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Local Betty Field Trip: Tiverton 4 Corners and Little Compton, RI

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LOCAL BETTY FIELD TRIP: Tiverton 4 Corners, & Little Compton, RI

This Betty {the one originally from the West Coast} continues to be amazed that you can get in the car and be in another state in an hour. “Lunch in Maine?” Sure! Cocktails in Vermont? Don’t mind if I do! Go to New Hampshire for Kleenex? Why not?" The novelty never wears thin {simple pleasures I guess.} So when we have a spare day we hop in the car and go all Interstate Trafficking. This time it was to Tiverton 4-Corners and Little Compton. Here’s what we loved:

Food: There are other places to eat {Four Corners Grille for one, but we always wonder “why the extra e in grille?” and end up choosing not to eat there.}  These are the ones we tried.

Sakonnet Vineyards Cafe: Technically in Little Compton, drive down the long road that opens to the winery and park in the easy lot at the entrance to the rolling, vine covered grounds sotted with graceful oaks. A nice outdoor café serves salads, good grilled sandwiches and cakes {think crab, cod and black bean} a really good burger and a kid’s menu too. Order wine by the glass with your lunch under a shady tree, or have a 50/50 homemade lemonade/iced tea/fresh mint combination – so refreshing after tasting all that wine… hic!

Evelyn’s Drive-In: An institution, always, always crowded. Reason? the fried clams, Rhode Island style clam chowder, and stuffies. I passed on the lobster chow mien, can you blame me? Take out or dine outside overlooking Nanaquaket Pond {say that three times fast.}

Milk and Honey Bazaar: A cheese shop with a case of delicious choices including several local cheeses from CT, MA and right down the street {Atwell’s Gold, Drunk Monk, Hannabells…} You can make a lovely picnic here of sausage, pate, bread and crackers, and some seasonal produce. Then head to the beach or to the vineyard.

Provender: A great bakery with take away sandwiches- both unique pairings and classic fare grace the menu. Or put together your own provisions for a picnic from their aisles. A terrific selection of snacks, cookies and other treats too. 3889 Main Road, Tiverton 4 Corners.

Gray’s Ice Cream: They say it’s award winning. The coffee {the flavor that Betty uses to measure good against gooder} was nothing to write home about but it’s ice cream… just saying. There is the added benefit of a few cows out in a pasture next to the parking lot. A fun diversion while you eat ice cream, or strangely off-putting as they stare soulfully at you as you eat the fruits of their labor? You decide.

Shopping/Puttering: Now on to shopping and poking around.  The beauty of the 4-Corners shops is that many feature the work of local artisans- so you’ll discover unique finds that you may not see elsewhere. A novelty in today’s marketplace of ubiquitousness {that's not a word, so don’t try to use it in Scrabble.}

Amy Lund Handweaver: The shop carries the work of several local artisans but standout are the beautiful scarves, blankets, and table linens in rich, soft fibers and gorgeous textures {attention knitter/weavers she also sells wool roving and yarn.} You can watch Amy or an apprentice weave in the front room.

Moontide Dyers and Rare Forme: These shops sit side by side and share a fresh aesthetic. Moontide carries hand dyed clothing made in Fall River that is distinctive, artful and modern. Rare Forme is a nicely curated shop of artisanal objects ranging from handmade recycled burlap pennant banners {much better than my description} and delicate jewelry to lovely pottery, pillows and other accessories for the home; all with the same fresh, unique aesthetic.

Rummage: It’s called a vintage consignment shop but it’s much, much more than that. The store is, again, a very well curated assortment of vintage clothing and accessories, antique prints and bookplates, and cool stuff {pretty pewter, antique stoneware jugs, artisan pottery.} A wonderful surprise.

Roseberry-Winn Pottery and Tile: Colorful handmade pottery, tiles, and other home accessories with imprinted patterns. Nicely displayed by the very nice artisans in a great space.

The Cottage at Four Corners: Sigh, one of those home stores that I’d like to move into- right now- all calm and serene and subtle and textury with fabulous accents. Gorgeous home accessories, tableware, books, and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams furniture. So much to oooh and aaah over.

Nankeen: Carries hand printed cotton bags and accessories that take inspiration from historic patterns and use a centuries-old Chinese dyeing process. That description doesn’t do them justice. Terrific, modern, graphic, summer-loving designs in blues and white that look anything but historic and handcrafted. We love Tory Burch, but Nankeen is three steps better: unique, authentic, and stylish.

The Donovan Gallery: A gallery of work artists practicing in the New England style, which is to say heavily weighted to handsome land and seascapes in a variety of media. Notable exception is Sean Thomas, a painter working in Providence, RI whose delicate depictions of industrial landscapes are mesmerizing. Well worth the browse and a chat with the knowledgeable, and friendly people manning the gallery. You may even be able to see an artist at work on a painting in the front room.

Gallery 4: A gallery of intriguing objects ranging from Far Eastern antique furniture, sculpture and home accessories to fine jewelry. Be amazed at the seemingly knitted wire jewelry and sculpture by Susan Frieda. The necklaces are delicate standouts.

Peter’s Attic Antiques: A very handsome selection of antique furniture, garden ornaments, vintage jewelry, prints and drawing, and randomly,  a giant plaster soft serve ice cream cone sculpture. 8 Neck Road, Tiverton 4 Corners.

Little Purls: A cute selection of kids clothing for boys and girls ages baby to 16. An especially fun selection of bathing suits and dresses for little girls. Cute shoes and accessories too.

Sakonnet Purls: We didn’t go in, but worth mentioning because it’s billed as the most complete knitting and needlepoint store in New England- and them’s fightin’ words.

Metal Works: Right down the street from Little Purls, it wasn’t open when we visited but we peeked in the window to find a handsome selection of handmade copper carriage lanterns as well as other things vintage and metal. 3988 Main Road.

So there you have it- Tiverton 4 Corners and Little Compton at a glance. A great day and we didn’t even get to the beaches, the parks and the farm stands. Not to mention missing the towns Russells Mills and Padanaram {and who wouldn’t want to venture to Padanaram if only to send a postcard from that nameplace?}