The sign out front of the quaint white church said ‘Journey to Forever’…. well I didn’t think we were going quite that far but it seemed like a pleasant invitation to come explore the beautiful North Fork of Long Island.
If you’re wondering where we are it was described to me like this. Imagine Long Island as a gold-fish, the mouth connected, by the Brooklyn Bridge, to New York City’s Manhattan and the elegant long tail, trailing North East, divided into the North and South Forks.
The area described as the Hampton’s is situated in the South Fork. It’s a place where the well-heeled of New York come to escape the long hot summers (you may have seen it featured on ‘Sex and the City’ or more recently ‘Revenge’). There are sprawling mansions, manicured gardens and expensive cars. None of this was unexpected. What surprised me were the pretty little towns, country lanes, ancient shady oak trees, sheltered bays, small boats bobbing on the water…picture postcard perfect.
We began our journey in the village of West Hampton. I’d arrived here last night by train, deranged by 30 odd hours of sleep-deprived travel and completely oblivious to my surroundings. What I saw today was a pretty little town with holiday makers doing their thing…having coffee, browsing boutiques and picking up last-minute supplies for the busy labor day weekend. We too picked up some essentials… Boston cream donuts, ripe peaches and a guide to Long Island Wines. Armed with the map we head 40 minutes North, then turn right onto Main Road, NorthFork. Greenport, at the far end of the island, will be our destination but in the meantime we have scores of wineries, picturesque towns and farm stalls to checkout.
We turn off the main road into Mattituck. Jane tells me that the wine industry has seriously revived this little town. The place is buzzing with hip little shops and restaurants befitting a wine district. Jane makes a detour to Pike Street.
Our next stop is McCall Wines.
Coming up, Shelter Island, beach bars and houses for sale.
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