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Article: Babies and horses and ramps, oh my! Daphne's exciting first week of may...

cinco de mayo

Babies and horses and ramps, oh my! Daphne's exciting first week of may...

Where to begin!? May has been such an exciting month so far. First of all, did you notice how I just happened to don my favorite old pale pink taffeta Oscar de la Renta party frock on the evening of Friday, May 1 and post that cryptic toast-post on my instagram account? 

WELLLL...... if you must know the whole story, that was no coincidence that the next morning the world awoke to the glorious, earth shattering news that Princess Charlotte had been born. No coincidence at all, my friends. 

Of course, Doxie and I had been in London for several days prior, planning to be at dear old Kate's side through the last days of her pregnancy. (A pact we swore to one another as girls at sailing camp, to help each other through life toughest moments). And of course, we all knew it was a girl. 

You should have seen the beautiful top secret baby shower I threw for her, attended by primarily myself, doxie, the Delevigne sisters and a few other equally beautiful heiresses whose fortunes are handled so discretely that their names would mean nothing to you, adoring public.  

On Friday night, Kate was in such a state. It was not, shall we say, Royal.

In hopes of cheering her up, I threw on this beloved old pink number and suggested we have a champagne and sushi party - these used to be her favorite kind of parties - but this only made her cry more. Apparently pregnant people cannot drink or eat raw fish? And it hurts their feelings when their best friends trot around in size zero runway samples of Oscar gowns on the eve of the impending massacre of there bodies?


Anyway, it turned into a champagne and ice cream party. Champagne for me, ice cream for her (and Doxie) (and the Queen). Did I mention HRH was there too? 

Since I was the only one drinking I ended up drunk and leaked that instagram hint to the world that Kate was in labor and that Charlotte was in fact a Charlotte, not a Charlie. But you silly sallies were too dense to pick up on it! Gosh we were so worried it was too obvious! But it seemed my drunk-insta did not ruin the royal surprise and Kate pulled herself together, rose to the occasion and awoke Saturday morning, had some tea and then had an all-in-all very Royal Delivery with full make up and hair perfect through the entire 90 minute ordeal. 

During the delivery, Doxie and I showed the Queen some yoga poses to help with her advancing osteoarthritis while Will and that mousey father of his watched a bit perv-ishly if you must know. 

Bravo, Kate dear, Charlotte is a marvel. I can't wait to give her all my old clothes and teach her how to open champagne bottles with a stiletto. Isn't she lucky to be a princess AND to have a crazy aunt Daphne!? 


Like I said, May has been a whirlwind of excitement. By mid afternoon on Saturday, Doxie and I were back stateside and positioned to enjoy juleps at the derby.

I threw on this gorgeous little white dress from one of my favorites, Alexis and of course, The Daphne hat from Gladys Tamez. The derby is such a perfect occasion for pairing white and navy. I'll never understand why so many people miss that and show up in floraly pinks. Hasn't everyone studied My Fair Lady as closely as I have? All horse race attendees should wear strict palates of white and darkest of navy....

I wonder who won the race? I suppose it takes some time for them to tally the votes. I hope it's a woman horse. It seems like it's always the male horses who win. 

By Monday I was back in the city, recovered from the exciting weekend and ready to throw a little Cinco de Mayo fete. There I was in Dean & Deluca buying $7 limes, trying to decide if I should do classic Margaritas or hibiscus infused ones, or both and also wondering if Astier de Villatte made margarita glasses when it hit me, I should just throw the party in Akumal! 

I tossed the limes back into the citrus display, called my guests, (and of course, my florist and told her to gather her entire reserve of blooms) and instructed them meet me at six pm sharp for departure by chopper to Mexico. We spent the rest of the week wearing all white clothing, floral crowns, and dining on hibiscus infused everything. I'm not entirely sure if this is the traditional interpretation of how to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, but it is the only way I know how observe the holiday. 

I've just returned this afternoon to my sunny little corner of manhattan. After all this galavanting, I'm craving a weekend of relaxing with friends and family. Spring is in full crescendo, the days are long and warm, the farmers markets are bursting with ramps, life is good. 

I popped into this springy little shirt dress from dear old friend Kiki Lynn for a trip to pick up ramps this afternoon. Aren't shirt dresses and wicker bags everything? Really, though, what would spring 2015 be without shirt dresses?

Naked. It would be naked. Everyone must have a shirt dress on or else! 

And can we talk about this wicker basket? You love it right? I know. I'm sorry, you can't have it. It's one of a kind, hand woven in the Philippines. I used to live there. Did you know that?

Anyway... let's talk about ramps. Ramps, for those of you who don't know, are the pungent, luxuriously bulbous little cousin of a spring onion and they're a hot commodity in the NYC food scene. Springtime is a season for manhattan chefs to showoff their ramp-cooking skills left and right. And as a result, NYC-ers pay dearly for these onions.

Ramps go for $14 a pound, even at discount grocery shops like Wholefoods Markets. (LMFAO who goes to Wholefoods!?) And at normal grocery stores like Dean & Deluca, they're $47 a pound. Even for me that seems a bit steep! Especially when you're making a dish that require quite a few ramps, which I am. 

Luckily, my sweet friend Loretta is a professional vegan forager. She travels the eastern seaboard in search of naturally occurring, sustainable produce and farms it delicately after praying over it and then flies it back to the city in her small private plane which runs on naturally derived corn-based fuel, to sell at the Union Square Farmers Market.

Loretta's Loot, which is the name of her brand, is an insiders source for the most harm-free, cage-free, ridiculously fresh produce around. I'm often elbow to elbow with the Blue Hill staff fighting over radishes at her stand. (They're usually wearing prop mustaches when this happens. They have to shop under cover. They'd never admit they sometimes turn to outsourcing to Loretta for produce, but if you must know, her ingredients are the inspiration behind some of their most impressive dishes). 

Tonight, Loretta was arranging a fresh batch of foraged ramps when Doxie and I arrived. It is always so inspiring to see her at work, her eyes alight with love of pesticide free produce. She told me how she found these in the foothills of Virginia in a grassy clearing in a forest. A sea of ramps, was how she described it. Can you imagine how lovely that must have been? Discovering a vegetable, growing in season, in a quite, un-marred little piece of forest - offering up the sweetness of the season in Mother Earth's most simple, yet perfect suggestion for what to cook for dinner tonight? 

I grabbed as many as would fit in my wicker tote and headed home to whip up this lovely little dish...

Lorettas Ramp Pesto

In a food processor, puree a pesto of:
2 bunches of ramps
1 cup walnuts (toasted)
lots of olive oil (Loretta is not one for exact measurements)
1/2 c grated parmesean
salt & pepper & maybe even some lemon, if you're feeling frisky
Boil water, make pasta (duh) 
(I like a penne here)
Sauté 1 bunch of ramps in a large pan with olive oil and salt - cut them into 2 inch pieces and cook the bulbs first for about five minutes then swirl in the stems/green bits to sauté until completion. Then add the cooked pasta and the pureed pesto into this large pan and toss to serve. Garnished with extra cheese, obviously. 
Isn't that a nice little recipe? 


I plan to serve at sunset on our roof terrace, perhaps with a crisp vermentino and some rustic bread. And for desert we have a lemon meringue pavlova with fresh lemon curd. When did I have time to make that, you ask? Why you've forgotten who you're talking to, my dear. Always remember, Daphne can do it. 








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