Hamptons Pleasures

Susan Pear Meisel, Author, Ellen Harris, Author ABRAMS $40 (168p) ISBN 978-0-8109-4332-2
P. Diddy's notorious all-white parties and Sex in the City's glitzy celeb galas may have made the Hamptons even more famous, but this lushly illustrated coffee table book suggests that the""real"" Hamptons require no Manolo Blahniks. Documenting the quieter side of this storied region, co-authors Meisel and Harris (The Hamptons: Life Behind the Hedges) afford readers an insider's view of the area's pastoral rolling farmlands, where sunflowers droop gently in the wind. Southampton, Bridgehampton, Sag Harbor and all the other quaint seaside villages appear among these pages. The authors' hushed text allows the photographs to do most of the talking, offering a visual narrative of peaceful gardens, tranquil swimming pools and hedgerow-lined paths. One stand-out section on dining alfresco shows pretty patio furniture arranged for dockside barbecues and a tea party beside a field of lavender. While a few of the shots do show the region's famous opulent homes, the authors succeed in showcasing more modest residences, including surf-splashed cottages and their small, flowering gardens. By focusing on such bucolic details as weather-worn bird houses and white-washed garden gates, this book challenges the Hamptons' reputation as the exclusive preserve of the rich and famous. And therein lies its appeal.
Reviewed on: 05/03/2004
Release date: 05/01/2004
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