It’s awfully hard to be that monkey in the middle, but Bridgehampton manages to pull it off with an air of playful confidence. Never compelled to compete with its fellow towns and hamlets and hugged on either side by Southampton and Sag Harbor, Bridgehampton offers plenty on its own. In fact, on Saturday, July 23, the weekend this magazine comes out, the fifth St Barth Hamptons, with Christie Brinkley as this year’s host, will take place under an elegant tent on the grounds of the Bridgehampton Museum. From 6 to 10, enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and music. stbarthhamptons.com for tickets.
Bridgehampton features top-notch dining, upscale boutiques, world class wineries, and some of the most beautiful horse farms in the region. It is a desirable destination for all. With such a glorious summer well in the works, the first order of business for us is the beach and what a picture-perfect beach it is. A bona fide member of the exclusive Hamptons beach scene known for its celebrity sightings, Mecox Beach is a pristine sandy spot popular for many reasons. For one, its volleyball setup with a dedicated court rather than a simple court invites an impromptu co-ed pickup game. Food is also available here should you crave an après game snack. Fishing and surfing add flair to the swimming and wading scene, and residents’ barbecues on the beach (with a town permit) add sunset gazing ops. We enjoy the better part of the morning into the early afternoon here. After this, we head over to our first lodging spot, the Topping Rose House, which is within walking distance of Bridgehampton’s boutiques, art galleries, and cafés. Topping Rose is the Hamptons first full-service luxury hotel, with 22 elegantly appointed guestrooms, including twin and king rooms and suites in the main house and four cottages on the property. Each cottage has a roof deck, and is within easy access to the full service spa and fitness center. Topping Rose has a heated outdoor pool and a complimentary shuttle to local beaches.
For dessert we take a ride over to the famous Candy Kitchen. This nostalgic luncheonette and soda fountain conjures up a simpler time by offering efficient and friendly service and basic and delicious menu items. This is the perfect spot for a scoop of delicious homemade ice cream and a smooth cup of coffee.
After heading back to the beach for the last remnants of daylight, we return to Topping Rose for dinner. The onsite restaurant serves authentic farm-to-table cuisine and features produce grown on the property’s acreage. The acclaimed chef Jean-Georges offers such delicious options as crispy salmon sushi with chipotle mayonnaise, or for a heartier choice, soy honey lamb chops with smoked chili glaze, charred onions, and broccoli rabe. We note the 24-hour room service for the hotel’s guests.
The next day we shop and browse, stopping for lunch at Almond. Featuring contemporary French bistro fare, this historic space offers antique tin ceilings and a spectacular hand-carved bar, finished with casual wood-topped tables, dark wood wainscoting, and ambient lighting. We enjoy a classic dish of escargot with garlic and Pernod and share a portion of pan roasted black sea bass with saffron, mussels, piquillo peppers, and grilled bread. On Sunday evening and after a long walk along the water, we feast at Osteria Salina, with a Sicilian supper Sunday menu available every Sunday from 4 until 8. The dinner includes a multi-course prix fixe meal served family style. Led by the executive chef, Cinzia Gaglio, the menu also features signature dishes such as the insalata Salina, a salad made with mixed baby greens, chickpeas, ricotta salata, tomatoes, and cucumbers; and the polpette, a savory dish made with Salina meatballs in pomodoro sauce and pecorino Sicilano.
In the morning, we head to our next lodging spot, The Bridgehampton Inn. Built circa 1795, this clapboard inn is located in the heart of the Hamptons and features six lovely rooms and an on-site cooking school, allowing us a great opportunity to brush up on our skills in the kitchen! (It’s owned by the same folks who own the Loaves & Fishes food shop in Sagaponack.) We enjoy the English breakfast served on the veranda.
It is the last day of our weekend here and we head over to The Bridgehampton Museum. Eager for a dose of culture, we view the beautiful antique structures and learn a bit about the history of Bridgehampton. On August 13, from 5 to 8, work by local artists and artisans will be on view during a silent auction and cocktail party, one of several events planned for the season.
On August 19, The Great Food Truck Derby is returning to Bridgehampton. A caravan of New York City and Long Island food trucks park at the Hayground School, offering ethnic eats along with New York wine, beer, and soft drinks. The event will benefit the Hayground schoolyard projects in the region, which provide culinary arts training for local kids. We can’t wait for the next generation of great chefs in the Hamptons.