Party at Penny’s

By Richard Mineards   |   August 15, 2019
Randy Solakian, Kathy Halper, hostess Penny Bianchi, Roxie Solakian, and Peter Halper (photo by Priscilla)

King Charles II was nowhere to be seen when Montecito interior designer Penny Bianchi hosted a bustling Restoration party at her charming Provencal-style home, next door to the sprawling estate of TV talk show titan Oprah Winfrey.

The property suffered considerable damage in the mudslides after the Thomas Fire, so much so that when I was trying to find the house, which I have visited many times over the 11 years I have resided in our rarefied enclave, I went past their road a number of times because it was so unrecognizable.

Steve and Beth Green, Regina and John Henderson, and Alex Laron at Penny Bianchi’s bash (photo by Priscilla)

During the disaster Penny and her husband, Adam, stayed at a variety of hotels, including the Bacara and Hotel Californian, and then in rented homes, including Sandy Land, all covered by their insurance company, Chubb, who they cannot praise highly enough.

“It has taken two years to get back to normal, with tons and tons of mud being removed from the gardens.

“But even now the street to the house off East Valley Road still looks like Mars!”

Susan and Robert Lieff with Margie Grace (photo by Priscilla)

To mark the return to normality – the estate, I’m pleased to report, looks like it hasn’t been touched – Penny and Adam celebrated its restoration with a boffo bash for 140 guests, wonderfully catered by Elena Wagner.

Among the dashing denizens were Carter Hines, William and Barbara Tomicki, Scott and Ella Brittingham, Robert and Susan Lieff, Ginny Vanocur, Diana Starr Langley, Tamara Asseyev and Bertrand de Gabriac, Tom and Eileen Mielko, Curtis Skene, John Saladino, Beverley Jackson, Leslie von Wiesenberger, Randy and Roxie Solakian, Don Selbert, Alixe Mattingly, and Robert Easton.


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