The past weekends found all the villages bustling with Harvest
festivals, sidewalk sales, re-enactments of early East End life and apple, raspberry, and pumpkin picking at every fork of the road. From Westhampton to Sag Harbor the streets were flooded with locals and visitors from afar a field as Japan snatching up bargains from the shops clearing out summer and fall to make way for winter.
Karli Kittine, Norm Lowe, Barbara and Michael Daly at the Land
& Building Fair of the Hamptons. Photo by Katrina Lovett
A chill has hit the air across the east end, which brings with it the perfect opportunity to bring all of those cute sweaters out of storage, and go check out all the great local farm stands as they set out their pumpkins, mums, and corn mazes, as well as plenty of family friendly fall festivals.
We started the day early on Saturday, heading to Water Mill for the first annual Land & Building Fair of the Hamptons. Just off Flying Point Road, the large tent made for ample room for the realtors and builders that came to network and just enjoy the afternoon.
The people behind the tables seemed to outnumber the guests when we stopped by, though with two full days, there were plenty of other opportunities for guests to stop and chat about local market trends and ideas, as well as munch on some tasty seafood catered by The Clam Man. Every table had something to offer, from the building tips from the folks at Best Modular to the bowls full of seasonal fruits and candies, we felt a bit like Halloween had come a bit early, but for the adults. A great event we hope to see again next year.
Claudia, Holly, and Mary Ann at the Westhampton Beach Annual
Fall Arts & Crafts Show. Photo by Katrina Lovett
In Southampton from one end of Main Street to the other, merchants like Homenature, were veritable bee hives with deep discounts on everything from luxurious Kim Seybert
tableware. Always thinking of our next party we scooped up every one of Kim's whimsical cocktail napkins we could find.
Around the corner we stepped back in time at the Southampton Historical Society's annual fair where parents and kids were weaving baskets, having their faces painted and munching on champ (a fried bread) under the watchful eye of Colonial soldiers and their authentically clad wives at the cauldron. Keeping the mood lively was the popular Dunegrass Band.
Next we stopped in Westhampton Beach for their Annual Fall Arts & Crafts Show. Spread across the town lawn, local vendors filled the colorful booths with everything from custom jewelry and clothing, to toys and crafts for kids. With the pony rides and face painting, there was something for just about every age as we saw people taking advantage of the sunny weather to enjoy a bit of the outdoor shopping.
Main Street Westhampton was just featured in our Style and Living section, and with such a cozy and inviting atmosphere, we can see why. The cute little shops are open late into the night, perfect to get that of that one of a kind gift for someone special this season.
Paul and Alison Hofferber, Marissa Grimshaw, Braeden Hofferber,
and Christopher Bond at Bedell Cellars. Photo by Katrina Lovett
After an afternoon of shopping, we were ready to relax with some wine and music, so we headed back to the tasting pavilion at Bedell Cellars for a performance by Spoon Walk. Cars overflowed from the parking lot and onto the road as Bedell seemed the place to be.
Their spacious tasting pavilion is quickly becoming one of our favorite spots to catch up on some relaxing conversation while taking in the breathtaking vineyard views. The upbeat jazz tunes from Spoon Walk had many in the crowd up and dancing, keeping the young and old as entertained as with the tasty wine. Bedell seems to have found a winning pairing in music and wine, and we can't wait to stop back for another tasting of each.
Sunday afternoon, the circus rolled into town, or at least onto the Lawn of the Parrish Art Museum
. The National Circus Project started inside with a circus and variety show, followed by hands on activities on the lawn. The laughter and good times could be heard from the street, and the stilt-walkers were pretty hard to miss as well.
Anthony and Brandish at the Parrish Art Museum. Photo by Kat-
With workshops in plate and lasso spinning, devil stick and scarf juggling, we saw many of the younger audience members running from station to station trying to fit everything in. For the more creative guests, mask making and face painting tables were popular as we spotted Victoria
and Evelyn Dugan
and Dan Salsedo
in line. With school started, weekends are a big time to spend out with the family, and the Parrish provided the perfect afternoon outing for all ages.
