We wake up in Ina’s East Hampton barn that has been inspired by the simple country buildings of Belgium, designed by architect Frank Greenwald, and filled with overtired women and gay men. Weary of the trials of modern life, these wayward pilgrims seek a reprieve from overzealous Soulcycle instructors, their communications and PR jobs, and whatever dumbass thing the President said that day.
A gentle chime awakens us, and whoever are on sunrise beverage duty float around the rooms delivering coffee, fresh squeezed orange juice, or Bellinis. There are no rules surrounding sobriety or lack thereof; the only crime is a shortage of GOOD liquor and FRESH ingredients.
After our choice of morning pick-me-up, we assemble in the kitchen for a light continental breakfast with eggs collected from the chicken coops and silverware stolen from Gwyneth Paltrow’s various Goop stores. All Instagrams of food or other elevated lifestyle detritus have to be approved and copyedited by the Social Guru, who will be the first to remind you that she is not an intern and received a liberal arts degree from Yale.
After a group meditation, yoga, podcast, or general bitching session, we switch out of our seasonal Ralph Lauren pajamas and retire to our respective tasks that we have been chosen for. The Cult of Ina Garten has a long waiting list, and those that have a tangible skill like carpentry or creative bartending are selected first. Beautiful gay men are, of course, at the top of Ina’s list.
The break for lunch is accompanied by several of Ina’s salads, sides, and sandwich spreads along with a full open bar. A post-lunch siesta is not required but highly encouraged because why the hell else are you here??
Weekday afternoons are spent working on the various hobbies you always wanted to try but didn’t have the time or energy to attempt with a 60-hour work and social schedule to attend to. Finally, that luxe birdhouse company on Etsy can take garish flight or even tinier dog breeding can take place. The world is your oyster, and not the buck-a-shuck happy hour kind.
On weekends the men or “Jeffreys” as they are called en masse arrive in East Hampton via Jitney, while the head, blessed Jeffrey is choppered in through a sponsored Blade he and Ina cheerfully tag on Instagram. While all Jeffreys can’t accept this pilgrimage their loved ones have made to this Mecca of obscenely high thread count sheets, they can at least appreciate the bounty Long Island has to offer without bumping into their intern at Surf Lodge.
Ina herself often appears to greet her collected orphans of late capitalism, usually in a sensible button-down or caftan. Rather than voraciously thank your gracious hostess, she simply prefers for you to pass the cheese plate, and that extra Aperol spritz if you have it on hand. Long live the Queen of East Hampton!