By Merilee Kern, ‘The Luxe List’ Executive Editor
Bravo TV’s Housewives franchise is “hauter” than ever, which is no surprise given the lush lifestyles these celeb-reality superstars are allowing us to view voyeuristically. To enlighten us even more, two lovely luxe lifers—Ramona Singer and Sonja Tremont-Morgan of Bravo’s Real Housewives of New York City—have graciously taken time out of their insanely busy social calendars to answer these 5 questions related to fine living.
1. How do you define both basic and extreme luxury?
Ramona: Basic luxury to me is fresh flowers in my living room and bedroom. Flowers may be purchased at all different price points, and they just make you feel so great when you look at them. In my home in Southampton, starting in the spring and through fall, I cut them from my own gardens. Extreme luxury to me, for example, is my custom curtains and furniture that was designed by me and specifically created for both my homes.
Sonja: Basic luxury is organic food, cashmere, and bubble baths. Extreme luxury is private jets and five-star chefs.
2. What item(s) and/or experience(s) do you love to splurge on?
Ramona: I love shoes, especially when high-heeled shoes can update an outfit from years ago immediately. They make me feel feminine and sexy at the same time. The best part is that they always fit and look great whether you gain five pounds or not. Also the experience of working out with my personal trainer twice a week. He pushes me to limits that, at times, brings a tear to my eye and makes me scream. The results from him that I see on my body are well worth it!
Sonja: Loro Piana cashmere-lined gloves, which I cut the fingers off and garden in because I love gardening so I want to be comfortable while doing it. Hermès scarves because they are timeless and a piece of art that one can wear anywhere in the world.
3. Where is the favorite place you have traveled to and why?
Ramona: My favorite place I have traveled to is the San Pietro Hotel in Positano, Italy. It’s so romantic and very special. Mario, my husband, and I go almost every year and we fall in love all over again. The water is so warm and a special green/blue color. The views from there are breathtaking. Everything is set high on a cliff, overlooking the ocean and town of Positano. You think you died and went to heaven there.
Sonja: South of France because the water, the colors, the food, the language and everyone from around the world converges there and it is the ultimate in luxury.
4. Do you consider yourself a “foodie”? Why or why not?
Ramona: I am such a foodie. I have a superb sense of smell and taste. Food is all about the senses, including the presentation. I love to eat, but it has to be great for me to take in those calories (LOL).
Sonja: Yes because I was a brand consultant to restaurateurs and hoteliers and designed menus and selected the wines, which earned me the title of “The Straw That Stirs the Drink” from John F. Mariani, author of “Passport to New York Restaurants.”
5. What is your favorite tip for “living fabulously”?
Ramona: Always purchase quality items and then they don’t need to be replaced and they make you feel special, i.e. something as simple as fluffy towels, sheets all cotton 500 thread count, and dishes. Also, Villeroy & Boch stemware. I use cloth napkins every day with our meals. To me, that’s the ultimate of living fab; no paper napkins for me! Even when we bring in food, we always dine off our china rather than the containers they came in.
Sonja: Epsom salt baths, fruit acid peel facials, work hard/play hard, spend time with nature, a good night’s sleep, family, friends, pets, regular exercise and sex.
Out and About
On television, we’ve seen that Ramona Singer is an astute businesswoman with a flair for fashion and a passion for being a wife and mother. Her current venture is Ramona Pinot Grigio, made in the Veneto region of Italy, and her Ramona Red Sangiovese Merlot blend. Ramona has also taken the beauty and accessory industries by storm with her Tru Renewal skincare line, her True Faith jewelry collection, and her Ramona Singer Jewelry on HSN. She also operates her Amazon store, Ramona Singer Collections. Ramona is also passionate about her charities. As a first-hand witness to her mother’s abuse as a child, Ramona is now involved with raising money for shelters and safe houses for women and children who are victims of domestic abuse.
Stately, sexy, sassy and just plain entertaining, Sonja shops for bargains, designs her own floral arrangements, and even gives her toaster oven cooking and red carpet ready in 20-minute demonstrations across the country. As a single mom with a taste for luxury that is balanced by her Berkshire sensibilities, she proves again and again that it’s not how much you spend, but what you select and how you use it that makes the difference. In addition to her post as fashion contributor to Star Magazine, Sonja has utilized her three decades of international entertaining experience to launch her catering, event planning, and entertainment company, Sonja in the City.
Learn more about both glam gals online at www.ramonasinger.com and www.sonjamorganonline.com.
“The Luxe List” Executive Editor Merilee Kern scours the luxury marketplace for exemplary travel experiences, extraordinary events, and notable products and services. Submissions are accepted at www.LuxeListReviews.com. Follow her on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/LuxeListEditor and Facebook here: www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList.