Due East…dining and a little shopping in Easton, MD
It was the calm before the storm. Just two days before the St. Paddy’s day snow storm crushed our spring fever, we made it out to Easton, Maryland in Talbot county on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake. I love taking a day trip to sunny Easton, especially when the cafes have their windows and doors open with drapes blowing in the gentle breeze. The charming historic town got its start back in the 1700s and was home to the first steam engines and planes to Baltimore from the shore. Since then, it remains a cultural epicenter of the predominantly rural tidewater area playing host to many art, music and wine festivals. Located just up the road from famed St. Michaels, visitors from all over converge on the somewhat sleepy town of sizable historic homes, charming restaurants and eclectic shops. Be sure to get into town early on a Saturday as many shops close up around 5 pm. Many places are not open at all or have very abbreviated hours on Sundays as well, so be aware of that.
Our first stop and a favorite of mine was Lanham Hall Designs, which moved a few doors down from its original home on Washington Street. A unique assortment of gifts, antiques, modern furnishings, and jewelry make it an ideal spot to find a one of a kind piece for your home.
I then popped over to Dragonfly Boutique as I have visited before and worked with their merchandise when styling a fashion shoot for Whats Up Eastern Shore Magazine. I know they carry good labels such as Nanette Lapore, Eva Franco, Paige Denim and BB Dakota so I wanted to check out their early spring arrivals. Much to my dismay, they were closed up at 5 so I will have to stop in next time. They tend to be classic and feminine with a touch of edge in their buying and moderate in their price point so I am eager to see what they are bringing in for the season. I will be back soon for sure!
Right next door to Dragonfly is Dwelling & Design, a decorating and design store that is home to two of the areas leading interior designers, Fiona Newell Weeks and Don Wooters. Her fearless use of color like watercolored tones paired with sophisticated, punches from bold hues of sky blue, fresh tangerine, and lemon yellow have landed her work in Southern Accents, House Beautiful, and Traditional Home magazines. Don brings a masculine aesthetic and experience designing residences that range from the Mid Atlantic, Europe, and South America to beach houses in the Hamptons and Palm Beach.
I popped into a brand new Vintage book store while my hubby parked the car and was able to pick up a vintage copy of “The History of the Confederacy” as he is the biggest Civil War buff known to man. I was so taken with the charming husband and wife shop keepers who offered me a glass of wine as I perused their extensive collection of vintage books on local and other history. The antique typewriter atop one of the shelves and US flag adorned wood bench were charming additions to the cozy, space with exposed brick and wood plank walls. They were hopeful that shops will start to stay open later as they are new to the market (they just opened in November) and they would love to see more hustle and bustle on the streets as the season gets under way. I will come back to this shop for sure and suggest it to anyone with a ‘book buff’ on their gift list.
It was still early for dinner so we sat on the rocking chairs sipping cold drinks outside Hunters Tavern, at the Tidewater Inn, a spot my husband’s family visited a lot in his youth. The Inn is a destination spot for weddings and it is easy to see why ~ the perfect blend of historic elegance with a fresh, modern update and ball rooms ranging from grandiose to intimate. Under the direction of Eastern Shore native Chef Shiley, unique dishes feature ingredients from local farmers and watermen. Hunters’ Tavern boasts two beautifully designed bars, patio seating and private dining rooms that are perfect for rehearsal dinners and small gatherings.
Finally, we settled in for an early evening dinner at Masons on Harrison Street. Located directly next door to the famed Bartlett Pear Inn (another fave of mine), this charming French country inspired bistro offers a bit of everything. The food was delicious and the brightly appointed space was filling up fast. The springlike weather had some diners opting for the charming courtyard adorned with vintage string lights. They sell their very own label of gourmet chocolates and package them in adorable cellophane bags so of course we brought some home as gifts. Directly next door, they house Masons fine wine shop. It is a brilliant operation and a local favorite for sure!