Best of New England: Connecticut
COVENTRY REGIONAL FARMERS’ MARKET
With 75,000 visitors per year, the state’s premier farmers’ market celebrates everything from heirloom tomatoes to flowers, and bustles with live entertainment and kids’ events every Sunday afternoon from June through October. The production has become so popular that Coventry recently added a winter market that runs from January through early March. // Nathan Hale Farmstead, 2299 South St., Coventry, coventryfarmersmarket.com.
This tchotchke shop par excellence bills itself as a provider of “impulsive necessities”: a stupefying 10,000 different items in all, among them posh garden tools, baby gifts, and gourmet foods. No picky bride, fussy baby, or impossible-to-buy-for brother-in-law can resist the charms of these finds. // 46 Halls Rd., Old Lyme, 860-434-3562, thebowerbird.com.
COUNTRY LOFT ANTIQUES
In a town hailed as the antiques capital of Connecticut, Country Loft distinguishes itself not only by the memorable ambiance (the setting is a 19-acre estate where stunning European and American pieces are showcased in historical barns), but also by the expert eye of its owners. One is an accomplished architectural interior designer and the other is a Parsons School grad. // 557 Main St. S., Woodbury, 203-266-4500, countryloftantiques.com.
WHITE FLOWER FARM
If you’re a fan of White Flower Farm’s catalog of garden fantasies, you’ll be even more impressed by the place itself. Get inspired by the five acres of lush gardens, including the spring bulb displays, the June rose and peony gardens, and the summer begonia greenhouse. There’s a self-guided walking-tour brochure, which you can pick up at the visitor center, and if you plan ahead you can take advantage of the varied gardening programs offered during the growing season. // 167 Litchfield Rd., Morris, 800-503-9624, whiteflowerfarm.com.
Local Department Store
J. SEITZ & CO
Joanna Seitz’s store will probably never sell AA batteries or quarts of milk, but everything else is fair game, from the sublime (delicate silver jewelry, Chan Luu clothing, antique cabinetry, designer furnishings) to the completely unique (mirrored Venetian glass obelisks, decorative mounted antlers). Whether you’ve got $10 in your pocket or $10 million in the bank, it’s unlikely you’ll leave empty-handed. // 9 E. Shore Rd. (Rte. 45), New Preston, 860-868-0119, jseitz.com.