Kicking off summer 2010

It just doesn’t get any better than this:  a warm summer afternoon on the stunning Tuscan-inspired patio overlooking the vineyards at Wolffer Estate Winery, enjoying a glass of wine, some artisanal cheeses and bread while listening to international jazz by saxophonist Charles Certain and guitarist Alfredo Merat. The winery’s popular Twilight Thursdays (at the winery) and Sunset Fridays (at the farmstand on Rte. 27, just east of the winery) are back. Summer can officially begin!

While the calendar says summer is still almost a month away, Memorial Day is traditionally the summer kick-off here in the Hamptons. In the garden here at A Butler’s Manor, the warm, wet Spring has pushed everything forward about three weeks ahead of schedule. Most Memorial Day weekends, I’m cutting lilacs for the guest rooms…this year, it will be the pink Queen Elizabeth roses, which began opening this morning. And it looks like we’ll have perfect 70-degree weather for the holiday weekend. As I write, the outside temp is 80 degrees, the first real hot day of the year, and the pool is looking mighty tempting! I hope everyone is packing the sunscreen for the weekend, as the beach is going to be the place to be!

In our ongoing efforts to update our restaurant dining guide for our guests (hey, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it), Chris and I visited a new restaurant overlooking the canal in Hampton Bays this week. Rumba is Caribbean island-inspired cuisine with a distinct nod to owner/chef David Hersh’s Miami upbringing and New Orleans background. It’s a small, casual place reminiscent of an island beach bar, with bamboo paddle fans and a deck overlooking the Shinnecock Canal. We had delectable Dominican ribs, and yummy marinated rib eye with roasted sweet potatoes and…I couldn’t help it…I had to splurge on the homemade key lime pie with a mountain of real whipped cream. And speaking of entertainment, on Thursdays Rumba features “Project Vibe,” live Reggae music from 8 -11 PM. A breeze off the water, the setting sun, a convivial crowd…what could go better with your daiquiri, mon?

Looking forward to warm summer breezes..and French wines with cheeses…and maybe some Jimmy Buffett music to go with the sand between my toes…

Quote of the Day: Summer afternoon – Summer afternoon… the two most beautiful words in the English language. — Henry James

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