Archive for May, 2010

Deals & Steals: Memorial Day Edition

Memorial Day Weekend – the unofficial beginning of Newport’s “fun in the sun” season; when boats take to the bay, dining al fresco is divine and nights out on the town are filled with that unmistakable summer energy. With the promise of Mother Nature on her best behavior, enjoying the best the City-of-the-Sea has to offer should be a priority.

Today marks the beginning of the much-awaited Second Annual Bling Sale by JoJo’s at Bellevue Beauty Walk on Bowen’s Wharf. Here’s the deal: Mini Blings: 3 for $50, Blings: 3 for $60, Party Blings: 3 for $75. Mega Blings:  3 for $90 *Sale offered through May 31

The shops at Portsmouth’s Clock Tower Square are hosting a GIANT Tent Sale Saturday through Monday. At Pink Pineapple , you’ll find light cashmere sweaters for $99, madras dresses at $30 and madras skirts at $20, plus fun jewelry and other accessories on a $5 and $10 table. Rumor it this is a not-to-miss event. NOTE: CASH/CHECK ONLY. Lou Lou’s Décor, formerly of Tiverton Four Corners and now getting comfortable in their Portsmouth digs, is offering savings up to 75% selecting home accessories. Deborah Winthrop Fine Lingerie is promising 70% off select items (mention you are a Facebook Friend and receive 10% off one non-sale item)! The Groovy Gator and Stalise are also in on the tent sale with great deals all weekend long. (pictured right, accessories at the Pink Pineapple)

Whether you’re going for a casual chic ensemble for a barbecue or sunset cocktails at Castle Hill on the Adirondacks, Kristina Richards on Touro Street has the look for less with sale pieces marked up to 75% off.

French Source, purveyor of fine tablecloths by Amelie Michel in Provence, marks the holiday with linens including tablecloths, runners, napkins, placemats, bedcovers and shams as well as home accessories at drastically reduced prices. The warehouse sale runs Saturday, May 29 through Monday, May 31 and Friday June 4 through Sunday June 6. The French importer is located in Aquidneck Coporate Park at 127 John Clake Road in Middletown.

May 28, 2010 at 11:15 am Leave a comment

Food, Wine and a Smashing Good Time

I’m just back from the Nantucket Wine Festival, where more than 200 wines from around the country were featured, as well as various fabulous champagne vintages from one of the event’s sponsors, Veuve Clicquot. With international luminaries including Todd English and Ming Tsai, the festival has grown exponentially from it’s grassroots start 14 years ago. Events at the best locations, including The White Elephant, the Great Harbor Yacht Club and Nantucket Yacht Club as well as symposiums, seminars, cooking demonstrations and wine-paired dinners at lauded restaurants like American Seasons and Galley Beach, throughout the five-day affair make for a gastronome’s paradise.

What does his have to do with Newport? Well, for one, coastal New England islands are like cousins linked by the sea, and it was a reminder how fun (and easy) it is island hopping. I chose the Hy-Line high speed ferry but it’s easy enough to get to The Gray Lady by sea as it is by air.

Even better, some of Newport’s shops and eateries carry some of the featured wines and foodstuffs found at the festival, like Cape Cod’s traditional French bakery Pain d’Avignon (the official bread of the Nantucket Wine Festival). You can find their flaky crust fabulousness delivered daily at le petit gourmet on Bellevue Avenue and used at restaurants including Tallulah on Thames. Chef Jake Rojas uses the Hyannis-based boulangerie’s buttery brioche in the restaurant’s Aquidneck Farms 143.6° Poached Egg, an amazing appetizer featuring Allen Farms pea greens, Pain d’Avignon’s brioche, and bacon topped with a black truffle vinaigrette (above).

The Ocean State was well-represented with Matt Jennings, Executive Chef/Owner of La Laiterie and neighboring cheese shop Farmstead, both in Providence, hosting a cheese seminar (featuring all domestic cheeses) with California’s Newton Vineyards. Jennings knocked it out of the park, featuring Blue Ledge Farm’s “Crottina,” a soft-ripened goat’s milk cheese (pictured at left); Old Chatham Sheepherding Company’s “Nancy’s Camembert,” a “bloomy rind” sheep’s milk cheese; Cato Corner Farm’s “Bridgid’s Abbey,” a natural rind cow’s milk cheese; Spring Brook Farm’s “Tarentaise,” an Alpine-style aged cow’s milk cheese; and finally, Green Mountain Blue Cheese Company’s “Gor-Dawn-Zola,” a cave-aged cow’s milk blue.

Newport’s own food and wine events coming this summer range from family friendly and casual (like this Sunday’s Great Chowder Cook-Off at the Newport Yachting Center)  to the extravagant (the Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival in September). Making it’s debut this year, the Newport WineFest is garnering a lot of buzz, set to make a splash in August.

