I’ve never been a fan of the Hamptons, a part of Long Island where every summer a large contingent of seemingly moneyed New Yorkers spend their summer. To me, it’s like Manhattan-at-the-Beach. The scenery is beautiful, the houses huge (who needs that many rooms!) but the idea of spending my weekend in towns where Main street is lined with high-end boutiques and where an omelette at brunch can set you back $25 has never been my thing and so I had done by best to avoid the Hamptons.
This past weekend a friend invited a handful of people to join her for a birthday weekend at a house in East Hampton. March with its temperatures in the mid 30’s… Hamptons off-season, I was swayed.
The house was absolutely gorgeous and the town practically deserted. We spent most of the weekend making fires, wine tasting, cooking, and playing unruly games of charades.
On Saturday, after a delicious if over priced brunch at Babette’s, Channing Daughters hosted us for a wine tasting. Under the generous guidance of Anthony we enjoyed ten or so wines and (in my case) made some expensive decisions… like that of joining their wine club and bringing home half a case of wine.
It was a great afternoon and time flew by as not only does the staff there know how to effortlessly impart their knowledge they make you feel welcome and put you at ease. Personal favorites were their 2010 Tocai Fruilano (a light, fresh white with aromas of peaches and mineral notes) and their Over and Over – Variation 5 (a medium body red with great depth of red fruit, peppery notes and a long-lasting mouth feel that made me blush and curl my toes with pleasure).
That evening, my friend Jamie and I took to the kitchen. Inspired by her love of French cooking we served a dinner for six of mussels in white wine paired with a Sancerre; herb encrusted roasted chicken with its roasted vegetables and asparagus with truffle oil paired with a 2008 Margaux. We capped off the night with a decadent sriracha chocolate mousse that was just chocolate and water (no really!).
Sunday I woke to a sky that was a perfect and crisp winter blue, so before I could change my mind I laced up and headed out for my first run in months (pesky injuries!). Forty minutes later I was still going strong but had yet to find the beach. [The downside of mansion-land is that finding a beach access road can get tricky.]
I did find the beach and what a beach it was. I found myself alone with just the waves and the sand to absorb my thoughts… I was frozen by the time I headed back .Though it didn’t matter as high on sea air and the endorphin’s of a great run I laughed and skipped most of the way home.
Back at the house the others had made breakfast so I assembled some Sriracha Bloody Marys and sat down to yet another feast.
[Side note: yes, I love sriracha and having recently discovered and purchased four tins of this. There’s no hope for me. ]
The rest of Sunday was spent relaxing on the couch, reading to each other from books in the house and just trying to put out of my mind the thought of heading back to the City and the madness that takes over NYC on St.Patrick’s Day.
It was a perfect weekend. In. Good. Company.