Friday, October 2, 2015

Weekend Escape - Seven on Shelter

Summer may officially be over, but some may argue that this is truly the best time to explore the North and South Forks of Long Island.  The beach crowds have all gone home and traffic has slowed; the beauty and splendor of the region are there for the taking!  

In between the two forks is a special escape, Shelter Island.  After a day of touring the wineries on the Northfork, we hopped on the ferry to rest our heads at Seven on Shelter, a boutique bed and breakfast.  I prefer the accommodations of a b&b, and I tirelessly scroll through Trip Advisor reviews choosing a place based on it's location and breakfast reviews, Seven on Shelter excelled and surpassed all of my expectations.  

Wine and afternoon snacks were waiting for us upon arrival.
We stayed in Room #1.  The duvet was so soft I could have stayed in bed all day.  

Thoughtful touches including restaurant recommendations, local activities, water and chocolates!

A quaint sitting porch off of the back of the house
Our hostess, Beth, was a former art dealer.  Her beautiful art is showcased throughout the house.

After a delicious dinner at Vine Street Cafe, I was so excited to go to bed so that I could wake up and experience my favorite part of any B&B, breakfast!

All of my favorite things greeted me in the morning!  Fresh pastries, organic eggs, yogurt, berries, and not 1 but 2 different kinds of granola to choose from!  It was a beautiful spread that we enjoyed in the sunshine on the front porch.

Blue eggs!

After fueling up, we jumped on Seven's cruiser bikes for a ride around the island.

Beth's puppy, Evie, was there to greet us on our return.

Being from the West Coast, it was a bit disconcerting when I first realized that the sun doesn't set over the ocean on the East Coast.  The one place I've found on this coast to watch the sun set over a body of water is from Crescent Beach on Shelter Island.  A 5 minute walk from the B&B, we grabbed a bottle of wine and headed down just in time to catch the sun melt into the horizon.  

If you're looking for an easy escape from NYC I would highly recommend a stay at Seven on Shelter.  This sunset is waiting for you!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wine Wednesdays - Tasting on the Northfork

Harvest is in full swing, and while I might not be able to experience it all at home in Napa, there's a world of wine at my doorstep on the Northfork.  It's the perfect time to plan a weekend escape from NYC.  While it can be done in a day-trip, I'd highly recommend spending at least one night to truly enjoy and savor the region.  

One of my favorite places to visit is Bedell Cellars.  

We were greeted by a glass of bubbles to kick things off, who can say no??

Our wonderful host, Chris, took us through the cellar.

We tasted through so many of their wines, I was a bad blogger enjoying the moment more than taking notes.  What I did take note of was their delicious 2010 Musée.  A typical Bordeaux blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Syrah, the wine is big and bold, just the way I like it.  Full of dark, black fruits, a hint of spice, and medium tannins, this is certainly a food wine.  

What's so cool about Bedell besides their lovely wines, is the art in their labels.  Each bottle showcases a specially commissioned work by world-renowned contemporary artists.  

Next, we visited Duckwalk Vineyards.  Definitely the opposite end of the spectrum with a huge tasting room and more of an impersonal feel.  This was definitely a place for large buses and tour groups, which made the experience feel very corporate and lacked that personal touch.  I did really enjoy their Southampton White, a blend of Chardonnay and Cayuga grapes, it was light, refreshing and had a hint of salinity that would make it a great oyster wine.  The backyard was a lovely place to enjoy the sun with a live band playing.  They also allow picnics.

Last stop was Osprey's Dominion.  I don't have any pictures because unfortunately we had such a terrible experience it's not really one I wanted to document.  The hospitality staff were unwelcoming and the wines were undrinkable.  They do have nice grounds for picnicking, lawn games, and live music, but I would only recommend if you sneak in your own wine from another vineyard!

After getting our fill of wine tasting, we made our way to Shelter Island for the night.  Stay tuned for details of our fabulous stay!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Antique Hunting at Brimfield - My Tips and Tricks!

We woke up with the sun to make the drive from Marblehead to Brimfield.  Mom and I have hit many antique fairs in our days, but it was so fun to go with a specific purpose, an actual need and an entirely empty apartment to fill with furniture beyond the little trinkets.   

After parking, we prepared ourselves, like going to battle!  For anyone planning a trip to the fair, below are my tips and tricks for successful navigation!

1.  Pay for the premium parking.  Main lots in the center of the action charge between $7 and $10.  If you're seriously shopping you'll appreciate having the car close-by to unload every once in a while.

2.  The fair is DIRTY, don't dress up, you have no one to impress.  Easy, comfortable clothing is key, and weather appropriate.  It ranged from extreme heat to pouring rain over the three days we were there.  Don't forget your sunscreen!

True fashion plates right here!
3.  Keep your hands free, backpacks stashed with reusable totes are great for collecting your treasures along the way before making a trip back to the car to unload.

4.  Bring your lunch (and breakfast and snacks).  We packed a cooler with healthier options than the fried dough and Polish sausage on offer from the food court.  It's carnival food at best.  Everyone was jealous when we pulled our kale salad and grilled tri-tip out on the lunch table.

5.  Goes without saying, but make sure to remember anti-bacterial wipes and hand sanitizer.  You'll be touching lots of old dirty things, and bathrooms are porta-potties.

6.  Early bird gets the worm.  It does pay to get there early.  Certain fields are paid entry on their opening day so it's best to hit these right when they open (May's and JJ's-check show website for opening days/times).  I would also recommend going during the week vs. the weekend as there was a huge influx of people on Saturday.

Mom enjoying breakfast in line for JJ's
Crowds literally running as the gates opened, exciting but terrifying
7.  If you find something you love, buy it.  Chances are if you walk away to think about it, it won't be there when you return.  Luckily this only happened to me once, but I'm still thinking about that tufted velvet bench in the perfect shade of coral pink ;-)

I got "Carried Away" at Brimfield - that 1930's prohibition bar on the left came home with me!

8.  As for lodging, plan ahead of time.  We booked in mid-July and all boutique B&B's were full.  We ended up with one of the last rooms at the Publick House which worked out just fine.  They had an on-site restaurant which was convenient to walk downstairs at the end of a long day, the food was totally decent.  My only complaint was that they didn't accommodate early breakfast.  They should know the majority of their clientele that week are going to be heading out before the 7:30 breakfast start time.

I had been saving my pennies and spent it all down to the last dollar!

I had to have it!  My last impulse purchase.....

Thanks to all of the lovely vendors who helped engineer our Uhaul to fit all of my finds!
Selfie in our "Orange Is The New Black" van 
We made it back to NYC with everything intact, a miracle indeed!  Stay tuned for pictures of it all unpacked in my apartment!


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