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Insider's Guide to the Hamptons

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Photo: Theo Morrison

Where to Shop

Farm Stands and Wineries

The surrounding landscape used to be covered with potato fields; now heirloom tomatoes, baby beets, and wine grapes are some of the crops of choice. And that means a plethora of places to find the local bounty. When Rocco DiSpirito wants to make Mexican corn with chili mayo, he stocks up on the ingredients at Water Mill’s Green Thumb Organic Farm. After buying cheeses, fruit pies, and grass-fed beef at Bridgehampton’s Fairview Farm at Mecox, make your way through the winding corn maze. Set under huge chestnut trees in East Hampton, Round Swamp Farm sells everything from guacamole to chocolate-chip muffins. Perhaps the most atmospheric stand is Vicki’s Veggies, a bright red gem in Amagansett for just-harvested corn and incredible pies baked by Vicki herself (regulars are allowed access to the pick-your-own-herb garden out back). And of course, a trip to Long Island wouldn’t be complete without a wine tasting. My choices: Bridgehampton’s Channing Daughters Winery, where the vineyards are dotted with the owner’s sculpture collection, and Sagaponack’s Wölffer Estate Vineyard, which hosts free Friday jazz at sunset, overlooking the vines.

Clothing and More

Making a sartorial statement here means standing out from the pack, so I seek out boutiques with an individual point of view. In an Amagansett cottage, Brazilian-born Claudja Bicalho and her Australian husband, Mark Wilson, run Lazypoint, full of sexy-but-sophisticated clothes and jewelry found during their world travels. Down the street, the colorful Pink Chicken outfits pint-size beachgoers in floral dresses and tunics (there are some matching mom looks, too). In a converted Wainscott diner, Tomas Maier (you know him as the creative director of Bottega Veneta) sells some of the most arresting (and form-flattering) swimwear around. At Jennifer Miller Jewelry in Southampton and East Hampton, the baubles are perfect for a glittering poolside party. Among East Hampton’s other enticing one-off boutiques is the Monogram Shop: love the personalized totes and the cocktail napkins emblazoned with cheeky phrases like forced family fun and have you seen my contractor? The French-influenced *share with...Montauk is the location for the authentic striped fishermen’s tops that everyone is wearing lately. Elizabeth Donnarumma left her career as a brand manager to open Quogue’s Homespun; there’s a grab bag of summery finds, from sea-themed linens to silver sailcloth beach bags. Speaking of sailcloth, all of Shelter Island’s Shelterego is wrapped in it; the breezy shop stocks both the fashionable (earrings woven from golden thread) and the eccentric, like the wooden pig bookends my mother-in-law bought for my house.

Antiques

Thanks to wealthy homeowners who have money to burn (and decorators to help burn it), the Hamptons has its share of wildly overpriced antiques stores. But there are a few reasonable gems, if you know where to look. My top source is Sag Harbor’s weekends-only Sage Street Antiques. Get there when it opens: owner Eliza Werner’s selection of etched glassware, Art Deco lamps, nautical relics, and white-painted dressers moves fast. Nearby, the highly personalized Ruby Beets mixes in new treasures such as handblown glass lamps with the antiques. On Shelter Island, Marika’s Eclectic Boutique looks like a flea market: Heywood-Wakefield tables, bamboo bar carts, and iron garden furniture spill out into the front yard. Similarly, you never know what you’ll uncover at Collette Home, an interiors consignment shop in Southampton. On a recent visit, I spied a vintage wooden racing car and a set of metal Navy chairs. (Collette also has sister shops in Southampton and Sag Harbor for secondhand designer clothes.) Set in a Bridgehampton farmhouse, Laurin Copen Antiques is more refined, with its Sweden-meets–South Fork sensibility. On the other end of the spectrum is Melet Mercantile, in an unassuming Montauk garage where Bob Melet—former director of vintage buying at Ralph Lauren—displays used surfboards, 1970’s rock concert T-shirts, and other offbeat discoveries.

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