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I love a surprise, don’t you?! Lynn here from Decor Arts Now to report on another “hidden in plain sight” secret gem in the Hamptons. Since I have lived in Montauk during the summer for more than 10 years, people often ask me for restaurant and lodging recommendations.
One step inside and you will feel like Dorothy when she said, “Toto, I have a feeling we are not in Kansas anymore!”
The Maidstone, formerly known as The Maidstone Arms, is one of my favorites for both. Its traditional exterior looks every bit like the nautical inn it was back in 1740 when it was first built. It sports its original white painted shingles and classic striped awning. A bit staid with the cuisine expected to be your basic steamed lobster (not such a bad thing except that there are a plethora of places that offer that).
One step inside and you will feel like Dorothy when she said, “Toto, I have a feeling we are not in Kansas anymore!” Colorful Josef Frank upholstery, pillows and tables are scattered everywhere. The floor is painted white with black and white hide rugs scattered all about. The fireplaces are lit, and somehow even in summer, the flames don’t seem to overwhelm with heat. You just feel warm and cozy all over.
What explains this Scandinavian makeover? The old Maidstone Arms was purchased by Swedish hotelier Jenny Ljungberg in 2008. Ljungberg has made a name for herself transforming historic hotels and inns, including Stockholm’s 17th century Haringe Palace.
She set out to transform the old Maidstone Arms into an homage to Scandinavian design and cuisine. She calls it “Scandinavian Cozy,” noting that Swedes are adept at creating inviting spaces to escape the harsh Scandinavian winters.
But it’s not just the inside.
Even the back garden is special with meandering garden rooms that reveal both playful, romantic and zen-like features.
The restaurant at The Maidstone is suitably called The Living Room because it exudes a homey atmosphere.
And the food , while capitalizing on all of the local fish and fresh vegetables available in the Hamptons, incorporates a Scandi-twist.
So while the herbs are grown in the back garden, my delicious appetizer salad showcased a Scandinavian cheese known as Vasterbotten. Yum.
Should you decide to spend the night at The Maidstone, you will be charmed by your room’s decor.
Each of the 16 rooms and three cottages are designed with a well-known Scandinavian in mind.
Here are four of my favorites: clockwise, the Karen Blixen room–Karen, of course, famously penned Out of Africa. The exuberant Pippi Longstocking room named after the author of that popular children’s series, Astrid Lindgren. The Eliel and Eero Saarinen room and the Josef Frank Room–I can’t get enough of his bold florals.
There is still some summer left, and remember the Hamptons are blessedly peaceful in September when the ocean is at its warmest and most of the crowds are gone. Consider a stay at The Maidstone.
Next month I will be back in NYC with another great tip!,
Lynn, Decor Arts Now
Photo Credits: Image with turquoise chairs and hotel rooms, individually, and in collage from The Maidstone website. All other photos by Lynn Byrne.