As much as my last post sang the praises of Brooklyn, city life can still be a grind. My partner and I had the opportunity to play summer-house as friends very kindly gifted us theirs. For a week we fantasized about the beach and fresh air, until finally the day came when we could leave behind the grit and grime of the city.
Our timing was perfect. While 90c sunshine is great at the beach, it is not quite so much fun when your window ac unit rumbles away struggling to cool off the apartment. After a hurried rush for the train we sat back and gazed out of the window as the city gradually bled away, first through unfamiliar neighbourhoods then into suburbia and finally countryside. We ate a picnic inspired by Paris as I had earlier stopped off at Epicerie Boulud and picked up the holy trinity: Cheese, Salami and Baguette.
We arrived late so it was only when we awoke the next morning that we could appreciate our luck. The plan was to hit the beach early so using the bikes our thoughtful hosts had left us we followed their advice and made a quick breakfast stop at Mary’s Marvellous. We filled up on a delicious egg and bacon sandwich and pretty good pain au chocolate.
Atlantic beach is miles of uninterrupted sand, with a gentle breeze and the kind of tranquility seldom found. The water was far too cold to swim so we opted instead to walk the tide allowing our feet to be cooled by the large breaks and our minds to be scrubbed by the salty air. A bike tour of the coast road was idyllic until I managed to get a little excited and went over the handle bars, a dust down and with minor scrapes and wounded pride we decided it was a good time to get out of the midday sun and head back to our tranquil paradise.
We could not get the hot tub to work, but who cares, we instead toasted our luck upon having a plunge pool to cool down in. When we could not get the TV to work we instead turned the music up (it took a good 30 minutes to work the stereo out too) and laughed at our Luddite ways. Our time away was too short to let our technological ineptitude spoil the relaxation.
Dinner was Indian from The Hampton Chutney Co who also have a branch in Soho, but while the food was just as tasty I could not imagine myself sat in the city watching an almighty storm blow in. We rushed home just in time to avoid the downpour, and agreed that while we only had half a day left another early trip to the beach via Mary’s was in order.
I do not think I have ever experienced such a quick route to serenity, normally it take at least a day to get into holiday mode but here it just felt so easy. We made our train with minutes to spare and sadly watched as the city leaked back into our world. Stepping off the train in Brooklyn was the reality check you never want, back to normality.
Hence the moral of today’s story is; friends are good, friends with beach houses are better!
*We stayed in Amagansett, (apparently Paul Macartney has a place there too) a beautiful little town past East Hampton on Long Island. There are several places to stay in town all very expensive during peak season,we passed a very lovely looking place on the beach called Ocean Dunes.