For Neil Diamond, Nantucket is her home — or the closest thing to it. The founder of Hill House Home had a mobile childhood, moving between London and other parts of the world. But Nantucket, where her paternal grandparents had always had a home, was a place the family would return to year after year. “It was all I knew about America,” Diamond says. “It’s the way I’ve spent every summer since I was born, so it’s a very special place for me.” This deep-rooted connection made this a natural choice as the location for the current pop-up of the home goods and apparel brand, which opened June 3 in a cozy corner spot on the island’s main street, and will run through the summer. It’s the fulfillment of a long-standing dream for Diamond, who has spent years searching for such an opportunity here – a challenging task, thanks to the island’s small size and limited retail space.
Like the Hill House brand itself, the store’s design is based on the charm of the island. “The Hill House’s roots are a blend of the Nantucket, East Coast and New England aesthetic and the very classic British interiors that I grew up with,” says Diamond. “So it was only natural that we put these two things together.” The brand worked with interior designer Madeline Hemingway to liven up the space, mixing traditional Nantucket elements—wicker, cotton, and shades of blue and red—with Hill House designs, including a blue and white version of the trellis printed in Diamond’s office. And of course, there is enough space to try on clothes. “We built this business primarily online, so the whole point of the store is to think, what can you get in the store that you can’t get online?” Diamond says. “It’s that actual experience of putting something on and thinking, ‘Oh my God, this fits so well – and it’s really something we’re proud of.'”
In the aftermath of the opening, we spoke to the Hill House Home establishment about her favorite things to do on the island, including where to eat the most delicious breakfast, the beach to retreat to for a quiet day of reading, where to shop, and beyond Hill House Home, of course.
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Must eat Nantucket
Nantucket is famous for its Portuguese bread, which is the type of sourdough bread. There’s nothing I love in this world more than bread — and I crave bread from this place called Something Natural. It’s stocked in all the grocery stores, and they have an actual sandwich shop on the island called Something Natural. Dreams about that bread. I can eat the whole loaf. I usually make a few and put them in my freezer, and that only lasts a week. They also make these custom sandwiches at Something Natural. I always get the turkey with cheese and a ton of veggies. There’s another sandwich shop on the island called Provisions, and they have something called a great turkey. It’s a Thanksgiving sandwich, so it has literal stuffing. It’s the best thing ever—just a dream.”
Her perfect weekend morning
“Usually on the weekend we’ll do a family outing, which is really nice. We’ll go into town and either go to The Counter on Main Street, at Nantucket Pharmacy. It’s at a little table where you sit on these old benches, and you can order whatever you want – coffee, Delicious food. Then we’ll go down to the boats, because it’s right next to the pier. My kids love watching the boats go in.”
Another great breakfast option
“If you sit down to breakfast, I love Island Kitchen. It’s like the ultimate breakfast place. They’ll make you huevos rancheros, eggs Benedict – they’ll make you anything you want. They also have an ice cream shop attached to it, in case you want a dessert for breakfast, which is a very important shape.” of dessert not to be overlooked.”
Best place for date night
“My favorite restaurant in the world is called Galley Beach, and it’s right on the beach, close to town, and has the most beautiful sunsets. Every Saturday night, that’s where we go. You always see someone getting engaged. It’s kind of like dinner and a show. But I love the food there too.They have the most epic crab cake – that’s what I usually get.There are other places I like, like Lola 41, which does really good sushi, and a relatively new restaurant called The Nautilus right in town that does really great Asian food It’s very hard to get a table for him – you have to line up for him. But one night, when my parents were looking after our kids, my husband and I would come and wait for two seats at the bar. That’s the way we do the Nautilus – always just the two of us.”
Where to go for a drink – and what to order
“For a late night experience you can go to The Chicken Box. It’s a real mix of ages. It’s very college, but they have great live music, with really good bands, and it’s really fun. I’m not a very big drinker. I The worst kind of person – I like to look really pretty. I think a glass of champagne is the most beautiful drink, so that’s what I usually go for.”
The best beaches of the island
“Steps Beach is absolutely amazing. Probably one of the most photographed beaches in Nantucket, because it has these beautiful steps that are named after it. This is my favorite beach for a quiet day reading books. There is one called Ladies Beach where I take my kids. There is also a place called Sanford Farm which is basically a walk to the beach. So if I wanted to socialize with a friend during the day, we’d go for a sexy girl walk at Sanford Farm.”