Shopping in Peterborough, New Hampshire

Peterborough is the perfect place to start the season.

Home décor items at Twin Elm Farm

Photo by Susan Laughlin

My car texted me asking for some sunshine and warmth, so I drove it to Peterborough where I found both along with the promise of summer. Leave it to the faithful shopkeepers in this lovely town to spread the sparkle of spring after a dreadfully long and cold winter.

Morgan’s Way is alive with color and comfy fashions, from casual to office to theatre. Geared toward women who want comfort and class, this boutique (in a rambling old house) has been dressing women for decades. From summer sweaters to dresses and everything in between, this is a great stop. You’ll find genuine, friendly and helpful staff, which goes a long way. Look for summer wear from Nic & Zoe, ISDA & Co. and Adrianna Papell (think summer weddings).

Want to feel sexy but don’t want anyone to think you made an effort? Alice Blue is the boutique for you. This charming, two-story clothing and accessory store is known for its eclectic assortment of fashion for all your moods. Super-comfy soft skirts and dresses from Horny Toad are perfect for work and happy hour. Check out the jewelry line from b.u. collection. The “I totally love my dog” necklace ($68), featuring a precious stone, sterling silver and 22k vermeil is a must-have. The sale rack upstairs features deep generous discounts.

Anytime Apparel is where you’ll find activewear, tops, skirts, dresses and a wide assortment of scarves. Look for lots of white tops and blouses and skirts (all lengths) for warm breezy nights at the lake. Dresses by Salaam (great fabrics and made in Vermont) are affordable and can be dressed up or down. For the artsy look, try the Parsley & Sage label — very flattering. Check out the back of the store where you’ll find amazing markdowns. The owner is enthusiastic and at your service.

Underneath It All will amaze you with its enormous collection of everything only few see. Look for bras (very nicely priced in all sizes), slips, shapewear and sleepwear. There is a yummy collection of special bridal wear (Jonquil) that is sophisticated and lovely. There is also breathable sleepwear made just for those going through “the change.” Look for yoga pants and tops featuring Pure Karma, Prana and Blue Canoe. Service is professional, pampering and accommodating. If you need a special order, that’s not a problem.  This shop caters to all ages, and does not feature anything that would be an embarrassment or need an explanation.

Unique kitchenware at Bowerbird & Friends
Photo by susan laughlin

Bowerbird & Friends is where you’ll find the unexpected and perhaps some long-lost whimsical memories. Look for picture frames from old yardsticks, old oil cans (Tin Man!), hobnail milk glass and more. The assortment of old hotel silver (tongs, creamers, coffee pots, etc.) is irresistible. Beautiful new table linens, candles, soaps and other comfort items abound.  Lamps, furniture, lighting and repurposed items will ignite your home décor imagination. There is a plant room in the back overlooking the river where you can actually make your own terrarium.

When it comes to gifts that are sure to please, people in Peterborough go to The Black Swan. This shop is legendary for its seasonal displays and what is trending. Look for a large assortment of Vera Bradley, Alex & Ani, Crabtree & Evelyn, Trollbeads and more. Get out the debit card; you’ll gush over the jewelry line from Crislu, which features flawless, exquisitely cut cubic zirconia stones hand-set in precious metals in vintage and contemporary designs.

Pick up a note card; you’re going to want to send me a thank-you note for sending you to Twin Elm Farm, Antique and Home Furnishings. This old farmhouse and barn is filled to the brim with antique, vintage-style, and one-of-a-kind home furnishings and accessories. Be sure to check out the men’s library, it sets a whole new bar for how to display items. The flip-top bench farmers’ table is a steal for $280. The shabby chic vintage framed oval mirrors ($35) make great wall accents. This shop is constantly rotating its displays. Mark your calendar, the annual garden event takes place May 2-4 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. This is no ordinary antique store, it's a true treasure.

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