Discover more from Yolo Intel
Just Back From…Shelter Island, feeling balanced while on the road via our favorite fasting expert, plus an artist’s house on the Oaxacan coast you’ll definitely want to rent!
JUST BACK FROM….Shelter Island, New York
Next to the Hamptons and between the North and South Forks of Long Island, Shelter Island blends the upscale vibe of the Hamptons with the approachable and low-key temperament of the North Fork. With water at nearly every turn—from harbors to hidden ponds and dense marshlands—the 12-square-mile island is a sanctuary for wildlife and small enough for a visitor to develop the kind of intimate familiarity with a place that seems to have been lost in the modern era. My life-partner, Cian Connor, and I went back to Shelter Island for a late August weekend getaway from the Hamptons, where we spend many summer weekends.
The short ferries from Greenport or North Haven required to get to the island create just enough friction to keep out anyone who truly doesn’t want to be here. Time on Shelter Island seems to move at its own pace—and we are a fan of this. While many mom and pop establishments are still in business, during the pandemic Shelter has seen a boom in new restaurants, coffee shops, and hotels.
While we usually stay with friends on the island, we decided this time to book a room at The Pridwin. Located on the water with beautiful bay views towards Greenport, the Pridwin was built in 1927 but recently reopened after a two-year renovation. The owner, Curtis Bashaw, and his team went to great lengths to preserve the bones of the main house, which combines vintage American style with a modern color palette and conveniences. He wants to make this place a year-round destination.
EAT & DRINK
Leon 1909: Our best meal was at Leon 1909, a newly opened restaurant featuring French-Italian cuisine which the chefs cook mostly out of a huge hearth in the dining room. Walking into Leon is a sensory overload in the best way, with its wood-fire aromas. We had crab gougeres, sweet corn and lobster pasta and a slowly wood-fire roasted chicken—all delicious! We’ve long found Hamptons restaurants to be much more of a scene than quality—rather confounding, as the produce on the East End is fantastic. At Leon, they have really nailed variety and quality and our waiter, Alex, was fabulous and knew the menu backwards and forwards.
Vine Street Cafe: This is a place we have been coming to for eight years. It’s a year-round, family-owned farm-to-table restaurant that highlights the best of local food purveyors and winemakers in the area. It is great for a summer meal seated outside on the graveled patio or in the winter for a warm and cozy experience in the dining room. The best picks on the menu are the fish and pasta dishes! They also have a great bar with a mean Martini.
Rams Head Inn: Perfect for sunset drinks! Rams Head Inn is located on Coecles Harbor, a sheltered enclave right next to Garninders Bay. There are many Adirondack chairs on the lawn where you can enjoy a cocktail and watch the sunset. Ownership has recently changed hands and we have not yet tried the food, but have heard good things.
Salt: Salt is right on a small marina right next to a small boatyard, making it easy to pull up a boat for pickup or dine-in with a menu of oysters, clams, tuna sandwiches and its famous lobster roll. Most of Salt’s seating is outdoors and under a canopy and all of it is casual. Next to it is Shipwreck Bar, with live music many nights of the week during the summer. This is a seasonal restaurant, open from late spring until the first week of October.
Sunset Beach: An iconic destination for day or nighttime cocktails. This is the only place on Shelter Island that somewhat counts as nightlife. Located right on the bay with a sandy beach, Sunset Beach is quite the vibe in the summer, especially at night where there is always a DJ next to the rooftop bar. We have been here countless times and are happy it’s back open after a couple of years of uncertainty.
Marie Eiffel Market: In many ways the social nucleus of Shelter Island, Marie Eiffel is the go-to breakfast and lunch destination for both locals and visitors. Although some things are absurdly expensive (it’s $2 extra if you want a splash of oat milk in your iced coffee!) for the most part it is worth it. The market is located on a marina and has seating on the dock with a stunning view of vintage boats sailing by. Our favorite things to get are the blueberry muffin, Marie’s omelet, Cuban sandwich, and the Croque Madame sandwich.
We went biking all around the island and stopped at various ponds and secluded beaches. One special place was “Crab Creek Beach,” named after the small creek populated by plenty of Blue Crabs (you need to have a fishing license in order to take these home with you).
