When a Prince touches down in the socially ambitious Hamptons, snagging an invite can be a slippery slope indeed.
First of all, author Jay McInerney and his wife, Anne Hearst McInerney, who feted HSH Prince Albert of Monaco this weekend, are sensational hosts, they support the arts and the environment
in an enormously generous fashion
, and in person, they are nothing but nice. And, especially after this regal shindig, they are the center of social swirl on the East End of Long Island.
If Truman Capote, having published "In Cold Blood," was at the zenith of his society status when he gave the black-and white-ball in 1966 at the Plaza Hotel
with Katharine Graham, McInerney, who married Hearst on November 21, 2006, at 21, the former society speakeasy, is now enjoying a longer-term embrace by New York society in Manhattan and the Hamptons.
And Mr. McInerney, a wine
expert and world-famous
author, doesn't lord his social cachet over others, the way, say, Capote used to drop names while in a glassy-eyed stupor on "The Merv Griffin Show." Mrs. McInerney's grandfather was William Randolph Hearst, founder of the Hearst Corporation and the alleged subject of the Orson Welles classic film "Citizen Kane." During the brutally warm summer of 2010 on the East End of Long Island, Jay McInerney has quietly become a kind of Jay Gatsby.
Idyllic Setting for Princely gathering
While William Randolph Hearst was known for his zoo-like menagerie at San Simeon, the Hearst McInerneys entertain at idyllic Ashgrove Farm in Watermill, where the couple keep an emu (like an ostrich in a ballgown drape of feathers), presentation hens, and two 3-foot-tall geese, out of a fairy tale, that appear to weigh over 100 pounds each. Sadly, their pet Llama succumbed, possibly to Lyme disease, over the winter.
The sprawling shingled main house
, designed by Peter Cook in the style
of the original farmhouse at San Simeon, includes stone fireplaces, centuries old, collected in Europe by Mrs. McInerney's grandfather. The guesthouse is a modernist structure, recently built, with colorful 1960s-themed art
, including bright squares within squares by Frank Stella.