My Favorite Place: Candace Bushnell
The iconic Manhattanite (and author of Sex and the City) tells T+L why she loves to kick off her stilettos in ’Sconset, Nantucket.
“I first started visiting ’Sconset with my family when I was about eight years old. We rented a place near the Summer House Cottages, on Ocean Avenue, every August. Most days we’d bike the five miles from our front lawn to the town’s general store, along packed sand roads and past heather, beach roses, and brambles. As a kid pedaling through the heavy salt air, I always wondered, Are we there yet? Later, after picking up sandwiches and snacks, we’d head back to our spot on the easternmost point of ’Sconset.
“Now the Summer House Cottages is a stylish inn, but back then it was practically falling down. The grounds are dotted with tiny cottages—eighteenth-century fishermen’s shacks. Hundreds of years ago men used to leave their wives in the village of ’Sconset—you couldn’t commute out to the point—while they went to their little cottages on the sound to fish for bluefish and striped bass. In those days, you’d never build a grand mansion on the beach, so although those large houses exist in ’Sconset, they’re on the bluff, away from the simple architecture on the water.
“Six weeks after I met my husband, Charles, he and I decided to spend a few days in Nantucket. Then we thought: Why not get married? It took a week and a half to plan our wedding. We had a casual lunch and said our vows at sunset on the beach near the Summer House. The experience had nothing to do with New York City glamour. Getting married in ’Sconset was a way of beginning our own story. It felt real, cozy, natural. Like being home.”
Sex and the City 2, based on the characters of Candace Bushnell’s best-selling book, opens in theaters nationwide on May 28. Bushnell’s new prequel, The Carrie Diaries, is now in bookstores.
“Wade Cottages (508/257-6308; wadecottages.com; rentals from $1,305 a week), a 1920’s estate in ’Sconset, has five apartments and a bungalow. For more upscale options, try Wimco Villas (866/850-6140; wimco.com; rentals from $3,300 a week).”
Best Bites in ’Sconset
“Todd English oversees the restaurant and bistro at the Summer House Cottages (17 Ocean Ave; 508/257-4577; thesummerhouse.com; doubles from $625; dinner for two $100).”
Top Girls’ Getaway
“I always have fun at Hôtel Plaza Athénée (25 Ave. Montaigne, Eighth Arr.; 33-1/53-67-66-65; plaza-athenee-paris.com; doubles from $1,019), in Paris. A friend once visited me there, and I think we tried all thirty bottles of champagne at the bar!”
New York Neighborhood Spot
“In the evenings I often go to Otto (1 Fifth Ave.; 212/995-9559; dinner for two $50) for spaghetti carbonara and a glass of wine.”
“My Louis Vuitton bag (louisvuitton.com; from $1,200) has a compartment where I keep mink slippers and a blanket. It’s really all about the slippers. They make such a difference.”
Summer House Cottages
If you weren’t quick enough to score a cottage or home rental, the Summer House is your only option for staying in the gorgeous east-coast village of Siasconset. Lucky, then, that it’s such a pleasant option—a collection of 18 shingled, antique one- or two-room cottages, scattered across a rosebush-filled property that also includes an extremely popular restaurant and bar. About half the cottages were renovated in 2007 and now have slick modern bathrooms (some with whirlpool tubs); simple, white-painted wood furnishings; and a clean, white-and-eggshell color scheme. (The older ones are a bit fussier, with needlepoint pillows and cutesy floral wall stencils.) All are just a garden stroll away from the main inn, with its classy New American restaurant and rollicking evening bar (there’s live piano music most evenings). And right across the street is a staircase to a chaise-lined pool, a casual beach bar and café, and a pathway to the wide, windswept Siasconset beach.
Room to Book: The Lily, Rose, and Sloop cottages are all recently renovated; they’re also set far enough away from the restaurant and bar that evening noise isn’t a problem.
Otto, New York
Just blocks from historic Washington Square sits Mario Batali's Otto Pizzeria and Enoteca. The bustling atmosphere is reminiscent of an Italian train station, complete with an old-fashioned schedule board. Polished dark wood and marble-topped standing tables by the bar provide a perch for sampling some of the 750-plus Italian wines offered here. Batali, famous chef, author and host of Molto Mario, is known for his upscale renderings of classic Italian dishes, such as a fennel and bottarga pizza, and the linguine puttanesca. For dessert, olive oil gelato is a popular choice.
Within view of the Arc de Triomphe, this Louis Vuitton flagship store is housed regally inside a stylized Haussman building along the legendary Avenue des Champs-Elysées. Along with rows and rows of leather-dyed luggage, this Louis Vuitton boutique of all Vuitton boutiques also holds vast collections of the label’s prêt-a-porter clothing as well as purses, shoes, and accessories. Shoppers can also enter via Rue Bassano and hike to the top floor, which holds a gallery-like space for revolving exhibitions.
From Caribbean villas on St. Barts to historic New England homes on Nantucket, Wimco specializes in luxury property rentals. Amenities typically include swimming pools, ocean views, private beaches, and yacht-docking services. Wimco represents villas in Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, and the U.S., including Hawaii. Additional services include arranging nanny services, in-home spa treatments, charter services, and pre-stocked pantries. In addition to villas, Wimco also offers hotel vacation packages and concierge services.