Sleeping Around: White Fences Inn
By Shari Hartford
I love tourist havens off season. The weather might not be pristine, but the hoards have either gone home or haven’t arrived yet, there are great accommodation deals and restaurants welcome the business. Notoriously crowded and riotous places like the Hamptons, Cape Cod and the Vineyard and Venice [Italy] take on a different aura when everything quiets down.
Since Venice wasn’t in the cards this spring, I recently jitneyed out to Water Mill, Long Island – an “unofficial” Hampton — to visit White Fences Inn. It was dank and dreary, but once welcomed by the lovely innkeepers, Liz and Eric my world became bright and sunny.
When the Brodars took over this 1740 former boarding house in 2015, their goal was to create a modern, chic and decidedly upscale B&B in an area already crowded with chic and upscale. And succeed they did. They were able to cross that fine line between the oft-times uncomfortable familiarity of a B&B and the professional service and amenities available in fine luxury hotels.
Upon entering White Fences, you are at once greeted by Bailey, the golden doodle in residence. Give Bailey the eye and a scratch and you have a friend for life. The main living room, with fireplace, is a cozy retreat to read a book or chit chat with fellow guests. Or, weather permitting, take a seat on the front porch and watch the world drive by.
Town ordinances allow for only five rooms at a B&B and the Brodars made sure their newly renovated five rooms were top notch. From the Frette sheets, the monogrammed bathrobes, gas in-wall fireplaces, large luxurious bathrooms complete with Malin + Goetz toiletries (and, in some, large soaking tubs), flat screen TVs, free WiFi, complementary beverages in a mini-fridge and an Nespresso machine, my room-for-the-night was an elegant haven. No sign of dreaded doilies, fringed lamp shades or velveteen at this B&B. Just beautiful hardwood floors, crisp white linens, local artwork and a monochromatic color scheme that is at once beachy and sumptuous.
And speaking of sumptuous…it wouldn’t be a B&B without breakfast. Once seated at the dining room table, under the most fabulous light fixture I’ve ever seen, the courses were multiple and delectable. Though changed daily depending on local and seasonal ingredients, this day Liz’s creations began with fresh baked banana nut and Nutella muffins, yogurt panna cotta with fresh berries, orange maple French toast with sausage and a bottomless pot of excellent coffee. Enough to get you through the day.
And what to do during the day? The choices are as numerous as your sense of adventure allows. During the season, you can just loll on a chaise at the outdoor pool or take a quick ride to the beach (beach passes provided). At any time of year, it’s a short walk to the Parrish Art Museum; stroll through rooms of local art and photography. And, since you are already in the Hamptons, driving east will take you through Southampton, Bridgehampton and East Hampton with their many shops and restaurants. Keep going and you will finally end up at The End – Montauk Point. Climb the lighthouse or just watch the surfers and boats.
After one final cuddle with Bailey and a fond adieu to Liz and Eric it was back on the jitney for the easy ride back to the city. Will I be back? You bet. I hear the siren call of Nutella muffins.
Rates from $300 per night, depending on season. For more information, see whitefenceswatermill.com.