One of the loveliest moments of summer is carefully timed and involves rising early. It is truly unlike any experience you will find elsewhere on Long Island (much less just about anywhere in the country). What am I talking about? The transportive experience of Lavender on the Bay (631-477-1019, 7540 Main Road, East Marion) After you take in acre after acre flush with purple, sit in one of their Adirondack chairs, close your eyes, and simply absorb the smell of the blooms and the sound of the bees buzzing cheerfully. There is an admission fee, and it is extremely important to follow their website to know if the lavender is in fact blooming. East Marion is a tiny town, and the influx of people who visit the farm is great. I exhort anyone who visits to be respectful, quiet and discreet, for the bees, the other visitors, and the residences that dot the edge of the property. There are an assortment of lavender products and plants available for purchase. Plan well, get there early, and be prepared to have an enchanting visit.
Another year older may up the ratio of grey hair, but it also brings you another year closer to refining how you go about your mortal existence.
Such has been the case when it comes to the much lighter note of picking the yearly Christmas tree, which we now have refined to a well-oiled routine. Like everything else on Coastal Village Girl, I hope you can be the beneficiary of our trial and error...
I preface these reviews by saying every year we go out to the North Fork to get our tree.
If you want a beautiful tree with little to-do, the place to go is Santa's Christmas Tree Farm (30105 Main Road, Cutchogue, 631-734-8641). Like anything North Fork and seasonal, get there early. The Frasier Fir from the Carolinas is not fresh cut, but it makes for a stunningly beautiful tree. The Frasier holds ornaments and maintains itself well. The folks who work here are lovely, pleasant people, and the llamas and sheep are great fun for the kids. Santa once again was truly in his element and added that perfect touch to the festive trip. Unlike the camp sawing and lugging I recall from Christmas tree adventures out to PA as a child, the dirty work is done for you. While not inexpensive, the experience, customer service, festivities and priceless non-hassle pay for themselves.
Need to fortify yourself pre- or post-tree? The North Fork Doughnut Company (13175 Main Road, Mattituck, 631-298-7941) also known as "No Fo Do Co" has an array of sugary goodness to satisfy your sweet tooth. Try the Samoa which, complete with toasted coconut, captures its namesake Girl Scout cookie brilliantly. Maple Bacon had a nice flavor on the icing, but needed more bacon. The blackberry-filled doughnut was a stunner. Be sure not to pass up on a cup of the North Fork Roasting Company ("No Fo Ro Co"--- different business, same East End love of portmanteaus). It's got that classic "donut shop"
coffee flavor that can't be argued with. Service is fast and friendly, ambience screams Williamsburg meets a barn, and be prepared to pay for gilding the lily. A whimsical and seasonally cozy alternative to Magic Fountain.
If Heaven could ever truly exist on earth, then I am absolutely convinced it is located at Orient Point. That slim wisp of quiet, fertile land, dotted with charming historic homes and cradled in unapologetic blue on all sides holds a special place in my heart.
A summertime stop into town (which consists of a post office and a couple of shops) absolutely warrants a trip to the Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie Shop, a seasonal pop-up of the famed Brooklyn one. They serve Stumptown alongside the best pie you will ever find, anywhere.
We enjoyed the Bitter Chocolate Pecan at Whole Foods during the holidays and so decided to something different this time: the Salted Honey pie. Four words only, friends: “be still my heart”, followed by an exhortation: “You must go!”
But if you do go, blend in softly and slowly to this sweet little town, which has been largely unmarred by the hustle and bustle that defines summertime on Long Island. Allow this place to breathe as it is, and you too will breathe and open your eyes to still more than a slice of devastating perfection.
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