Self-professed anti-shopper hits the Woodstock Shops….again.
A couple of days have gone by since my last foray out into the wild, wild world of Woodstock retail. I headed out of the office and down Tinker Street. There are several really nice clothing boutiques in Woodstock, but I was honestly not in the mood for clothes today. So I headed for something I’m always in the mood for – BOOKS. It’s always been a fantasy of mine to own a small bookstore. Independent bookstores are few and far between in this age of amazon.com and Barnes & Noble stores full of books on cupcakes. Woodstock is lucky enough to have a great independent bookstore to save us from having to peruse shelf upon shelf of books on cupcakes, The Golden Notebook. The Golden Notebook has been around since 1978. They host weekly author events and thoughtfully select their inventory. This is a bookstore where you can still get a recommendation on a book by someone who’s read one lately!
Next? Well, I’m always in the mood for books and I’m always in the mood for CHEESE!!! I’m supposed to avoid dairy, but what better excuse is there for a nibble of cheese than profiling all the Woodstock shops? One of which just happens to be C’est Cheese. C’est Cheese is a small gourmet cheese shop right on Tinker Street. They sell regional and imported cheeses that are YUM!
This lovely and super friendly “fromager” offered me a taste of Hudson Red a soft, natural rind cheese that is made in Ghent, NY. It was delicious. I didn’t stay for lunch but they do have a sandwich menu featuring their cheeses which is reputed to be aaaweeeesoooome.
Conveniently located next door is Woodstock Wines and Liquors so you can get your gourmet on all at once. I’m not going to even pretend to know anything about wine….sorry. But it’s a nice shop with lots of wine that is well displayed and well dusted. I’ll try to find someone who knows about wine to tell you all if they have a nice selection or not.
The time had come….clothes, but tempered a bit because a I went to Loominus Handwovens which does sell clothing but it is also art. Loominus has handwoven scarves and clothing which is woven on-site. An artist was working on a scarf when I came into the shop which gave the store a feeling of life and energy that not many retail shops have. I’m a fairly crafty person (although I tend more towards glitter than earthy things like weaving) and I have great patience for projects, but I am in awe of weavers. How they can have the patience to prepare the loom even before they begin weaving is beyond me! While Loominus’ goods are fairly expensive (around $200 for a scarf) they’re well worth it when you consider all the work that went into making them.
Next I headed back across Tinker Street to Chez Grandmere. You can almost always find Misty, the proprietress of Chez Grandmere behind her chocolate counter. She sells wonderful chocolate, whenever we’re having a wildly stressful day at the office one of us runs down the street for a box of chocolate to share. Chez Grandmere also specializes in French Country style furniture and home goods.
The best stocked home goods shop in Woodstock is the Guilded Carriage. They have everything from tea to tableware and it is all displayed so artfully it’s as stimulating and going into any of the galleries. I did have a mission when I went into the Guilded Carriage. I have a pot that I bought at Williams Sonoma just before I got married almost 10 years ago and the other day the disk on the bottom of it separated from the rest of the pot. I use it a couple of times a day because it is perfect for almost everything and I was sadly looking for a replacement. The owner of The Guilded Carriage while helping me look for a new pot, got the skinny on my old pot and suggested that I contact William Sonoma and ask them to replace it. That’s service! Missing out on a sale in favor of truly helping a customer. I didn’t buy the replacement pot (I’m really hoping to get the identical twin of my beloved pot!) but I was immediately converted to a future customer. The store,s beautiful – here are some shots.
Last but not least I headed over to Woodstock Hardware. I go in there all the time – we’re big time DIYers. This is the cleanest, most well-organized hardware shop I’ve ever been in. The square footage is tight, but they’ve got everything you need for every project packed in there and organized intuitively. The best part of the store is that they have the greatest old-fashioned customer service. You walk in and someone immediately asks if they can help you, then, COMES OUT FROM BEHIND THE COUNTER and helps you find EVERYTHING you came in for in a friendly non-patronising way (I never can remember the names of tools I need – I know how to use them, just not what they’re called and the guys there always patiently wait for me to explain what “thingy” puts what kind of “goop” onto another “thingy” then they find me both the “goop” and the “thingy” I need). It’s a little tough to get pictures in there because everything is packed right in…and let’s face it you have to be arty when you’re taking pictures of hammers. So, forgive the slight artiness here.
That was the end of my alloted shopping time for one day. Next up? NEW Woodstock Shops! Stay tuned. For more information on living in Woodstock and the Catskills visit our site.