Lido, the popular Greenport boutique, started as Heidi Kelso’s passion project 10 years ago. It’s evolved into a lifestyle brand and online store for one-of-a-kind clothing, furniture and home goods.
“In 2012, when I opened Lido as a pop-up shop, my husband and I stayed in Orient and fell in love with it, and now it’s our second home.” (They also have an apartment in NYC.) Kelso’s day job is running HK Media Group, an entertainment company that produces large-scale events and concerts. She also travels frequently to Indonesia and India, working and partnering with local craftspeople to create Lido’s designs.
“I love traveling and exploring different cultures, but I also appreciate returning to the small town feeling of the North Fork,” says Kelso. “It’s peaceful, relaxed, and genuine.”
THESE ARE HEIDI’S FAVORITE NORTH FORK THINGS AS TOLD TO GINA WAY:
The Orient Country Store (950 Village Lane in Orient)
Orient is really Small Town, U.S.A. There’s basically one main road where everything is, including the post office and the Country Store, which is a central hangout. Kids ride their bikes over, everybody stops in for groceries, coffee and especially the baked goods. The co-owner, Miriam, is an amazing baker, and the homemade blueberry muffins are the best I’ve ever eaten.
White Flower Farmhouse (53995 Main Road in Southold)
This Southold shop has a combination of salvaged items and rustic vintage pieces in a neutral palette of white, cream and gray. The owner, designer and curator Lori Guyer has an impeccable eye. This is the kind of stuff you’d see in the south of France: Antique linens, beautiful distressed wood mirrors, white ceramic dishware — and her prices are incredibly reasonable. I never go there without buying something I can’t resist, whether I need it or not.
Veggie dumplings at Opties & Dinghies (1010 Village Lane in Orient)
This neighborhood spot that has homemade Asian food that’s outstanding. I’m partial to their veggie dumplings. You can buy them fresh or frozen (a pack of 16 with dipping sauce is $25). These are always in my freezer.
Southold Fish Market (64755 Main Road in Southold)
When I’m in town, I’m here several times a week for their fresh catch of the day. They make unbelievable homemade soups, especially the lobster bisque and their shrimp corn chowder. It’s a great cheat when you don’t want to cook. I’ll have people over for dinner and just pour one of these over rice or pasta. It makes the most delectable, rich sauce — and I’m never going to be able to make it as well as they do, so why bother?
Latham’s Farm Stand (20055 Main Road in Orient)
Latham’s is a must-stop for Orient locals, and I’m a regular here. You always know that spring has arrived when asparagus is on the stand.
It’s the first crop that’s ready. In the summer, Latham’s sweet corn is unreal. They also have beautiful flowers, especially the gorgeous peonies from their farm.
Bill’s Bread (If you know, you know.)
Bill bakes sourdough bread every couple of days, and if you’re lucky enough to get on his list, he’ll text you the type of bread he’s baking and you can order a loaf. Then you just pick it up at his East Marion front yard bread stand. It’s all on a small-town honor system. This is what the North Fork is all about: Locals who are passionate about something and share that passion with others.
Dan’s Bike Rental (212-380-1119)
I have a bike at home in Orient, but Dan’s are in better shape than mine, and it’s so easy to rent one from him if I want to bike around Shelter Island for the day. I just tell Dan what time I need the bike, and he’ll have it waiting at the ferry for me. He texts me exactly where it is and I drop it back off at the same place at the end of the day.
The lunch counter at Shelter Island Heights Pharmacy (19 Grand Ave. on Shelter Island)
This is a no-frills, old-fashioned lunch counter with ten or twelve stools. The counter and soda fountain has actually been around, unchanged, for decades. If you’re in the know, you come here for a classic breakfast or the best egg sandwich ever.
Vine Street Café (41 South Ferry Road on Shelter Island)
The North Fork has no shortage of great food, but my all-time favorite restaurant is Vine Street on Shelter Island. My husband and I have been going here for almost 20 years and it’s just as delicious as ever. Everything is super fresh farm-to-table, the menu is incredible and the New England-y vibe is so chill.
Sunset at Truman’s Beach (East Marion)
The light in the North Fork is exceptional, and the sunsets are one of the things that makes this area so special. They change at different times of the year — sometimes bright pink or fiery red or deep purple. I never understood people who took pictures of sunsets all the time but I’ve actually become that sunset person now. Truman’s Beach is my favorite place to watch the sun go down over the Long Island Sound. It’s pure magic.