Antiquing in a Small Town

So, I just got back from a weekend in a cabin by a lake. Anyone who knows me even a little would raise an eyebrow, knowing that this is my idea of “Roughing It”: a 1500 square-foot A-Frame with running water, cable TV and fully functioning kitchen. But it was located in the woods and there were animals around, so thus, the reason for my classification. My point of this entry: the town nearest the house was so cute! Milford, PA is a beautiful little area that has that great combination of beautiful 19th Century Architecture and a population that really cares for its upkeep.

First stop: Lunch at the beautiful Hotel Fauchere in the center of town. The adorable factor is way off the charts on this one, folks. Beautifully renovated Dining Room (below) with a wonderful menu that rivals some of my favorite cafes in Greenwich Village. I went in prepared to order a salad, but the Turkey Burger literally shouted my name from the menu. Clear winner of the meal: Black Truffle Fries. You heard me. I would maybe consider traveling the 2 hours from New York for another plate. Y-U-M.

We rolled out of the Fauchere after thoroughly enjoying our meals and strolled down Broad Street, picking up some goodies along the way. Then, we came across the beautiful French Normandy-style building known as Forest Hall.

Originally built as the Lecture Hall for Yale University’s Forestry School, the second floor houses a wonderful Antique Shop, appropriately named Forest Hall Antiques, that presented itself as a series of fantastic surprises – in the beauty of the space itself, the variety of pieces contained therein and genuine friendliness of staff (I’m from New York, still not used to that.) A very nice selection of Asian, Georgian, Victorian, and Mid-Century Modern casepieces and seating, combined with a variety of lighting and lots and lots of tchochkes (accessories and such) made the thrill of the hunt an absolute joy.

There is nothing quite like a well-maintained Antique Shop full of curiosities on a lazy vacation weekend. Imagining this table in the foyer, or that chair in the den. So, besides a way to spend time on a Saturday while walking off a lunch, why do I advocate Antique Shops so much?

-Originality: You will find something that nobody else has in their homes.

-History: Each piece has a story, and the marks to prove it. Or if the shop owner does not know the pedigree of the item, it’s far more fun to imagine where the piece came from, and the previous owner’s tale.

-Support: I’d much rather spend my money at the “Mom-and-Pops” than big-box chains such as Wal-Mart or Target (both of which I refuse to patronize.)

-Relationships: If you shop there enough, maybe the owners will be nice enough to let you know when a special piece that you may like comes in.

I know there’s a shop somewhere near your house. Why not spend some time there soon… who knows what great stuff you may find? And if you’re shopping in Milford, PA, say hello to one of its 1,204 residents. They’ll probably say “hello” back!

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