Summer in New England is fleeting. June and July pass by in a flash of weddings, barbecues and summer concerts. August is lost in a haze of humidity and heat. And then September comes. Glorious September. September is the perfect time to sneak away and enjoy one last summer weekend.
Nantucket has held a special place in my heart ever since I started going there as a little girl, over thirty years ago. Back then you could still slide down the dunes, there was penny candy on Main Street and you never saw anyone in anything fancier than a navy blazer for church on Sunday. The island has changed quite a bit in the past thirty years but when the crowds of August give way to the quiet of September, you can still get a little bit of that old island feel.
A weekend on Nantucket was the inspiration behind our late summer collection. The products I selected for our first collection are the very things that I bring with me for one last weekend of beach picnics, gin & tonics on the porch and cooking with the last of summer’s wonderful produce. You can shop our full late summer collection until the end of the month. Pick up a few of our gorgeous goods and then book yourself a weekend away. Here is my idea of a perfect September day on Nantucket. It will comes as absolutely no surprise that most of these are food related!
Breakfast at The Downyflake
The Downyflake is a Nantucket institution. It’s a no frills breakfast and lunch spot that has the best fried cake style doughnuts. I know some of you might be yeasted doughnut fanatics but I’m loyal to the cake variety and always have been. You’ll need to get at least two because I’ve never met anyone with the will power to only eat one.
Grab a sandwich from Something Natural and hit the beach
Something Natural makes the most magical sandwiches that are perfect for lunch on the beach. My husband and I like to stop at Something Natural on our way out to the beach and grab sandwiches (he likes the salami and provolone, I’m partial to the Shelia’s Favorite on herb bread), cookies and a housemade ice tea. They also have great picnic tables spread out on their lawn if you want to eat right there. From there we head out to any of the beaches past Bartlett Farm. You’ve got lots of options with a web of sandy roads taking you up and down the beach. In September you won’t have any trouble finding a secluded spot.
Post beach drink at Cisco Brewery
While the brewery can be a madhouse in August and a little too crowded for my taste, in September it’s a pretty great spot to stop for a Nantucket mule, a fish tacos for the Millie’s food truck and to listen to some live music. As a bonus it’s dog friendly if your pups happen to make the trip. Of course shop dogs Cooper and Keegan have stolen one too many fish tacos to be invited back!
Stop at 167 Raw for dinner provisions
This is hands down the best fish market. Ever. Anywhere. I love it and I wish they would open one where we live. Absolutely fabulous line-caught swordfish, delicious bluefish pate, surprisingly good steaks for a fish market and wonderful oyster (that you can shuck with our great oyster knives). They’ve expanded their offerings so you can pick up pretty much everything you need for a late summer dinner right there. As a side note, they have also opened a tiny market and raw bar in Charleston (one of my favorite food cities) and they have the best carnitas taco I have ever had. But that’s a whole other post for another day!
Stroll into town for some shopping at The Lovely
September is a great time to shop on Nantucket since so many of the adorable shops are having sales. The Lovely is one of my favorites and is just that, lovely. Julie, the owner, has fabulous taste and stocks her shop with all sorts of great dresses, sweaters and jewelry that are chic with a touch of boho (says the girl who is usually in an apron covered in flour). Introduce yourself to Julie and get a sense for what you like in the shop and she can even send you things in the off season that you might like.
Drinks at Proprietors
After shopping with me my husband Aidan is usually ready for a cocktail. We often stop in to see the crew at Proprietors and have a drink and something to snack on before heading home to make dinner. Michael and Orla are the husband and wife duo behind the restaurant. Orla runs the front of the house and Michael is the chef. I think they are making some of the best food on the island right now. The charcuterie plate is not to be missed and we came real close to ordering a second chicken fried trout the last time we were in because it was just that good.
After all of that it is back to the house for dinner and drinks on the porch (with our enamel tumblers full of G&Ts) and maybe a puzzle in front of the fire if there is a bit of a chill in the air and the fog has rolled in. Nantucket is a magical place and I hope you’ll find the time to visit in September.