Our lovely son, Archie, organised a weekend away in The Hamptons and it was so memorable. It’s not far from New York city, but it took more than three hours because of the traffic.
The Hamptons are part of the East End of Long Island, in Suffolk County, New York. They comprise a group of small villages and hamlets in the larger towns of East Hampton and Southampton on the South Fork. We stayed in East Hampton and it was the perfect location to explore the area.
It was really difficult taking photos from the moving car, but I did my best to capture the essence of the location.
There were so many windmills – we saw them everywhere!
I later discovered that windmills are something of a mascot in the Hamptons and that Long Island has more than anywhere else in the US. They are historic buildings that once operated as windmills in pre-industrial times.
Apparently Robert Downey Jr has a windmill house there, but we saw neither him nor his house!
Archie had booked the most delightful house for the weekend. It is modelled on the famous glass house (stay tuned for a blog post on this) and was small but perfectly formed.
The garden was gorgeous with a really nice pool.
Archie decided that one of us had to have a swim, so he was it.
Yep, it was freezing!
He cooked the most amazing barbecue, complete with asparagus and corn. It was more delicious than anything we could have found in a restaurant.
We did a lot of sightseeing, driving down to Montauk, which is an enclave at the eastern end of Long Island, renowned for its fishing. Archie told me that this hotel is haunted, which immediately piqued my interest.
There was a lovely farmers’ market and I was drawn to this box of pumpkins.
The beach was nice, and there were people enjoying it, including a few paddlers. No one was swimming or surfing though, in spite of there being some nice breaks.
No trip to Montauk would be complete without a visit to the local Bluestone Lane. Archie supervised the renovation of this one and both he and his friend, Anna, manned the tools to get it finished. It had such a lovely beachy vibe and it is housed in what was once a tackle shop. This one has an attached shop which features Australian brands.
After our visit to Montauk, we set off to rubberneck at the homes of the rich and famous. I found this page in a book and it’s probably true.
The gardens are large and very well manicured. It was hard to get good photos as many of the houses are hidden behind high hedges, but I’ve supplemented with some shops which are housed in buildings in the local style.
and I found Mark hanging out in the street, waiting while the rest of us bought wine!
The streets are all leafy and so pretty.
I even found a wool store, but sadly it closed ten minutes before I got there.
Golf courses also abound and this one was rather sensational. How is this for a club house?
Mark and I had a walk and I was quite thrilled to see this deer running across the road. I wasn’t as thrilled as when I saw my first skunk in Hélène’s street in Montréal, but it was a cute deer and still a novel sight for us.
At the end of our street was this beautiful marina
and Mark made me stand on some marshy ground but I managed to find a piece of ply wood to stop myself sinking into the bog!
It seems that at the end of nearly every street in the East Hamptons is the beach. At this time of the year (September) it was pretty deserted, but still nice.
however the signage at each beach is pretty full on. If you are a visitor to the area you cannot park anywhere near the beach, which frankly, riled me hugely. I was also fascinated that dogs needed to be leashed to the red marker – I think the intention of this message was not that every dog needed to be tied to a red marker!
Same beach, next lot of signs. There is one that has a diagram of what to do if caught in a rip. This stimulated a bit of a discussion as to whether or not you’d remember any of this in the panic of being swept out to sea. My boys were taught to manage rips as part of the school curriculum and they were deliberately put into rips so that they knew how to swim out without panicking.
We went for a sunset drink at the beach and on the way Archie let me visit a craft fair. Probably the most crafty stall was this lady spinning wool and selling the results.
We finished up at Navy Beach which is one of Montauk’s favourite beachside restaurants. Its located on a private beach overlooking Fort Pond Bay and was named by Newsday as one of the top five water-view dining spots on the east end of Long Island.
We lounged in Adirondak chairs with a cocktail or two.
I do love the bruised skies you get at sunset, and this one did not disappoint.
Looking back over Montauk as the sun went over the horizon.
On the way back to Manhattan we cruised through Southampton, Bridgehampton and Sag Harbour.
I think Sag Harbour is one of the prettiest places and has many landmarks associated with whaling. It was once the first port of entry to the Unite States and had the first customs house on Long Island.
It is a quaint and picturesque village in an area full of the quaint and picturesque.
The marina has some large boats, none of which would be environmentally friendly
a close up inspection of one of them revealed a Mini Cooper on the upper deck!
it was nice to just walk down the street, enjoying the beautiful weather and absorbing the laid back atmosphere.
On the way home we passed a couple of pumpkin farms that were full of people picking pumpkins for Halloween. They also seemed to have hay rides, and corn maizes were really popular as well. It is well and truly Halloween season!
This was the most wonderful weekend, full of interest and lots of hugs from my boy, and will go down as one of the highlights of our trip, together with our excursion to Montréal and meeting Blanca.