Mr Matthew Moneypenny’s Hamptons Guide
Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, NY. Photograph by Hufton + Crow. Courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron
The best things to do in the ever-pleasant Long Island hideaways, by someone who knows them intimately.
We’re going to take it as read that Mr Matthew Moneypenny will be relaxing this summer. He spent the past decade heading up high-end image agency Trunk Archive and, since 2015, its parent company Great Bowery; he split from the latter in May this year (though he remains one of its investors). Given that we’re just about to head into peak Hamptons season, his timing is ideal – ultimately, whatever comes next from the storied agent and entrepreneur, it’s likely to be preceded by a well-earned holiday. Mr Moneypenny’s preferred location at this time of year is the town of Southampton, where, incidentally, he has just finished a two-year “gut” renovation of a small historic cottage near the centre of town. (There are no pictures yet, but knowing Mr Moneypenny, we’re sure it’s camera friendly.) Clearly, we’re going to be spending the next few months feeling rather jealous of him. If you’d rather work through those feelings in a more productive way, scroll down for Mr Moneypenny’s recommendations of the best places to go and the most interesting things to do in Southampton this summer.
Where to eat brunch
Roasted organic chicken at Le Charlot. Photographs courtesy of Le Charlot
“The Southampton outpost of the noted Upper East Side bistro has a more understated but distinctly Left Bank vibe. Le Charlot is a favourite haunt of Southampton’s many continental visitors, and its menu of French classics with an Asian seaside twist never disappoints. The café-style sidewalk tables on Main Street are one of my favourite places for a long, leisurely weekend brunch. Try the Cajun chicken and fries and be sure to have one of the cherry tequila cocktails.”
Where to visit
Installation view of The Permanent Collection: Materiality and Process. Photograph by Mr Gary J Mamay, courtesy of Parrish Art Museum
Parrish Art Museum/Southampton Arts Center
“The most obvious choice for a Hamptons art experience would be the five-year-old Herzog & de Meuron-designed Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill. But the museum now occupying its former 120-year-old home on Jobs Lane is worth a look as well. Designed by Grovesnor Atterbury in 1897, the building houses the Southampton Arts Center. The current exhibition, Hand Picked, features photographs from the collection of Henry Buhl, focusing on hands. The collection began with the purchase of Alfred Stieglitz’s iconic image of Georgia O’Keeffe’s hands, entitled “Hands and Thimble”. Southampton’s weekly Farmer’s Market takes place in the museum’s sculpture gardens every Sunday.
Where to shop
Favoring a neutral, minimalist yet highly luxurious take on beach house chic, Homenature perfectly captures modern Hamptons style. They make virtually all of their designs in-house and are known for their dedication to bespoke linen fabrics, home accessories made from polished wood, stone and other natural materials and a mono-chromatic, naturalistic beach-themed aesthetic.
Where to have dinner
Mozzarella and tomato salad at Sant Ambroeus Southampton. Photographs courtesy of Sant Ambroeus
“Named after the patron saint of Milan, this Southampton institution never fails. With its crisp white tablecloths and service to match, the summer-only outdoor section of the restaurant – in a vine-clad green corridor connecting Main Street to the Southampton Historical Museum – is a fantastic place to dine on light Milanese fare and study classic Southampton style. Daily fish specials are often locally caught, and I would highly recommend the veal Milanese. The private label house rosé is not to be missed.”
Where to swim
Take a drive down Meadow Lane – also known as Billionaire Lane – and follow a thin strip of land bordered by the Atlantic on one side and beautiful views of the Shinnecock Bay on the other. Near the end of this peninsula is Dune Beach. A long, weathered boardwalk takes visitors through a sandy, evergreen habitat and ends at one the largest, least-crowded beaches in the Hamptons. Although only minutes from the village, Dune Beach feels remote and solitary, a truly private beach experience.