Speaking of schools, the Ross School hosted their 19th annual Potato Festival on their lower campus in Bridgehampton. Potato sacks seemed the surprise fall fashion hit of the afternoon as we spotted several guests sporting their artistic creations, even inspiring lyrics for the Nancy Atlas
Project onstage, where Nancy Altas
was seen sporting her own potato sack poncho.
Natasha Strugatz and Walker Hamilton at the Ross School Potato
Festival. Photo by Katrina Lovett
Rock walls and bungee trampolines had the older kids lining up while the bouncing castle and slides kept the younger crowd. Deviating from the carnival norm, the Ross School offered a tasty selection of all-natural hot dogs and hamburgers, FIJI water, and North Fork Potato Chips. With all of the natural options, it was hardly splurging to give some of the food a try.
Then it was off to Sag Harbor for their famous and justly so sidewalk sale. Along the way we made a stop at 7 Ponds Orchard where the cars were chock-a-block as families pulling little red wagons filled baskets with crispy apples, must eat now plump raspberries and big orange pumpkins for a front step Jack O' Lantern. By the time we reached Main Street in Sag, our hands and faces were dyed deep red from the luscious raspberries.
Making a stop at the historic landmark American Hotel
, we congratulated Sopranos' star Lorraine Bracco
on her new winery venture. Lorraine was hosting a special tasting luncheon to benefit one of the East End's most important groups The Retreat
and the dining room was packed with supporters.
Newly crowned Harvest Queen Kelly with Roman and Indira Roth
at Wolffer Estate. Photo by Katrina Lovett
After the festivals, we headed over to Wolffer
Estate for their Harvest Party. With the promise of crowning a Harvest Wine Queen, it was hard to pass up. The afternoon was filled with activities including barrel rolling contests, grape stomping, hay rides and face painting. With a tasty lunch and Wolffer's famous wines, they seem to have found the perfect balance to cater to both the adult and younger audience.
The competition for Harvest Wine Queen was fierce, including a couple 'dance offs' to help narrow down a few contestants. But in the end Kelly
was crowned the winner. Not to let down after her wine queen loss, Carol
let out a holler of joy for her win at the barrel roll. With cash and wine prizes, its hard to blame their enthusiasm. We can't wait to see the fierce competition again next year.
After all of the weekends fairs and festivals, we were ready for a bit of relaxing indoors. So we headed into East Hampton to Solar Gallery for their 5 Vinos, 5 Tapas party. Celebrating the showing of Lihie Talmor's
works "Neither Inside, nor Outside", guests got the chance to mingle with the artist while sampling 5 wines and tapas, or snacks.
With Esperanza Leon
hosting and mother Blanca Leon
cooking, we don't think a single guest left hungry. Focusing on Central America and Spain, the Tapas each held their own with everything from the tasty spiced shrimp to the succulent guacamole. For the wines, we particularly liked the white Naia, 2004, though the bold Augustinos Carmenere 2002 seemed to be a crowd favorite as well.
Blanca and Esperanza Leon at Solar Gallery. Photo by Katrina
While munching on the ample spread of food and wine, we took the chance to view the works of Israeli-Venezuelan artist, Lihie Talmor. The large black and white photo-etching series drew you in, almost literally as we peered in through doors and into little worlds in each work, peering into memories and history. The two videos on show, Talmor drew us in and brought pattern and rhythm to every day life as we followed her around the house. A perfect window into the world around us, it's the perfect chance to remember to look inward as well as around ourselves for the beauty in life.
Back on the streets in the glorious sunshine it seemed literally everyone was outside.
On the wharf, we spotted Hamptons Home and Garden Show producer Rick Friedman
with Cindy Lou Wakefield
lunching on local scallops while admiring the bay. While chatting a small chris craft pulled up with hot interior designer Bill Cummings
and his partner who had boated over from the North Sea to do a little shopping.
Heading over to Bridgehampton we couldn't resist stopping for a head spinning tour of The Maize at Fairfield Farm. Everyone delighted in getting lost in the towering corn stalks. The laugher was infectious as friends kept bumping into each other while trying to find their way out. The Maize will continue to confuse throughout November.
Nicole, an award-winning journalist, is Executive Editor & Publisher of Hamptons.com where she focuses on celebrity interviews, fine living and design, social events, fashion and beauty. She lives on the North Fork with her husband, their two daughters, and Bernese Mountain dog, Cooper. www.hamptons.com