I said...a love-hate relationship.

Looking down the length of the grand entrance hall.

A beautiful painting of Mrs. Harry Lehr (1905) on display.

The conservatory was my favorite room! So pretty!

And my second favorite room was the dining room.

Beautiful ceiling detail work.

Peeking out at the grounds where we would later explore.

Then we took the main staircase upstairs to see the bedrooms.

I thought this one was very tastefully decorated.

This was called the Gold Bedroom.

The hallways on the second floor are covered in red silk damask.

Then we took the servant's staircase (but isn't it pretty?) down to the butler's pantry and kitchen.

This tea set in the butler's pantry caught my eye. There's a teapot of that exact same shape in an antique store I frequent, and I always pause and admire it. But the one at the antique store is missing part of its spout, which is a terrible shame, because its form is otherwise so nice.

Then it was out into the gardens! The Elms is not situated on the shore. But what it lacks in ocean view it makes up for with gardens!

And it has garden follies! Be still my heart! Having just finished my college course of English country houses, I'm currently quite smitten with garden follies, so we headed straight down to get a closer look at these. There are two matching ones, but the view of one is entirely obscured from the house by a large tree.

It was a terribly hot and humid day, and we were grateful for every breeze and patch of shade. No air conditioning has been added to the houses, and I passed a digital temperature gauge in one room that showed nearly 80 degrees inside. It was 84 outside with a warm breeze...and humidity. I was glad I had worn cotton and linen and clothing that flapped in the breeze. One lady I met that day said to me, "Oh, look at you! You look so cool. How can you be cool today? It's SO hot!" Oh goodness. My whole life I've wanted to be one of those women who look calm and cool when everyone else is sweating. But that's never been me. And it really wasn't this day either. I was miserably hot, but I guess I didn't look it. So, I took that compliment...and I think I'll hang onto it...and remember it with fondness! Just leave me here, in the shade of the folly, because I'm quite content here.

Coming up next...a tour of The Marble House!

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