The Hamptons - Summer Officially Begins
For first-time visitors, the Hamptons is what you would expect, yet nothing you would expect at all. While glitzy and glamorous, at the same time, the Hamptons can be unpretentious and low-key. A weekend here is to choose your own adventure; you can roll however you want to roll in the Hamptons. If you can “work” from the Hamptons on Friday, the perfect weekend begins with a late drive out on Thursday night, arriving in Water Mill just in time to have dinner at Trata. Trata’s authentic Mediterranean food will transport you to Greece, in a scene filled with a gorgeous crowd that is undoubtedly the Hamptons.
The best way to stay in the Hamptons—besides staying with your well-to-do friends— is to rent a house. The easiest way to rent a place, which also happens to be free, is to work with a broker. Alternatively, you can do the legwork yourself, and check out Dan’s Papers or Craigslist. Overall, hotel accommodations in the Hamptons are marginal, but theBaker House and Mill House Inn are the exceptions. c/o The Maidstone and The Reform Club have their hats in the ring this season. The Maidstone has the most unique rooms and the most gracious service in all of the Hamptons. With its restaurant, The Living Room, it will be one of the hottest scenes of the summer. The Reform Club, which aims to stay under the radar, is our favorite for its beachside locale and high-end service and rooms.
Morning rituals in East Hampton include the Golden Pear for a Spa Burrito or Scoop du Jour for one of their homemade donuts. For more substantial fare, Babette’s in East Hampton has a sit-down brunch, or try out the Hampton Chutney Company in Amagansett for breakfast dosas and other culinary treats. Even Starbucks is more glamorous as you casually stroll in your beach gear. For those who like to stick to their city exercise routines, Core Fusion at the Exhale Spa and Physique 57 have summer outposts in Bridgehampton where you’ll likely find yourself next to Kelly Ripa and other visiting celebs.
After a day at Main Beach in East Hampton where you can frolic in the surf, take a long walk on the beach and enviously admire the ocean front homes.Cittanuova on Main Street has gelato, quartinos of wine, post-beach cocktails and the ever-interesting sport of people watching. If you are renting a house and have the luxury of a grill, head to the farmstand on Route 114 and Stephen Hands Path to buy some corn next to your average millionaire. Then off to Claws on Wheels for seafood, Cavaniola’s for cheese and Citarella for all other staples. Round Swamp Farm has out-of-this-world prepared foods, well worth the exorbitant prices for pool-side dinners. If you’re eating out, Nick & Toni’s is an institution in the Hamptons. For those into clubbing, the new SL East in the former Living Room will make you feel like you never left Manhattan with its velvet rope and the usual bottles and models. Nobu is also opening its doors in the old Pink Elephant spot. Surf Lodgein Montauk has a chiller scene with less attitude, though no lack of beautiful people, and La Maison Blanche on Shelter Island is the new boutique hotel and restaurant of the moment.
Whether it’s from late night clubbing or too much wine by the pool, you will likely feel the effects of overindulgence the next day. Recover at Amagansett Beach or on a friend’s boat, but be sure to pick up your tacos and homemade guacamole at La Fondita to help nurse you back to health. After another perfect day in the Hamptons, head to Cyril’s, which is a roadside shack on the way to Montauk, for après- beach and one of their (in)famous BBCs — that’s short for Bailey’s Banana Coladas. You may even get the local celebrity sighting of Cyril, hanging with his motley crew at their usual front table.
For a pre-dinner drink, Sunset Beach Restaurant on Shelter Island easily lives up to its name, where you can sip rosé with an international crowd. Afterwards, head to Vine Street Cafe for dinner, which has some of the best food in the Hamptons. For those craving nightlife, hop a ferry to Amagansett where the Stephen Talkhouse has a mix of post-college kids and cougars looking to spear their antelope. All in all it’s scene that should leave you with stories to tell.
If you have time during your stay, some of the best shopping is in East Hampton. Scoop NYC, White’s Pharmacy, Blue & Cream, Catherine Malandrino, Collette’s Consignment Shop are just a few of the shops that will gladly take your money. If you can eat anything else, head to the Clam Bar or the Lobster Roll, the Hampton’s quintessential seafood shacks.
On the ride home, stop for dinner at Tutto il Giorno for Italian fare or Sen for the best sushi in Sag Harbor. If you’re lucky enough to stay through Sunday night, East Hampton Point provides a more local scene often with reggae music and local bands. The Hamptons offers something for everyone, and a weekend here feels like a week of vacation.