The town of Stowe, Vermont is a charming place any time of year, but when you add in Christmas decorations and sprinkle snow on top of it all, you get a really beautiful destination. In part 1, you saw where we stayed in Stowe at Edson Hill. So today let’s take a look at a few places we visited while we were there in December.
Our first evening’s meal was at Plate, a highly rated restaurant right in the middle of town. Neither my husband nor I had dined there before, but our son had, and he really wanted us to try it out.
It is a somewhat small restaurant, and we were lucky to get in without a reservation (but maybe all the snow kept people home on a cold night.) Here is a look at part of their winter dinner menu:
I had the cider grilled half chicken on corn bread pudding with braised greens. It was one of the best dishes I have ever had…Yes. that good. (And I am a big time beef lover!) The chicken was incredibly moist, and the corn bread pudding was delicious. Both my husband and son said their meals were excellent as well. So if you are ever in the area, I highly recommend Plate (and my chicken dish! 🙂 )
After dinner, we went back to the inn and relaxed, but the next day we drove through the snow into town.
After parking the car on Main Street, our son went over to a coffee shop so that he could study for his fall semester exams, and my husband and I headed to our first stop – Shaw’s General Store. It was founded in 1895 by Howard Shaw and has been run by the family ever since.
In true general store fashion they carry shoes, clothing, food items, home decor, and even pet supplies. I looked around a bit then left my husband in there to shop a while longer. There was another store right down the street that I had been dying to see (and I knew he wouldn’t want to spend time in there.) 🙂
I had read about The Country Store on Main when I was doing some research on Stowe. It is in the building that was occupied by Lackey’s Variety Store for almost 60 years. It closed back in 2014, and then Graham and Christina Mink and Richard and Nancy Bennum purchased the building a year later. (You can read about the interesting history of Lackey’s here.)
They remodeled the store being mindful of its historic significance yet updating it for today and then named it The Country Store on Main.
It is a delightful shop…full of everything for the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and even some gifts for children and pets! I could have easily spent an entire day in there. If you would like a great virtual tour of the shop, click over here , scroll down a bit, and just take a look around. 🙂 I know you will enjoy it!
After I finished shopping in there, I met up with my husband again, and we strolled around town looking at the pretty buildings and the Christmas decorations.
This is the Stowe Community Church, one of the first non-denominational churches in the United States.
After going in several more shops, we ended up here at the old depot building.
The upstairs has a little cafe, a neat bookshop, and a couple other gift shops, and the downstairs has…
This is the epitome of what I think a Vermont general store should be. They have everything!
(a place to play checkers)
a photo booth and even a ski lift!
The Mercantile meandered all through the lower level, and it was a fun place to shop. (My husband and I even hopped in the photo booth for some silly pictures. 🙂 )
It was getting late for lunch so we met up with our son at the coffee shop, hopped back in the car, and drove a short distance to our lunch stop – Doc Pond’s, a popular restaurant and bar. (Craft beers are BIG in Vermont.)
As you enter the restaurant you see this display of turntables and old records. It certainly gives you a clue to the fun vibe of the place!
And here is a look at their menu for lunch.
I believe my husband and I both had the burger, and our son ordered the daily special that was not listed on the menu. Every dish was well prepared and tasty, and the servers were all friendly…making it a wonderful place for lunch. We would have eaten there again if we had been in Stowe longer. Our favorite dish we shared was the VT cheddar fritters with jalapenos and a cream sauce. We could have eaten our weight in those babies!!
After lunch we drove back towards Edson Hill Inn. There’s a place you need to make a stop at any time of year but most definitely at Christmas….Laughing Moon Chocolates.
Of course they have delectable chocolates, but the reason to go during the holidays is because they make these:
Yes, candy canes! They are available in several flavors but only during the Christmas season. If you happen to be in there on certain days, they are doing candy cane making demonstrations and you can make your own! (Details here.) Here is a video clip if you would like to see more from the shop.
Another place that is a must-see in Stowe, a little further down the road, is Stowe Kitchen, Bath, and Linens. I made a short video tour on my phone to show you. Fingers crossed you will be able to see it! (The audio is the Christmas music that was playing in the store. 🙂 )
And now here are a few photos from their Facebook page.
The place is huge! If you like things for your kitchen, your bath, or your bedroom (which I know you do 🙂 ) then you will absolutely love this shop! The upstairs is for linens, and the downstairs has all the kitchen and bath things along with gift items and even a small section of clothing.
Most things in the store are not ski related, but these just happen to be some of the cute things they carry that are.
Now on to our next stop. If you have been reading here a very long time, you may remember my bucket list item to go on a “one horse open sleigh ride” preferably in Vermont during the Christmas season. (Details here.)
The week before we left for this trip, my husband called Gentle Giants there in Stowe to find out if they still offered sleigh rides, if we needed reservations, what the cost would be, etc. He was told that at that point they were only doing carriage rides because they did not have enough snow for the sleigh rides. They needed a minimum of 4 inches to be able to offer that but to check back in with them when we got to Stowe. So after we left the kitchen shop, we drove to Gentle Giants. (It was not very far from the turn off to our inn.)
It was snowing at that point, but there was not quite 4 inches of snow on the ground yet. We saw covered sleighs, open carriages, and horses that were eating….
But there were no people around. We waited quite a while (in the freezing cold!) We tried calling them, but no one answered or showed up. So I did not get that bucket-list-sleigh-ride. 🙁 We considered going back the next morning, but that was when the weather forecast issued a severe winter storm warning with 14 inches of incoming snow and wind chill temps in the single digits. I don’t think we would have really enjoyed being out in THAT weather! So the one horse open sleigh ride is still on my bucket list, and that gives us another reason to return to Vermont at Christmas, right? 🙂
And now there is one last restaurant I want to share with you before part 2 is finished. Our final evening meal in Stowe was at Harrison’s Restaurant. (It was way too dark to photograph, so these are from online sites.)
To find Harrison’s is not very easy…down some stairs off Main Street. It is totally underground. And it is teeny tiny…like only 14 tables tiny! So you really really need reservations. But we got lucky! There was immediate seating for our group of 3 in the bar area at a small hightop booth/table, and we happily took it. 🙂
You can see their menu here. I had the Chicken Piccata which was very good. My husband had their venison steak…also tasty, and our son had chicken confit and gnocchi which he thought was great.
This is the venison dish.
All in all, a wonderful meal in a very cozy atmosphere. But, I will say that if I had to choose between dinner at Plate or dinner at Harrison’s I would choose Plate. (But both places had delicious food. 🙂 )
And with that, we come to the end of this part of our trip. I do need to tell you though that Stowe is better known as a skier’s paradise. We did not have time for skiing on this trip, but if you want to do that on a visit there, you can find plenty of information about it here.
Part 3 (yes Kathy, there is a part 3!) from our trip to Vermont is coming up next, and I will be sharing details about our drive (our scary drive in the snowstorm!) and our next stop in a quintessential Vermont town. Hope you will be back for it!
Until next time…