Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hamptons Weekend

I know I said I didn't particularly like the Hamptons when I went last year. Or at least "the scene" that comes with it, which thankfully is easy to avoid.

But let's face it - with my friend ES having free run of her family's five bedroom house in Amagansett for the summer, it's an incredibly easy way for us to escape the City for a few days to a place that scenically appears to be a thousand miles away, which is why a group of six of us happily made the trip there for Memorial Day weekend.

CS and I took the train there for the first time and it was an experience in itself. While Penn Station was as busy as usual, the real zoo started when we stopped at Jamaica to take the connecting train to the Hamptons.
Before we realized what was happening, hundreds of people were elbowing their way onto the train while CS and I watched in stupor. This resulted in us not getting a seat and instead spending most of the journey uncomfortably sitting on the stairs.
With magazines and books to kill time, we got to Amagansett in just over two hours. But next time, we will be more ruthless in our determination to find seats, as well as bring snacks and wine as everyone else in the carriage seemed to have done. I would still recommend taking the train over driving there, which in traffic takes at least 4 hours.

Amagansett is probably one of the quieter Hamptons and the scenery is in fact reminiscent of a perfectly English countryside hamlet with a quaint feel, lush green lawns, old trees and colonial houses - some of them of manor/castle proportions of course. With the added benefit of sandy white long beaches being minutes walk away.

The "scene" I dislike so much is really only found in a few hot spots, namely Cyril's, the Talkhouse and the Surf Lodge. If you want to see a lot of trust funds kids, investment bankers guys, and the girls that usually seek them out - then these are the places you should go to. Although I must also say that the atmosphere is always fairly laid back - it is the beach after all - and the Surf Lodge is particularly stunning.

We did go to Cyril's one night, of course. It's hard to understand why this small roadside outdoor bar draws the in-crowd of the Hamptons in such numbers but I can only imagine that they come for the same thing we do - the irresistible, "dessert in a plastic glass", that is the BBC cocktail. Banana Baileys Colada. Surely it must be the only reason why, when the place is at its busiest, people (including us) are happy to be in standing room only at the back bar, right next to the portaloos and the dumpsters! But the BBC really is to die for, and particularly good (and lethal) with a Rum floater on top - three of them should be your limit unless you want to forget small insignificant details like what your name is and where you are staying.

The rest of our time was spent having yummy breakfasts at the Farmers Market, lounging by the pool at the house, grilling the most amazing turkey burgers on the BBQ, having oysters and steamed lobster at Botswick's, doing a spot of shopping in East Hampton and just generally completely relaxing away from the hustle and bustle of the City and enjoying spending time together.

I can't think of anything better than that and will be doing much more of it over the summer!

No comments: