Tuesday, May 26, 2015

We're on the tour!

Whew. With Memorial Day receeding into the rearview mirrors of our guests, we are now looking ahead to this weekend, when we join six other historical properties for the Southampton Historical Museum's 6th Annual "Insider's View: Tour of Southampton Homes."

This is a fabulous tour--almost all of the properties are in Southampton's Estate District. The only other non-residential property is the iconic St. Andrew's on the Dunes Church, which features a number of Tiffany windows and has an extensive history worth the visit.
The Windmill House
Here is a list of the properties on the tour:

The Windmill

This elegant property is located on six acres on an open expanse of waterfront on a scenic bay. The massive 12 bedroom, 10 bath mansion is approached down a gravel drive to a four-story windmill that stands between its two private entry gates. Wide manicured lawns with mature trees lead to the Georgian-style 1900s residence with ornamental columns, pediments, balusters, wainscoting, lead pane windows and steam radiators. Covered verandahs and decks stretch across the main house with views of a heated Gunite pool, flowering gardens and the bay. Designed originally by architect, W.E. Brady, the house retains many of the original features.



Tuscan Villa

Tuscan Villa
An enchanting Italian-style villa sited on 2.7 acres with a Back Bay view is included on the tour. This Tuscan villa is somewhat formal with its living and dining rooms overlooking the mature grounds and water. Its screened in porches; intimate library and sunny chef's kitchen make this property unique.





Village Cottage

This 1920s cottage located near the historic village center was renovated by a local architectural firm well known for their updated classic designs. By rethinking the Cape Cod style dwelling with bold new architectural features – a pedimented front entry, wide shed-roofed attic dormer, overhanging eaves and monumental brick chimney – the architects have given the house an imposing presence on the street. The picket fence and manicured hedges are a perfect complement to this picture-perfect village residence.

Hill House

The 19th century farmhouse has just recently undergone a major renovation which features unexpected contemporary art styled with traditional architectural details. It originally oversaw potato fields that once surrounded Southampton Village. Facing Hill Street in the heart of the Historic District, the house is well sited on a newly graveled forecourt, while the glazed porch serves as a welcoming entry. The lanterns surmounting the fence posts and vertically boarded gates provide hints of the transformation that awaits inside.



Lake House

This extensive mansion with sweeping views of Southampton’s most picturesque lake is steeped in history. It was built as Southampton was becoming a fashionable resort at the turn of the 20th century. Situated on Lake Agawam the house was a hub of social activity and host to many lively gatherings. Unique in its design, the residence boasts many wrap around porches, bay windows and other gracefully undulating projections. The current owner has decorated the house for a modern family with all the same comings and goings as its original owners highlighted with many beachy nautical details.



A Butler’s Manor
This luxury bed and breakfast was originally constructed in 1860 as the home of William Jagger, a descendant of an early settler of Southampton, and is now designated as a New York State historic property.  A Butler’s Manor is located close to the center of Southampton Village. The present owners undertook the painstaking restoration that has preserved one of the village’s most treasured landmarks. Refreshments for Insiders View ticket holders will be served at Butler’s Manor from 1:00 pm to 4:30pm.

St. Andrew’s Dune Church
The Church is located at the foot of Lake Agawam and is one of Southampton’s most picturesque landmarks. Originally built as a life-saving station, it was acquired by Dr. T. Gaillard Thomas and donated as a church in 1879. A local carpenter was hired to create its beautiful rustic interior, which is filled with treasures, not the least of which are its 11 Tiffany windows. The church has come under assault from raging seas on several occasions, including in 1938 when it was nearly destroyed by that year’s terrible hurricane. It was lovingly restored and has twice been 
moved back from the sea. Though it is non-denominational, its summer services are organized under the direction of Southampton’s Episcopal Church.
Entrance to our garden
In our case, only the ground floor and our gardens will be on the tour, so as not to disturb guests in residence. We are hosting the refreshment stop, so I've been baking hundreds of our signature Chocolate Chip/Oatmeal/M&M cookies in anticipation of 200+ people.
Columbine, ajuga, and viburnum in bloom
Snuggle into our "Opal Lounger," a two-person outdoor couch

Cookies await!
As of this morning, rooms here at the Manor and tickets for the event are still available. Come out for the weekend and visit them (and us)!

Quote of the Day: A face is like the outside of a house, and most faces, like most houses, give us an idea of what we can expect to find inside. ---Loretta Young

Monday, May 11, 2015

Sentimental gentlemen

One thing that makes owning a bed and breakfast so rewarding is having repeat guests, especially those who celebrate special occasions with us and allow us, in a tiny way, to share in the joy of their lives.

Every so often, we get especially sentimental ones such as J, whose first trip with T was a weekend three years ago at A Butler's Manor. Among their favorite recollections was their dinner at Tuscan House, one of our favorite Italian restaurants here in Southampton. The following year they celebrated their "anniversary of dating" with us, and this weekend they returned again on the same date. And over dinner Saturday night at Tuscan House, J proposed. 

It's special to see some relationships grow over time. Through their repeated visits, we've followed several couples from dating to engagement to marriage to the birth of their children, with all manner of life events in between. We've followed the lives of others whose children start and then finish college, as they plan the weddings, or welcome the first or the fifth or the tenth (!) grandchild. We've cried with folks who lose the spouse we've come to know...and rejoice to welcome some of them back with a new love in tow.

Proposals are especially exciting. Sometimes, as I've written on this blog before, the man enlists our help in setting up a location or decorating the guest room. Other times we enjoy the surprise along with the bride. Once, a couple who got engaged on the beach came across a large double clamshell that resembled a heart, and asked if we would boil it clean for them to take home and incorporate into their wedding.

Chris and I are big believers in celebrating all the milestones, even ones you invent just to make things cheers-worthy (first day of spring! got all the hostas divided!). We celebrate our anniversary of dating too, our wedding anniversary, and our half-anniversary (which falls on St. Patrick's Day; that's a story in itself), and all of the many milestones we've shared since opening A Butler's Manor. 

What a ring!
So I have a soft spot for the romantics. I love the folks who are celebrating the new job...getting into (or out of!) medical school...the last-chance-as-a-twosome "babymoon" prior to becoming parents...passing the bar...seeing the last child leave home....re-connecting with a long-ago love after a high school reunion.

Celebrate life, in any big or little way you can, as often as you can. Come see us--we'll help you do it!

Quote of the day: A good life is a collection of happy moments.---Denis Waitley