Destination / Wish You Were Here

The Chequit, Shelter Island

Shelter Island is the ‘un-Hamptons’ getaway that takes you off the grid in the best possible way. With an overnight bag and a new book in hand I travelled the eastbound stretch of highway no more than 100 miles from New York City. A short ferry ride later and I’d arrived at my destination – The Chequit, a boutique hotel that is as much a chic seaside sanctuary as it is a laid-back summer refuge.

Stay…
The Chequit perfectly couples an easygoing, lived-in vibe – think straw hats and Turkish towels dangling from reclaimed ladders, and fresh flowers scattered throughout the guest rooms – with that of a polished, meticulously run affair. Here, you’ll feel just as at home in a simple summer dress with salt-slicked hair as you would in your finer holiday attire, sipping a glass of prosecco as you sink into one of the oversized armchairs in the lobby area. Freshly renovated in 2015, the historic 37-room inn is crisp and contemporary while retaining the charm of its heyday when stars by the likes of Monroe and Sinatra are said to have stayed here. Wake up to a complimentary breakfast and as the heat of the day intensifies, pick up a cappuccino and a sandwich from the property’s White Hill Café and make for the beach.

See…
The best way to take in the island’s pristine beaches, humble smattering of shops, and New England-style Victorian architecture is by bike. You can hire one for the day from Piccozzi’s Fuel and Bike Shop. And as the afternoon sun begins its descent make your way to Crescent Beach, conclusively the best sunset vantage point on the island.

Take…
The essentials: swimsuit, wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen and light summer wears. It may just be me but there’s something about the island that conjured creative urges – so pack a journal, a camera, paints and brushes or whatever it is that turns you on and see where your musings take you.

Taste…
Open for brunch and dinner, Red Maple is your go-to for seasonal local fare. Start with a cocktail and a selection from the raw bar. For mains choose from a generous menu offering that includes everything from fresh fish to glazed pork belly to various vegetarian options. I went for a good old-fashioned steak and a glass of earthy red Malbec.