From the outdoor seating to the vintage car stylishly parked just outside, The Hamptons begs to be explored. And then, there is the dead giveaway – weekend queues! Would you queue for breakfast? The guests at The Hamptons certainly do (they take bookings so just to confirm…. that’s three floors of happy people munching their way through a delectable breakfast PLUS the queues eagerly awaiting to get in).
As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by the restaurant manager, Klaudia Ziemnicka. Amazingly warm and professional, she not only has impeccable taste but a passion that oozes from every pore (as we would say in the recruitment world, the Hamptons “Elvis” has been found). Maybe I’ve been in Brand and Talent for too long but I can spot a good ‘un when I see one and Klaudia is just that!
Her journey began last September when she left the elite Kempinski brand for The Hamptons, and Klaudia states that it’s been her best career decision yet. Jumping from a global brand to a local one seems surprising, but only until you realise that it’s an opportunity to work alongside entrepreneurial Hamptons owner and mastermind, Mr. Khalid (an experience that continues to tick all the boxes).
The idea for the café came about when Mr. Khalid Hussain was inspired whilst travelling in the Hamptons in the US and you can see that he not only is entrepreneurial and visionary but passionate about his project (Mr. Khalid himself wandered up and down the stairs around three times during our two hours there, armed with an inquisitive eye and laptop so that’s a safe assumption!)
Despite my best efforts, there wasn’t a single thing I could pick at. The staff’s uniform were immaculate and trying to catch them out with a cheeky question or two about the menu simply saw me fall flat on my face.
The subtly elegant interior is decadent but far from pretentious. About 60% of the diners are Emiratis, including Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who pops in regularly, and you’ll also find families, couples, and ladies get-togethers. The sophisticated atmosphere attracts a high-end leisure audience, but it is also an ideal venue for business events. The Montauk room (a lovely 12-seater space) will soon feature a glass door, allowing it to become an enclosed dining/meeting room with an extra splash of privacy while keeping the signature airy feel of the café.
The nautically-themed decor includes lots of white, creams, navy tones and elegant wood paneled floors. Believe me when I say every brand touch point for the customer has been covered. I was even greeted with their own lifestyle magazine which not only included brand info but also an array of delectable dishes to try at home.
So how does the food and drink rate? Even a simple cappuccino shows off the café’s elegant attention to detail. Mine arrived on a rattan tray, alongside a glass of water and a lovely homemade macaroon.
The menu is casually refined and Hamptons-inspired, with a focus on using fresh and locally sourced ingredients. My Montauk Eggs (poached, with Scottish smoked salmon, sautéed baby spinach, and caramelised onions on Portobello mushrooms) were devoured in minutes!
Post-breakfast, we explored the other floors and wow – the 3rd floor is just epic. Once an open rooftop, it now has framed windows which roll up for that open air, beach-y feel. Decorated beautifully with hanging baskets and jam jar bulb fittings, this inviting space will seduce you into ordering “just one more coffee” and keep you lingering for those few extra moments.
Just when we thought that we couldn’t possibly ask for more, Klaudia highlighted their new Sea View Terrace, where diners can enjoy a cosy atmosphere with comfy lounges while indulging in ocean views. Swoon.
As a café, it’s easy to assume that breakfast is the busiest part of the day. However, the lunch and dinner offerings are equally as creative and varied, and the venue plans to launch a number of extras, including evening entertainment. (PS – that’s in between doing exclusive launches for the likes of Louboutin and Molton Brown, Pink Caravan charity events, PLUS a regular smattering of baby showers, birthdays, and business lunches!)
The staff are well-trained and left me wanting for nothing. In fact, Klaudia explained that they insist on ongoing training, which not only ensures world-class customer service, but also keeps the staff happily engaged and committed to the ongoing success of the brand.
So is it professional to gush this much about a venue? In this instance, yes.