As soon as I heard Lori Warner was expanding her gallery with a gift shop downstairs, I raced up to Chester for a preview. The gallery upstairs, now in its seventh year, carries her own art works, coveted Ann Lightfoot and Mandy Carroll-Leiva jewelry and a selection of other high-quality crafts. In the new digs below stairs, you’ll find plenty of well-priced but unusual gift items, picked with an eye to history and provenance. Artists and writers will find boxes of Black Wing pencils, considered the best pencil ever made. Copper watering cans and misters will satisfy every gardener you know. Handmade jigsaw puzzles from France sit next to boxes of the most beautiful Claus Porto Guest soaps (created since 1887).
The original House of Cards by Charles and Ray Eames and miniature music boxes that chirp “You Are My Sunshine” and “Yellow Submarine” will cheer any child. Sets of Harney Tea and Maldon Sea Salt (also available in travel tins, a must for salt addicts like me) make lovely hostess gifts. For the bride and/or groom, you’ll find a stackable, sculptural crystal candlestick ($140) that can be constructed in various ways, and simple stunning gold cutlery that is a reasonable $265 for a six-piece place setting. Venerable Floris eau de colognes are on the way, worn by the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Ernest Hemingway and Florence Nightingale. A hand-forged steel chest set is a work of art. Limited editions books, ribbons by the yard and Russel & Hazel paper products round out the mix. This is no run of the mill gift shop. Grand Opening and Open House Celebration on Thursday, July 2nd and Friday, July 3rd from 11am – 4pm.