The Hamptons: A Winter Wonderland
For most New Yorkers, the Hamptons is forever associated with summer, beaches, and crowds. However, as I discovered this past weekend, there is no reason not to consider the Hamptons a year-round destination. With the snow from December’s blizzard still on the ground, and trees sparkling under their white covering, a winter wonderland awaited and proved to be a perfect weekend escape from the madness of the city.
We had an opportunity to stay at Southampton Inn as our base for the weekend, and we were impressed with its warm, cozy, and welcoming atmosphere. The Southampton Inn is within walking distance of the restaurants, galleries and boutiques of Main Street. Even the town movie theater is just a few doors down. Our room was spacious and looked out onto the snow-covered back lawn—I was told there was a newly renovated pool back there, so we’ll have to return to take advantage of that perk. The staff is extremely helpful and a wealth of knowledge if you need help planning your day.
The Hamptons is a sanctuary for many artists—it was once home base for abstract expressionist luminaries such as Jackson Pollack and Willem de Kooning—and the galleries and arts and cultural institutions in and around Southampton reflect this rich history. The Chrysalis Gallery showcased local, affordable art. The Parrish Art Museum was exhibiting student work that weekend.
After browsing through BookHampton, it was time for lunch. Barrister’s, nearby and buzzing with activity, did not disappoint. The burgers (beef for him; salmon for me) were so satisfying that our plan to stop by neighboring Sant Ambroeus for yummy Italian pastries afterward was foiled by how full we were.
We decided to check out more of what the Hamptons had to offer and drove to Sag Harbor. Looking ridiculously picturesque under its snow covering, the seaside village was a pleasure to walk around. Ducking in and out of galleries again, we discovered the Tulla Booth Gallery on Main Street, featuring high-quality fine-art photography. From Hamptons beach landscapes to portraits of people from around the world to mesmerizing shots of the ocean, the gallery is a true find.
Driving back to Southampton, we noticed Duck Walk Vineyard and decided to stop in for a tasting just before closing. Four dollars bought us a tasting of five wines, any varietal. Duck Walk was warm and relaxed, as opposed to the bustling environment we usually experience during wine tastings in the summer. Needless to say, we walked out with a bottle—a smooth reserve cabernet sauvignon. Our wine pourer suggested Publick House for a beer, if that’s what we were into, but we had to rush off to dinner. If beer turns you on more than wine, I would take this local up on his recommendation, as he knows his spirits.
Our time in the Hamptons was drawing to a close, so we went out with a bang, with a beautiful dinner at 75 Main. A relaxed-yet-sophisticated option, the space almost looks like a re-purposed gallery. The appetizer portion of the risotto special surprised us with its generous size, but its deliciously creamy texture was an encouraging precursor to our entrees. The steak special was huge, and was accompanied by oh-so-good mashed potatoes. The roasted chicken, also accompanied by those delicious mashed potatoes and asparagus, had a lovely crust.
For those in the area this winter, Long Island Winterfest is fast approaching. Starting on February 12th and continuing through March 20th, this year’s Winterfest is celebrating Jazz on the Vine—six weekends of concerts at winery tasting rooms throughout the area. Thanks to the rich arts culture and varied events, The Hamptons is no longer a summer-only destination.
91 Hill Street Southampton, NY 11968
Parrish Art Museum
25 Jobs Lane Southampton, NY 11968
93 Main Street Southampton, NY 11968
36 Main Street Southampton, NY 11968
30 Main Street Southampton, NY 11968
Tulla Booth Gallery, Sag Harbor
66 Main Street Sag Harbor, NY 11963-3006
Duck Walk Vineyard
231 Montauk Highway Water Mill, NY 11976
40 Bowden Square Southampton, NY 11968
75 Main Street Southampton, NY 11968
Winterfest – Jazz on the Vine
February 12, 2011 – March 20, 2011