HOLMES BEACH -- Tony Jacklin is a frequent guest at the Beach Bistro, a swanky fine-dining restaurant on Holmes Beach. In fact, the British golf legend likes the upscale, oceanfront eatery so much that he chose it as the backdrop when he and his wife recently renewed their wedding vows. The ceremony, which made international news, has cast the area's top-rated restaurant back into the spotlight.
HELLO! magazine, a popular celebrity tabloid in the United Kingdom, did a feature on Tony and his wife Astrid's 25-year commitment ceremony, which was held on the sands of the Bistro, and the couple's love story has been touching hearts across the globe ever since.
Dressed in white on a breezy afternoon, the couple pledged their devotion to one another in the company of a small group of family and friends, reciting the very same vows they made on their first wedding day.
“Tony and Astrid have been very, very good friends and great patrons of the Bistro for many years now,” says Beach Bistro/Eat Here restaurateur Sean Murphy.
Tony, who lives in Bradenton, is a longtime friend of Murphy’s. Eight years ago, he told Murphy that he, Jack Nicklaus and Kevin Daves were going to build the best golf course in America, which later became The Concession.
In fact, Tony is such a regular at the Bistro that Sean named a drink after him: the Tony Jacklin martini, with Bombay Sapphire gin, white vermouth, and a cocktail olive stuffed with Maytag blue cheese.
“Tony is a rock star in Britain — their Mickey Mantle, their Arnold Palmer,” says Murphy, adding that Jacklin was history’s most successful European Ryder Cup captain and the first British player to win the Open Championship for 18 years.
The event cast the bistro back into news for the second time in just a few months, following Emeril Lagasse's September visit to film an episode for his 13-part series, Emeril’s Florida, which airs Thursdays on the Food Network. Murphy and the iconic chef go back to their early days, when their shared love for hearty, robust dishes set them apart from the more diminutive dishes that were having a trendy run.
Of course, both Lagasse and Murphy have been vindicated by their continued success, and as Murphy's latest coup proves, when those who know fine dining come to the gulf coast, they are sure to be seen at the Beach Bistro.