Maybe it’s because if you truly are somebody, you’d already own a house in the Hamptons, or plan to rent one for the season, or certainly at least know someone with a guest room. No matter the reason, it’s a fact that there’s a dearth of hip hotel options on the east end of Long Island. Weekend visitors to the Hamptons can choose from glorified motels or stodgy historic inns (both of which will snare you with a three-night minimum at top rates). Until now.
Swedish hotelier Jenny Ljungberg of c/o Hotels took over the East Hampton landmark the Maidstone Arms in 2008 and renamed it c/o The Maidstone. She first reworked the restaurant with a slow-food focus, something she pioneered at her five other properties in and around Stockholm. The Maidstone’s restaurant, The Living Room, opened to positive reviews and a packed reservations list last Summer. After further renovation to the rooms during the off season, the hotel is now fully operating with 19 guest rooms, each decorated as a subtle homage to a famous Scandinavian.
Read my full story at Luxist.com.
Silicon Valley entrepreneur and investor Katrina Garnett recently launched My Little Swans, a luxury family travel web site for adventurous families looking for one-of-a-kind adventures that involve things like lunch at a Bedoin camp in Jordan and sailing Alaska’s Inside Passage on a private yacht. Unlike her previous, very-techie businesses, this one was born out of Garnett’s hobby: She’s originally from Australia and she and her husband regularly take their three children on ambitious trips across the globe.
Garnett’s not intimidated by traveling with kids, instead she’s passionate about the advantages of exposing children to world cultures. MyLittleSwans.com aims to cut out the travel agent by featuring itineraries from her many trips with restaurant, hotel, shopping and other suggestions of places she and her concierge partners have personally vetted. Plus, the site’s selected list of tour operators in each of those destinations can arrange for custom adventures from a backstage tour of a Chinese opera to a hiking trip with the Maasai tribe in Tanzania.
Garnett – and by extension her site – is like that in-the-know friend always up on the newest, hottest and best. But she also shares the little-known, like her personal watchmaker in Switzerland and jeweler in Paris. She spent two years and more than $2 million of her own money developing the site and made sure it included a social media aspect, which she believes is essential for web 2.0 success. We chatted with this firecracker over drinks at New York’s Gramercy Tavern and asked her to Tell Us Everything.
Read my full interview with Katrina at Luxist.com.
I spent a lovely afternoon with Paul and Abigail Vogel in their East Hampton, New York studio, Vogel Bindery, to learn about the art of custom book binding for a story I wrote for CharlotteMoss.com. Here’s an excerpt:
After studying art at New York’s Pratt Institute, Paul Vogel spent several years in Europe where he came across the still-very-much-alive practice of book binding. To extend his stay in Britain, he took a job working alongside a binder, learning the skills he’d later use to launch his own bindery in Manhattan in 1980. Two of his earliest clients were Harper Collins and the Forbes family and he’s been filling elaborate custom orders for individuals, book dealers and publishers ever since.
“Paul is a most extraordinary bookbinder, perhaps the best in America,” says book dealer Kinsey Marable. “I only use Paul, from binding a client’s high-school scrapbook to building leather boxes to individually house and conserve an entire Pulitzer Prize collection.”
Vogel says he’s constantly posed with fresh challenges, and he enjoys the satisfaction of coming up with creative solutions; maybe it’s incorporating objects into a book one day and creating elaborate leather inlay cover designs the next. “It’s one of the few instances of work where you have a beginning, middle, and you’re actually holding the finished product at the end. And it all happens in our studio,” he says. And unlike other careers in art, “It’s not theoretical; these books will be used and handled for generations.”
Read the rest of the story at CharlotteMoss.com.