Hamptons in the SummerThe Hamptons − Summer Officially Begins
It’s confirmed: rich and beautiful are positively correlated. With the Hamptons kicking off Memorial Day, summer has begun. This season, trucker hats have replaced fedoras, facial hair is de rigueur, and yes, you’re buying corn at the roadside shack with the multimillionaire next door. Diddy may have claimed the Hamptons dead years ago, but with his rumored (and unsuccessful) bid for Surf Lodge, even he couldn’t stay away. While a lot has changed this Hamptons season, for old schoolers, much has stayed the same.
Your Humble Abode
With many bankers eliminated from the 1 percent, it’s prime time to score a deal on that rental. Think afternoon grilling and chilling by the pool. The easiest way to rent a place — which also happens to be free — is to work with a broker. Resident Chris Stewart with Douglas Elliman can show you the best rentals for your summer lovin’ while talking technical surf’s up and the latest in restaurants. Alternatively, you can do the legwork yourself and check out Dan’s Papers or Craigslist. Just beware of the crazy cat ladies who require three references and stick their hydrangeas on your gardening bill. Weekenders are responsible for costs during their rental period, which includes the gardener, weekly housekeeper, gas, electricity, and that astronomically expensive pool heater.
Overall, hotel accommodations in the Hamptons are marginal and exorbitantly priced. Go big or go home and check into The Inn at Windmill Lane, formerly the Reform Club — hands down the best accommodations in the Hamptons. While it doesn’t have a pool, suites are plush, with gorgeous mosaic tile bathrooms, large dressing rooms, cozy living areas, and fireplaces to cut the crisp evening air. It’s the second best option to renting a house and a hop, skip and jump away from The Talkhouse, so no worries about driving after too many drinks. If you need to be poolside, check into the Carriage House at the Baker House, which looks like Calvin Klein went to décor town. C/o The Maidstone has unique rooms that combine European antiques with quirky Scandinavian design. The luxe amenity? $10,000 Hästens beds. You’re also a healthy walking distance from East Hampton Main Beach and a stumble home from late night drinks at the Blue Parrot.
There is major change in the Hamptons this season. While we’re still mourning the loss of Claws on Wheels in East Hampton, the old space on Race Lane is now graced with the Hampton Seafood Co. If they’re really stepping into Claws’ shoes, then expect summer clambakes on the beach, complete with lobsters, a campfire, and s’mores. Sotto Sopra, from the Bobby Van’s crew, took over the former Exile/Gordon’s space in Amagansett and it’s not just hype. These guys can cook. The big buzz is the Hamptons will be Colicchio’d this summer with the Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton. Our bet is the sophisticated set will lay firm claim to this scene.
This season, the scene has moved farther east to Montauk. Just a wee caterpillar in yesteryears, the town has officially grown into a social butterfly. The Surf Lodge has been purchased by the owner of Lenny’s on the Dock, and we bet it will be even bigger this summer, with die-hard Bridgehampton weekenders only looking at rentals in Montauk this year. Navy Beach is going to be even hotter this season too, and you’re sure to have even longer waits for family-style Italian cuisine at Harvest and gourmet seafood at Dave’s Grill. And last but not least – Achtung! The Germans have invaded the shores of Montauk with the arrival of Zum Schneider. Yet another excuse to cocktail it up during the day in their beer garden.
The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same
Luckily for old schoolers, some things stay the same. Only in the Hamptons could there be a run on FIJI Water at Kmart, paid for with your Centurion Amex Card. It’s “Welcome Back, Kotter” with iconic classics like Nick & Toni’s and the Talkhouse—the scene of summer love and drama. La Fondita has reopened its doors to beachcombers, who line up in the parking lot for tacos après-plage, and Cittanuova still has the best gelato, after St. Ambroeus, in the Hamptons. And we love a place where it’s all in a day’s work to drink the island dry of rosé at Sunset Beach with the French rugby team. The Hamptons is the perennial tidal wave of cool, where it’s for you to enjoy the ride.