Do-it-yourself gourmands should look into local class with local chefs though Newport Cooks or reserve a spot at the Newport Wine Cellar’s Wednesday Wine Classes ($35.00) where you’ll sample 3-4 wines, usually themed by region, vintage or another similarity,  paired with light hors d’oeurvres.

Bon Appétit!

May 25, 2010 at 1:13 pm 2 comments

Hatley in Newport, eh

Maybe I can blame the handful of biblical-proportion rains we’ve had this spring, or simply because it was colorful and precious, but my eyes were drawn to a display window at Brick Market Place last week, across from Brick Alley Pub. Pastel children’s umbrellas with everything from moose to geese to watermelon slices, kids rain boots with horses and slickers for little ones– some with strawberries, others with alligators and, in true Newport style, one sporting chocolate labs sailing single mast sailboats! Newport’s Hatley boutique is just one of half  a dozen in the U.S., and is a brand that has been well-known in its native Canada since it started 20 years ago. The family-run business runs on a set of principals: good design, quality and loads of laughs. In the Brick Market Place boutique you’ll find soft, comfortable cotton pieces for men, women, babies, small children and some piece tailored specifically for ‘tweens. The women’s line includes sleepwear, boxers (yes- for women, no more stealing your man’s underthings!), fitted t’s, tanks,  rain boots, socks and totes, while pajamas, playsets, dresses, t’s, swimsuits and cover-ups for little ladies are cute as a button. Men have their choice of boxers sporting funny sayings and comfortable casual wear.

But the “awwww” factor also includes cute home accessories like funky napkins, kitchen textiles, oven mitts, magnets, water bottles, mugs and much, much more. Bring your sense of humor when you visit Hatley at 101 Swinburne Row in Brick Market Place in downtown Newport or get  a preview by visiting

May 23, 2010 at 10:06 am 2 comments

Come In, We’re Open

The flowers are blooming, foot traffic downtown is picking up, and restaurant patios and hot spots are rolling out the welcome mat…Spring is synonymous with new life, and in America’s First Resort, it also means new shops across our retail landscape. Of course, seasonal shops are nothing new here, but many of the new businesses that have opening their doors of late have intentions of staying a long time.

Here are just a few:

Spring Street Books, 42 Spring Street: The last in a strip of green-awning shaded shops across from Coffey’s Citgo at the inters ection of Touro Street, this cheerful book shop (occupying the former space of The Replica Boutique) specialized in rare, used and out of print titles.

Love Logos, 99 Spring Street: This monogramming services company is a welcome addition for brides and grooms looking to personalized their wedding. From invitations and cocktail napkins to aisle runners and table numbers, designer (and newlywed) Cynthia Gage can customize every detail of a wedding celebration.

Newport Body Bar, 99 Spring Street: An intimate personal training gym created by certified personal trainer Thomas Gage, the Body Bar offers one-on-one and couples training, nutrition consultations and tanning packages (just in time for bikini season).

Be Dazzled, 225 Goddard Row in Brick Market Place: With fashion jewelry and accessories for women, this shop has eye-catching finds at varying price points.

Alchemy Beads, 125 Bellevue Avenue: Make your own unique jewelry, learn the art of designing in bead classes, host bead parties and more. Grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony at 11 a.m., June 1.

Twig, a branch of WAVE, 146 Bellevue: Fans of the once-popular but now defunct shop WAVE on Bellevue’s Casino Block, which then relocated across from the Hotel Viking before closing its doors, will be relived to find Twig, brought to you by the team behind wave. Home accessories, objets d’art, artisan gifts, funky finds; it the kind of shop to have to see (and enjoy) for yourself.

Lulubelle’s, 182 Bellevue Avenue: Not technically new, but because we’re getting asked fairly often, we’ll clarify. This shop on the Casino Block was formerly known as Wellspring, and is still under the same ownership and stocked with the same fabulous gifts, home accessories, fun books, locally-inspired decorative signs and more.

Happy Shopping!

May 20, 2010 at 9:35 am 5 comments

Lilly, Lilla & Lobsters

Following a soft opening in March, the Angela Moore boutique is officially up and running on all cylinders at its new 190 Bellevue Avenue address, touting some great pieces for summer including Manuel Canovas swim and resort wear, beaded bags from Moyna, hats from Hat Attack and the latest Big Buddha handbags.  Top sellers from Christopher Blue, Melly M, Lilla P, an array of Jack Rogers sandals (including this season’s fabulous metallic styles) and brand new designers including Julie Brown are interspersed among the complete Angela Moore collection of jewelry, fashion and home accents. Some of the most eye-catching pieces were the totally sweet light cashmere sweaters by Two Bees. I knew the anchor-emblazoned one looked familiar, and after a little detective work, discovered it was in the April 2010 issue of Coastal Living. Similar cashmere sweater by Two Bees at Angela Moore include a version with an anchor and one with a horseshoe- perfect for Newport Polo at Glen Farm in Portsmouth (which kicks off the last Saturday of this month with the annual Newport Rotary Charity Match). The boutique’s neighbor, J. McLaughlin, who’s arrival on Newport broke here first, is on schedule to open this month.

