Left picture: The Inn at Pound Ridge; Top right picture: The Glass House; bottom right picture: “Narcissus Garden” by Yayoi Kusama.
We know. You have your habits in the Hamptons: a ristretto at the counter of Sant Ambroeus in Southampton, a glass of rosé at sunset at the Surf Lodge in Montauk. But it is time to refresh your summer spots! A change of scenery with an upstate getaway in the America of the 50s. A throwback to Frank Gehry, Andy Warhol & Frank Stella’s parties!
We take you to Connecticut. Just 1 hour by train from Manhattan, in the small town of New Canaan, you can visit a rather special house. A glass house. Full-length bay windows. Absolute transparency. “The Glass House” was the main residence of architect Philip Johnson who built it in 1949. A lesson of minimalism and a symbol of modern architecture in the United States. The tour of this vast estate of over 47 woodsy acres does not limit itself to The Glass House! Stroll around the gardens, and discover the guest house (called The Brick House), an amazing Painting Gallery located in an underground bunker with an entrance modeled on Agamemnon’s Tomb, another building entirely dedicated to sculptures and many other surprises.
The secret detail: the Martini glass-shaped swimming pool. An homage to one of Philip Johnson’s favorite drinks and to the numerous parties thrown at The Glass House, gathering the creme de la creme of NY artists and intellectuals. Frank Gehry, Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Frank Stella were regulars – to name just a few.
The bonus of the season: installations of a Japanese artist in scarlet hair, the famous Yayoi Kusama, are exposed throughout the estate until November. The female artist currently living who has sold the most works has chosen The Glass House to showcase one of her famous pumpkin sculptures. She also recreated her “Narcissus Garden” by floating some 1,300 steel spheres in Johnson’s pond. In addition, there will be a special installation with the window walls entirely covered with polka dots during the month of September. A first at The Glass House!
You thought we would abandon you after the tour like that? Of course not! A 15-minute ride away from New Canaan, we found you two great options for lunch or dinner. At Pound Ridge, there is one of Jean-Georges’ restaurants: The Inn at Pound Ridge. Enjoy the remarkable wood frame of the dining room. Rustic-chic. And of course the refined cuisine of the Alsatian chef, guaranteed to be of the highest quality and flavors. In Bedford, there is also Richard Gere’s Inn and Relais & Châteaux: Bedford Post. We love their spacious terrace and their wood fire grill.
Trust us, you won’t regret the Hamptons’ crowded bars once you have a seat on the cool shady patio in Connecticut (Don Draper style).
The Glass House
199 Elm Street, New Canaan, CT
The Inn at Pound Ridge
258 Westchester Avenue, Pound Ridge, NY
954 Old Post Road, Bedford, NY