Hamptons International Film Festival Returns

We’ve been enjoying a wonderful, temperate Autumn season here at A Butler’s Manor. Though we closed the pool for the season this week, the garden is still showing lots of colors, including dahlias, roses, and fall anenome. It’s been warm enough the past few days that we’ve been able to serve breakfast on the patio, usually unheard of in October.

Last weekend was Septemberfest in Southampton Village, well attended and much enjoyed. Especially enjoyable was the music! I spent part of Saturday afternoon passing out schedule information in front of the Chamber of Commerce, and got to enjoy Nick Kerzner’s classic rock and original solo material. Friday’s kickoff party featured our old “Rhythm & Twang” favorites The Lone Sharks, and two other favorites were part of the line up on Saturday and Sunday: Mashup band New Life Crisis and smooth jazz Certain Moves. The chowder contest had run out of samples by 1:30 PM, with a closely contested victory declared for a Manhattan-style chowder from Paul’s Italian Restaurant (#6 for those of you who had mugs!). The Southampton Center opened with its first exhibition of Charles Addam’s work featuring his classic Addam’s Family cartoons, and the Maniac Pumpkin Carvers had created a display of all things Addams Family (look closely and you’ll see that Uncle Fester, on the left, has a glowing light bulb in his mouth) — brilliant!
Coming up beginning Thursday, October 10 and running through Monday, October 14, is the Hamptons International Film Festival. Now in its 21st year, The HIFF was founded to promote the vision of independent filmmakers from around the world. It’s always a star-studded occasion, drawing local film actors and directors such as Stephen Spielberg, Alec Baldwin, Mercedes Ruehl, Martin Scorcese and Renee Zellwegger, as well as those from Hollywood and abroad. While most of the venues are in East Hampton, there are two screens in Southampton’s theatre, as well as Sag Harbor’s one. Coolest thing: One of the featured films, Louder Than Words, is inspired by a true story that one of our repeat guests was a part of. They will be staying with us again, and are eager to see how the movie turns out (and see the actor who plays him)!
A big draw on the East End in autumn is agri-tourism; our pumpkin farms, corn mazes, wineries and farmstands are all in high gear. Particularly busy over on the South Fork is Hank’s Pumpkintown, located on Montauk Highway in Water Mill, right across the street from Duckwalk Vineyards.  Hank’s keeps getting bigger and better each year, with pumpkins, slides and all manner of climb-aboard things for the kids, as well as food, apples, and much more. If you’re visiting us and aren’t planning on sampling either, let us know so we can route you around the traffic!
I’m recovering from foot surgery, so will miss out on the corn maze this year, and miss seeing our guests in the next week or so until I’m cleared for takeoff. Chris is running the Manor with the help of Kristen and Deb while I’m off my feet, so you know you’re in good hands!
Quote of the day:  It’s funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you watch them on screen. –Anthony Burgess

Columbus Day Weekend

It was a very international breakfast table today. Joining us this weekend: a family from Paris, a couple from India, a couple from Canada, and a relatively local couple from Westchester County.  Breakfast conversation literally spanned the globe! (The Southwest Souffle added yet another international dimension. ;))

We’ve had a very international month, actually. This past week we enjoyed meeting our very first visitors from Thailand, followed by a lovely mother and daughter from Australia. Later this month. we’ll host a series of guests from England.

There is much to do this holiday weekend: there is a Harvest Festival in Southampton, with a sidewalk sale, hayrides, a soup contest between a number of the village restaurants, delis, and caterers. Those who love the movies will enjoy the Hampton International Film Festival, which this year has venues here in Southampton as well as East Hampton. A very popular option and show stopper (literally, a traffic jam) is Pumpkintown, a seasonal park of slides, cool things to climb on, corn maze and good old pumpkin picking, located right on the highway near Watermill.

Shops, highways, and farmstands were all very busy on this perfect Autumn day. Temps were in the mid 60’s, with clear skies and a slight breeze. Just the weather our dog Truffle most loved.

Truff’s been gone just about a year now, and we are still missing her. So I headed over to ARF (Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, where we adopted her 14 years ago now) to get a puppy-love fix by walking some of the adoptable dogs through their lovely woodland trails, kicking through the fallen oak leaves of autumns gone by. We’re not ready to replace Truff yet, but when we do, there is no more laudable shelter than ARF…truly, a home away from home. The shelter holds an ARFan reunion each year, and when we’d bring Truffle back, she’d bound out of the car, run straight for the front door, wagging and grinning, eager to greet the volunteers…no unhappy associations for her!

Tonight we’re heading up to Bostwick’s for their closing night…the end of fifteen years on Harbor Marina in East Hampton. It will be a bittersweet night. We’ll enjoy owners Kevin Boles and Chris Eggert’s other two restaurants, Indian Wells Tavern and Cherrystones, but will miss that great sunset view over the water on summer eves…

Ah well…Onwards, Autumn!

Quote of the Day:  It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life. —P.D. James