The Hamptons-silver service style for the not so rich and famous.
Chanel No 5 in the bathroom, Sherry in a crystal decanter, bedside for a nightcap and a three course, silver service breakfast.
These are just a few of the decadent touches that embellished an indulgent two day, relaxed yet bustling stay in the upmarket American summer playground, The Hamptons.
What is inspiring to know is that we (my lifelong friend Nicole and I), weren’t booked into a five star, extravagantly expensive hotel, rather an extraordinarily impressive value for money Bed and Breakfast inn called A Butler’s Manor.
True we went in spring, which is certainly not the high season but to see and experience the Hamptons without wanting the down time on the beach, or the over-inflated prices then this is a perfect time to visit.
Catching the Hampton Jitney from Manhattan to Southampton was an easy 2 hour, comfortable bus ride, complete with complimentary water, snacks and wifi, and we were collected in a Buick Roadstar by the butler himself.
Chris Allen, who owns and runs the B&B with his wife Kim was dressed in a black apron, greeted us with a warm English accent, a wonderfully straight posture and had our bags in the rather large car and back to the British-inspired Hampton residence before we could say by Jeeves.
For the next few days it was like living with a mind reader.
Before we could ask or even before we knew we wanted something it would appear.
If we wanted a wine, a bottle was being chilled in an ice bucket.
If we contemplated catching a train or bus, the timetable was on the side table. I’m sure if those who hired a car wanted a road map it would be there too.
If we wanted dinner, he would appear with local recommendations.
If we wanted a knife for a cheese plate it was already there, and so was the plate,
Coffee? Just outside our room.
Chocolate? In a bowl by the door
And that attention to detail and incredible customer foresight is due to the fact Chris is a professionally trained butler, who has worked for over 20 years in high end service.
As a true life English butler, it was his job to know what and when his employer needed or wanted something and attend to it even before the request.
Tiny butler figurines presented words of inspiration at the silver service, three course breakfast. There were butlers painted on the wine coolers and of course Chris constantly yet quietly appearing and disappearing at exactly the right moment.
All that but it’s not to say A Butlers Manor is a one manservant show.
In fact I’d suggest his wife Kim, a published author and with a background in advertising is the master behind the stage.
The interior fit-out, decorative attention to detail and the personal touches were little treasures we kept discovering the more we looked.
We checked in to one of the smaller of the five-guest room historic 1860 Colonial home, where each room is named and themed in a nod to five of the estates Chris managed during his previous career in private service.
Our abode, the Oak Knoll, while a basic sized room, was charming, cozy and we wanted for nothing.
Right down to the home made biscuits (cookies) gift-wrapped each day, the different body washes to cater for an ‘Uplift’ to start the day or a ‘Relax’ before bed, to the music playing calmly from the bedside table after returning from a busy day exploring the hamlets.
And because we had use of the sitting rooms, including the comfy recliners by the fire or the computer set-up off the kitchen or even the garden, space was not an issue.
The breakfasts were some of the best we’d experienced on our 10 day Springbreak trip to New York.
Muffins cooked before we got out of bed, bran and pecan one day, blueberry the next, were warm and wonderful accompaniments to the coffee, before a bowl of in-season fruit then a cooked meal.
Banana and cream French toast the first morning, avocado mushroom and bacon omelet the following.
Perfect nourishment for long days exploring Sag Harbour, Montauk, searching for the Grayson’s Revenge home or if you go in summer just getting to and lying on the beach.
Or if like us you visit off-season marvelling at the incredibly opulent homes of South and East Hampton, some owned by the rich and famous including Martha Stewart, Calvin Klein and Bonfire of the Vanities author, Tom Wolfe.
And of course Chris knows where they all are.
So if you are planning a trip to New York, regardless of whether you are rich and famous and have a week or longer then it’s worth visiting the Hamptons.
Just to be indulged a little like the rich and famous by the butler.