The Beautiful c/o The Maidstone in the Hamptons

On my first trip to the Hamptons, I fell in love immediately. If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know that! It is one of the only places in the world where I don't care about my phone and have actually spent many days in a row not opening my computer. The collection of little towns, whose sleepy winter populations swell in the summer months, embodies the best of all the worlds I love. There is a sophistication not found in any other small towns, because of those in New York City that call it their retreat and want to keep the quality of life the same. Because of this, you'll find some of the best restaurants all within a short drive from one another (depending on traffic of course). The beaches are hands-down the most stunning in the world, where you can most easily see the gorgeous Hamptons light that has lured artists to the East End for decades.

Andy and I recently packed Rocco, our dog, up and headed out to spend a weekend at c/o The Maidstone in East Hampton. To say that I didn't want to leave is an understatement. I tried to figure out how I could cancel all my Monday and Tuesday meetings so we could stay longer. The first thing we noticed when we arrived was a display of Eton of Sweden pocket squares and shirts. Eton of Sweden is basically the only brand Andy wears - his shirt and pocket square collection is almost entirely Eton. They have a small shop on Madison Avenue in New York but are based in Sweden. I knew this wasn't going to be just another Hamptons B&B when I found out the owners are Swedish and have infused gorgeous Swedish design into every element of the historic property.

Lovely lounge & breakfast area

The place to be at nightThe location is the best in the Hamptons - you are a 5-minute drive from Main Beach and could bike it if you want, and only a short walk from the shops and restaurants of East Hampton. The building has been an inn since 1858 but is today owned by c/o Hotels, a Swedish company. The design effectively mixes Scandinavian design elements (such as a super cool blown-up photo of a deserted gas station in our room or the bright flowers and colors on pillows) with the cozy elements that you want in a Hamptons getaway (fireplace, soft throws, stacks of books to peruse).

Outside of our room

I didn't want to leave this roomOr this bedReason enough to not be on your computerLocal Treats from the North ForkThe Living Room restaurant (ok I admit I wanted to go even more when I saw Giada de Laurentiis tweet about it and it's on her list of Hamptons favorites) has quickly become a local favorite - they participate in the Slow Food organization, which is a committment to delicious, fresh food while maintaining environmental standards. The food has a Nordic bent, so you'll see items like Swedish meatball sliders or gravlax toast. Breakfast is included and I picked this "Continental Breakfast," which was presented like afternoon tea, piled high with meats, cheeses, fresh berries and fruit, fresh baked breads and croissants, and granola with Greek yogurt.

Continental BreakfastWe didn't need a beach pass because the beaches aren't crowded this time of year, but all rooms are given a free beach pass which is a lifesaver in the summer. It can be impossible to find parking and expensive. We did, however, take advantage of the sleek red Swedish "Kronan bikes" to bike to the Davids Lane duck pond and around East Hampton, past the Maidstone Country Club, Jerry Seinfeld's house, and on the back roads.

Most beautiful beaches in the worldTime for a rideI absolutely love pet-friendly hotels and am now constantly on the hunt for great ones, especially ones that don't charge extra. Rocco was especially happy when he was greeted with food & water bowls, cheesy treats, and a towel to clean his paws after running around at the beach.

He's posing!Best of all, every member of the staff was delightful and helpful, but scooted out of the way to give you your space. One of those ultimate New York dreams (besides owning in the Hamptons) would be spending each summer weekend at c/o The Maidstone - a dream that makes working really, really hard worth it.

On this trip, we also enjoyed a wonderful dinner at redlbar in Southampton and great tacos for lunch at La Fondita, which has only a small bar and no tables in the winter (lots of outdoor seating in the summer).

Good-Bye to Rocco in the Village

It's a sad, sad week for Greenwich Village. Rocco Restaurant, open since 1922 (almost 90 years!) on Thompson Street, has closed due to rising rents.  And by rising rents, I mean an absurd price jump that should be illegal. $8,000 a month to $18,000 a month. This place has always given me the old-New York fuzzies, thinking of decades gone by and restaurants closed, and happy that Rocco always made it. Until now.  Mario Batali worked in the kitchen for 5 months and left in a dramatic huff.  I just finished reading Bill Buford's "Heat," and Batali's time at Rocco is briefly mentioned.  Funny that his extremely successful restaurant, Lupa, is now across the street.

It's being taken over by the team that runs Torrisi Italian Specialties, which has been a well-deserved hot spot for months now. So the food will be better than Rocco's was.  But it doesn't matter.

I ate dinner there one last time three days before it closed, and the owner said he's looking for a new place to move Rocco too.  He's also taking the famous neon sign that lights up Thompson Street.  Not the same at all, unfortunately. 

Eater New York wrote a short and wonderful piece on Rocco in their "Who Goes There?" column here.

The mustached owner is on the left Johnny Depp loved Rocco.

I snapped this photo of Rocco on the last night they were open.

The famous Rocco Restaurant sign in daylight.