Where Culture Meets Couture – Don’t Miss Our Unique Gift Shop

By | Bonnet House Blog | No Comments

Bonnet House has long been known for its beautifully tranquil, expansive gardens, as well as its historic art gallery, studio, and museum. But did you know that Bonnet House is also home to a Gift Shop featuring a variety of unique inventory that is sure to please even the notoriously “hard-to-buy-for?”

 

Our Gift Shop features Charles Albert jewelry, which is showcased only at high-end retailers because of their fine sterling silver pieces. For organic lovers, we present the colorful and eye-catching, Organic Taua Jewelry , that is sure to make a stunning statement with any outfit. Beautiful, high-quality ladies scarves and handbags are available, and make perfect year-round accessories.

 

Our Gift Shop is proud to also share our space with specialty items from SPI, as well as a wide array of other household and personal items that are sure to compliment your home with elegance and style.

If it’s history that interests you, our Gift Shop has an expansive selection of books capturing the fascinating history and culture of Fort Lauderdale.

For an in-depth history of Bonnet House specifically, we have published a new hardcover book, “Bonnet House: A Legacy of Artistry and Elegance.” This new coffee table-book highlights the historic home and the artistic legacy of Frederic and Evelyn Bartlett. The book traces the history of the property, and explores and depicts the decorative embellishments utilized by the Bartletts to create a truly unique home. Click here to view some sample pages.

For your convenience, tickets for Concerts Under-the-Stars, Impressions, Cruising Down The River, and Orchid Festival, in addition to the many classes and workshops featured at Bonnet House, are sold in our Gift Shop (as well as online, the Welcome Center, and the South Gate).

As you visit, please consider that a great gift for anyone is a Bonnet House membership, as it is the gift that keeps on giving all year long. Memberships to Bonnet House include benefits such as complimentary tours, special discounts, priority at special events, and also help to preserve this wonderful estate. Learn more about becoming a member here.

Whether you’ve been a member for years, or are a first time guest, we thank you for visiting our our beautiful estate, and we hope that you take advantage of all that it offers, including our
unique Gift Shop! If you have any questions about our Gift Shop contact Dianne Ennis, at [email protected] or call (954) 703-2617.

Explore The Natural Beauty of Fort Lauderdale

By | Bonnet House Blog | No Comments

As residents of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, we are incredibly proud of our community, and its rich
cultural history. We’d like to take some time to highlight some other Fort Lauderdale attractions
that you can enjoy with the whole family!

NSU Art Museum – located in the heart of Fort Lauderdale, The NSU Art Museum is home to
diverse and innovative collections of art from around the world. Founded in 1958, NSU Art
Museum aims to provide opportunities for individuals to access, learn from and be inspired by
exceptional art from across the globe, and from different time periods. They have used their vast
space (83,000 square feet, to be exact) to house over 6,000 works of art. They boast a wide
array of collections that feature artists ranging from the American realist, William Glackens, to
post-WWII, avant-garde artists from Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam.

If you are passionate about art and culture, be sure to stop by one of Fort Lauderdale’s favorite
spots!

Stranahan House & Museum – Stranahan House was constructed in 1901 by Frank Stranahan
and his wife, Ivy Cromartie Stranahan, Ft. Lauderdale’s Founding Father and first school
teacher, respectively. It is the oldest surviving structure in Broward County and has served
multiple purposes in the county’s history. The Stranahan House & Museum is committed to
telling the fascinating story of the birth of our community through the Stranahan’s lives and the
beautiful home they created.

Don’t miss your opportunity to experience the rich history of Fort Lauderdale through this
gorgeous wood-frame vernacular structure, with wide porches and a stunning view of the New
River!

Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum – This museum was established with the goal of
preserving the history of the Packard Motor Co., and to demonstrate the progress of American
engineering. With 22 Packard motor cars in working condition, The Ft. Lauderdale Antique Car
Museum is proud to show some of the finest cars ever made. The 18,000 square foot building
also contains thousands of pieces of memorabilia, and a separate gallery dedicated to the life of
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and so much more.

See some of the finest automobiles in the world first hand at the Fort Lauderdale Antique Car
Museum. You won’t be disappointed!

