Peterborough Perfection

This picturesque town has it all

Seriously, you're going to want to hit the ATM. Peterborough, one of New England's prettiest villages, is on overload when it comes to theatre, food, art, music and amazing shopping opportunities. Steele's Stationers, 40 Main Street, is the town's gathering place, where people come to pick up their paper and a good conversation. This old-time stationery store is known for its large collection of magazines and pens, fine stationery (Crane's) and more than 4,000 greeting cards. The invitations for a sleep-over are adorable.

Find upscale, artsy and unusual fashions at Morgan's Way, 28 Main Street. Look for Nic & Zoe (whimsical), Eileen Fisher and the ever-so-growing-popular Tea collection for children. Owner Jane Cartmell has an eye for the unusual; the Linea Domani line out of Canada that features asymmetrical lines and embellishments is delicious. Anytime Apparel, 16 Depot Square, is the place to go for fun, funky and just plain anytime wear. Owner Melissa Carson loves color and print and the "ease-ology" of comfortable travel wear that doesn't require ironing or holding in the

tummy. Store displays feature vintage Barbie Dolls from Carson's private (more than 400) collection. Alice Blue, 10 School Street, is a boutique that caters to those who love the light, colorful and feminine side of fashion. Look for April Cornell and Horny Toad active wear as well as comfy linens and casual wear. Nice accessories including scarves, hats and affordably priced jewelry. Don't let the outside fool you – this store is two stories.

Into reuse and recycling when it comes to dressing? Check out Menagerie, 7-10 School Street, where you will find authentic vintage clothing and more. The floor-length fuchsia silk opera coat is a steal for $116. Look for handbags, upscale designer jeans, little black dresses, shoes and fun accessories. Cents of Style, 43 Grove Street, is enjoying a re-birth of sorts. We spied Abercrombie, Hollister, Talbots, Ann Taylor, Tommy Bahama, Banana Republic and other reputable labels. Check out the selection of London Fog and other wonderful trench coats. Good prices abound. Don't leave without visiting Ava Marie Handmade Chocolates in the same building. The turtles made with thick, gooey caramel, nuts and silky chocolate are OMG drop-dead delicious. Be careful of the chocolate bourbon balls – if you eat them while driving you could be pulled over!

Bowerbird & Friends, 16 Depot Square, is an antique, garden, gift and furnishing store that takes its cue from the fascinating Bowerbird of Australia. You must stop in to learn more. This lovely shabby chic store along the river is a happy, calm place that has a European feel. The overhead chandelier made of mason jars filled with sand and hung from an old ladder is truly spectacular and inspiring. The teardrop clear glass bulbs containing a single feather ($10-$20) make awesome gifts.

New England Everyday Goods, 14-20 Depot Square, is quintessential New England and welcoming. The re-purposed bobbins made into electric candles with a single bulb are a buy at $18. Look for gourmet food items including hot pepper jelly (pineapple habanera, $6.50) and mouth-watering nuts from The True Nut Company. The handmade garden hods are simply gorgeous. Balsam fir pillows and glass sun catchers make great gifts.

Finally, don't forget 12 Pine Restaurant and Gourmet in Depot Square, where you'll find spectacular fresh flowers, yummy gourmet cheeses, wines, imported beers and a delightful selection of salads, sandwiches and pasta salads to eat while people watching or to take home.

Categories: Features