Pickity Place

Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother’s house we go! Isn’t that Little Red Riding Hood? I think so. Well anyways, Pickity Place is the place to go if you want to step into a real life fairy tale. In fact, the cottage that now houses the restaurant was what the Little Golden book illustrator used as a model to illustrate her version of Little Red Riding Hood.

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It is indeed a cozy, fairy tale cottage. An enormously old tree full of character towers over the little red cottage. When it is time for your meal to begin (they do 3 seatings a day) the hostess rings a bell by the door. The waitresses hustle and bustle in the relatively cramped space (little cottage after all) to get you all 5 courses in the proper order, explaining each edible herbal addition.

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IMG_8900The quality and creativity of the food alone is enough of a draw to go to Pickity Place, never mind the quaint setting. Each month, a new menu is revealed, with 5 new courses to try: A dip appetizer, soup and bread, salad, main entree, and a yummy dessert. There are always 2 entree choices, one of them being a vegetarian option. It’s usually a hard decision, as both entrees are always excellent. All the food is prepared fresh using herbs grown right there at Pickity Place.

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pickity-place_24003837942_oOh, and I can’t forget about the beverage options! They have a few fun options including a lavender lemonade, a strawberry basil tea, an orange tea, and Mocha coffee (complete with cinnamon stick straw). They let you change which drink you try each time you run out, making for a fun variety- I always save the mocha coffee to have with my dessert.

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The fun doesn’t stop when the meal is over; then it is time to explore the gardens! I’ve gone at all times of the year, and it is always beautiful. June, of course will be the best month to explore the flower gardens. However, even in the winter, the garden blanketed with snow, the cozy cottage nestled in, and the big tree watching over is still charming. During spring and summer months, stop by their greenhouse to get herbs and flowers for your own garden! Their plants are reasonably priced and I’ve found them to be of high quality.

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They book up fast (special days sometimes over a year in advance) so be sure to make a reservation! If you really get hooked on Pickity, they have a frequent diners card; I’ve never been that committed to it, but some people go once a month! I like it for special occasions; it’s a great place to take someone visiting the area. Pickity Place is a quintessential New England experience!

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Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music

Tucked away down a winding dirt road in Nelson, New Hampshire, you will find the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, a center for musical education for students from around the world. I had read that they offered classical concerts for the public on Tuesday nights in the summer, so one hot August evening Ethan and I made our way up to Nelson, not knowing at all what to expect.

What we found was delightful. As we wound our way up the dirt road, suddenly we came upon a big colonial house and barn that was humming with people. The front porch had a large buffet of food and the lovely yard was lined with picnic tables filled with happy, friendly neighbors. Looking closer, you could see a yurt or a small house in the woods, which presumably house the students who go to Apple Hill. After dinner, a bell was rung and (most) everyone filed into the big barn to hear the concert. img_9586 img_9582We sat outside of the barn and it was so peaceful to watch the sunset over the distant mountains and just listen to the beautiful music. If I were to do it again (which I will!) I would definitely bring bug spray and a sweater- once the sun goes down it got buggy and chilly fast. I would also bring my own picnic dinner! It’s free to sit outside and it costs $15 to get into the barn. Watching in the barn would also be a neat experience someday so we would actually get to view the concert too. But it was relaxing to just listen.img_9596img_9587img_9600After a little while, when we looked up, the lights came on in the tree above us. What a nice (and free!) night out. Not only is Apple Hill Center a place for musical education, it is also a charming and unexpected venue for concerts in the summer time. Keep it in mind.img_9601