Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Spotlight is on Victoria Square

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

Ah, Victoria Square, the quaint little shopping district in the village of McKinlay Mill, New York. It's a place that anyone would love to visit.

Of course, the anchor is Artisans Alley, the arts and crafts arcade that's owned and managed by Katie Bonner. It's about 30,000 square feet of handcrafted items, like sculpture, jewelry, wooden furniture and other items, pottery, woven items, and much, much more. You could easily spend the better part of the day examining all the treasures. But then ... you might get hungry.

While the Square doesn't yet have a full-service restaurant, it does boast two eateries. Afternoon Tea is the tea shop, which serves--what else?--afternoon tea, complete with delicate sandwiches, heavenly scones, and decadent desserts all served on bone china dishes. They also sell blended teas and other teatime items. Then there's Tanner's, which is part bakery-part cafe. It's a great place to grab breakfast or lunch.

Quilters from around the area are drawn to The Quiet Quilter, where proprietress Nona Fiske is not only knowledgeable about quilts and their history, but she's an able quilter herself.

Wood U is a shop filled with handcrafted wooden items from around the world, but also contains items made by its owner. The shop is currently closed (thanks to a devastating fire), but will reopen in the near future with a new owner.

A favorite of the villagers and visitors is Sweet Sue's Confectionery. Handmade chocolates, truffles, fudge, and specialty items are available year round, and the scent of chocolate in the air pleases everyone on the Square.  Better order early for holidays, because the shop is often mobbed.

Booth's Jellies and Jams is also a favorite place to visit. Owner Charlotte Booth stocks the shelves with a variety of jellies, jams, and marmalades made in small batches from her family recipes. Although the jams are made offsite, they are made in a commercial kitchen by members of the Booth family, and Afternoon Tea and Tanners both feature Booth products.

Need the perfect bottle of wine to accompany a special meal? The Perfect Grape is the place to get it. Sommelier Conrad Stratton is only too happy to make suggestions to enhance your wining and dining experience.

Need a gift? Gilda's Gift Baskets is the place to go.

That's just a quick tour of Victoria Square. If you'd like to know more, please click this link and investigate the Victoria Square mysteries.

What shop would you like to visit on Victoria Square?

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Coming December 6th:  Dead, Bath and Beyond, Victoria Square Mystery #4.  (Now Available for Pre-Order.)