Is it too much of a stretch to compare Miami's gentry to those doomed aristocrats of pre-revolutionary France? Their French Country Villages were fake, just like ours. Off in the far flung reaches of her garden at Versailles, Marie Antoinette had a peasant village, a Hameau, built for herself and her fellow court friends to frolic in. The houses and farm buildings were suitably rustic on the outside while luxuriously decorated within. She was acting out her fantasy of living the simple life, with fresh milk in monogramed porcelain ware, eggs straight from her own chicken coop (which, in Sofia Coppola's recent movie about Marie were pre-washed by the servants before being put back underneath the chickens for her to discover), and of course, an entire building just to play billiards. The barn also served as a ballroom. Welcome to Miami, baby.
· Coral Gables' Theme Villages coverage [Curbed Miami]