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LCT visits New Preston: The quintessential New England village |

LCT visits New Preston: The quintessential New England village

NEW PRESTON — In a new feature, Litchfield County Times will be visiting nearby towns and villages and discovering what makes them special.

Our first stop is New Preston. Over the years the short but significant main street has become a mecca for the best shops — everything from designer clothing to garden accessories, home furnishings, farm-to-table offerings, a prize-winning candy shop, a chic country store offering everything from clothing to household accessories, a comfort food restaurant, a popular antique shop, an exceptional hair salon and a place to unwind — the perfect wine bar.


The first shop one encounters is Dawn Hill Antiques (dawnhillantiques.com), a mainstay of this charming town. Pauline and John Peden opened their shop over 20 years ago and ever since it has been the go-to place for the finest in Swedish antiques and design. Carefully selected and beautifully displayed, one is hard put to leave empty-handed.

Before leaving Dawn Hill, climb the stairs to check out Upstairs Antiques, several rooms of dealers showcasing antique furniture, rugs, artwork and decorative objects.

If you need fortification before you start your tour, stop in at Nine Main Bakery Deli (ninemainbakery.com) for fresh salads and creative sandwiches, a sampling of home-baked cakes and cookies, coffee, tea and other nonalcoholic beverages.

Joanna and Bill Seitz are the ones who started the whole design influx to this tiny town. Over 30 year ago they opened J Seitz (jseitz.com), offering a distinctive, carefully chosen selection of furniture, antiques, women’s and men’s apparel and accessories, gifts for babies and pets.

Adjacent to J Seitz is Pergola (pergolahome.com), where David Whitman and Peter Stiglin have created a center for the unusual and the unique in garden-related objects. There is a strong Japanese influence and one can find everything from topiaries to exotic plants to garden furniture and beautiful books.

Stroll further up the street to New Preston Kitchen Goods (newprestonkitchen.com), where Marty Rook has cornered the market for the best in kitchen utensils, place settings, dinnerware, glasses cookbooks — everything culinary you could ever want.

Before heading to the next shopping delight, stop in at The Smithy (thesmithytore.com) across the street. Housed in what was originally an 18th century blacksmith shop, it now is a place to find locally grown vegetables, condiments and products made by area artisans. Generally there is an art exhibition on the second floor, always worth a visit.

Suzanne Cassano and Richard Lambertson, owners of Privet House (proivethouse.com), have put together an extraordinary assortment of tabletop treasures, pillows galore, vintage furniture, soaps, candles, scarves, a finely honed selection of jewelry, and an incredible rare book department. Next door is Privet Lives (privetlives.com), featuring a series of pop-up shops from both local and visiting designers.

For the candy connoisseur, Sweeets has something to satisfy everyone’s sugar craving, from chocolates to jelly beans and everything in between. Next door, Dana Schulman, owner of DK Schulman (dkschulmandesign.com) and Sweeets, offers up a wide variety of style books, baby gifts, mommy gifts, dog gifts, hostess gifts and wedding gifts, in addition to the best place for custom stationery, invitations, and sensational gift wrappings.

Tuck around the corner and walk a few steps to Plain Goods (plain-goods.com), where Michael De Perno and Andrew Fry have a meticulously curated a selection of leather goods, clothing for men and women; cashmere scarves, napkins and selected antiques and vintage furniture; kitchenware, textiles and selected beauty products.

But that’s not all. Cross to the other side of East Shore Road and discover Salvatore Anthony Hair Studio (salvatoreanthony.com), the sleekest, chicest salon in Litchfield County. Sal Lopes is the consummate charmer, as well as a talented stylist. He offers coloring, cutting and a blow-dry in an intimate setting. Appointments are required.

After all the shopping and sightseeing, stop in at the Owl Wine Bar (owlnewpreston.com), right next door. Intimate and comfortable, with an impressive selection of wines and beers, as well as a menu of light food.

Check individual websites for location, hours and days open.

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