Brilliance in Bedford

There's great shopping on Rte. 101 and beyond



Jo Jo Loves You earrings, $34, from Smitten Boutique.

Photo by Susan Laughlin.

My ATM card called - it wants to go back to Bedford. This village is rich in retail. Savor cool fall nights snuggled in a ChappyWrap blanket ($115) beside an outdoor crackling fire pit ($149), all from Bedford Fields, 331 Rte. 101. Look for all things garden, all things pet and supplies, home décor, bird feeders, children's toys and more. Wine accessories include candle wicks for old bottles.

Encore Consignment Boutique, The Village Shoppes of Bedford, Rte. 101, is a high-end store that doesn't disappoint. The Vera Bradley collection (many new with tags) offers ridiculously low prices. Look for Chico, Banana Republic, Talbots and other quality brands. The Michael Kors handbag (NWT) for under $100 is just "crazy nuts"! This boutique is fresh, up to date and full of amazing bargains.

Need a little pampering? How about an education on all-natural products? Just Naturals & Co., 176 S. River Rd., is a breath of fresh air, seriously. One visit here and you might find yourself breaking up with the laundry soap you were raised on. You'll find carefully crafted natural products for cleaning, laundry, bath and body, skin care and more. The rosemary mint laundry soap ($9.50 for 32 loads) and orange laundry degreaser are amazing and the all-purpose cleaner (used with a microfiber cloth) totally evaporates nasty smudges and streaks on stainless-steel appliances and granite counter tops.

Hosting this Thanksgiving? Decorate with fresh flowers from Royal Bouquet, 254 Wallace Rd. Bedford "socialites" are opting for low and lush centerpiece arrangements in clear glass (with leaf wrap) bursting with fall colors (celosias are stunning). For a conversation piece pick up a handmade chocolate bowl overflowing with silky handmade chocolate from Stella's, 176 Rte. 101, and your guests will adore you. Perk up the kids with whacky and wild cupcakes from Cupcakes 101, 132 Rte. 101. "Harry Potter Butter Beer" made with cream soda and butterscotch and the "Hostess Cupcake" made with milk chocolate, a marshmallow cream center and drizzled with dark chocolate are best sellers.

Jonathan's Jewelers, 460 Rte. 101, is where "diamonds are forever." The 16.5 carat diamond necklace ($66,000) custom designed by owner Jonathan Crary is brilliant. Jonathan's is known for treating each customer with care and respect regardless of budget and offers on the spot one-item appraisals, ring sizing and stone setting. What's the new "bling" for engagement rings? Halos of stones circling a center stone with filigree and set in palladium (the "new" platinum). An amazing gift awaits customers who spend $500 on a single piece, but I've been sworn to "skiing," I mean secrecy.

Smitten Gift and Clothing Boutique at the Bedford Village Inn bursts with sophistication and style. Load up on Lisse leggings ($56) and pair them with an exquisite print top from Before and Again (there's a reason for the name but I won't tell). Travel wear by Sympli featuring tops in new fall colors of mango and sunray are a must-have in any suitcase. Popular accessories include handmade fur-lined scarves ($69), blessing bracelets and the ever-so-popular (yes, flying off the shelves) sparkle earrings by Jo Jo Loves You.

Alapage, 25 S. River Rd., knocks my ATM card unconscious. This boutique is fashion "on steroids" and that's why so many chic women adore Alapage. Look for the area's most complete line of Brighton accessories, Alex and Ani stack bracelets, a jean bar featuring designers including NYDJ, Free People, Citizen of Humanity and more. Color jeans and animal prints are totally in this fall. Need a dress? Look for Eileen Fisher and Joseph Ribkoff at affordable prices. You'll adore the Michael Stars fall sweater and tops collection full of yummy stripes.

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