posh English seacoast town

Jul 23rd, 2008, 04:10 AM
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You could discuss old times with Darren Anderton (he'll be easy to spot - he looks like shaggy and he'll be on crutches.)

You might even get a view of Louise Redknapp - and that would be worth £4m
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2008, 04:20 AM
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Having worked on both Wall St and the City, and ACTUALLY have been to the Hamptons and Cape Cod (ok admittedly in 90s...), the closest thing I can think is Nice, Cannes, Monaco or San Roque/Sotogrande.

Nice-London or Malaga-London flights on Fridays and Mondays are quite packed in summer with "weekend commuters".

One difference here is, unlike the Hamptons, "posh" villas and weekend retreats are not necesserily along the coast, cf. Tuscany, Dordogne.

Also, since we usually have 4-5weeks of paid holidays in Europe, many people prefer to take 2 weeks consecutive holidays in summer--my undertanding is that the Hamptons are still the Fri-Sun affair.
W9London is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2008, 05:35 AM
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Thanks for all the input. I guess I'll go with "well, Nice."

And thanks also for the cultural lesson, such as the datum about "The Seven-Year Itch" not translating in England. I had no idea.

As for the remark about the Hamptons not being so upmarket anymore, yes, there are definitely some down sides, but still the megawealthy flock there. Exhibit A: A hot-button issue of late is the noise of all the helicopters bringing the brahmins out east without having to endure the Long Island Expressway.

And as for the remark about the North Fork (with all the vineyards) vs. the South, that's where I live and I must agree I much prefer it. Even some Hamptonites are giving up the glitz to come to simpler, sweeter Southold (son of Southwold).

Thanks again.
guy is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2008, 07:09 AM
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"posh English seaside town"

seems indeed to be an oxymoron
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2008, 07:19 AM
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The Hamptons aren;t there to be picturesque. And while many people have boats, sailing is not the reason people go there. (Since you can't dock your boat on ocean front property - it is the north atlantic - and beaches below the water line are public property - it has to go in a marina elsewhere.)

They go to see and be seen, to attend the parties given by the famous or the infamous, many have huge mansions and estates right on the ocean (or - if you're poor - only a several million dollar house not directly on the water.) And the number of charity gals and speial events of all types being splashd all over every tabloid.

Thane there are the young Hamptons -with a dozen or more singles packed into a rental house for the summer -with all the attendant bars and clubs in the less expensvie towns.

The only other places I have seen anything even vaguely similar - and not to that extent - are the Riviera or the more upscale part of Marbella (ofr instance Puerto Banus).
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2008, 08:03 AM
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Obviously not the UK, but I'd say that the Ile de Ré in France is quite similar - seen as a very chic summer destination for many rich Parisians. (A number of French celebrities and politicians have holiday homes there).
I've spent some time in the Hamptons and a lot of time on the Ile de Ré and would say that the vibe is quite similar (inasmuch as that is possible, given they are in different countries with different cultures, histories, landscapes, etc.)
hanl is offline  
Aug 7th, 2008, 01:41 PM
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After all your help, I submitted my column and my editor changed Nice to "nice." If my wish comes true, he will one day edit the Hell Journal.

Here's the column before the great editing gaffe was made. Thanks again for everybody's help.

OUT EAST for 8/1/08 Long Island Business News

By Jeff Miller

President Bush and family will be vacationing in Southold this summer.

Imagine if the above sentence were true. Imagine the blast of international attention on the little North Fork town on Long Island’s East End. Imagine the motorcades, the media madness, the Secret Service agents in dark bathing suits at the beach.

As it happens, it’s not true that the Bushes will be going NoFo this summer, but something analogous is happening in England and causing quite a buzz. Prime Minister Gordon Brown and family are taking their holiday in Southwold, which is Southold’s namesake and the cradle from which Southold (without the w) sprang.

Although their paths parted 368 years ago, there remain many similarities between the two towns. Both are popular beach resorts, but neither is exactly A-list. Here that feather goes to the Hamptons, while in England it’s, well, Nice.
That’s not to say that Southwold doesn’t draw its share of celebs, such as Twiggy, Michael Palin and Dame Judi Dench. Southold’s version tend to be less bold-face and more bookish, like, um, well, how about Alistair Cooke? (A Brit, by the way, and now, sadly, deceased.)