During the weekend, we also had an amazing boat day. Friends picked us up on the dock at The Pridwin and we headed straight to Salt to pick up lunch (lobster rolls, fries, oysters, and shrimp cocktail) along with some amazing libations. Lunch was served after we anchored in Coecles Harbor with unspoiled views of the Mashomack Preserve. We finished the day with lots of swimming in the warm water.
Beachgoers love Crescent Beach. The hotel and restaurant Sunset Beach is located right on the water (the hotel also manages a portion of the beach), so you have the option to book a table for lunch at the French Riviera-inspired restaurant. Silver Beach and Wade Beach are also worthwhile. Hay Beach is a more peaceful option and is located right by Ram and Little Ram islands (the peninsula side of Shelter Island). Some beaches require a day permit, which can be easily purchased from the town’s website.
Finally, if you are looking for nature immersion, you can hike the many trails in the Mashomack Preserve.
COOL PIECE OF HISTORY
Back in the late 1800s, Shelter Island was rapidly developing into a summer colony with grand hotels and yachting stations. One of the most famous was Manhanset House Hotel, a 400-room property overlooking Dering Harbor, then accessible by steamship from New York or Boston via ferry from Greenport. The hotel was destroyed by two catastrophic fires, but our friends George Birman & Phil Gubert are lucky enough to live in a 130-year-old house that used to be a carriage barn for the hotel.
We brought home delicious produce from the Sylvester Manor’s Farm stand, a market farm that has been owned by eleven generations of the Sylvester family since 1651. Today, this nonprofit farm gives back to the local community with educational programs, workshops, events, concerts, and dances that highlight the food and culture of the Manor and Shelter Island. And, of course, we picked up a delicious tarte Tatin and a pear and almond pie from Marie Eiffel!
Absolutely don't come here if you are looking for a party scene. There is no nightlife and no real shopping. Locals take their island to heart and protect it from polluting, loud and unkind humans. But the season here lasts longer, from early spring till late fall—and a visit makes a nice pairing with a tour of one of the North Fork wineries (our favorites are McCall Wines, Rose Hill Vineyards, & Kontokosta Winery).
Andrea Franchini is a brand marketing and hospitality expert. He is currently market director of culture & entertainment at EDITION Hotels.
Leonard Wilhelmi, Managing Director of Buchinger-Wilhelmi Lake Constance
Tell us about you and your company.
We were the first fasting clinic in the world (1920) and have been family-owned since the beginning. My great-grandfather—Dr Otto Buchinger—developed the Buchinger fasting method that still exists today. He cured himself of an acute rheumatic disease through fasting and established the first clinic in Überlingen at Lake Constance in 1953. The second clinic followed twenty years later in 1973 in Marbella, Spain. Three generations developed and expanded the Buchinger fasting method, as well as the clinics. We like to say that we are a mix between a clinic, a hotel and a monastery. Each person comes for different configurations of the three elements. Some for medical reasons, some for prevention and others to seek a more profound experience.
Nowadays we treat about 6,000 patients per year. Our focus is on integrative medicine, a conventional medical approach combined with complementary medicine. We have published over 16 studies and try to make the powerful effects of fasting known throughout the world by sharing much of it on YouTube and social media.
How do you encourage clients to take their learnings from the clinic back into their lives—at home and on the road?
We want to achieve a change in people's lifestyles. Our program is multifaceted and aims to put people on the right path to lead a happy and, above all, healthy life. The cooking demonstrations are designed to prepare our patients for daily life after their stay and to help them implement healthy eating. We also offer doctors' lectures for education as well as stress-reduction and yoga and meditation sessions. In order to sustain good health, we recommend intermittent fasting. We also recently launched a brand new Fasting Box (currently available in Europe and soon the UK), which offers the possibility of a fasting protocol according to Buchinger Wilhelmi in the comfort of your home.
It's encouraging to know that many of our guests achieve true lifestyle changes after their stay with us. The best example is our champion guest, who is here currently for the 96th time. He is 92 and started coming when he was 40 years old. He has no treating doctor at home and comes twice a year for a general checkup. He's probably the best example of how fasting can help you live long and in good health (longevity). We are doing a case study on him in 2022.
Where in the world do you feel most revitalized?
In Germany, there are special locations that are considered inspirational, revitalizing and recovering locations to restore your energy and re-create a clear mind and space for oneself. They are called kraftort- places of power.
