Summer Entertaining

Everything You Need For Your Hamptons Party Can Be Found Locally
By Rachel Bosworth - June 26, 2019

Hot summer days transcend seamlessly into long summer nights where this favorite season calls all outdoors to enjoy beautiful weather, fun, and rest and relaxation. There is nothing like summer in the Hamptons, and now is the time to make use of your home and entertain outdoors. Poolside lounging and cocktails are a peaceful way to enjoy the backyard. Al fresco dining is a favorite both at restaurants and at home, enjoying the local bounty the South Fork’s farms, waters, and wineries offer. July 4 calls for many celebrations and clear Hamptons skies are the perfect backdrop for fireworks after dark. Everything you need for your summer party can easily be found on the East End. 

Designer and owner of Couture Outdoor in Southampton Christine Heincke understands the draw of the Hamptons and has a love for entertaining. How the various elements come together for a gathering, from intimate dinners to large soirees is essential in maximizing this summer experience. The store’s Bollinger Champagne dining table is the star to all dinner parties with its Champagne bucket insert that holds multiple bottles. The ceramic top extends to accommodate between 12 and 14 people. 

What you put on the table however is just as important. “Show-stopping, stunning tableware is also important,” Heincke explains, adding candles and flowers complete an ambient setting. “Our collection of melamine tableware looks just like porcelain, stoneware or terracotta with pattern styles from modern to traditional and are used in top restaurants, beach clubs and hotels around the world. [These are] truly beautiful designs that are durable, with having no fear of breaking or chipping.” 

The Hamptons is home to several places to source delicious provisions to complete a summer dinner party. Citarella Gourmet Market touts itself as the seafood authority. Find all the goods you need for a seafood-inspired dinner at the various Hamptons locations, and pull recipes from owner Joe Gurrera’s new cookbook, “Joe Knows Fish.” Find natural and healthy foods at Provisions in Sag Harbor and Water Mill, and prepared comfort foods at The Golden Pear Café. When you want someone else to do the work, several caterers create beautiful presentations from passed hors d’oeuvres to plated courses. Hamptons Aristocrat, Art of Eating, and Hamptons Haute Catering are just a few delicious options. 

Toasting to summer nights, refreshing beverages are a must. Heincke always has a signature welcome cocktail at her own dinner parties, like a Collins twist using mint, cucumber, elderflower, and club soda with gin or vodka, or both. She buys all of her beverages from Herbert and Rist or Peconic Beverage, both in Southampton. 

“I also love doing a small intermezzo surprise like an Aperol spritzer over a small spoon of orange sorbet, or lemon sorbet topped with cucumber vodka served in a martini glass with small hanging spoons on the rim that I import from Europe,” Heincke adds. “Guests can choose to eat like an ice cream cup or stir together creating a cocktail. Then, each guest is presented with an insightful conversation card to really get fun conversation going. What is the perfect age? Would you rather have brains, beauty or personality? Etc…” 

One of the most popular trends in home design is the concept of bringing the outside in and vice versa. Many furnishing and décor brands have created versatile pieces that can be used in any space, creating a sense of cohesion that optimizes the easy flow throughout living spaces many seek in the summer months. 

“Everything is becoming inside out,” shares Lynda Sylvester, owner of Sylvester and Co. Modern General in Sag Harbor. “We love our collection of small occasional tables that can be moved to the outside easily.” 

Outdoor elements that Sylvester finds make up the perfect outdoor setting for entertaining includes a substantial ottoman. This creates a large platform that offers additional seating, and can also be used for planting trays for serving during larger gatherings, depending on the number of guests. This versatility in outdoor spaces is a concept carried indoors as well. 

As for her perfect summer evening at home, Sylvester shares she loves the new 2019 rosé from Channing Daughters winery in Bridgehampton with a simple grilled salmon over arugula and grapefruit sections. “And friends and conversation that avoid politics,” she adds. 

When entertaining guests that are perhaps staying in your Hamptons home and/or may be visiting for the first time, wineries are a great place to take friends to get a relaxed taste of the Hamptons. Rosé is the ultimate Hamptons summer beverage and, in addition to Channing Daughters, Wölffer Estate Vineyard has mastered the concept. Their Summer in a Bottle, with its bottle that makes just as much of a statement as the wine itself, is perhaps one of the most coveted out east. They also make rosé ciders, perfect for long afternoons on the beach. 

Hamptons waterfront properties lend themselves well to summer entertaining. Whether on the ocean or the bay, this feature is one of the most desirable. For the ultimate luxury experience, Perfect Picnic, based in New York City, offers a summer Hamptons beach picnic that begins with a private helicopter flight from Manhattan to East Hampton. The fully catered picnic features guests’ favorite foods and drinks on real china and glassware, with blankets, pillows, and fresh flowers to round out the experience. Even if just for an oceanside afternoon, this a unique way to entertain and enjoy the very best of summer in the Hamptons. 

Whether hosting in one of the many villages and hamlets on the East End or designing the perfect outdoor setting at your Hamptons home, summer entertaining is a favorite activity for all who visit and live on the South Fork. Design your exterior spaces with beautiful furniture and décor from local designers and shops, source food and wine from some of the most delicious purveyors, or hire a pro to do the work for you so you can sit back and relax in your Hamptons home. However you entertain this summer, the Hamptons has you covered. 

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