A true anchor of this community, the Southampton Inn has housed everyone from politicians to rock stars passing through the Hamptons. And their Annual Memorial Day BBQ and Pool Party anchors the holiday weekend. This rainy Sunday, it was held inside Claude’s restaurant downstairs, a sparkling new jewel, set beside a candlelit patio dining area, in owner Dede Gotthelf Moan’s crown.
This year’s soiree brought out actor Armie Hammer and wife Elizabeth Chambers, actress Abigail Spencer, and, People and Entertainment Weekly Editorial Director Jess Cagle and Matt Whitney – who hosted a star-studded Hamptons wedding over the holiday weekend.
She introduced us to its chef, James Carpenter. “He’s probably the best chef out here as far as I’m concerned,” Dede said. Perhaps you remember his cooking from the Maidstone, Della Femina, or Centro when it opened. “The food is American, absolutely exquisite to look at and equally delicious,” Dede continued. “I particularly love the lobster mango salad, surrounded by cucumbers, and calamari salad appetizers, Peconic Bay oysters, the divine steaks and roasted chicken.” She also loves the new South Africa staff she shares with a private club in Florida. If they look familiar to you, you too are living the good life.
So are the more than 70 guests that Dede says come year after year, making the Inn akin to their private club. “They visit one another in New York, Belgium, Argentina,” said Dede, “and celebrate birthdays and anniversaries at the Inn. That’s why we have this Memorial Day barbecue and the one on 4th of July.”
Many guests have running reservations for extended weekends. Some like to beat the crowds and take advantage of the special half price rates by coming Monday to Friday. This year, there are also two free tickets to the Monday night Pianofest series for Sunday and Monday night guests.
Dede keeps the hotel fresh by redoing about 20 rooms a season. She turned to One Kings Lane, around the corner on Jobs Lane, to design and provide many of the rooms, especially the premium rooms – large, well-appointed accommodations overlooking the gardens – that are new this year. “We also have things I’ve selected from Hildreth’s Department store,” Dede told us, “because we love buying local, to the extent that we can.”