My personal place of strength is a meditation center in Switzerland, the LaSalle Haus. Here I can recharge my batteries and find peace after particularly stressful periods. I also fast twice a year at our fasting clinic in Marbella. Fasting helps me to recharge my batteries and gives me new focus and a free mind to manage my tasks as the Managing Director at the clinic in Überlingen.
Other kraftort for me and my family are the south of France, a region that Yolanda and Matt love as well, called the Luberon. The air, light and rhythm is super inspiring. The Instagram account @provencallife captures the vibe perfectly.
What are a few other favorite wellness destinations you enjoy and why?
Being half Swiss, I love the beauty of the Swiss Alps. The mountains and the beautiful nature itself always get me into a relaxed mood. The Therme Vals is an architectural masterpiece and also a very high quality thermal spa. The spectacular alpine panorama and the charm of the region also mean wellness and relaxation for me.
Another place I love to go with my family is the Bassin d’Arcachon. There is a hotel there right on the Dune de Pilat called La Corniche and they allow dogs. The climate of the Atlantic is super stimulating.
Do you bring any supplements or nutritional/health aids with you when you travel?
I practice intermittent fasting. For me personally, this is the best way to stay focused during stressful journeys. It also has many other benefits such as regulating blood sugar levels, helping with weight loss and improving mental performance. If I feel undernourished, I look for a bio supermarket and make myself a muesli with fresh fruits, whole grains, rich fatty acid oils like linseed oil and a good yogurt. This way I also get to know the local bio scene and at least in Europe many brands are German so I don't have to search very long for my regular products.
How do you approach staying healthy and relaxed when you travel by plane?
Traveling these days is very stressful and with a little baby we try to take the car as much as possible. If I have to fly, I try to drink a lot of water and avoid coffee. I reduce sweets and snacks of any kind. Jet lag is generally just a reprogramming of the inner clock. Living in the rhythm of new time zones is easier for me if I avoid eating and then adjust my meal habits to the new time zone. This helps me to shorten the jet lag and get into the new routine.
What’s your game plan for eating healthfully in a foreign place?
There is a saying: dom’t eat what your grandparents wouldn’t have recognized as food. If you are in foreign places, try and stick to eating lots of vegetables and less processed food.
For those of us who like to explore the culinary scene of foreign countries and do not have the discipline to stick to everyday healthy eating habits, we can practice intermittent fasting. After a heavy dinner, it makes sense to eat the next day only when you are hungry, that is, when you feel physical hunger. This means simply skipping breakfast and starting the day with a light lunch at midday. It sounds so logical and simple, but it actually helps to find a proper balance. Other strategies in foreign countries include not eating bread, avoiding unnecessary calories and, of course, avoiding alcohol and sugary drinks.
Are there any restaurants in the world that you love for their healthy cuisine?
We love the Hiltl Restaurant in Zurich for their vegetarian selections. Alain Passard’s Arpège in Paris is also very interesting for its vegetarian take on French cuisine. However, special mention should also be made for the Nordic gastro scene, which continues to set new standards in vegetarian cuisine. Noma has a vegetable menu and beautiful illustrations, and Geranium, the best restaurant of 2022, boasts a meatless menu. I also love the boom in organic wines. This holds an incredible amount of innovation for sommeliers around the world.
What are a few things you always pack for your beauty/wellness routine?
Drinking plenty of water every day is one of my best beauty tips. Therefore, my Buchinger Wilhelmi water bottle is my constant companion. My On-shoes are also super practical, as they fit in any bag and are great for a workout during travel. They are also suitable at casual events.
To get enough sleep, I always pack earplugs and a sleep mask in my luggage.
Do you have any rituals you use while on a trip to reset and ground yourself in a new place?
I always try to get a feeling of my new environment and take a walk around in nature and visit the gym. If there is a lake or ocean around, I have to take a swim regardless of the temperature.
Where are you dreaming of going next and why?
I am dreaming of going to Apulia, Italy, the country of my great grandmother.
This new travel planning service connects you with local experts to design a custom trip around your interests.
Painter and sculptor Bosco Sodi’s artist residence in Puerto Escondido is open to travelers for a few weeks this year.
The first new-build resort in the US Virgin Islands in 30 years unveiled their luxury treehouses powered by the sun and wind.
Surround yourself with vacation inspiration all year long.
Sound on: Cicadas at the Pellicano.