English Propriety Meets Southern Charm
Sea Island celebrated the beginning of a new year with a fun and sophisticated nod to one of television’s most popular series, “Downton Abbey.” From Jan. 17-19, actor Allen Leech—who plays Tom Branson in the series—and Jessica Fellowes, best-selling author of the official companion books to “Downton Abbey,” visited Sea Island for a weekend of activities dedicated to fans of the show. The weekend opened at The Cloister with the English tradition of a pub quiz, presided over by Leech and Fellowes as quizmasters. Questions and team names such as Mrs. Padmore’s Pals and Dowagers’ Dames further immersed participants in the world of “Downton Abbey.” The next evening, event guests were treated to cocktails and a Q-and-A session with Leech and Fellowes, who answered “Downton Abbey” aficionados’ most pressing questions with flair. The weekend culminated in a delightful costume party, where attendees were encouraged to don period-appropriate attire. The soirée kicked off with a cocktail reception in The Cloister Colonial Lounge before migrating to the ballroom for a themed dinner. Afterward, Fellowes and Leech hosted a screening of the drama’s latest episode before everyone journeyed back to the Lounge to partake in the after-party, which included cigars, port, music and dancing.
A Festive Holiday Season
The holiday season proved, once again, to be a magical time at Sea Island. With an array of events dedicated to celebrating family, friends and one of the most beloved times of year, there was plenty to keep guests merry. In celebration of the holidays, a special Thanksgiving reception was held in The Cloister Colonial Lounge, marking the start of the season for members and guests alike. During December, the annual tree lighting ceremony at The Cloister and the members’ Christmas party held in The Lodge with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, delighted both young and old. One of the most exciting moments for the younger crowd was the arrival of Santa Claus, who greeted guests in The Cloister Colonial Lounge among carolers. Following Christmas celebrations, the holidays continued as guests and members were treated to several New Year’s Eve festivities. “The Great Gatsby” New Year’s Eve Dinner paid homage to the Roaring Twenties, the setting of the famed F. Scott Fitzgerald novel as well as the decade that marked the original opening of The Cloister. In addition, a new celebration was added to Sea Island’s register of traditional holiday extravaganzas: Diamonds, Denim and Bluegrass: Celebrating 2013, which was held on Rainbow Island under the stars. Executive Chef Jonathan Jerusalmy prepared an exquisite dinner, followed by a dessert showcase with live Southern bluegrass.