Next to last day of vacation, and I had it in mind to visit two really special shopping areas. I read about these in a review of Wilmington shopping so I had to visit. The Cotton Exchange is a downtown shopping area of eight restored old buildings connected by walkways and stone paths with a number of adorable shops on four levels. Hardwood floors and old brick remain to add charm to the experience.
The first purchase of the day was at Fire and Spice Gourmet, a quaint kitchen store with all kinds of gadgets and goodies. The very friendly staff showed us some of the treasures. It was hard to decide, but I ended up with some sea salt, a new kitchen towel with a chicken on it to add to my chicken collection. I also picked up some locally produced grits, one of DH’s favorite breakfast foods.
Of course, we had to stop and sit a while to have some ice cream in this lovely shaded area.
I strolled through a number of lovely shops, stopping in several. Then I came upon Port City Pottery, and found an exquisite pottery plate with a cheese knife. I just was captivated by the colors, perfect for my kitchen, and I liked the handle design too. The artist is Pat Holleman. My pottery collection keeps growing.
I spent over an hour in the Old Books On Front Street used book store. Oh My Heavens, what a great place!
It is a rabbit warren of cubbyholes and backrooms, books piled on tables and on the floor, shelves stuffed to overflowing.
Many alcoves have a great old chair or ottoman to stop and stay a while.
It is the kind of place you can excavate a treasure, and I sure did. I found a reprint of the book Art of Eating by M.F.K. Fisher, a landmark tome for foodies everywhere. I also came home with a book on costume jewelry, Eggs by Michael Roux, and six old Victorian magazines (Shane, that is your fault!!). While I was out, I got several more books in the mail from swap sites and Amazon orders. I received two other foodie classics, Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan, and From Elizabeth David’s Table with a forward by Ruth Reichel, plus a few other fiction books.
But it didn’t stop there, I had read about this enormous consignment store called Ivy Cottages. Holy cow, it is four buildings with all kinds of furniture, collectables, china, glassware, antiques and more.
I picked up a breakfast set that was in the 50% off room, then found out that day was their monthly three day event of an additional 50% off the markdown room.
So of course, I had to go back and see what else I could find. I sat down on the floor and went through loads of china plates and dishes. I was having serious dish delirium. You’ll see some of these in upcoming tablescapes, but for now, here is the Staffordshire China plate I got for $3. This will show off some of my recipe results nicely, don’t you think?
This set of ceramic napkin rings caught my fancy too. They weren’t in the markdown room, but $8 sounded reasonable so they were mine.
Quite a haul, wouldn’t you say? Do you like stores like these?