Bide Your Time in Bedford

The state is crawling with presidential candidates and members of the national and international media. It seems we all must do our part to make sure we keep our number one spot in the nation, but there’s only so far most of us will go. We don’t like to be called “quaint.” The shops in Bedford are proof.

So I admit it, I had a summer fling — it was brief, delicious and my love still lingers. It was a salted milk chocolate from Stella’s Fine Chocolates and I’m in therapy. You must go to Stella’s for the most amazing chocolate presentations this side of Sweden. You’ll find the chocolate “Lobster Bake” made entirely of chocolate as well as chocolate bowls filled with homemade crazy chocolates. The wedding favors are both memorable and adorable. Stella is the name of the owner’s grandmother, whom, we all can assume, was very sweet.

Smitten is a lovely little boutique at the Bedford Village Inn. When dressing a little bit more than casual (those house parties, remember?), you will find great looks here without looking too dressy. Displays throughout the store demonstrate how a few choice pieces paired with jewelry can make you the center of attention. It’s all about comfy and classy. The jewelry is sophisticated and artsy. Look for a lot of mixed metals this fall in necklaces and bracelets as well as the use of old European coins.

Encore Consignment Boutique offers gently worn clothes from sophisticated women from Bedford who believe in recycling their designer and not-so-designer clothes. The store is bursting with racks of clothing that is fresh, contemporary and offered at ridiculously low prices. There is a whole section of “new with tags” Vera Bradley bags, hardly used Dooney & Bourke, Coach and Michael Kors. Look for an entire rack from Chico’s in sizes from 0 to 4. The longer the item is in the store, the greater the discount.

Just Naturals & Co.
photo by lisa brown

Don’t worry, be happy with a roll-on therapy fragrance from Just Naturals & Co., crafted by owner and super-genius Karen Girardo. For gardeners, try the bug spray (mosquitoes and black flies) and the sore muscle soother. The home cleaning products, which include laundry soap and stain remover, fly off the shelves. This year there are new scents of foamy hand soaps in bold fragrances. The body gloss moisturizers are also top sellers and come in a variety of romantic aromas.

Paint, sip and relax. What more does an aspiring artist need? Catching up with friends is difficult in the busy world we live in, so pause. Get your besties together and head out to The Canvas Roadshow, where you can learn how to paint while sipping wine. (Doing both at the same time? I’m so challenged.) 

An artist leads the class as everyone dips brushes in magnificent colors and transforms a canvas. In the end, you politely down the glass and take your new masterpiece home.

Alapage Boutique is nothing but trouble for those on a budget. You might start thinking of hiding places because, let’s face it, there’s so much here that you need. Starting with work wear. Look for Eileen Fisher, Very Vineyard and dresses by Joseph Ribkoff. For jeans, you will find so many brands in so many styles and sizes that it is almost impossible to leave without finding a perfect pair. Staff is very attentive if you need help from the changing room.

Love is in the air. When you walk into Modern Bride & Formal Shop, you’ll think you’re on the set of the television show, “Say Yes to the Dress.” The brides-to-be stand before floor-to-ceiling mirrors; designer and not-so-designer dresses flow in and out through curtains, and mothers and others sit and bite their lips, or not. This is the place to find the perfect dress for the perfect day. There is a markdown rack in the back with deep discounts that will remind you of the old Filene’s Basement. Sniff.

Let’s face it, we all could use a lift, and Top Drawer has it and more. It’s all about feeling pretty and comfy underneath it all and the people here are experts at having you achieve that. The staff knows how to find a bra that fits, flatters and doesn’t break the bank. There’s shapewear (Spanx and others) and a beautiful assortment of lingerie and loungewear. This shop is classy; you can bring your daughter here and they’ll be comfortable.

Why not send flowers for no reason? PJ’s Flowers & Weddings is the go-to source for people in Bedford who want a little something out of the ordinary. Owner Patrick Hoffmann has been creating artistic arrangements for more than 30 years. He knows flowers and how to work within budgets, especially when it comes to the nervous bride-to-be selecting wedding flowers. Look for exotic flowers, great prices and, of course, Patrick, who is just about everybody’s BFF.

Categories: Features