Hamptons Mid-Summer Report

Another rosé summer of events.
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Marcus Hernandez (Casa Innovation)

The white tents are back signaling charity parties are underway and the Hamptons season is in full swing with spectacular events. The talk of the town is that The Maidstone Inn, a historic property in East Hampton built 180 years ago, changed hands and so too its restaurant—now Loulou La Plage serving French bistro classics with its outdoor garden dining. Loulou La Plage launched over the Fourth of July weekend and hundreds of people filled the garden drinking signature vodka cocktail or rosé from the Whispering Angel bar. Another East Hampton institution, Guild Hall, is opening after an extensive renovation and will be opening its new Marks Family Gallery South on August 5th with an exhibition of American artist Leo Villareal and his newest light sculpture Celestial Garden. Here is a glimpse of last month’s goings-on in the Hamptons.

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Courtesy of Gurney’s Resorts


Whispering Angel ignited the rosé craze that swept through the Hamptons for well over a decade now and is still going strong. In June Chateau d’Esclans, the Provence winery behind the brand, presented a five-course tasting menu paired with five of the rosé expressions from the Chateau d’Esclans estate. The evening, which included a cocktail reception, dinner, and a bonfire on the beach, was held at Gurney’s Montauk Resort, which just underwent a 60-million-dollar renovation. It’s splendid with restaurants and an outdoor bar designed with firepits overlooking the ocean.

Gurney’s will be staging two more of these extravagant Chateau d’Esclans wine dinners (links below).

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Courtesy of Gurney’s Resorts

Guests of this intimate rosé dinner were brought onto a huge private deck on the ocean where three long tables held dramatic floral arrangements. The scene was sublime with the ocean waves breaking in the near distance and the beach just below set up for the bonfire afterparty with firepits, rattan furniture, bars, and a DJ booth.

The cocktail party kicked off with Whispering Angel, now in its 16th vintage. Made from Provence grapes—Grenache, Cinsault, Rolle (Vermentino), Syrah and a touch of Tibouren—a blend which changes from vintage to vintage—is the brainchild of Sacha Lichine, who acquired Chateau d’Esclans, a Provence property northeast of St. Tropez, in 2006. With a pale peach hue and floral and red berry fruit aromas, Whispering Angel is dry with a hint of minerality and is fleshy on the palate. It paired perfectly with the mini lobster rolls at the start.

Guests then sat down to a five-course feast prepared by Gurney’s chef Cristopher Watts. With each course, Michelle Wood, brand ambassador for Chateau d’Esclans, presented the wine and the chef appeared to describe the dish. The wines got progressively fuller bodied during the next four courses and included the pricier prestige cuvées, very different from the light playful Whispering. With the dessert The Beach rosé resumed the lighter style and for the bonfire we returned to Whispering Angel.

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Courtesy of Gurney’s Resorts

The first course, scallop crudo with pea purée, was paired with Rock Angel, a rosé that is complex and richer with a flinty minerality like a Sancerre. It’s partially aged in oak, which gives it a creamy texture. Next a strongly flavored course—roasted beets with ricotta and arugula pesto—was matched with the powerful estate Chateau d’Esclans rosé. Part stainless steel and part barrel fermented, it possessed floral aromas and red berry fruit, pear and vanilla notes and a long saline finish.

The two final wines, Les Clans and Garrus, paired with braised local cod and bok choi and with seared duck breast with blood orange jus. Both were similar to white Burgundy. Les Clans is elegant and exotic with notes of pineapple, ginger and licorice. Made from 100 year old vines, Garrus is fermented and aged in new large French oak barrels. Both are considered luxury rosés, meant to be paired with food, and are beloved by the yachting set who drink them out of magnum.

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Photograph David Benthal BFA NYC


The Parrish Museum gives its annual benefit on two nights, on Friday a dance party and on Saturday the more formal sit-down dinner. The Midsummer Dance is held outside at the high-ceilinged covered terrace which wraps around the museum. It’s always a night of fun with plentiful appetizers, cocktails, and dancing. The dance party is for the younger crowd and showcases a parade of the latest fashion.

The sponsoring brand, Patron tequila, brought out its newly launched, prestige tequila, Patron El Cielo. The tequila is distilled four times—rare for tequila—bringing out sweet notes from the agave and a lighter taste and silky smoother texture and finish. El Cielo is Patron’s pricey top of the line and sports an elegant bottle corked with an ornate gold ball. Though this prestige tequila is almost too good to mix and should be instead sipped with a garnish of orange peel, the Margaritas were flowing at this party.


Photographs by David Benthal BFA NYC

Halfway through the party Narcissister, dressed in a wolf costume crawled onto the stage. Narcissister is a performance artist, contemporary dancer, visual artist, filmmaker, and activist. The crowd was spellbound as Narcissister stripping off the wolf garb while hiding beneath a huge bunch of balloons that had been covered in blue shinney cloth on stage. Suddenly, she emerged as a clown with a mask over her face. The 20-minute performance took a sharp turn to the dark side and became outré—akin to the erotic performances at The Box nightclub in Manhattan. No one could take their eyes off Narcissiter as she created a confusing drama attaching long ribbons, which she pulled out from between her legs, and to far corners of the deck’s walls and beams—her motions choreographed with dancer’s precision. As a finale, she morphed back into a part-human, part-wolf, breaking the balloons as she exited the stage on her knees. What did it all mean? Soon the revelers went back to cocktailing and dancing.

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Rossa Cole


Another beloved annual event, benefiting the East Hampton Historical Society, is held at the historic grounds Mulford Farm, which sits right within East Hampton village. The show is in its 17th year and is considered the premier antiques and design showcase on eastern Long Island offering furniture, jewelry, and all descriptions of treasures. The exhibitors are under smaller white tents and or within a large, covered barn structure with open sides.

The rain gods were not kind to this event throughout the weekend and drenching showers hit all day Friday during the set up of the show and even more torrential downpours on Sunday afternoon when the public comes to shop for rare finds. Fortunately, the rain held off for the opening Friday night Preview Benefit Cocktail Party.

Liz Lange, fashion designer, author, podcast host, was the Honorary Chair. Lange owns the storied Grey Gardens estate in East Hampton on Lily Pond Lane in the prime Georgica Pond neighborhood. The 14-room house was the residence of the eccentric mother and daughter—Edith Bouvier Beale and Edith “Little Edie” Bouvier Beale—who let the house and gardens go wild. Purchasing Grey Gardens in 2017, Lange restored the house while preserving the original design and created splendid, lush gardens.

Hamptons society turns out for this event, and it always attracts a celebrity contingent—this year Joy Behar, Christie Brinkley, and Jill Rappaport. A bar in the center of the great lawn offers cocktails and wine. Here Hamptons’ own Wolffer Estate’s Summer in a Bottle was the preferred rosé rather than the ubiquitous Whispering Angel.