Flamingo Gardens – Flamingo Gardens is home to one of the last natural jungle growths in
South Florida, with over 3,000 tropical and subtropical plant species, including the largest tree in
the state of Florida. Their Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary is also home to over 90 native species,
making it the largest collection of Florida Native wildlife in the state! The Flamingo Garden’s
mission is to depict, preserve, and provide education about the natural and cultural heritage of
South Florida and the Everglades.

These beautiful gardens, wildlife sanctuary, and historic Wray Home Museum have been
delighting visitors of all ages for 90 years. Don’t miss this fun and educational South Florida
attraction!

Fort Lauderdale Historical Society – The Fort Lauderdale Historical society is dedicated to
preserving and sharing material from Ft. Lauderdale’s past so that present and future
generations can stay connected to and inspired by their predecessors, and plant their own roots
in our community. The Historical Society includes a 1907 house museum and three other 1905
historic structures, as well as a museum of changing and permanent exhibitions. They also offer
docent-lead and self-guided tours 7 days/week.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to explore the fascinating history of South Florida at the Fort
Lauderdale Historical Society on your next visit!

We hope that you’ll consider some of these exceptional attractions in addition to Bonnet House
Museum & Gardens on your next visit! We are incredibly proud of our community and all that it
has to offer. Happy exploring!

Destination Weddings at One of the Nations Premier Historic Homes

By | Bonnet House Blog | No Comments

Bonnet House Museum and Gardens has been called the most beautiful place for a destination wedding in Fort Lauderdale, offering a stunning variety of exquisite settings, each uniquely charming in its own special way. Be it a grand lavish celebration or a close intimate gathering, your guests will enjoy sharing unforgettable moments in this culturally and historically rich venue featuring innovative architecture, original artwork, and lush tropical gardens.

Bonnet House, located in the center of Fort Lauderdale, at 900 North Birch Road, combines the grandeur of the past with modern amenities and a private parking lot, making it a choice destination to accommodate events of any size, but be sure to plan ahead – Bonnet House limits the number of private events, and dates are reserved based on availability when accompanied by your rental deposit. Here are some useful tips on planning your perfect wedding:

  1. Select a full service caterer. Make sure your caterer can handle not only food and beverage service, but also rentals (tables, chairs and linens), as well as staff for set-up, service and cleanup.
  2. Consider hiring a planner. Planners are a great asset and can make your wedding at Bonnet House run smoothly.
  3. Plan in advance. Bonnet House requires a formal walk through with the client, planner and caterer at least one month before your event.
  4. Be prepared for inclement weather. This might mean selecting a particular time of year for your event or making sure you have arranged for a tent.
  5. Think about how you want the event to flow. Events can be very fast paced, so provide a timeline to your guests, so they know when to arrive at the venue.

Bonnet House can furnish a list of vendors that are fully licensed and insured and that have worked at the estate before. For additional information visit us online at  http://www.bonnethouse.org/weddings/ or contact David Woodin, Bonnet House Events Manager, at (954) 703-2608 or [email protected].

ABC’s “The Bachelor” Features Rose Ceremony Filmed on the Bonnet House Estate

By | Bonnet House Blog | No Comments

“The Bachelor’s” Rose Ceremony which was filmed throughout Bonnet House in October aired Monday, January 29 at 8pm.  A number of rooms were featured in the show including the Studio, Master Bedroom, Drawing Room, Dining Room and Music Room along with many shots in the Courtyard.  The group entered through the front door of the historic home, walked into the Courtyard and were escorted to the Studio. All of the group shots as well as the Rose Ceremony took place there in the Studio. The individual shots of Krystal were taken in the Master Bedroom, the private meeting with Lauren and Arie took place in the Drawing Room and the meeting with Chris Harrision and Arie took place just outside in the Courtyard. “All of the rooms were dressed up with lovely vintage furnishings and décor that are not part of the house’s collection,” “It was a pleasure having the crew and the show’s contestants on property,” said Monica Estevez, director of marketing at Bonnet House. “The crew was very professional and a delight to work with and they respected the historic nature of the home and estate.”  Click here to learn more about the history of the estate and view photos.

