Hello! Perhaps we haven't formally met, but it's possible we've spoken on the phone, or I've ordered that perfect piece for your project on behalf of our fabulous designers at J&K Design Studio. My name is Abby, and I am the Office Manager here at J&K. I'm delighted to write this blog highlighting my personal travels to the New England area over the Memorial Day holiday.
You don't need to be a designer to be inspired by design. Even celebrating a holiday weekend up north can yield a budding obsession with North coast living. On the heels of having spent some days meandering the North Coast area, I have returned to Nashville with a renewed mind and some great experiences to "tide" me over until the next trip (see what I did there)?
I'm lucky to have the opportunity to spend each Memorial Day stretch with friends who are like family. Each year we head up to Harwich, Massachusetts to find refuge in the simple things: nature, friendship, board games (and plenty of small town shopping). Each year I fly into Boston, and drive about two hours to Cape Cod. I know that my lodging is nestled in between streets with darling little names, and it makes this city girl feel good. As I am approaching the area, I drive through streets with names such as Lazy Lane, Happy Way, and Teaberry Ave. Each street name representing that New England charm you know and love. There's no right or wrong way to explore the Cape. In a larger city, you might have a more rigid "must do" list. It's not that way here- you come as you are, and relax at your own pace! You might call on that organized friend create an itinerary for your visit, or just wing it and explore the local spots on your own. My friends and I do a little of both each trip.
If you're in Harwich, I highly recommend stopping into Brax Landing Restaurant for that harbor view and casual food-all while enjoying a port inspired decor (there's a ship wheel at the corner table). The food is great, and the atmosphere is relaxed. Wood paneling and old rustic signs fill the walls, and these signs aren't reproductions. You can't beat the Saquatucket Harbor view! Head over to Sundae School (& bring the kids) to satisfy the need for fresh ice cream. There is nothing more American than enjoying an Ice Cream Sundae next to the self-playing piano (pianola). If you're feeling a bit fancy, head over to L'Allouette for some French cuisine in Harwich Port. One thing I love about this place are the variety of dining options, all located in quaint spots-in what seem like former homes turned into bistros/eateries. There is a place to grab a Lobster Roll on every corner!
Each year we drive about ten minutes to arrive in Chatham, a unique and vibrant place with a stretch of small businesses and shops to peruse. There is something for everyone here. Want a kitschy nautical gift? Check. Need original art? They've got it. If you're looking for gourmet foods/oils, I suggest stopping into Gustare Oils & Vinegar. Check them out online: www.gustareoliveoil.com. My friends and I had a lovely time tasting numerous samples of Olive Oils/Vinegar here (the Cape Cod Cranberry-Pear Balsamic is to die for). I loved it so much I bought some back for my J&K ladies! Let the kids window shop, and head into Ducks in the Window, where you can get a personalized Jumbo Rubber Duck. I've heard this is a tradition in Chatham, and the Ducks are adorned with a Nantucket hat (nodding to the Coastal area inspiration). Check them out here: www.ducksinthewindow.com.
I really enjoyed being outdoors this trip; despite the drizzly weather and colder temperatures. We enjoyed a hike on Pilgrim Trail (make sure you bring a jacket), and tried some Honeysuckle while we were walking (thanks, southern roots)! There are beautiful colors and vast landscapes to be seen in Cape Cod and surrounding areas. My absolute favorite spot to quiet the mind and get inspiration is a kettle pond just steps away from where we stay. I'll admit I'd not heard of the term "kettle pond" before vacationing in the Cape, but my well-educated friend explained that (simply put) they were melted glaciers that had formed and settled ages ago. They are something to behold, and equally as fun to explore with a kayak or canoe. The water is smooth and clear, and tumbled rocks can be found steps away from the shore. I'm always inspired when I am visiting these areas, and locals treat you like you're one of the family.
The next time you're ready to get away for the weekend (or just feeling the need to be inspired), head up to Massachusetts and create a meaningful experience by wandering around town with your friends/family. You will leave with the spirit of New England in your heart, and perhaps the inspiration to create with coastal design in mind. Happy Summer!
-Abby Farrington Goff