life in the Kearsarge area

what's happening in the Kearsarge/Lake Sunapee area of NH

Archive for April, 2009

Lunch on Main Street

picture-0011 Boy, was the food good at the Lake Sunapee Region Chamber of Commerce mixer this week. It was held at Ellie’s Cafe & Deli, now open in the former Jack’s location on Main Street in New London. Marsha the cake lady also made a yummy maple syrup cake for dessert…which, yes, I would eat for breakfast.  It was also good to get out and see some old friends – Cathy Gibson, Annie Ballin, Pecco Baufays – and make some new ones.

I stopped by Ellie’s today at 10:30 and the breakfast crowd was still going strong, but Gen was nice to make me a lunch to go – two turkey sandwiches. There was so much meat in the sandwich that I told myself I was only going to eat half (and save the other half for dinner) but it tasted so good that I ate the whole thing. Once again, I took a photo of my lunch for you – it may prompt you to run over there and get your own sandwich for lunch. picture-0102

Get creative


My ARTery has a cozy new home on 36 Maggie’s Lane, right next to the Grantham Village School. Maggie Duford has transformed the top floor of her home into a place for creativity. Three rooms are dedicated to art classes, including a wonderful adult art space that has a loft -like feeling and large windows that provide some great natural lighting. There’s a class for every age group – preschoolers on Tuesday mornings to mom nights once a month to a drop-in class on Fridays (which I might sign up for). And, if you’re looking for some summer fun for the kids, why not try an art camp? You can learn more at picture-024

One of my faves

Every once in a while, my daughter will ask if we can “go to a restaurant.” And, every once in a while, we’ll say sure. One of our favorite places to go is Gusanoz in Lebanon. We usually go on a Saturday night (early, before the rush). Once we’re seated, the homemade tortilla chips arrive at our table. This is always a big hit with the kids. This Saturday the hostess brought balloons for the kids – a HUGE hit – and she made sure that the ribbons on the balloons were long enough that the balloons could float to the ceiling and the kids could still reach the strings. (Nice touch.) Our chips get refilled several times (a good and a bad thing, because if they are sitting there we’ll just keep eating them) but we always manage to make room for the main course. I’ve never had a bad meal at Gusanoz – everything is always hot and fresh. And the staff is fast. They probably know that two squirmy kids can only sit quietly for about an hour. If you’re in the Upper Valley, I highly recommend a stop at either the Lebanon or new Hanover restaurant. picture-010

Grantham Barbershop

Here’s my hair story. I don’t like to make haircut appointments. After a haircut, I usually have a good four weeks of great hair (no styling or styling product needed). There’s a really iffy week where my hair doesn’t want to cooperate. If I can tough it out, then I have another great week of hair. But after this week I call for an appointment. Sometimes I can get right in, sometimes I have to wait a week, but either way is fine with me. (Sometimes the one week of great, longer hair does stretch into two weeks.) But if I made a regular appointment, I might miss that week of good hair.

Weird? Probably. But getting a haircut is sometimes an impulse decision, and that’s why most hair dressing shops accept walk-ins. At the Grantham Barbershop, open on Friday and Saturdays, you can walk in and get your haircut. Sometimes you might need to wait 15 minutes for the person in front of you; sometimes you’ll stick your head in and Laura will tell you to come back in an hour. Either way, you’ll be able to take care of that impulse – and get a really great haircut when you need it.

Come play at Artisan’s

Happy, happy! Today is the one-year birthday of Artisan’s of New London in their new location in the Kidder Building on Main Street in New London. Be sure to stop by to say hello to Marcy, Amy and the crew; snack on some birthday treats; and pop a balloon to receive a discount, promotion or gift. It’s great to hear Marcy talk about her shop. It’s how a business owner should feel about their business – happy, proud, kind of like a parent! Here she is in her own words: “It is truly a place that I walk through the door and feel ‘at home’ in… it brings a smile to my face. It’s far more than a place filled with things… it brings out the artist in everyone, and that’s a good reason to celebrate!”

I’ve been a longtime customer, oh, say maybe 15 years at the very least. My dad’s a good gift giver – he knows that gifts should be a tad luxurious, a treat rather than a practical purchase – and when I was home on Christmas break from college he’d take me to Artisan’s to pick out something shiny, new earrings or a necklace. Over the years, it was where I went to get my friends’ birthday, wedding and, later, baby gifts. (I still treat myself once in a while, too!)

You better believe it will be a fun party. More from Marcy: “We are so excited about it, and thrilled with the overwhelming support we have received from our amazing customers,” says Marcy. “As much as this, I am so delighted that I have such an amazing group of people who make Artisan’s possible. From our wonderful Amy Witmer, manager extraordinaire, who treats the business as though it were her own, to our amazing staff, who have put their time, energy, and ideas into making Artisan’s what it is. That staff includes our employees, and also friends and people in the community… for example, our windows which are done every 1-2 weeks are by Kathy Noordsij and Nina McDonough… two talented individuals who thrive on such creative opportunities, and who make us even better by showcasing in our large Main Street windows. To Jody Demske who randomly stopped by and asked us if we needed our window boxes done, and then went on to create the most amazing outdoor display with lights and greenery during the holiday season (we can’t wait to see what she comes up with for our summer months). Our customers, many who are long term and have grown up with Artisan’s, and those who walk in for the very first time… Our artists who make who we are possible. We’ll have balloons, treats,and prizes… and all of our Adirondack chairs, which we have been working to clean up from last year, will be outside on our front lawn by that day… so come over to say hello, or just hang out on one of our bright Adirondacks with a cup of tea… come play!”

Learn oil painting

Now this is a GREAT idea. Evans Paintings and The Woodstock Inn in Woodstock, Vt.,  have partnered to offer an oil painting weekend. Arrive Thursday, April 16 (or April 23). Friday morning you’ll learn basic principles from artist and instructor (and Grantham resident), Chip Evans. That afternoon, you’ll start work on your own oil painting, starting with line composition and moving to underpinning, rough color and finish color over the course of a weekend. There’s free time to visit the town of Woodstock as well. The three-night package ($675) includes breakfasts, a cocktail reception on Friday, dinner on Saturday, instruction and art supplies. Learn more at

Shop local

I’m not going to talk about the economy – I’m not going to add to the media hype, thank you very much – but I am going to talk about the ebb and flow of the local business community. It’s always sad when a business closes its doors, and recently some longtimers in New London have closed suddenly.  But for every door that closes, a new one usually opens. In New London, Jack’s and 14 Carrots may have closed, but Ellie’s Cafe & Deli is opening soon, Nonni’s has moved into the Colonial Plaza, and Reverie du Maison has opened up shop in front of PC’s. Businesses are moving and shifting in Grantham as well – Hearthside Heating has moved to the Sawyer Brook Plaza, Closet Treasures has expanded, Belle Terre Property Management moved down Route 10 a bit, My ARTery moved closer to Grantham Village School, Water Wind and Fire closed its doors, and Grantham Hair Headquarters has a new owner. Maybe some of these changes were due to the economy, but maybe some of them were not. But if you’ve lived here a long time, like I have, you know that if you want to keep your local business community strong, you’ll turn off the television and shop close to home.