Monday, May 26, 2008

New bird on the block Nos. 14 - 20 and then some

In an earlier post I mentioned that I had worked all weekend at Hopkins Vineyard, for their annual Barrel Tasting Festival. I used to work there every weekend about 8 years ago, and they always treated me like I was one of the family, so whenever they call and say they need a hand for a big event, I willingly trek the 50+ miles out to their end of the state and tie on the old apron. Working there -- even off and on -- gives me a renewed appreciation for those who make handcrafted products, run a family farm/wholesale/retail business, and deal with tourists on a regular basis. Remember that scene in Baby Boom where the posh New Yorkers come into the Vermont general store and marvel at the "trendy" flannel shirts and mason jars, condescend to the locals and then buy up all the homemade baby food? Yeah, that kind of thing really does happen. A lot.

In addition to the vineyard, tasting room, and wine bar, they have a retail shop where they sell so much more than just their (fantastic, award-winning) wine. Jams, sauces, cheeses, crackers, tea, candles, home goods, dishes, art, etc etc. Hilary (one of the owners) and Kathleen (the manager) have a wonderful eye for product trends and a keen sense of merchandising. Their attention to detail is fantastic, and they often incorporate flowers from the gardens surrounding the barn into their retail displays.

Imagine the heart palpitations that I had when I walked in and saw this little display:

Really, it was all I could do to keep myself from scooping it all into my trunk and taking off. I've lusted after the plates for a while, on Room Service Home. The salt and pepper shakers are adorable, and I did buy two of the copper bird votive holders (a tealight sits in the wire "nest").

It is hard to tell in this photo, but there is a free-form wire bird with a feather tail woven into this wire "cage".

This is my new favorite plant, a perennial that they are displaying like a house plant next to this antique lamp, Oxalis "Iron Cross". It looks like giant shamrocks with burgundy centers.

Upstairs in the anteroom of the wine bar is this lovely display of teas, incense, napkins, coasters and picnic-ware. Check out that silk umbrella!

Wouldn't an ice-cold mint julep taste great out of this thermos at your next picnic?

Sweet little owls on these Japanese tea cups.

More handmade pottery tea sets, tea tins and another great thermos. Lovely.

If you ever find yourself in the Northwest corner of Connecticut, I do recommend putting Hopkins on your list of places to visit. And if it is during one of their festivals, look for me at the back register.


Mumsie said...

I can't believe THAT IS ALL you bought. That would look lovely with my bird and nest (previously known as vase)candlestick.

knitseashore said...

They clearly knew you were coming when they created the display. Just lovely! You were incredibly restrained.

Thank you for the photos in the shop. I love the tea things especially, and will have to stop when we are up that way in the a-t-mn. (I don't say that word during the summer).

Marie Louise said...

I love those robin's egg blue plates - is that a little nest in the center?! I can picture us eating petite fours from them and drinking strawberry cocktails. Hmmmm...sounding strangely familiar.

littlebyRD said...

This looks amazing! How much fun to a part of it! I would have gone crazy for sure.

perfect bound said...

sweet find. i grew up in CT as well, southern CT. I never make it up north but now I am making it a must do! I'm just getting to know your blog and loving it! I esp love your header. i just did a little collection of vintage bird cages. will I find some on your site as well?