Top, beaded bag with anchor detail by Moyna; above left, 12 gauge cashmere knit sweater for women by Two Bees; above right, 100% silk Set Sail men’s tie by Angela Moore; immediate right, Jack Rogers Hamptons Navajo in metallic silver

May 13, 2010 at 10:55 am 10 comments

LOCAL TALENT SPOTLIGHT: Designer Merges Modern Style and Mommyhood

While many fêted their mothers this past weekend, motherhood is what has inspired local designer Anna Hattendorf to launch her own eponymous line of bibs and multi-use bags (diaper/wipes, make-up) in addition to commissioned pieces. She also puts to use her Masters in Fine Arts in Jewelry Design from Savannah College of Art and Design by fashioning sterling silver bracelets, necklaces and “rattle” rings. “I majored in studio arts focusing in sculpture,” says Anna.  “After school, I went to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico where I learned jewelry design and fabrication. From there I returned home and began teaching and working as an assistant to sculptor Howard Newman of Newman’s Ltd.” After being promoted to studio manger, Anna worked on local restoration projects including Touro Synagogue. Her MFA thesis lead her back to the fiber arts, where Anna began incorporating both disciplines, textiles and metals, into one. “When my husband and I discovered that we were pregnant, I immediately was inspired to create for the baby,” she says. “I wanted to make things for her like my mom used to do for my sisters and I, thus Anna Hattendorf Designs was born.” Eco-minded, Anna uses a bit of new materials while re-purposing existing fabrics from men’s dress shirts, shower curtains, old pants and more. “You name it, I will use it,” she says. “I also ask people I know who happen to be traveling to keep an eye out for unique trims and fabrics when they are out and about to broaden my collection.” With bold colors and modern patterns, some may say her 7-month old daughter, Freja, is the best-accessorized baby on the island. “She drives me to be creative, even though as a new mom it is hard to get the time to do so,” says Anna, who plans to launch an Esty site in the near future.

Anna Hattendorf Designs are available at The Groovy Gator, with locations in Portsmouth and Newport. Follow the designer at

May 11, 2010 at 1:16 pm 2 comments

MOTHER’S DAY EDITION: Showing Mom the Love

Because its called the hardest job on earth, moms deserve to be pampered all year long, but most especially this weekend. Start today by stopping by The Apothecary on Broadway for a complimentary half-hour facial with Murad skin care products with the purchase of any Murad product.  Get your beauty back with a complimentary bareMinerals make-up application. If you’re shopping for mom, receive a free, full size Rare Minerals Triple Treatment Eye Cream (value $28) with any retail purchase of $100 (valid through May 9th).

On Saturday, Stalise in Portsmouth’s Clock Tower Square salutes mom from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with 20% off all spring merchandise – dresses, tops, bottoms, and more. I did a little pre-sale recognizance and have my eyes on a sweet Chetta B dress with a beaded collar and pockets- love it!

Starting at 4 p.m. on Saturday, gallery owner and jewelry designer Jessica Hagen-Hill will be hosting a trunk show featuring vintage-inspired jewelry made especially for the Newport Historical Society. There’s no fee to attend and the show runs until 7 p.m. at the Museum of Newport History at Brick Market at the foot of Washington Square. Visit Jessica’s gallery and studio by appointment to see more of her work and exhibits by  local and regional artists that range in style from abstractionism to realism including painting, sculpture, glass and jewelry.

All moms visiting Fluke Wine, Bar & Kitchen on Bowen’s Wharf this Mother’s Day will receive a complimentary Grape Crush Cocktail (made from sweet green grapes) or glass of Roederer Estate Rose Sparkling Wine. Sunday also mark’s the introduction of new dishes on the springtime menu; restaurant opens at 5 p.m.

Finally, all mommies of four-legged friends should check out BMW, Beer & (dog) Biscuits on the patio at Wag Nation on Newport’ s William Street from 3pm to 5pm. BMW of Newport will be there to showcase some fine rides and to demonstrate  Kurgo safety products for Fido on the go (they are, of course, your fuzzy precious cargo…) Savor artisan beer from the Newport Wine Cellar while your dog enjoys some yummy biscuits.  Special promotions at Wag Nation: 15% off all Kurgo, a raffle, 20% off apparel and a special grab bag (promo good all weekend).

May 7, 2010 at 1:14 pm Leave a comment

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