How Sweet Shopping is in Walpole, NH
Great Chocolate is Just the Beginning
Laura Zindel stoppered bottles from Ruggles & Hunt.
Photo by Susan Laughlin
Get giddy, the Walpole Artisans Cooperative, 52 Main St., is just plain fantastic. Representing nearly 20 local area artisans, this is where you will find the most unusual for home décor, personal accessories, gifts, furniture, wooden objects and more. Each item is handmade by someone in the local area and is spectacular in its own right. The vintage textured Art Quilt Pendants by Loribeth Robare are adorable. Chris Sherwin’s matching glass-blown cardinals are simply gorgeous and make great wedding gifts. Fine art photography by Judy Stalus is stunning and memorable. This month the gallery features student artists from Fall Mountain Regional High School.
Country Fresh Flowers and Goods, 53 Main St., is where to find the freshest flowers in the area artfully arranged with a flair for the unusual. This cozy shop offers unique personal gifts (lotions and soaps from Sweet Grass Farm) as well as an assortment of antiques and re-purposed items that add warmth to any home. Here is where inspiration is in full bloom.
L.A. Burdick Chocolate, 47 Main St., just may be the sweetest place on earth. This is where you’ll find a wide assortment of handmade chocolates made with exotic spices and beautifully presented. Look for the famous mice; The Dark Mouse (dark chocolate ganache with freshly squeezed orange juice, dipped in dark chocolate), The Milk Mouse (milk and dark chocolate ganache with espresso, dipped in milk chocolate) and the White Mouse (dark chocolate ganache with cinnamon, covered in white chocolate). Fun Fact: These mice replaced the traditional wedding cake when Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg married last year. Burdick has the lock on presentation, so let your gift giving be generous.
Next door is The Restaurant at Burdick’s (French-inspired), which serves brunch, lunch and dinners during the summer months. The menu features locally made artisan cheeses, locally grown fruits and vegetables as well as locally raised meats (duck, lamb, and beef), all elegantly prepared and graciously served. The wine list is friendly (not haughty) and features wine by the glass or bottle at very reasonable prices. At the opposite end of the building is Walpole Grocery, a friendly little grocery store offering all that is needed for a secluded weekend. Look for excellent local cheeses, wines, gourmet sandwiches, organic produce and locally raised meats. Prepared food from both The Restaurant at Burdick’s and on premise rounds out the eclectic offerings in this sophisticated and yummy little shop.
Locally made cheeses available from Walpole Grocery.
By Susan Laughlin
Ruggles & Hunt, 8 Westminster St., is where you’ll find fun and funky clothes (Free People), home décor (Dash & Albert rugs), fashion accessories (leather from Mywalit), giftware (Laura Zindel pottery), kitchen items and, well, just about something for everyone of any age. Look for a wonderful selection of cards, local books, funky readers, jewelry, toys and more. This warm and inviting store makes for a wonderful place to linger.
Costume Ladies, 54 Main St., is well known in the New England theatrical world and there’s a good reason for that — it is a play director’s dream. The selection of costumes, shoes, wigs, masks and tuxedo formalwear is amazing. There is even a whole line of “character” costumes (Santa, Easter Bunny, etc.) as well as great reliable theatre makeup from Ben NYC, Wolfe and the Mehron line. While you might think of costumes as being seasonal (Halloween), there is a growing trend for theme weddings and masquerade parties, and that’s one of the many reasons this shop is a destination for so many people.
Furniture Factory Outlets, 604 Whitcomb Rd. (corner of Rtes. 12 and 123), is where you will find major brands (Lane, Rowe) furniture for less. This unassuming building offers three floors of furniture at outlet prices. The memory foam mattresses (queens start at $339) are hard to keep in stock. The handmade cedar and oak porch bench ($289) with cedar-lined storage smells terrific.
Walpole Scoop Shop, Rte. 12N, is where you’ll find some of the best super premium ice cream (high butter fat and creamy) made in New Hampshire by Walpole Creamery. The milk is from local cows, the syrup from local sugar houses and the recipes are from the heart. Look for long lines, messy children and an abundant supply of napkins. The grounds include picnic tables and a few lawn games. This is a great meeting place and the perfect spot to end the day and watch the sunset.