Sunday, August 15, 2010

Nantucket Reds . . . I Mean Oranges

One hears a lot about Nantucket Reds, the iconic trousers sold at Murray's Toggery here on the island.  But this post isn't about them, as there are numerous bloggers, such as Maximinimus, who have written far better treatises on them than Reggie can.

A stack of our Vilebrequin bathing suits

This essay is about the color orange.

When thinking about the beach, many people think of the colors blue, green, gray, white, and sand.  And that is to be expected, since such colors predominate in the landscape.  But what has struck me about this particular visit to the seaside is how often I come across the color orange.

A Nantucket sunrise, from our deck

Reggie is an early riser, and I've been enjoying the sunrises here on the mornings I wake up at dawn.  The colors have been fantastic, ranging from deep cerise, to pink, to orange, and yellow.

Boy's wrist with beach watch and rope bracelet

It's gotten me thinking about how often one sees orange at the seashore, both in the natural environment, and the manmade one, too.  And once I started to focus on it, I found that I saw orange almost everywhere that I looked.

Rose hips at our house

Orange is one of my favorite colors.  I am drawn to it, and I wear it a lot, usually as an accent color.  One of my favorite pieces of clothing is an orange tie from Hermes that I wear with a suit to work.  I call it my Happy Tie.

We found this little orange juice pitcher at our house here on Nantucket, and we have been delighted to use it for its designated purpose.

Bonne Maman Apricot Preserves is a favorite jam.  Not only do I like the way it tastes and looks, but it reminds me of breakfasts in Paris, where apricot preserves are a staple.

We've been attempting to be healthy here, which for Boy includes a morning run in these shoes.

We're also being careful about the sun.  We like and use Clarins suntan lotion, both for the product and the packaging.  We brought lots of it with us.

But suntan lotion alone isn't always sufficient, sometimes you need a hat, too.  Particularly if one is as "hair challenged" as we are.

We brought our own beach towels with us, including this one that Boy was given at a company event many years ago.

But Nantucket has a lot more to offer than its lovely beaches.  There's lots to do in town, too.  Neither of us believe it is appropriate to wear a bathing suit in town, and that means we must throw on presentable clothing every once in a while.  We can't bring ourselves to buy Nantucket Reds, even though we've been coming here for years.  But orange shorts are pretty close.  Or at least as close as Boy is willing to go.

And of course, a pair of shorts requires a belt, preferably a ribbon one.

Even the family Rover got into the act!

When in town the other day I spent a happy hour in Mitchell's Book Corner, located at the corner of Main Street and Orange Street.

Where I bought these paperbacks, mainly because they are bound in orange covers.  I believe I may have even read The Catcher In the Rye here on Nantucket many years ago as a summer reading requirement.  I'm going to leave the books behind in the house we've rented at the end of our vacation.

While walking back to the Rover I passed this orange bicycle.  How fun is that?  I can just imagine its pretty owner, pedaling through the streets of this lovely town.

Back at the house, it was time for a pre-lunch refreshment of San Pellegrino Aranciata.

At lunch I served Nigella Lawson's "Rainbow Room Carrot and Peanut Salad" which I made from her Forever Summer cookbook that I found in our house.  I highly recommend the cookbook, Dear Reader, as it is full of delicious recipes, and Ms. Lawson's writing is exceptionally clever and funny.  I laughed out loud when reading through it.  Delightful.

Ford Waring's stylish orange watch band

After lunch our friends George Pinckney and Ford Waring arrived to stay with us.  Both Ford and Boy are great clothes horses, and they have been engaging in an amusing pseudo fashion war during George and Ford's visit.  At least that's how Ford and Boy have been describing it.

Ford's orange and blue ribbon belt

And the next thing I knew, it was cocktail hour!

At Darlington we exclusively use cloth napkins, even for cocktails.  However, we picked up these paper ones at the (late lamented) Charlotte Moss store in Manhattan to use when we let our guard down, such as when staying in a rental beach house.  Besides, the saying printed on the napkins resonated with me.

And what WASP cocktail hour would be complete without Pepperidge Farm Goldfish?

Our favored summer cocktail at the beach this August is made with Stolichnaya's Stoli Ohranj.  I admit that I bought it chiefly for the bottle to show in this story, but I found that it makes a remarkably refreshing cocktail.   Pour a jigger of the vodka over ice, add equal parts tonic water and club soda, and garnish with a healthy slice of naval orange.  Trust me, you'll like it.

Here's a photograph that I took of Boy the other day during cocktails, looking out to sea.  He's wearing a fun hat that he bought in Rome when we visited there earlier this summer.

Here is a shot of yesterday's sunset, taken from our deck overlooking the ocean.   If you look closely, you'll see a sliver of the moon about two-thirds of the way up the image.

And that wraps up my essay about the oranges of Nantucket.

All photographs by Boy Fenwick and Reggie Darling


  1. Reggie, you and Boy are so clearly people of a natively sensitive aesthetic, and a finely honed perception.

  2. Oh Reggie, Orange ya glad you took this holiday?
    Lovely and cheerful post.
    Off to make that Stoli cocktail and that carrot salad!
    xo xo

  3. Great post! Amazing coincidence that I just bought a pair of "Nantucket Oranges"

  4. Sunrise, sunset...heaven. I am unlikely to see the former, but when I do they're never that orange, more a piercing fried egg yellow in this part of the world anyway. Nigella's books are fun? Have you ever seen her TV cooking show. She's a joy to listen to and watch.

  5. Reggie, when we lived in Amsterdam we we were able to buy Bonne Maman orange marmalade (as we called it) that actually was whole slices of orange in an orange jelly. On wholewheat toast (no butter) it made the most wonderful breakfast. I've never seen it here.

    Lovely post - full of summer and fun!

  6. I would like to be re-incarnated as you & Boy, or, as lucky guests George & Ford.

  7. Reminds me of your Top 5 Le Creuset flame pots.

  8. Great post! I am orange with envy... ;)
    (...too obvious?)
    Looks like a great time was had by all!

    Northern Light

  9. Can't do it. Simply can't do it. Not even ironically. Cannot wear a pair of Nantucket
    Reds. Uh uh. Nope. Not on your life.

  10. But, I hasten to add, I did love the post. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a pink button down to iron...

  11. Damn, the "orange with envy" was already taken...

    Simply spectacular.. (And, where did you get the belts?)

  12. Reggie-It's my favorite post so far. Thurston and I just returned from a week on Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard and it was so wonderful. Perfect weather, wonderful dinners and these photos brought back great memories. Your blog is so wonderful. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with everyone.

  13. Perhaps Pompey needs an orange leash or collar!
    I love the color of the ubiquitous Hermes Orange box.

  14. San Pellegrino Aranciata is one of my favorites! New follower! xx

  15. Unlike Muffy @ The Daily Prep, I LOVE ORANGE and this post. New follower ... Cheers!

    1. Hello Team Aldrich, Welcome, and thanks for your nice comment. As you see, we are rather partial to orange ourselves... Reggie

  16. Dear RD,

    I loved this post, and the fact that there were no Hermes boxes shown! I do, however, wish to see the "happy tie" you mentioned. :)

    1. Thank you, Dean! You will see a bit of Hermes orange in the post I published last summer abouy Pompey at the beach...



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