Our three-year-old daughter, India, is the house alarm clock on Saturdays. She’ll wake us up at around 7.30am and we’ll have breakfast at home. If my stepdaughters, 19, 16 and 11, are there, they like to make French toast. I’ll then go for a run. Westport is where I can find peace and get inspiration for designing. Mainly, though, it’s a good place to be with India, Dashiell, my 14-month-old son, and my husband, Harvey.
When I get back, I’ll take the children down to Compo Beach with Rocky, our Norfolk terrier, and our rescue dog, Myrtle. The beach is their favourite place to run around, although you have to watch out for skunks; it’s so hard to remove the smell if the dogs get sprayed.
We’ll then visit The Organic Market, a shop where they make delicious ready meals with local and organic produce. I buy my daily juice there; I am not a dieter so this is never instead of a meal.
We’ll meet Harvey for a late lunch at The Gray Goose, which we love for its casual, almost pub-like atmosphere and delicious comfort food. In the afternoon, we might visit The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, where they have a really big shark and stingray tank. The children love it, although India did once try to climb in.
Another place we like is the Birdcraft Sanctuary, where they have lots of rescued birds and birds of prey. Dashiell’s favourite thing is to go for a walk in the BabyBjörn and we all do some twitching.
Then it’s home, where the children have tea before Harvey and I head out for dinner on our own or with friends. The Whelk is the buzziest restaurant in town; it serves great cocktails and seafood next to the Long Island Sound. Later, we’ll watch a film; we normally see three a weekend. Sometimes we’ll go to the Westport Country Playhouse, although we mainly see shows with the children there such as The Nutcracker at Christmas.
On Sunday we’re up with the human alarm clock and I’ll go to the gym. Then we’ll all head into town for brunch at Tavern on Main, a very cute restaurant in a building dating back to the early 1800s. Westport has a good array of shops so I’ll pop into J Crew for some basics, and there is a fantastic underwear shop called Soleil Toile where I get my swimwear. My daughter loves to do art projects so we’ll get some materials at Max’s Art Supplies. As a treat, I’ll take my stepdaughters and India to pick up trinkets in Claire’s. I might also stop in at Mitchells, the area’s most high-end boutique. It stocks McQueen and Saint Laurent – I recently bought some Zegna shirts for Harvey there.
Then it’s off to the Pickin’ Patch in Avon where you can pick your own fruit and vegetables. It is also a garden centre. I’m not very green-fingered but they have been very helpful with our re-landscaping.
If I haven’t got the children, I’ll go to George Subkoff Antiques which, among other things, has an unparalleled selection of English and French decorative art and furniture, primarily from the 18th and 19th centuries. Subkoff works with some of the world’s top dealers, which gives him great access to many private collections.
In the afternoon, Harvey and I will relax with the kids; we’ll watch a children’s movie, do art projects or play board games. India likes to try and play Scrabble, although she can’t spell yet. For dinner, my Jamie Oliver cookbook comes out and I’ll make something like fish pie or roast chicken. Harvey and I will watch another film and I’m in bed by midnight. On Monday mornings, we head back to New York, where our lives are very social and we live at a different pace. Westport is my weekend antidote.