18th Annual Juried Art Exhibit, Making New Impressions, Opens March 8

By | Bonnet House Blog | No Comments

Bonnet House Museum & Gardens 18th Annual Juried Art Exhibit and Fundraiser, Making New Impressions, opens Thursday, March 8, 2018 at 6:00p.m. Enjoy an evening of food, cocktails, music and art on the beautiful Bonnet House Estate. All of the art work selected for the competition is for sale and 50% of the proceeds help support the preservation of Bonnet House. Bonnet House is honored to welcome Patricia Watson as the exhibit’s juror. Dr. Watson was a founder, President of the Board and Executive Director of the Riverdale Art Center in Riverdale, New Jersey, a non-profit art gallery and art education center in northern New Jersey. She worked closely with local philanthropists and William Paterson University to establish the center and help emerging artists from that school and the local area to exhibit and sell their art. She oversaw the renovation of a 19th-century factory to house the art center and gallery, and mounted and marketed exhibitions on a monthly basis. She organized three very well attended “Art of Food” festivals that included local chefs, plein air painting and exhibitions, silent auctions, music, dinner and dancing.

“Making New Impressions” showcases artists from throughout Florida

Bonnet House is working to make the event a celebration of art from various perspectives that attracts long-time patrons and new guests.  All guests and participating artists are invited to cast votes for their favorite artist in the exhibition.  The artist receiving the highest number of votes will receive the People’s Choice Award, awarded that evening.  All of the artwork in the Impressions competition will be available for sale with 50% of the proceeds benefiting the ongoing preservation of Bonnet House and its cultural programming that reach over 70,000 visitors, including 8,000 area youth each year.  The Impressions exhibition will be on display from March 8 through April 29, 2018 during Bonnet House regular tour hours.

Additional highlights of the evening will include gourmet food, fine wine and entertainment throughout the house. Invitations for Impressions will be mailed in February. For more information and to purchase tickets, please click here.

Unique Venue for Your Wedding Ceremony and Reception

By | Bonnet House Blog | One Comment

If you are looking for a unique venue for your wedding ceremony and reception, you have found the perfect South Florida location. Known as Ft. Lauderdale’s best kept secret, Bonnet House Museum & Gardens embodies old-world charm and understated elegance. Originally built in 1920, Bonnet House exudes the whimsy and eclectic taste.  Artwork and decorative flourishes can be seen at every turn and the love for nature is evident in the surrounding grounds.

Exquisite Settings for Events of Any Size

Spanning 35 acres, Bonnet House offers a variety of exquisite settings for events of any size, each uniquely beautiful.  Whether you are planning a close and intimate gathering or a grand and lavish affair, Bonnet House Museum & Gardens sets the scene for romance and timeless memories.  Our dramatic spaces, such as the Hibiscus Garden, fountain courtyard, water front veranda, and tree-lined alee all provide memorable possibilities for weddings.  Aside from the exclusive use of Bonnet House property for your wedding, we also provide:

  • Use of the property for photography two hours before ceremony
  • Private use of upstairs bridal suite
  • Personal Bridal Assistant
  • Ceremony and Front Door Hostess
  • Complimentary tram service for guests to be escorted from the parking lot to the main house.
  • Free parking
  • Rehearsal and Ceremony coordination
  • Ceremony microphone and speakers
  • Two hours for set up and one hour for clean up

Bonnet House is a unique venue for your wedding ceremony and reception and was awarded Wedding Wire Couple’s Choice Award. The Estate is shown by appointment only. For additional rental information, please visit our estate rental page or contact David Woodin, Events Manager at 954-703-2608 or [email protected]

 

Holiday Magic

By | Bonnet House Blog | No Comments

Enjoy an Enchanted Week of Holiday Magic at Bonnet House Museum & Gardens Starting Friday, December 8th at 6pm 

Bonnet House Museum & Gardens presents an inaugural fundraising event like no other, an enchanted week of Holiday Magic featuring a holiday soiree for the adults, a whimsical wonderland for the kids and delightful evening tours and entertainment for the entire family. This weeklong event generously sponsored by the Business History Group kicks off Friday, December 8th at 6pm with a fully catered holiday soiree by A Alexander Catering complete with designer decorated trees and wreaths available at auction and for purchase. Broward Women’s Choral Group will entertain the crowds with sounds of the season and Santa and his elves will be roaming the estate spreading holiday cheer.

