At-Home With Luxury Travel Queen Melanie Brandman
As Founder and CEO of The Brandman Agency, Melanie Brandman’s clients are a rolodex of who’s who in the luxury travel and lifestyle industries. Like most Australians [although she’s been a New Yorker & summer Hamptonite for 15 years], travel is in her DNA—she’s globetrotted to 70+ countries and has called Sydney, London and Tel Aviv home along the way. Melanie’s most recent venture, The Travel Curator, is a beautiful online luxury travel site that curates city guides for top destinations and a curated list of global finds and insider tips. Nonstop luxury travel may part of the job for Melanie [poor dear], but when summer arrives you will most likely find her at her bucolic Hamptons beach house on Towd Point overlooking the Bay. KDHamptons never misses a Brandman beach party, here’s a few snaps from her summer kick off sunset cocktails….
KDHamptons: What do you love most about the Hamptons?
Melanie Brandman: The Hamptons is such a special place – it makes me less home sick for Australia. I love my house on Towd Point Road because it reminds me of the relaxed and casual vibe you find on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. They too have the diversity of villages, much like The Hamptons. I’m drawn to so many pockets of The Hamptons, two of my favorites being Sag Harbor and Amagansett/Montauk which remind me of Byron Bay in Australia. I love that you can live a high/low life in the Hamptons, depending on what you are in the mood for.
Handsome Hank Stampfl and Kelli Delaney
KDHamptons: You are a fantastic hostess and I always love your parties. How you describe your Hamptons entertaining style?
Melanie: I love to entertain, and my beach house is the perfect setting for al fresco dining and cocktails. I keep it very simple with lots of seafood and salads for all day grazing and with that I serve Aperol spritz and rosé. I often pack up a hamper [cooler] and take it to the beach with friends− so I like things that are not too fussy. In the evenings I’m partial to firing up the BBQ for my favorite lamb chops and grilled vegetables which we eat on my deck around sunset and into the evening. It really is quite magical.
KDHamptons: Please describe your house on Towd Point in Southampton?
Melanie: My house is the quintessential rustic beach house on a windswept road. Its my idea of perfection as I enjoy a very casual summer lifestyle – the antidote to always being on a plane for work. The house is located at a dead end road, right on the bay and beach, so I can easily jump in the water for a swim or paddle board. It’s a bit off the beaten track, somewhat isolated, but an in-the-know spot for locals and their families. Its like living in a little commune where everyone on the road knows each other and always up for a chat and coffee.
KDHamptons: Describe your perfect day?
Melanie: I love waking up early to enjoy the peace and quiet of the bay, sitting on my deck with a coffee and reading the papers. I then like to walk the length of the beach in front of the house which takes about an hour. Adelaide likes to think she can fish. After that its breakfast and I check a few emails and by about 11 I’m ready to get moving. I try to explore a new find every weekend – it could be a shop, gallery, beach, restaurant, etc – or just a general drive through a village I don’t know well. It could also be a day on the water with friends, stopping at a bay restaurant for lunch. The evening is always for entertaining, either at home or usually in Sag Harbor which is my go to for dinner and drinks. The porch at the Baron’s Cove [below] is a great spot for sunset cocktails!
KDHamptons: You always find time to give back, which causes are you involved in now?
Melanie: I focus mostly on travel and educational philanthropic efforts. I am a member of the Executive Board of Directors for the Bodhi Tree Foundation whose new initiative The S.A.F.E. Campaign is dedicated to galvanizing and united the tourism industry and travelers to help end the dramatic rise in poaching of Africa’s elephants. For more information about the campaign please click HERE.
* All photos in this feature by Kelli Delaney