Featured Shop – Cymbidium Floral Boutique • Exeter.Water Street in historic Exeter is a happy promenade, offering a little something for everyone. You’ll find toy stores, beading, bakeries, copy shops, and clothes and more clothes. Picnic in Swasey Park and enjoy Mother Nature, just don’t pick the flowers. Instead visit Jessica Christoferson at Cymbidium Floral Boutique, 141 Water St., where you’ll find a plethora of pretty petals.Tell me about the name, Cymbidium. It’s the name of a type of orchid that is totally upscale, somewhat sophisticated and what I consider to be an elegant and unique flower, and that is what my shop is all about.What makes you different from other florists? We do lush, low, compact arrangements and place them in unusual containers. One customer made wooden boxes for us to use for his wedding flowers. I’ve used mason jars, antique pewter and other cool shapes.On your Web site you show bridal bouquets — did I see one with real strawberries? Absolutely! I love to incorporate fruits; we’ve put in pears, grapes, limes, apples — whatever looks good.For fun, what might you put together for a summer cocktail party? I love to float fruit, such as limes or nice green apples, add water and then have an arrangement of peonies coming out of the top. Another pretty centerpiece is a tall vase full of lemons with forsythia.East Coast Girls Are Hip LunaChics, 131 Water St., Exeter, is where NYC and LAX collide. You’ll find celebrity style and lots of dazzle thanks to owner Dana D. who truly knows fashion. Look for designer jeans including: AG, Hudson, Silver (under $100), Lucky, IT, Not Your Daughters Jeans (forgiving seams!) and more. If they don’t look good on you, staff MUST tell you! Pair jeans with a Michael Stars tee (one size fits all), a pair of Havaianas (flip flops) and a Big Buddha bag (yummy imitation leather bags under $100) and you’re totally rad. Best yet? Dana’s “aunt-in-law” Madge hems jeans on the spot (if there’s not a line) for $15. For more information visit, www.lunachicsnh.com or call (603) 777-9956.Steamy Summer WearTop Drawer, 147 Water St. Invest in a decent bra that fits and is comfortable and you’ll be able to wear any tight tee without the embarrassment of a sudden cold chill. This boutique overflows with undergarments designed to fit all shapes and sizes. Stay in the comfort of the lovely dressing rooms and be prepared to be pampered — the professional fitters are at your service. Best sellers include the Wacoal line ($60-$90), Prima Donna (an array of styles ranging from $80 to $159) and T-shirt bras (seamless with contour cups) which are excellent under tiny summer tanks and tees. Check out their second location in Bedford, 200 NH Rte. 101, or visit www.topdrawerboutique.com. For more info call (603) 778-2211.Serenely SummerWater Street Bookstore, 125 Water St., is where to rest tired feet and put the mind to work choosing a great summer read. This Indy book store is right along the river and has a little cozy reading area for customers to relax and enjoy the view. “The bird watching is fantastic,” says owner Dan Chartland, who could probably sell you a birding book or two. Monthly events include poetry readings and author chats, so pick up a calendar. Great music and staff make this a welcoming stop. Staff recommendations are posted just inside the front door. “Swan Thieves,” “The Millennium Trilogies”and the just-released “So Cold the River” (chilling!) are just a few titles keeping beachgoers out in the sun too long. Visit www.waterstreetbooks.com or call (603) 778-9731.Timeless TraditionCoventry Cottage, 85 Water St., continues to be a favorite destination for those who favor folk, country or primitive art and décor and more. Shelves are full of imported and locally made pottery, European tableware and delicate serving pieces which make wonderful lasting wedding gifts. You’ll LOL over the fun shabby chic hand painted “distressed” wooden signs (super gift for friends with summer cottages) which are huge sellers. For a burst of color on your front door, pick up one of owner Linda Simard’s dried flower wreaths which can be customized to your liking. Visit www.coventrycottagenh.blogspot.com or call (603) 772-4543.
This article appears in the June 2010 issue of New Hampshire Magazine