Experience the Ultimate Southern Exposure at The Jefferson Hotel

 for the Washington Post's FW 

There are reasons why some hotels rate five stars from Forbes.  Like pulling up to a grand port cochere in a twenty-year-old pick-up, duct-tape patched and loaded with old house parts, and being greeted like her ladyship back from the hunt. (Which she was, Richmond has fantastic salvage yards).

Such a place is The Jefferson, exorbitantly gracious and luxurious to the tips of the terry slippers set out beside your turned down bed and the Molton Brown soaps and creams in the marble bath. 
Built in 1895 by Colonel Lewis Ginter, a confederate officer and tobacco baron, who also designed the beautiful Ginter gardens on the edge of town, the beaux arts masterpiece  immediately and forevermore became the centerpiece of Richmond's society events. Among the guests were twelve U.S. Presidents, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Charlie Chaplain, Elvis, and most of the cast of the recent hit movie, Lincoln.

Ein frohes Weihnachtsfest und alles Gute zum neuen Jahr! (And to All a Good Night)

for the Washington Post's FW magazine

Winterfest at Tyson's Corner is in full swing on the brand new outdoor plaza, with ice skating, live music, brats and beer and mugs of hot mulled Glühwein.

It's Bavaria on the new Silver Line, which scoots you out in about thirty minutes from Metro Center, and deposits you on a footbridge to a fairytale.

Bob Maurer, the marketing director at Tyson's Corner Center, is no stranger to creating fantasy worlds in Washington. He was the impresario behind Union Station's long collaboration with Norway, which brought model trains, a huge tree, and wonderful crafts and music to those gilded halls.

At Tysons he collaborated with Käthe Wohlfahrt, of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a company nearly synonymous with Christmas in Germany, that has created snow globe scenes in major cities around the world, from Tokyo, to Paris, and now to our Emerald City of Shopping.

Time to Light Up!

For the Washington Post's FW magazine

HOLIDAY LIGHTING! There’s magic in the air!” says exceptionally fabulous Washington designer Skip Sroka, who has a lot more exclaiming to do. “There’s nothing more exciting than lighting your whole house with candles — everyone looks fabulous!” he says.

“Ambient lighting softens shadows so people’s faces look young and rested. It’s visual Botox without the pain,” says he. (Hoo boy, say we.)
Now amp that candlelight with reflective surfaces like silvery objects and mirrors. “I use huge mercury-glass urns on the foyer table — you get twice the illumination. One of the best holiday tables I’ve seen had tiny bits of mirror sprinkled about, mingled with candles. The table shimmered!”