How Sweet it Is

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On October - 15 - 2011

Soho Beach House AnniversaryBy:  Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

Soho Beach House’s One Year Birthday Bash

It’s a sweet, sweet life for members of the Soho Beach House (SBH) especially when the House throws one of its famous bashes.  Such was the case on September 27 when the SBH celebrated its one year anniversary with a Willy Wonka themed party.  It seemed like a “world of pure imagination” to lucky members and their guests who were greeted by Oompa Loompas at the door, one of whom was atop a 15 foot- 1,000 + cupcake display, ala Cupcake Wars.

Similar to last year’s founders’ party, the House pulled out all the stops, just as most of the founding members’ dues are up for renewal (Coincidence? We think not!).  Guests were treated to limitless seafood, steaks, the best black truffle risotto we’ve ever had (where the chef was doling out the truffles as if they were chocolate sprinkles) and just about every other delicacy imaginable- including Cecconi’s signature wood oven pizzas, meatballs, paella and our favorite- the Serrano croquettes.  Not to mention, that in keeping with the theme, the sweets were abundant, and available throughout every nook and cranny of the property.   We’re talking an ice cream stand at the valet!  But unlike the Founder’s party last year, there was such an energy and buzz in the air throughout the night, as you couldn’t walk two steps without running into an old friend or many new friends with whom you’ve spent countless good times at this very place. 

 And of course, nothing goes better with gourmet food and sweet treats than specialty Grey Goose cocktails- created just for the occasion- aptly named the Golden Ticket, and the Willy Wonka.  To our delight, mixologist, Chris Hundall was serving up free- flowing Eastern Standards at the Club Bar.  Miami tastemakers such as Criselda and Jonathan Breene, Jason & Michelle Rubell, Sam Robin, Elaine Lancaster, Leslie Wolfson, Andy Steinberg, Susie & Walid Wahab, Viviane & Marc De Kuyper, Laurent Fraticelli, Nektar Di Stagni, Anne Owen, Sarah Harrelson, John Lin, Susanne Birbragher, Daniella Sredni, Alan Roth, Louis Aguirre, Barbara Becker, Nick D’Annunzio, Tara Solomon, Lauren Gnazzo, Tito Gaudenzi, Yanick and Hadley Henriette, Edison Lozada, Rian Maercks, Tara Solomon, Nick D’Annunzio, Fred and Monique Gonzalez were among the many seen enjoying the delicious food, and traipsing through walkways lined with giant-lollypops while listening to music by Locos por Juana.  Some guests opted for watching the old school version of Willy Wonka, which was projected on the 8th floor wall or the new version which was played in the screening snug.

At around midnight, Laurent Fraticelli, SBH’s (oh-so-French!) general manager, decked out in a Willy Wonka costume, stood on a stage at the end of the pool, lit an enormous cupcake and led the crowd in the singing of Happy Birthday, which culminated in a fireworks display.  That’s when things got wild- Soho House style- as Fraticelli dove into the pool- in full costume, followed by most of the SBH staff, and hundreds of other guests- only a few of whom took the time to undress before  taking the plunge.  This impromptu late night pool party has become somewhat of an undocumented tradition at the House, and is just one of the happenings that make this place like no other.



Tom and Jean Feeley

Tom and Jean Feeley

Sole on the Ocean Luau


Solé on the Ocean, the boutique hotel in Sunny Isles Beach, bid farewell to summer with a Hawaiian-themed luau on Saturday, September 24, at its beachfront lounge Alba Mare. In the spirit of the islands, guests of all ages celebrated with traditional Hawaiian fare, live music, paddle boarding, a limbo contest and a tropical swimwear presentation. Hula girls and a fire dancer sparked the festivities with colorful performances, while the Aloha Boyz strummed their ukuleles and DJ Dutch spun island beats. Party-goers sipped on Mai Tais and feasted on a succulent fire-roasted pig- made in an actual “Caja China” with all the trimmings.

Ark Paddleboards was onsite to offer both novice and experienced paddle boarders the chance to make waves on the ocean while a limbo contest was held beachside, the winner of which received a complimentary weekend stay at Solé.  Poko Pano swimwear capped off the evening with a fashion show of its new collection.  A portion of proceeds from the evening’s sales benefited Plastics Free Ocean, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about the risks of improper and excessive use of plastics to human health, wildlife and the environment.

We decided to make a weekend of it at Sole on the Ocean and were delighted with the posh, modern accommodations and friendly service during our weekend getaway.  We look forward to their monthly luaus, which are a blast for the whole family.

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