Merchants of Meredith

There are rich retail offerings in this Lakes Region town

Dressy dresses at Lady of the Lake.

Photo by Hannah Burchard

Just my luck. I found what I didn't know I needed in Meredith. At the end of the day there were apparently many things I didn't know I needed. Meredith is lush with little shops, galleries, antique and consignment stores and, of course, the Mill Falls Marketplace.

Waukewan Antiques is small and full of "real" finds, not junk. You will find a nice selection of Victorian color glass including hobnob and coin dot patterns. Look for old toasters, irons, wooden rolling pins, coins, old wooden toys, kitchen items and other fascinating items. Can't find what you're collecting? Head into Once New Vintage Wares and ask for Cheryl Hook, who has a nose for finding great items. Her shop is pleasantly filled with antiques including old carpenter tools, glass doorknobs, canning jars, window pane mirrors, sterling silver plate and more. The old wooden cigar boxes are a steal at $12. Still want to find treasure? Parkledge Antiques and The Etcetera Shoppe, both along Rte. 25, are good places to browse.

Tucked back at 4 Water Street you'll find the non-profit Meredith Thrift Store. It's like a garage sale with walls and all items are donated. Look for $1 racks, $2 jeans and 50-cent baby clothes. Last year $7,000 went back into the community.

Chi-lin Arts and Antiques of Asia expresses the Asian aesthetic in Japanese antiques, local artists and gift items, including teas and accessories. On a nice summer day look for the rooftop Satori patio for a light lunch.

If you're addicted to the Food Network, you must visit So Little Thyme, a Kitchen Shop. From high-end kitchen knives to pie crust rim shields ($4.25) there's something for everyone here.

Love consignment? Look no farther than Consigner's Avenue, which used to be called Carmel's Closet. You'll find a generous selection of handbags from Dooney & Bourke, Coach and Mary Francis ($99). Expect only the best in gently worn clothes from Ann Taylor, Hollister, Abercrombie, Ralph Lauren and others. Menswear and furniture have just been added.

For "any" occasion, a visit to Patricia's is a must. If you're going to a high-brow summer wedding, save yourself the trip to Boston. Chances are good you're going to find something here. Owner Patricia Hann caters to women of all shapes and sizes (4 to 4X). Hann is a stickler when it comes to making women feel good about themselves and has a separate room dedicated to just swim (including post-mastectomy) and resort wear. Better yet, Hann will not let you buy anything that makes you look fat.

In the Mill Falls Marketplace, The Country Carriage is a gift store and more. Savor the smell of the unique candles, feel the softness of the baby items and take time to explore the aisles of greeting cards from lol funny to soul searching. The emergency flasks ($20) for women are hysterical. Adornments offers unique jewelry and fun fashions. The summer fedoras in yummy colors ($15.95) are sure to catch the eye. Lee's Candy Kitchen is a bright and cheery spot full of confections, calories and, if you're not careful, guilt. Buyer beware! Oglethorpe Fine Arts & Crafts features all handmade gifts and wonderful art. Plan to linger here. Innisfree Bookshop is the place where everyone in the family can find something. Admit it: we all enjoy a few good "summer romance" novels, especially at the lake. The Guest House is a stylish beading studio (great place to park it on rainy days) featuring a wonderful selection of beads and inspiration.

Great Northern Trading Company fills the demand from the back seat for souvenirs and T-shirts branded with "Lake Winnipesaukee." Fun tees and more.

New Hampshire Interiors features custom-built furniture for the somewhat sophisticated and campy home. Look for detail in the work; the handmade canoe coffee table ($1,895) is a masterpiece. The Lady of the Lake is where to shop for the special moments in your life, especially weddings. You'll find a nice selection of dresses for mother of the bride (or groom) and guests. Popular labels include: Simply Silk, Sangria, Adrianna Papell and more. Bridal accessories include strappy heels and a nice selection of beaded clutches.

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