We’ve got the beaches!

Little Plains Beach, Southampton

In 2010, Dr. Stephen Leatherman (a.k.a. Dr. Beach) named Southampton’s Coopers Beach the #1 beach in America, making all us residents very proud. And now, the venerable National Geographic has seconded Dr. Beach’s recommendation: In a recent article, National Geographic listed the beaches of the Hamptons as #4 in the WORLD, and the best in America, beating out even Hawaii!! (See the complete article here.)

Okay, you ask, where in the world are there better beaches? According to NatGeo:

1) Seychelles
2) Maldives
3) Bora Bora (Tahiti)

Okay, I can live with that.

Speaking of the beach, we sure hope the clouds clear out for this weekend, the official start of summer, as so many visitors to the Hamptons hope to start their summer tans on Memorial Day. (Check out the live webcam of Coopers Beach here to see if you need your bathing suit or a hoodie!) But whether the sun is shining or not, one event on Cooper’s Beach promises to draw a crowd. More than 1,000 people are anticipated on Saturday afternoon at Kites For A Cure, the annual family kite fly sponsored by the nonprofit organization Uniting Against Lung Cancer to benefit lung cancer research. For $30 donation, participants receive a high-quality kite that can be decorated on-site with drawings, names of loved ones, perhaps wishes or messages to be flown over the ocean. All proceeds go to Uniting Against Lung Cancer’s national lung cancer research program. How much fun is this, and you’re benefiting a worthy cause?

(By the way, this native Californian tips her hat to Dr. Beach’s 2012 winner of the best beach in America: Coronado Beach, in sunny San Diego…Congratulations!)

Quote of the Day: Everyone can reach back to one summer and lay a finger to it, finding the exact point when everything changed. That summer was mine.”   ― Sarah Dessen, That Summer

Our Beach is Number One!

Okay, so we always thought our beaches were special…the sand is clean, pale blond, and fine textured, and beach grass dots the dunes that separate the summer estates from the ocean sands. But just before the Memorial Day weekend, the internationally known coastal scientist Dr. Stephen Leatherman, a.k.a. “Dr. Beach,” published his list of the Ten Top Beaches in America…and ranked Southampton Village’s Cooper’s Beach FIRST in the nation! In the list of the Top Ten, East Hampton’s Main Beach was ranked #5. In the 20 years that Dr. Beach has been evaluating and publishing this list, this is the first time a “northern” beach has been awarded the #1 spot. (Hawaii’s phenomenal tropical beaches have taken the honors twelve of the twenty years). Not a bad showing for what appears on a US map to be a tiny fingernail sliver of land called Long Island!

And this past weekend was the perfect time to test Dr. Beach’s recommendation, as the weather on Sunday could not have been more optimal.
When shuttling our guests to and from Cooper’s Beach, Chris and I noted that the overflow parking lot was more reminiscent of 4th of July than of Memorial Day. I have a feeling that’s going to be par for the course all summer!

Quote for the Day: “The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea.”  –Isak Dinesen


The Italians have a word for it, which is so much richer, just rolling off the tongue: Abbondanza. High summer, and that is the word that springs to mind when I look out over the garden. The roses are on their second round (despite the wet June!), the dahlias are prolific, the hydrangeas in full bloom, and the grasses are lush and green. The bunnies (drat them) are having a field day.

Abbondanza also describes the perfect beach day today, with temps in the high 70’s and a light breeze blowing offshore, and of course, everyone wanted to be there to enjoy those rays. When we picked up guests Linda and Greg from Cooper’s Beach, they said it couldn’t have been a better day…well, as long as you were cautious of the undertow in the high surf. Have I mentioned that our own Cooper’s Beach is ranked #4 most beautiful beach in the COUNTRY by Dr. Stephen Leatherman (a/k/a/ Dr. Beach)? We are graced with such abundance.

Abbondanza was not the word that sprang to mind this week when we visited Bamboo, a favorite restaurant of mine in East Hampton. Bamboo, open year round, is a lushly Asian-style restaurant that Chris and I tend to forget attracts a hip summer crowd. It has a good sushi bar (and free sushi at the bar on Thursdays, if you can get anywhere close to the bar), a fabulous multi-course prix fixe menu offered year round, and are locally famous for their hefty watermelon martinis. We visited on a Tuesday, and it was crowded. Oh yeah — it’s July! For a change, we skipped the prix fixe menu and Chris started with crabcakes while I had a spicy crunchy yellowtail roll. One of their entrees is a mouthwatering black cod miso, which I love so much I invariably pass up the equally scrumptious Mongolian sliced beef (which Chris orders, thankfully, so I get to have a taste). But when the entree came, I was surprised: It was the smallest portion of cod I have ever seen…perhaps 4″ long by 1-3/4″ wide by 2″ high. What are these, Summer portions? So that we all keep our bathing suit figures? Hmmmf.
I can hardly believe it’s already August, the “highest” of High Season. In addition to the crowds at the beaches, the villages are thronged with shoppers and diners. We try to find for our guests here at A Butler’s Manor an abundance of whatever combination of sun, water, activity, great food, and great shopping that will make their visit especially relaxing and memorable. Some of our guests have rented a boat in Montauk, others are hiking over on Shelter Island, another pair are attending “Super Saturday,” the shopping extravanganza to benefit ovarian cancer, while still others are out enjoying the pool. The last is more my style. Maybe I can join them…
Quote of the Day: When you are grateful, fear disapperas and abundance appears. —Anthony Robbins
Wishing you abbondanza!!