KDHamptons: How long have you been coming to the Hamptons? Why do you love it so much? Do you come out all year round?
Jamee Gregory: I have been coming to the Hamptons since 1970. I love the quality of the light, the gorgeous sandy beach with great access, the pink sunsets, the farm lands and the special friends who live here. We come all year. I love cold winter weekends. What could be more fun than long walks, cozy fires, movies with no lines and terrific restaurants? I always relax the minute we arrive.
KDHamptons: You have authored two beautiful books: New York Apartments and New York Parties: Private Views, what is the greatest part about being a writer?
JG: The best thing about my job, writing, is that I am my own boss. I love creating in solitude!
KDHamptons: Can you please share 3 entertaining tips a great hostess should always follow?
JG: A hostess should always remember that it’s not about her; it’s about making her guests feel welcome. She should introduce everyone, making sure no one is left out. She should never experiment with a menu; practice makes perfect. She should plan ahead. Last minute efforts cause too much stress!
KDHamptons: How would you describe your Hamptons home, and decorating style?
JG: My Hamptons home is bright and colorful, filled with objects collected on our travels. My rooms are sunny; the colors are warm yellows, soft greens, pale pinks and blues. There is a lot of chintz, since flowers are my passion. My dining room is very Provencal, with French fabrics and walls covered with Quimper pottery. There are fresh flowers from my garden in unusual containers in every room. I pick fresh gardenias every summer afternoon and put them by our bed. The fragrance is heavenly!
KDHamptons: Tell us about your personal style: do you have a Hamptons “uniform”? Which designer do you wear the most?
JG: My Hamptons uniform is white shorts and tee shirts with a sweater tied over my shoulders. It’s always windy at the beach! I like Kors, Tory Burch, Ralph Lauren and Jack Rogers sandals for summer. Colorful Ray Bans and a cowboy hat complete my daytime look.
KDHamptons: What is your favorite accessory of the summer?
JG: My favorite summer accessory is a beautiful white Verdura cuff, a gift from my husband, Peter, for my birthday. He has the best taste! I wear it everywhere. It goes with all my summer clothes. The pink Maltese cross is subtle and sparkling.
KDHamptons: Describe your perfect Hamptons day in detail, even if its a dream day!
JG: My perfect day at the beach starts at 7:30 with breakfast on a pink gingham tray with matching linen placemat and dishes, carried to my garden, where I sit under a big umbrella and enjoy watching hummingbirds sip nectar from my pink hibiscus. I read the Times and Post, observe my perennial border and down a skimmed milk cappuccino, toast and fresh organic berries from Catena’s market. Then it’s off on a four mile walk at a brisk pace, home for a swim in the pool and time to return phone calls. By 12:30, it is time for a chopped salad lunch at the beach with friends and a chance to relax and watch the waves. By 3:00 I head for tennis clinic and a fierce game of doubles. Home by 5:15, I have a bubble bath, time to read and then dress for an early dinner outside. Nothing beats a warm summer night in Southampton. For a nightcap, I sip ginger tea in my garden, surrounded by flickering fireflies.
KDHamptons: Do you have a summer mantra?
JG: My summer mantra is “Seize the Day!” The season flies past, so I try to enjoy every minute, spending as little time in the city as possible. My Southampton season means the world to me.
KDHamptons: What is your favorite restaurant in the Hamptons, do you have a favorite dish?
JG: My favorite restaurants are:
~Sant Ambreous for artichoke salad and linguini with pesto
~Tutto Il Giorno for salad with figs and Maurizio’s spicy spaghetti
[In winter we love Shippy’s on a Friday night. The booths are cozy and dark. I love their coleslaw, red cabbage and steamed lobster tails]
KDHamptons: Other than your family, what do you value the most? Whom do you admire most?
JG: I value my education. Studying abroad and at Vassar gave me the tools to appreciate art, literature and life. I admire my parents most of all. Their example of a terrific marriage raised the bar!
KDHamptons: How do you “do it all” ? Books, husband, family…can you share a couple tips for busy KDHamptons readers?
JG: “Doing it all” is impossible. Life is about priorities. Remember what really matters and attend to that. Just saying no is not a bad idea. Don’t be afraid to make choices.
KDHamptons: Who is the greatest hostess of the Hamptons and why?
JG: I love Betty Sherrill’s parties! She invites all ages and everyone looks forward to her Daffodil Party. It starts the Southampton social scene each spring!