Hi friends, welcome back to the conclusion of our time in Newport, Rhode Island! Our last mansion of the trip was the Chateau-sur-Mer, “Castle by the Sea” in French, and we didn’t love this tour. There was no interior audio guide, only a guide of all the trees and plants on the property, so we went through pretty quickly. This Chateau was a family home and lived in year-round unlike most of the Gilded Age mansions.
This Chateau was built in 1852 and was the original mansion in Newport. It was built for William Shepard Wetmore, a China trade merchant. The home features a lot of porcelain and artifacts from his time in China displayed around the house. William was worth about $1 million ($36M in todays dollars) when he died in 1862. Compared to his future neighbors, that was a relatively modest sum.
William left the house and fortune to his son George and daughter Edith. While George and his wife were on a trip to Europe, the entire home was remodeled by architect Richard Morris Hunt (same architect as Breakers and Marble House). He added a new three-story wing, moved the entrance to the side, added a porte-cochere, and added the four-story tower.
The Great Hall is 45 feet tall and the balconies overlooking are pretty neat. We went on an overcast day and it just felt dark and dreary inside compared to other homes we toured.
This room with the marble flooring was the original entrance, but they removed the doors and put in a bay window.
George went on to be the governor of Rhode Island and a US Senator before passing away and leaving the house to his two daughters who never married. They sold the house to the Preservation Society in 1969 and it became a National Historic Landmark in 2006.
We went to Fort Adams afterwards and it was a bust. It was really hot, so that didn’t help with us wanting to walk around, but you couldn’t go in anything so it didn’t seem worth the small cost of admission. If it wasn’t so hot a guided tour would’ve been a much better option.
I did love the views of the harbor though.
We then drove around the iconic Ocean Drive in the nice a/c admiring the ocean views and beautiful homes.
We stopped along the side of the road to get some pictures and I didn’t know it at the time, but we caught glimpses of Jay Leno’s recently purchased home.
We ended our trip with a delicious dinner at Thames Street Kitchen. We were seated at the bar and it was fun watching the chefs preparing each dish. I ordered the Rose and Jon picked the Rhode Island iced tea (black tea infused rum, avua ambruana, peach, lemon, mint). Cheers to a wonderful and relaxing vacation!
We shared the ravioli, fluke crudo, and warm bread with cacio e pepe butter for appetizers and they all tasted delicious. The warm bread dipped in the ravioli sauce was excellent! I ordered the seared tuna with snap peas, mustard greens, and yuzu vinaigrette and it tasted so fresh and delicious! I eat raw tuna in sushi/sashimi, but I rarely order it out. I need to change that.
Jon opted for the pork belly with coco beans, pork fat mojo, and bruleed orange. I had a bite and it was so tender and flavorful!
For dessert we got a chocolate mousse type creation that was the perfect finishing touch. We ended the night sitting on a bench overlooking the harbor and soaking in every last minute of vacation.
In the morning we grabbed massive coffees from Nitro Bar, and they were delicious! I got a caramel latte and Jon got a basic cold brew. They made the drive home a little better. We beat all the traffic and had the rest of the day to do laundry, grocery shop, and get organized. We even saw the Macy’s Fireworks form our living room and listened to the broadcast on Tv. It was the perfect fourth of July weekend!
I hope you enjoyed this series! I highly recommend spending a long weekend in Newport in the summer. It was a relaxing trip that we didn’t feel like we needed a vacation from. Hopefully one day I’ll make it back to see the homes decorated for Christmas 🙂
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