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Civilization as we know it may be in decline, but the ladies who run Belle & Max are doing their level best to see that it doesn't crumble away entirely. The only thing going fast here is the cookies. This adorable little teahouse and luncheonette -- named after a couple of favorite pooches -- serves luxe luncheons to ladies of leisure, but that doesn't mean we can't all get our piece of the pie. And what pie it is! Pecan pies, lemon tarts, apple praline pie, an almond joy tart, along with chocolate espresso truffle cake and chocolate croissant bread pudding are made lovingly in the proprietors' home kitchens and carted in daily; light lunches include a pear gorgonzola salad, a smoked turkey and brie sandwich, or a quiche of the day for $9 and under. All of it's delicious, as are the coffees, teas, and "herbal elixirs." After lunch, a bit of light shopping might be in order: Belle & Max sells scented soaps, jewelry, cookbooks, New Age knickknacks, hostess gifts, and whole pies and cakes for parties and holidays.
Ladies who shop and then lunch have enjoyed leisurely afternoon tête-à-têtes at Belle and Maxwell's for years; it's time they scooched over their Chanel-clad fannies and made room for the rest of us. In the heart of West Palm's Antique Row, where uniformed chauffeurs keep the Bentley running while Madam dickers over the price of a Louis XIV end table, Belle & Maxwell's is an excellent place to lean back with a pot of Earl Grey and forget for the moment that the social... More »
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