Tips on Navigating the Season’s Social Scene

Traditionally, Palm Beach’s social season is a time of overindulgence, with excess eating, alcohol consumption, busy days, and late nights. If you’re looking for some tips on navigating the social scene and enjoying the plethora of seasonal events without expanding your waistline, you’re in luck.

Here, Managing Director Allison Reckson and Event Manager Mariana Lehkyi, members of Palm Beach Illustrated‘s own events division, Illustrated Events, share some of their best tips for party-goers.


NI: What are a few good go-to drinks to sip on?

AR: Anything that sparkles. We especially love Champagne or Pellegrino.

ML: A fun drink to try could be the specialty cocktail of the evening (if something is being featured), as it’s usually themed and fresh.

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Which appetizers or dishes would you recommend if you’re trying to eat healthy?

AR: Have the caviar, skip the blinis! I would suggest staying away from hors d’oeuvres with puff pastry, bread, or crostini. Opt for selections that use lighter, healthier items like cucumber rounds or endive as a base. Forego the dipping sauces, and, of course, gravitate toward fruit instead of sweets, or indulge in just a taste (or two) of dessert.

What treat tends to test your own self-control?

ML: Cheese and puff pastry.

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How would you recommend balancing moderation while still enjoying yourself at an event?

ML: If you’re chatting with people and being social, that tends to occupy your time and you won’t be thinking of when the next tray of food is coming out. Don’t come to an event famished—eat something small to hold you over or prepare you for an event that might not have the food selection you’d want or expect. If you make plans after the event with a group of friends for a late dinner, that’s also something you look forward to and will most likely encourage you to skip the dessert station.

If a party doesn’t have a specific dress code or theme, what’s a good go-to outfit?

AR: For women, the little black dress (or white dress, depending on time of day and time of year) remains classic and chic. Accessorize according to the occasion and venue. Dresses in tropical colors or prints also play well in our area.

ML: For men, it’s refreshing to see colorful blazers or pants. Stylish bow-ties or pocket squares are always appreciated. For a more traditional look, black jacket or navy blazer.

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What three items do you recommend having with you at an event?

AR: Cash for valet tips, cell phone for picture taking and social media (ringer off), small mints (not gum).

How would you handle the situation of arriving late or leaving early?

AR: It’s often good to notify the host in advance when arriving late or leaving early. For early departure (though never during the speaking), discreet ghosting is appropriate. Be sure to send a thank-you note the next morning to the host.

ML: Lately, many exciting things happen at the beginning of events, so it behooves guests to arrive at the actual start time or 15 minutes after. Be sure to be on time for lunch or dinner seatings.