A Butler's Manor, Southampton

Greenwich, CT, may be the hedge fund capital of the world. But a short ferry-ride, and a quick spin in the Ferrari, and you're in the hedge capital of the world, otherwise known as Southampton. Great, long, neatly trimmed hedges, as far as the eye can see. Like a big green blanket, keeping your 11 room beach shack protected from prying eyes. But what about the rest us? Whither the Jitney class? Those forced to scrape out an existence on the wrong side of the hedge. Is a Hamptons holiday out of reach? Is there a life for us South of Route 27? Well yes, as it turns out. A very pleasant life at A Butler's Manor, 244 North Main Street, Southampton, NY, Tel +1 (631) 283-8550. And a very good breakfast, too.

It's a B+B, of course, so if you want the breakfast you need to buy a bed. But you won't be disappointed. Over three mornings, my favorite was an egg strata, which is an egg pie concoction, blending cubes of sourdough, chunks of ham, cheese, eggs, some veggies and a crusty cornflake topping. Baked to perfection by Kim and served with the touch of a seasoned butler by Chris. Very civilized.

This was the first time I'd had egg strata, and it was a welcome discovery. Who knew you could successfully combine eggs and cornflakes in one dish? And just when I thought I'd heard it all, another breakfast discovery lands in my lap. That same day, while chit-chatting over post-wedding drinks and nibbles (including mini-croque monsieurs, to my great delight), I'm asked if I've ever had scrapple. Scrapple? Never heard of it. Until now. But I'm already planning a trip to Pennsylvania to rectify this oversight. How can I resist the lure of a fried slice of pork mush topped with a couple of eggs? Let no part of the pig go to waste.

The only twist with breakfast at Butler's is that everyone dines together and everyone eats the dish du jour. This can be a good thing, since it eliminates the stress of choosing, and you can meet and talk to strangers whether they like it or not. But don't worry. Those with special food or social needs can always request special treatment. The hosts are very accomodating.

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