Bonnet House will be open for self-guided evening tours Saturday, December 9 – Thursday, December 14 from 5:30pm – 8:30pm with exciting entertainment every night. The schedule is as follows:  Saturday, December 9 – Recorded holiday music playing throughout the courtyard. Sunday, December 10 – Whimsical Wonderland with a children’s book reading by author of The Littlest Christmas Bush, Janie Casoria, Christmas on the Keyboard with Larry Roberts, Santa and his elves and light snacks for the little ones.  Monday, December 11 – A lovely evening of live holiday music played on the accordion by Larry Roberts. Tuesday, December 12 – Recorded holiday music playing throughout the courtyard. Wednesday, December 13 – A live performance by the Broward Center “Spotlights” Vocal Youth Ensemble: 25 children from the ages of 10-17 performing holiday music for all visitors. Thursday, December 14 – The Yuletide Carolers dressed in elegant and distinguished Victorian costumes, each one unique and hand-made specifically for The Yuletide Carolers. The quartet carries on the tradition of “Dickensian Caroling” by bringing a polished, professional look and sound.

Admission for the kick-off party is $50. Admission for the evening tours is $15 for members, $20 for non-members and free for kids 6 and under.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please call (954) 703-2614 or visit http://www.bonnethouse.org/calendar/.

Bonnet House Orchid Festival

By | Bonnet House Blog | No Comments

 

Explore the world of orchids at the 11th Annual Bonnet House Orchid Festival Saturday & Sunday, December 2nd & 3rd from 9am to 4pm

One of the most popular and anticipated yearly events will bloom once more in early December with the return of the Bonnet House Orchid Food Festival, featuring the 11th Annual Orchid and Exotic Plant Sale. Taking place from 9am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday, December 2 and 3, the Festival will allow orchid enthusiasts, and plant lovers in general, the opportunity to vividly experience – and purchase – diverse, colorful and fragrant varieties of orchids, exotics, tropical, herbs and fruit trees sold by over 40 local vendors. The orchids and exotic plants, though, are only the beginning. This exciting two-day event will offer something for everyone to enjoy, including food trucks, libations, garden art, orchid care and general gardening lectures, live music and much more!

Bonnet House’s world-famous orchid collection is one of the myriad reasons why a visit to South Florida is truly not complete without time spent at this grand estate’s beautiful Museum and Gardens. Here, you will marvel and delight in the approximately 1,200 beautiful, exotic plants in various stages of development found within our greenhouses and display house.

Bonnet House, one of our nation’s most popular historic houses and gardens, is located at 900 North Birch Road, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304. The entry fee for the Orchid Festival is $12 for members and $15 for non-members. Parking is free. Tickets are now available online at BonnetHouse.org. For more information please call (954) 703-2614.

A visit to South Florida is truly not complete without time spent at beautiful, historic Bonnet House Museum & Gardens. Located at 900 North Birch Road, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304, Bonnet House is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums; the estate is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been declared a historic landmark by the City of Fort Lauderdale. For more information and details, please contact Monica Estevez at (954) 563-5393, extension 127 or online at [email protected].

 

Click here BonnetHouse.org for more details and to purchase tickets.

Tranquility and Elegance on Fort Lauderdale Beach

By | Bonnet House Blog | No Comments

A recent visit to Fort Lauderdale Beach revealed that this location, once infamous for its Spring Break partiers, continues to evolve into a high-end and family-oriented destination.  A luxury-laden Conrad hotel is poised to open in September while construction on a new and sure to be opulent Four Seasons hotel is also well underway.  But, this level of refinement and luxury is not really all that new to Fort Lauderdale.  Just a few blocks north of these new properties is a place where refined elegance and languid tropical winter days were always commonplace—if only for a few treasured and invited guests.

Nestled near the intersection of State Road A1A and Sunrise Boulevard lies Bonnet House.  This historic estate, once the winter home of artist Frederic Clay Bartlett and his wife Evelyn Fortune Bartlett, is today a historic house museum centered on thirty-five acres of beach front property.  The Bartletts knew how to entertain their fifty closest friends, and they often did in the summer months at their home in Beverly, Massachusetts.  But winters at Bonnet House were different.  Dinner parties there were typically limited to six or eight close friends spending a week of their own Florida winter retreats with the Bartletts.  In the early days of the 1930s and 40s, the beach at Fort Lauderdale was far more placid and secluded than it is today.  A1A was little more than a country road, so crossing it to the Bartlett’s private beach was a leisurely stroll.  That also made it easy for Bonnet House’s butler to serve morning and afternoon refreshments by the sea to the Bartletts and their invited guests.

