The east coast was given a gift today from Mother Nature herself...Warmth!! The temperature hovered in the mid-sixties for the winter solstice and people were out in droves enjoying it.
In the spirit of holiday, my husband and I walked down one of my all time favorite streets in Red Bank, NJ today. There are some places in the world where you just feel a special vibe. Along with getting that vibe in Paris, Alsace, the East village in New York City, and of course the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, Monmouth Street in Red Bank also carries that vibe.
Starting with one of my newest favorite places in town, Whipped Bites. You can stop here for an espresso, capucino or hot chocolate. They make fresh crepes that remind me of Paris, especially with nutella and whipped cream. They also have cupcakes and pastries that are out of this world!! Whipped Bites reminds me of walks through the village in NYC in the evenings...a cozy place to stop for a special treat.
Now, if you step across the street, you will come upon another fairly new addition to Monmouth Street. This little gem is called Toad Hollow. I will let the pictures do the talking here...
There are things that I really want in this store!! Santa, if you are reading this, that cute pillow with the goat on it, well...and this bag that says domestic mail...I can't explain it, but you just can't help but fall in love with the stuff in this store.
The ladies who own this place are clever and patient and creative, and did I tell you that they have great taste? Need a gift? It is worth your time to find Toad Hollow...I promise!
Next stop for us was the Cheese Cave. To be honest, we don't tell many people about this place because we love it...and, well, you know how it is when you love something so much that you don't really want to share...but in the spirit of the holiday, I will tell you about this gem. They have amazing cheese as you can see from the picture, but, they also create delicious sandwiches, have been approved for tables so you can eat in, and put together wonderful gifts. We have spent many Friday nights with a bottle of wine and an assortment of cheese, fruit and bread from this wonderful shop.
The photo above is from another little Monmouth Street gem called Lil Cutie Pops...they have lovely chocolates, macarons, their signature cake pops, all hand made and delicious, but, my favorite in this store, the thing I cannot resist are their handmade marshmallows...let me sing their praises, or maybe I will just tell you that they are not to be missed...someone could fill my Christmas stocking with these marshmallows and I will be a happy woman!
Saving the newest for last, The Spice and Tea Exchange has opened on Monmouth Street. What a fabulous holiday gift to everyone who lives in this area. The aroma alone can leave you senseless when you walk into this shop.
Making decisions in this store is not so easy ...there are just so many amazing and, yes, magical options. Different blends of teas that you can smell by opening the jars, blends of sugars, that made me want to rush home and bake cookies...especially the coconut sugar, and the blends of salts. What can I say...I want to try everything in this store. The hot spice blends and the Himalayan salt blocks. It is a gourmet's dream come true! Welcome, to the newest addition and thank you for being here!!
So, I kind of rushed through this post to tell you that if you are still looking to wrap a gift or fill a stocking, find your way to Monmouth street in Red Bank, New Jersey...and if you can remember, tell them that Black Eyed Susan sent you!! Wishes for a very happy holiday and a New Year filled with good health and happy eating!