River Oaks tennis lunch turns the country club lawn into a flowery fashion show – twice as much fun

VSchampagne, caviar, fabulous fashion and perfect weather – what more could lunching fashionistas have asked for? The return of the men’s clay-court championship lunch at the River Oaks Country Club after the COVID-induced hiatus was a spectacular two-day event that was as colorful as the banks of azaleas blooming in the Brahman district.

Some would say it was the “haves” and “uber haves” who congregated on the country club lawn, 700 people a day. To smooth under the soft sun. To chat with friends dressed in flowery dresses. And to soak up the possibilities of outdoor Tootsies fashion presentation.

The interesting thing about this lunch, which barely sells out moments after reservations open, is that many women attend both days. For fashion observers and people watchers, this is an unmissable event.

Raquel Adham, Whitney Crane, Rosangela Capobianco, Michelle Smith, Rania Edlebi (Photo by Jacob Power)

The 2022 lunch venue presented a welcome change from the enclosed area around the pool that hosted Tootsies models for some 35 years. The swimming pool is under reconstruction. The consensus of almost everyone is to keep the event on the lawn, where the breezes blow and the green grass underfoot is a pleasant reminder of spring, in the future too.

The welcome guests were the tournament director Bronwyn Greer and lunch chair Kelly Hackettand the Tootsies team: owners donna and Norman Lewis and the creative director of the fashion house Fady Armanious.

Berg Hospitality’s honcho chef was new to the tournament Robert DelGrande and Sam Governale holding court in a glamorous stand doling out Ben Berg’s caviar on blinis. Free caviar samples, the same offered at Turner’s, The Annie Cafe and B&B Butchers, had fans swooning.

Similarly, trays of costume jewelry and beautiful watches from Tenenbaum Jewelers who circulated on the lunch scene. Owners of Tenenbaum Tony Bradfield and Dr Kevin Black were on the scene for much of the tournament as Tenenbaum was one of the signing sponsors.

In fact, Bradfield had the honor of presenting the trophy on center court to men’s clay tennis champion Reilly Opelka, who beat Dallas favorite John Isner in Sunday’s final. Bradfield was further delighted that the winners of the doubles contest were both from his native Australia.

Seen on PC: Beth Zdeblick, Leigh Smith, Kelley Lubanko, Phoebe Tudor, Whitney Crane, Sheridan Williams, Anne Neeson, Cynthia Allshouse, Amanda Boffone, Kristy Bradshaw, Linda Lyons Ewing, Minnie Baird, Laura Sweeney, Amanda Evans, Julie Bayouth, Lisa Eads, Ceron, Cami Goff, Bobbie Nau, Michelle Smith, Sippi Khurana, Carolyn Tanner, Brenda Love, Stephanie Fleck, and Melissa Juneau.