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Tamara's Scrapbook: A week in Montauk

posted on Tuesday, 29th July 2014 | find under Tamara, Fitness, Nutrition
Having visited Montauk a couple of years ago, I was so excited to be heading back to host a press event with some editors from NYC. With an itinerary full of outdoor activities, I was looking forward to doing some of my favourite beachside activities such as paddleboarding, yoga, cycling and running. My family joined me in the US so it was lovely to spend time with them before joining the editors.

Where we stayed:
Before the editors arrived, my family and I stayed in a beach house on Surfside Ave that had boardwalk access directly onto the beach and a surf point break 300 metres to the left. The owner of the house is a former US champion triathlete who runs a flip flop company and has lived in Montauk all his life. When we met, he told us about the authentic, locally-run places that we had to visit, and complained about the pretentiousness of the new trendy places that all the New Yorkers flock to at the weekends.

Another great place that we looked at staying was the Montauk beach house. Close to the beach, it looks so nice with cool sculptures outside the hotel and big clumps of swishy grass and taupey-grey cladded rooms.


The New York editors and I stayed in the Ruschmeyers Hotel. The rooms had a breezy, Caribbean vibe, with hanging hammock chairs and rattan bed heads, and the food from the hotel’s "Smile" restaurant was amazing: lobster rolls, kale and parmesan salad, fresh beetroot, grilled corn, roasted peaches with cardamom-scented whipped cream, etc. plus on-tap water flavoured with mint and cucumber.
What we did:
Thanks to the curse of jetlag, I woke early each morning (even before the kids were up) and went running; either along the beach or in the beautiful Shadmoor State Park at the end of the road. During one run early in the quiet morning, I almost ran full tilt into a deer!
My time with the family in Montauk was mostly spent in the sea, with the kids hiring surfboards and me opting for a SUP session with a great instructor from Corey’s Waves. The surf was amazing (although maybe a little too big for us!) but it was great wandering past surfer girls and seeing what they were wearing – Cynthia Rowley hot-pant wetsuits mostly!

I always love checking out the local shops that sell products that aren’t available elsewhere. There was a beautiful store in Montauk named "Share With" - an awesome, locally-designed collection of pastel and fluro-trimmed voile playsuits, gypsy tops, vintage leather strapped beach bags and chunky rope jewellery. I bought a peppermint-green voile top with silver reflective bands round the voluminous sleeves and neckline.

I was also keen to shop in Surf Bazaar at the Surf Lodge. It’s one of my favourite shops in the world - I bought a grey and fluro pink backless maxi dress and a cream and orange tunic from there a couple of years ago and they make me think of Montauk whenever I wear them. This time, I had to peel my daughter away from the Kiini lines and I treated myself to a white voile pair of harems made in India, with cut-out holes and fluro coral embroidery. I LOVE them!
Cynthia Rowley also has a cute beach store in Montauk; full of rash vests, printed neoprene leggings and dresses, and the awesome wetsuits we kept seeing on the surfer girls.
On my second day in Montauk, the fog started to roll in, making it clear why the locals call it "fogtauk". The sea is still cold at this time of year, so the heat of the sun creates stormy weather patterns, and the next two days had serious thunderstorms.

Despite the weather, my family and I played volleyball and donned our wetsuits to swim in the rolling surf. My daughter and I also went along to the pop-up Love Yoga studio for an evening yoga class. With its turquoise floor, purple mats, white voile curtains and Himalayan blankets – the studio was quite the sanctuary. The editors and I also did yoga - laying our mats out on the grass and enjoying calming our minds in the great outdoors.

Where we ate:
The Crow’s Nest had to be our favourite restaurant - fabulous food and an unbeatable setting. The lawn outside the restaurant rolls down to a calm inland beach, and strings of fairy lights lead down to the water where there are low-slung wooden loungers surrounding fire pits which begin to glow as the sun sets.

In the evenings, we often went down to the surf lodge for cocktails and people-watching (and shopping!) – it had a great funky 70's Hawaiian vibe.
One of my family’s favourite restaurants was Duryea's Lobster Deck. Eating delicious lobster rolls and lobster while overlooking the harbour, it was the perfect setting for watching the sunset. For breakfast and brunch, Anthony's Pancake House and Bird On The Roof were definitely the best.

The editors and I were invited to a tour of the Montauk Juice Factory. A lovely store that has just opened this summer, their cold-pressed juices are delicious. I think our favourite was Glow – a citrus-y drink that tasted like liquid sunshine, containing orange, pineapple, coconut water, aloe vera, lemon, ginger and turmeric extract.

Continuing on the healthy journey, the editors and I were treated to a nutrition session by Arielle Haspel, who talks to the group about what to eat pre and post-exercise and how to eat well everyday. Her advice on what "healthy" snack bars are good was particularly interesting, and we talk hemp seeds (really nutty and delicious), almond butter sachets (a genius idea to carry around in your bag), natural electrolytes (salt, lemon, 1 tbsp chia seeds and raw honey with water or coconut water) and lots more. She also makes us mini coconut ice cream sundaes to finish, topped off with hemp seeds, spelt pretzels, cacao nibs, blueberries and a cherry on top. Divine!

Image credit: Arielle Haspel on Instagram

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