In the British press’s many breathless advance stories about the Browns’ vacation, Southwold sounds very Southoldy, described variously as “intensely middle class” but also full of quiet wealth, resistant to chain stores, empty in winter (pop. 1,300) and overrun in summer (pop. rather a lot). Over there, the masses flow northeast from London (120 miles); here they roll northeast from New York (90).

There are other cultural and political similarities at work this summer. With US and UK economies both struggling, it’s a wise politician who takes a domestic holiday, as opposed to, say, Barbados, Tony Blair’s favoured escape. But a difference is that Brown is a newly minted PM, and President Bush is done with reelection bids. (Not that Bush ever vacationed anywhere but boring old Crawford, Texas, anyway.)

Another similarity: Both leaders are profoundly unpopular at present, each facing approval ratings of historically low proportions. And those faltering economies are a big factor for both. “England’s housing slump echoes U.S. fallout,” said a recent UK headline. The East End of Long Island, once famously immune to the plunges suffered by the rest of the US real estate market, is no more. In Southold, median property prices fell 8 percent during the second quarter alone, and sales volume dropped 19 percent, according to Suffolk Research Service Inc.

On the plus side, the drop in sales has translated into a surge in rentals. “Off the charts,” was one East End broker’s recent remark to Bloomberg News, noting coincidentally that 19 percent of her rentals “went to Europeans because of increased advertising overseas and the weakness of the dollar.”

So if President Bush wants to rent a house in Southold this summer, he might be too late. Southwolders might have cornered the market.
A consideration in Gordon Brown’s choice of holiday spots might have been the fact that Southwold was voted “most quintessentially British seaside resort” last year.
Because of all the similarities, it makes me wonder if Southold might deserve to be named the New York or even US equivalent. Let’s compare attributes.

First of all, both are in Suffolk County. Beyond that:
Southwold: “Offers an old-fashioned holiday with simple pleasures,” said Mayor Teresa Baggott in The Lowestoft Journal. “It’s the ideal place to bring a young family.” Southold: “It’s a good spot for people who want a low-key, family-centered weekend community.” (The New York Times.)

Southwold: “The mums buy cashmere cardigans and bright plimsolls wholesale from Toast,” said a story in the Telegraph. Southold: cashmere sweaters at Karmah in Greenport (although not wholesale), splashy sneakers at The Arcade.

Southwold: “There’s even an old-fashioned sweet shop, Squiers of Southwold, where Mr. Brown can relive his childhood treats.”
Southold: The Candyman in Orient.

Southwold: “It is said that when Justin Hawkins, former lead singer of the rock band the Darkness, tried to buy a house in Southwold last year, the owner turned down his offer as he was considered ‘the wrong sort’ for the area.” Southold: Before departing hastily for the Hamptons, Billy Joel and Christy Brinkley lived here briefly.

guy is offline  
Aug 7th, 2008, 11:57 PM
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Great column, guy.

I missed this first time round; but thought I'd add three Scottish perspectives.

Out of Edinburgh, heaps of yuppies buy houses in the East Neuk of Fife for weekend places. Towns like Elie and St Monans.

Plockton, near Skye has about 2 permanenet residents left and garden sheds cost about £150k.

And if your a Glasgow yachtie, you'll not get past Inverkip.

On the Western Isles, every second house belongs to someone whose granny came from there, but who now lves in Glasgow.

sheila is offline  
Aug 8th, 2008, 02:23 AM
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Thanks for the Scottish angle. Hope to see them all someday.
guy is offline  
Aug 8th, 2008, 02:56 AM
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I was thinking that, traditionally, most seaside resorts in the UK have a posh-er (or, as they used to say, "more select") neighbour(Brighton has Hove, as already noticed, but there's also St Leonards for Hastings, Lytham St Annes or Morecambe for Blackpool, Broadstairs for Margate, and so on).

But the image of both sorts of town has tended to be stuck in that relationship, rather than either advancing at the same speed as broader social concepts of "posh".

One place, favoured by some trendy types, that we've overlooked: Whitstable.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Aug 8th, 2008, 04:12 AM
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Walton-on-the-Naze and Frinton.
Do you remember the outcry when somebody wanted to open a fish-and-chip shop in Frinton?
MissPrism is offline  
Aug 8th, 2008, 04:15 AM
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There's a pub in frinton now. It's a wetherspoons. I like this fact.
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
Aug 8th, 2008, 04:43 AM
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And now everyone in the area can get totally Walton-on-the-Naze AND Frinton on a Saturday night.
PatrickLondon is offline  

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