NEW: Place, Event.
Yes, that’s correct. A holiday shopping stroll along the quaint town of Kent, CT while drinking champagne! It’s like, the holiday Gods heard our prayers and granted us with the cutest shops and tastiest bubbles.
A couple years back, my sister moved to Wingdale, NY. Being so close to CT, she heard about this champagne stroll and wanted to attend it and see what it was all about. Unfortunately, this is was when I was a wedding photographer and I missed out on this for the past two years due to weddings. Luckily, this year was my chance! And it landed on Small Business Saturday which is something I like to participate in every year.
Myself, my Sister, and my Mom all made our way to the Kent Swift House for check-in. You receive your tasting glass, map of the downtown area, list of all the champagnes each store has (to mark if you like it or not) and participating shops. The goal is to hit at least three different shops within all four zones to be entered to win prizes (although we weren’t so concerned about that part). We hit some art galleries, retail shops, and even an auto part store, all of which had employees that were so friendly and happy to be apart of such a fun tradition. The entire evening was a major success and SO much fun, I can’t wait to do this again next year. Here are some of the highlights from my first experience as a “stroller.”
Backcountry Outfitters General Store & Annie Banana Ice Cream
What a super fun store! It’s the epitome of a general store but equipped with many more products that fall into the “outfitters” part of the name. They had an entire section for fly-fishing, as well as a section for outdoor clothing and items like hammocks, cooking utensils and more. I wound up walking out of there with the two cutest little reindeer candle holders and a locally made balsam fir candle. I then made my way to the other side of the store, the Ice Cream shop. They have SO many different types of chocolates to try so I knew I had to get a dark chocolate sea salt caramel and a champagne truffle. The chocolate paired perfectly with all the champagne I was drinking! This was literally heaven on Earth!
Main Street Antiques
This house turned commercial shop is the most perfect structure on this street. I love older homes with lots of character and it’s curb appeal was calling my name. Plus, I LOVE antique shopping! Upon walking in, I knew instantly I didn’t have enough to finger through every piece in this shop, which made me automatically think “I must come back here!” They have a box of old postcards and photographs that have messages and dates written on them and I sat there for about 15 minutes combing through them all. Again, it wasn’t the evening for me to do this so I will make it back there to give some of those old postcards a home. There was one in particular sent from London and since I studied abroad there, I wanted to grab it. At the last minute I put it back, telling myself ‘I’m here to holiday shop for others, not myself,’ and I already failed this mantra at the general store, so I’ve got to be strong!
The Covered Wagon
This store was one of the best! Outside was a gentleman serving non-alcoholic hot cider, perfect for the brisk evening we were having and a nice break from all the champagne, and tasting these ranch dill pretzels. When you walk in, you’re greeted with items like handmade handbags, kitschy socks, and country style hand towels. This was a fun store to walk around and look at all the ornaments, food items, and candy! I wound up buying a bag of the pretzels I tasted (because holy COW, these are addicting) and honestly, need to go get more and stock up!
Kent Coffee & Chocolate
My FAVORITE stop of the evening, and they weren’t technically a participating store (meaning they won’t stamp your map as ‘visited’ for the prizes) but they had champagne and they had chocolate, so my nose lead me to them. They have a GREAT selection of chocolate bundles for the holidays, in various sizes and flavors. It was SO hard not to buy everything for myself here! I found this cute little plate and cup for cookies and hot cocoa and pointed it out to my sister. (update: she later went back and got this as part of my Christmas present, along with two dark chocolate covered oreos as a stocking stuffer). I made my way to the counter with all the chocolate in it. Yep. I was screwed. I’m buzzed and standing in front of hundreds of pounds of chocolate. “I’ll take a milk chocolate and a dark chocolate covered oreo, that milk chocolate motorcycle shaped piece, ummm all your truffles, and yeah.. just pack up your shop and bring it to Poughkeepsie.” I also had to try what’s called a PBO – Peanut Butter Oreo. Its an oreo with a glob of peanut butter on top of it and then dipped into milk or dark chocolate. Helllllooooo sugar high! My favorite piece: Dark Chocolate Covered Oreo. I could eat these all day every day from here. Thank god this shop isn’t next door!
Tickets for the Kent Champagne Stroll go on sale well before the event itself and it’s highly recommended you order them ahead of time as these strolls do sell out. The strolls take place on the Friday and Saturday following Thanksgiving (Black Friday and Small Business Saturday). If you pre-order your tickets online, you won’t have to wait to register on a long line the day of (if not previously sold out). You can bypass that and collect your glass and map right away and start your stroll!
I highly recommend this as a fun night out with your significant other, a group of girlfriends, or your family to get into the holiday spirit. It was such a pleasure seeing so many new stores, meeting new people, and getting a head start on my Christmas list (although I bought for myself than anyone else). Subscribe to get my blog post notifications if you want to attend 2019’s Kent Champagne Stroll and I’ll make sure to notify you all when tickets are available.
- Blogger of the News – Kimberly