A little bit country, a little bit rock 'n roll.In the heart of New Hampshire's "Currier & Ives Corner," Peterborough was the inspiration for Thornton Wilder's "Our Town," so what better sweet spot for an old-fashioned winter weekend? We weren't expecting the contemporary edge we found in this snow-frosted ville.Saturday MorningInnkeeper Paula's own granola and fresh-baked muffins began the hearty breakfast at Little River Bed & Breakfast that started our day. We headed downtown to the Peterborough Historical Society where we admired American furniture and stepped back into 1785 at the Robbe Family Kitchen. The surprisingly complex collections of Native American, Nepalese, Tibetan and other folk arts at the Mariposa Museum invited us to linger and even play with the marionettes.Lunch at Twelve PineAround the corner in Depot Square, this combination deli-and-foodie emporium had caught our eye earlier. We warmed up with bowls of tomato cheddar soup and designed our own sandwiches from a dazzling selection of meats and cheeses. We made a mental note to return for a bottle of Farnum Hill cider to take home (and maybe a little-bit-of-something from the bakery).Saturday AfternoonOpposite Twelve Pine, a shingled cottage houses Alice Blue, where antiques meld vintage clothes and French laces into a designer clothing shop. Among the quilts, hand-embroidered linens and fine silver are also creamy clothes combining new and vintage fabrics and embellishments. The time-warping mix continued at Sharon Arts Fine Craft Gallery, where such traditional works as John Ryan's Shaker-style furniture and Ella Rank's bucolic felted wool sheep sit side-by-side with Chris Salmon's cutting-edge contemporary art glass and ethereal 3-D fiber art by Wen Redmond.We detoured up Grove Street to Ava Marie Chocolates and made tough choices before leaving with a box containing Best-of-NH-winning Chocolate Pecan Turtles and Fresh Cream Truffles. For bedtime reading, we ducked into independent Toadstool Bookshop to browse the local authors shelf.DinnerNone of the several local arts groups was performing, so we lingered over dinner at Cantine Mexican Kitchen. We liked their blend of local ingredients with traditional Mexican styles - especially the addition of local apples to made-to-order guacamole. Resisting the temptation to order all three chile relleno options for a serious taste comparison, we settled on a stuffing of spinach, apricots, pine nuts and goat cheese, served with pineapple-plantain mole. Pozole, pork stew with hominy, rounded out what was not exactly an old-fashioned Yankee Saturday-night dinner. We retired to our room to read and nibble Ava Marie chocolate by the gas fireplace.Sunday MorningAfter another leisurely Little River breakfast, we stopped to admire the world's best-preserved 1914 American LaFrance fire truck and an 1803 Thayer hand tub at the Aquarius No.1 Fire Museum. We browsed through Peterboro Basket Factory Outlet and scored a picnic basket with imperceptible flaws among the seconds. Nothing works up an appetite like bargain hunting, so we made a last stop at the local icon, the 1950 Worcester Peterborough Diner, and ordered a Brown Cow and a Rootbeer Float for the road.
This article appears in the February 2011 issue of New Hampshire Magazine