Summer is upon us, and though technically we have a week before it officially begins, the season kicks off on Memorial Day Weekend. If you are looking for wild nights, then you’ll want to head to The Hamptons on the weekends. If you are looking to relax, enjoy the beach and the wineries The Hamptons area has to offer, then I’ve got a plan for you.
My friend and I decided to take a ‘dogcation’ to The Hamptons, planting ourselves in Sag Harbor. Zooming out to Sag Harbor to the dog-friendly, Forever Bungalows, we arrived to find the hotel had been taken over by Camp Kate Spade. Kate Spade has a new store in East Hampton and redecorated the bungalows. It took a few extra hours for our bungalow to be ready and in the mean time the Kate Spade staffers were unbelievably sweet, saying hello to our three dogs, giving us a bottle of Wollfer Estates Rose. Well, hello then, we’re happy to wait. The Forever Bungalows staff was also quite sweet and knocked off the extra dog fees and gave us a Bungalow upgrade free of charge. Well, hello Darlings, this is why I love The Hamptons, people are top drawer.
Lucky for us, MINI Coopers are abundant so we fit right in with the locals, and who doesn’t want to be a local in such a plush, fabulously relaxing seaside community? There is a lot of driving to do in The Hamptons because it’s a suburb, so have patience and expect drives from 15-30 minutes as part of your time, during which you can soak up all the lush, farm stands offering fresh veggies and fruit, as well as find yourself in the midst of the six-mile wine trail. Oh, do we happen to be pulling into Channing Daughters Winery for a flight of wine? Does that happen to be Chris Tracey the winemaker chasing his dog Remy around the vines? Is that really an entire wall of Roses showcasing grapes from Merlot to Syrah? Yes to all of the above, I’m falling in love.
1) DOG BEACH: Taking our fur babies to the dog-friendly Road D in South Hampton (can you believe that name? It’s worse than ‘Blank Street’ – these people may have funds but they are not creative when it comes to street names- I’m talking to you Upper and Lower 7th Street.) Tip: Before going to any beach with your dog check the rules, they vary wildly in South Hampton let alone the other beaches. Road D is off-leash heaven and has 30 parking spots. We went on a Monday morning at 8 A.M. and we were the only ones there. Pre-season is the bomb dot com Dolls!
2) CAFFEINE: Jack’s in Amagansett– I’m mentioning this early because I was super cranky trying to get some decent cold brew. I hail from the land of Hipsteria, there are coffee shops on every block (see my prior post on my 10 Favorites in Brooklyn), so several times I did comment “Doesn’t this place have any hipsters? We need CAFFEINE!” and we did make it to Jack’s on our last day. Tip: Buy a bottle of the Cold Brew there for $20 so you have it on-hand for your stay. It’s worth and it’s fabulous. Leave the t-shirt shopping for elsewhere because there are better things to spend your money on than an uber soft beach bag for $185.00, like their pressed juices, treats and bags of coffee beans. Jack’s is a treasure trove.
Locals also hit up The Golden Pear, which has some delicious fresh food and is right next to a juice store.
3) WINERY: Channing Daughters Winery – for a mere $10 you get a six wine tasting, extremely great conversation on wine, and a beautiful spot to enjoy it. There is a ‘horse and dog crossing’ so drive slow when you turn up the enchanting driveway. It gives one an immediate desire to press the gas pedal down, so as to enjoy the wine and surroundings as quickly as possible. You might also like to take one of their Yoga classes. Yes, Yoga – In. The. Vineyards. I told you this was The Hamptons Darlings, weren’t you paying attention? We like being outdoors and being one with all things zen. BTW, there are also three Soul Cycle studios (East Hampton, the original mothership my fellow Spinners; Bridgehampton and Watermill) and two Fly Wheel studios (Sag Harbor & East Hampton). Yeah, yeah Crossfit, Babydolls we are being fab, not chiseling our bods during a relaxing holiday.
Wollffer Estates, which also offers Yoga onsite. BTW, they have a winery and a drive-up tasting site. If you are lucky enough to drink the rose “Summer in a Bottle” and bring it to dinner, it’ll secure you on the dinner guest invite list for fall and winter because your host will know you have excellent taste. Local tip: Drink Rose in the summer, just like white it’s gosh to drink after Labor Day, so enjoy this refreshing wine from local wineries, they do it right. Rose week is June 22-29th!
4) BAKERY: Oh, Dear, Tate’s is no mere bakery, it’s the very reason a dream was filled. If you happen to drive 90 miles to be in South Hampton, you will fulfill your own dream to eat at Tate’s Bakery in South Hampton on North Sea Road. That green and white building has outdoor seating, a tempting bread pudding, ice cream sandwiches with chocolate covered chocolate chip cookies holding it together, cakes for days, bakery items, frozen pies to bake at home, and of course, the very reason you happen to love it, COOKIES in abundance. Tip: Skip the healthy cookies, they are awful and that’s not why you came to Tate’s, the Tiffany of Bakeries.
5) FISH & CHIPS & LOBSTER ROLLS: If you want to go local, hit up Dock House (8 Wharf St, Sag Harbor, NY 11963). It’s packed out and limited seating, but then you wanted to go outside to sit and watch the boats go by anyway, didn’t you? You’ll see plenty of dogs on boats going by, happy as can be. And if you want to go more upscale, relax you high-maintenance city folk, right next door is Ritchie Notar’s Harlow.