Neighborhood Watch: Newburyport
Proving there’s more to Cape Ann than clam shacks and lighthouses, a bevy of sweet boutiques have set up shop in this coastal town.
Pretty Little Things
From body-perfecting unmentionables to outfit-making shoes and accessories, the relocated and expanded French Lessons (18 State St., 978-465-2131) covers your butt, quite literally. Lingerie from Chantelle and Eberjey deftly bridges the sexy/wearable gap, while classic Diane von Furstenberg dresses and 7 for All Mankind jeans are pure flattery.
Some folks are wine snobs; others adore coffee. Lisa Bleicken’s preferred poison is chocolate, as confirmed by her boutique, Ballotin (16 Unicorn St., 978-465-3800, ballotinchocolates.com). Crisply unadorned—save for Bleicken’s Cordon Bleu credentials on the wall—it showcases truffles made by Michel Cluizel of Paris and New York’s Chocolat Moderne, among others.
Picking up the Scent
Like an old-fashioned apothecary’s, the shelves of the Fragrance Bar (35 State St., 978-462-1377, nantucketnaturaloils.com) are lined with oils both familiar (lavender, vanilla) and mysterious (African musk, ambergris). With the precision of chemists, the staffers blend them to concoct customized scents.
For the Boys
New England dandies with an eye for Euro-style sportswear flock to Peter Mark (10 Market Sq., 978-463-4008) for fashionable everyday denim and fitted knits from names like Ted Baker, Robert Graham, and Scotch & Soda. The laid-back vibe and flat-screen TV encourage sporty sophisticates to fraternize while they shop for MLB’s higher-end line of vintage-inspired Red Sox gear.
The impressive spread of artisanal cheeses (Brillat-Savarin, Taleggio) and cured Italian meats at Grand Trunk Imports (53 Pleasant St., 978-499-4441, grandtrunkimports.com) is enough to send an epicure into a swoon. Ingredients like fresh-baked baguettes, fig paste, and obscure craft beers make for a top-notch picnic.
Lots for Tots
A mecca for designer-diaper-bag-toting moms, Lively Kids (46 Inn St., 978-465-7650, livelykid.com) sells such labels as 575 Denim, Deux par Deux, and Room Seven, which create the kind of adorable duds you might find in the closet of a Violet or a Suri.
At the recently opened second outpost of Andover’s hit lingerie shop Night & Day (58 Merrimac St., 978-463-0343, nightanddaylingerie.com), the pitch is that a house is only as good as its foundation. Hey, we’re sold: The chatty, knowledgeable employees offer expert bra-fittings in styles by Le Mystère and Oprah-approved Elle Macpherson Intimates inside spacious, well-lit dressing rooms.
There are two kinds of people: those who shower, and those who bathe. The latter would do well to step into Soak (46 Inn St., 978-465-7625), a store devoted to the beloved bathtub. The extensive selection includes all the accoutrements of the relaxation ritual—bath bombs, bubbles, and salts—along with K Hall diffusers, Brickhouse soaps, and Tess skin care.
The aroma at Licorice & Sloe (21 Middle St., 978-499-8327, licoriceandsloe.com), an inviting little teahouse with a lineup of 120 loose-leaf teas imported from Japan, China, and even Kenya, encourages guests to take a load off and savor a cup. Or a whole pot: Outfitted with cozy chairs and chessboards, the place is ideal for lounging.