NYC to Hamptons 4 Day Retreat

If you’d have told me 10 years ago while I was working for “the man” that in just a few short years I would be my own boss and creating the community that FoodieCrush has become (thank you, thank you to all of you who are here!) I would have frozen in fear of leaving the traditional workforce and leaping into the unknown world of entrepreneurship.

But times change, and so did I.

Today, I thank my lucky stars each and every time I open my computer to work on the blog, hop onto Facebook, or scroll through Instagram for the opportunity to share recipes, swap stories, inspire and be inspired thanks to every one of the online connections we share.

Some people prefer the support of a co-working office situation. I prefer working on my own. And while some feel working from home to be an isolating job, surprisingly, it’s the exact reason I’ve created some amazing in real life relationships, thanks to the introductions made via this weird world of the webisphere.

Tips for a 4 Day Trip to NYC and The Hamptons

Last month I had the opportunity to meet up with a few of my blogging counterparts at a small retreat in New York City and then onto The Hamptons. Small retreats like these are a favorite component of my blogging business.

Our group included some amazingly talented bloggers and social influencers including: BethTrevor & Jennifer,  LaurenGerryJulieLizHeatherAndieKristinMariaGina, and Lexie.

These retreats are where we have the opportunity to connect, help and encourage one another with business issues we all share while experiencing a lifestyle I doubt I’ll ever be able to replicate in real life unless I win the lottery.

But hey, you never know, now do you?

New York City St. Patrick's Cathedral |

Where to Stay in New York City

If you aren’t within reasonable driving time to visit New York City, fly in a day early to make the most of your visit. We stayed at midtown’s Lotte New York Palace Hotel, situated across the street from St. Peter’s Cathedral and walking distance to Rockefeller Center, Central Park, and Times Square.

Lotte New York Palace Hotel

Lotte New York Palace Hotel

The rooms are extremely spacious compared to the standard NYC hotel and the hotel bar is the perfect spot to cool down after walking the city.

Lotte New York Palace Hotel Bar

Villard Breakfast Lotte New York Palace Hotel |

Housed in the historic landmark Villard Mansion, the architecture is grand in it’s Italian design with renovated frescos and incredible woodwork and marbling shown off at its best at Villard, the hotel’s breakfast and brunch farm-to-table restaurant.

For more ideas of where to stay in NYC, check out this list. And for those traveling on a budget, this one’s for you.

Where to Eat in New York City

There are plenty of amazing spots to eat in the city and we hit two of them on our quick 1-day tour.

Fig + Olive Meatpacking District New York City |

Day one’s dinner was at Fig + Olive in the meatpacking district where Mediterranean-inspired shared plates and crudo are the starters alongside a mega wine menu. THe Branzino and Paella del Mar are dishes not to be missed.

Mamo Soho New York City |

The next day we were treated to an authentic Italian meal at Mamo NYC located in the SoHo neighborhood where cured meats, pastas and a Truffle Pizza with so many truffle shavings I could have eaten the whole pie myself.

If you’re stumped of where else to eat in the city, do like the locals do and use Eater NY as your foodie tour guide.

If variety on a budget is what you’re looking for, check out one of NYC’s many food halls that feature small, local eateries—think your local mall’s food court minus the fast food chains in favor of diverse, local, ethnic, quick eats.

Transportation To and Within The Hamptons

If you don’t have a car, consider making a reservation on The Hampton Jitney, a luxury motor coach that will get you there and back for about $33.00 each way with connections to NYC airports and designated stops within NYC.

Traveling around Long Island without a car can be a challenge and because Uber isn’t available on the island so booking a car in advance will save you the headache of competing with the rest of the summering party goers. While there, we were shuttled to and fro by Tran-Star Executive. Or, give the Hamptons Hopper a try.

Hamptons home in Southhampton Long Island |

Hamptons home in Southhampton Long Island |

Julie Deily The Little Kitchen |

Hamptons home in Southhampton Long Island |

Where to Stay in The Hamptons

Because we were a large group of 15 or so, our retreat hosts Lexi, Gina and Liz rented an amazing home in Southampton for our stay. The home was spacious and luxe with plenty of bedrooms, bathrooms, multiple living and gathering areas plus a fantastic game room for late night wine tasting and ping ponging. And of course, an amazing pool that is the epitome of every Hamptons stay.

But if you’re like me and a Hamptons mansion isn’t in your budget, there are still plenty of ways to do Hamptons on the cheap.

Delallo Cheese board

Where to Eat in The Hamptons

To make our house a home and have plenty of one on one time, we opted to eat in for most of our stay with plenty of grub provided by the retreat sponsors including DeLalloSabraGreen GiantLorissa’s KitchenVital Farms Eggs & ButterHalo TopPeapod by Stop and Shop and Nespresso.

Avocado Egg Toasts

Halo Top Ice Cream |

Gerry Spiers Foodness Gracious |

Our final meal at home was created by Chef Renee Blackman, who was on Food Network’s Chopped, and who put her skills to the test incorporating all of our sponsors into one amazing meal, including this Watermelon and Ahi Tuna Salad.

Ahi Watermelon Salad |

Climbing Grier Mountain and THe Lemon Bowl |

But if cooking in isn’t your thing, there’s plenty of variety to choose from when heading out to eat in the Hamptons.

From quaint bakeries, to low-key seafood shacks, to swanky, upscale fine dining it can all be found here, including some amazing Mexican food like the meal we had at Union Cantina where they served a sampling of everything on the menu, including totally Hamptons-esque Lobster Tacos that Gina recreated here.

Union Cantina The Hamptons |

Need more dining inspo? Check out this guide for more.

What to Do In The Hamptons

On the top of my bucket list was to find The Barefood Contessa Ina Garten—the icon of Hamptons living—and maybe catch her buying fresh produce at her favorite local farm stand. Ah, but to no avail.

However, I was totally struck by how agricultural the area of Long Island is with pastures, farms, and several vineyards, including Bedell Cellars on the North Fork where we were hosted to a wine tasting thanks to the winery and Discover Long Island.

Gina Homolka Skinnytaste and Heather Christo |

Bedell Cellars Hamptons wine tasting |

Lexis Lexis Clean Kitchen on

Maria of Two Peas and Their Pod |

Andie Mitchell and Beth of Tasty Yummies on

Breezy and flushed with rosé, it was the perfect way to end our stay.

Show Me the Yummy on

For more ideas of what to do in the Hamptons, check out these guides. 

Heidi Hamptons |

Thank you to the Gina, Lexi and Liz for organizing, to my fellow bloggers for inspiring, and to the sponsors and restaurants who hosted us. As always, all opinions are my own.

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