Meals were taken outside in the courtyard of the Caribbean-style home Frederic designed himself (a close acquaintanceship with Frank Lloyd Wright and Howard Van Doren Shaw had allowed Frederic to master the basics of building design).  A staff of thirteen was on hand to see to the needs of guests and upkeep of the property.  Dinner began with cocktails in the Bamboo Bar.  Martinis were always on hand though a house cocktail made with Rangpur lime juice and Mount Gay rum was also on offer.  Meals would have a classical French flare, not unexpected as one of Evelyn’s chefs had worked for Charles De Gaulle.  Coquilles St. Jacques would of course be served in a scallop shell and cut aspic and black truffle adornments to the main offering would have been de rigueur.  Sea breeze from the Atlantic and the distant sound of waves would make for a comfortable night in the days before air conditioners hummed.

For the Bartletts, Bonnet House was a haven on many levels.  The comparatively relaxed ambiance contributed to the creative spirit of the place.  Frederic continued to paint there into his golden years and earlier encouraged Evelyn to nurture her own innate artistic talent.  This led to a period in the 1930s when Evelyn’s paintings were exhibited to rave reviews at galleries such as the Wildenstein in New York City.  Her art in particular was inspired by the natural surroundings of Bonnet House.  Evelyn’s love of animals was on display there too.  Pets were an integral part of her life including dogs, parrots, swans, and even monkeys.  While sociable within their circle, the Bartletts were also private by nature.  No wonder they placed such value on the estate’s extensive grounds that set Bonnet House in a world apart as the population of Fort Lauderdale beach grew around them.

Frederic died in 1953, but Evelyn continued to thrive at Bonnet House.  Her last winter there was in 1995 when she was 107 years old.   Recognizing Bonnet House as the treasure it is, Evelyn preserved the estate by giving it to the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation.  As a result of her generosity, visitors can experience what life was like on a beachfront estate in the 1930s and 40s.  Walking the forested nature trails, one can easily forget that a bustling beach community is just yards away.  The house and its furnishings are practically unchanged.  Never a slave to fashion, the Bartletts defined their own sense of style early on and stuck with it as the years passed.

Today, guided tours of Bonnet House immerse visitors in Frederic and Evelyn Bartlett’s unique lifestyle.  Art and daily living remain inextricably linked with Frederic’s decorative painting forming a prominent element of the principal rooms and living spaces.  The dining room and butler’s pantry recall days when chefs schooled in the classical tradition created their own culinary artistry, enhanced by Spode and Davenport dinner services.  Former guest rooms now display a collection of paintings by Evelyn while the art studio houses works by Frederic, many on a grand scale.  Seeing artists painting on the grounds is not uncommon in a nod to the creative legacy of Frederic and Evelyn.  From January to April, concerts are held on a monthly basis.  An orchid festival is held each December, inspired by Evelyn’s love of these plants and the 5,000 specimens that remain part of the Bonnet House orchid collection.

While known for its meteoric growth, South Florida is also becoming defined for its embrace of the good life.  Then again, maybe Bonnet House proves that what’s old is new again.

Join Bonnet House and Kelly’s Landing for A Cruise Down the New River Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 5pm

By | Bonnet House Blog | One Comment

Bonnet House Museum & Gardens and Kelly’s Landing Seafood Restaurant present Cruisin’ Down the River: Digging Up The Past. Take a boat ride with Bonnet House down the New River Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 5:00 p.m on the famous Carrie B paddlewheel boat. Hear historical tales about Fort Lauderdale’s New River while enjoying wine and tasty treats from Kelly’s Landing and live music from the Gold Coast Banjo Band. Featured speaker is Sara Ayers-Rigsby, MA, RPA, Director, Southeast/Southwest Regions, Florida Public Archaeology Network. Admission is $45 for members and $55 for non-members and includes two glasses of wine along with a lite snack generously sponsored by Kelly’s Landing. A cash bar will also be available onboard. The yacht embarkation site is 3440 North New River Drive East, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301.

For more information and to reserve your seat, please call (954) 653-1554 or visit http://www.bonnethouse.org/calendar/.