Newport Rhode Island is one of America’s premier summer resorts. Think of Newport Rhode Island and most people think of mansions. Beginning in the late 19th century through the early part of the 20th century, the Newport mansions served as the summer playground for America’s wealthiest families. From the Vanderbilts to American tobacco heiress Doris Duke, the colossal Newport RI mansions were built as their summer homes overlooking the crystal blue waters of the Atlantic surrounding Newport. Here they spent just a few short weeks each summer, escaping the summer heat in the eastern cities of Boston, New York and Philadelphia. These mansions have become famous around the world for their decadence and grandeur while offering visitors a look into the lives of the richest people in America.
The story not often told is that these mansions required massive amounts of labor not only to build and maintain but to operate. That is where the Irish come in. Sloping from the mansions on the hill to the downtown of Newport is the “Old Fifth Ward” as it is now known. Home to the Irish who built and staffed the mansions, worked the fishing boats and labored in Newport’s busy harbor. And still today very much the home of their descendants. The town is much like any costal town in Ireland, in fact it’s sister city is Kinsale in County Cork. The Mayor of the Bandon-Kinsale District, the Hon. Rachel McCarthy and her husband Adrian Tyner kindly stopped in to Basic Irish Luxury to say hello on its Grand Opening Weekend while in town to march in Newport’s giant Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.
The parade which marches right by the Basic Irish Luxury store draws thousands to Newport. And Newport is busy all year round with events like it’s famous Newport Jazz Festival, The Volvo Ocean Race and dozens of others, drawing a mind blowing 3.5 million tourists a year to shop in Newport’s various seaside shopping districts. Basic Irish Luxury is located in the busiest of those shopping districts. The high street you might say of Newport is Thames Street. Except in Newport the ‘th’ is actually pronounced and it’s a long ‘a’ and that can take some getting used to. You can’t miss Basic Irish Luxury’s lovely green awning nestled in between Newport’s other iconic stores.
Specializing in Jewelry, lifestyle and fashion, Basic Irish Luxury is more boutique than old school Irish shop. And while the store is new to Newport, it is run by a family with four decades of experience in retailing of finer Irish products. The McGraths have operated Tipperary Irish Importer | Celtic Jeweler in Brunswick NY since the 1970’s. They bring their vast knowledge of all things Irish and decades of friendships in Ireland to this new format.
So, what is Basic Irish Luxury? That is entirely up to you. To many it could be the daily cuppa and you’ll find you favorite teas and sweets there. To others it could be an artisan sweater or authentic cap or hat actually made in Ireland. Fashion capes and shawls, Irish linen summer wear, perfumes and cosmetics to rejuvenate your skin after a day at the sea. Original oil paintings by Irish artists for the walls of your seaside home. For many the most basic of Irish luxuries are the gorgeous world-renowned jewelry designs that come from craftsmen and designers in Ireland. That is really where this Irish store shines. Basic Irish Luxury carries a large selection of 14K gold Irish made jewelry. You can choose from traditional or splurge on emeralds, diamonds and other popular genuine gems. And with full
service goldsmiths in the Brunswick NY store, your selection can be sized and ready to fit any finger before your vacation is over. Of course, Basic Irish Luxury and BasicIrishLuxury.com ship every day as well so it can be sent directly to where ever you prefer. A wide selection of sterling silver jewelry from Ireland finest makers is also available to help create that special vacation memory. So, visit Newport. Stop in. Have a chat with the friendly staff. Try some things on. Roam around and decide what Basic Irish Luxury is to you.