Thursday, November 4, 2010

Shopping Michigan Avenues

The Iron Grate, Fenton, Mich.

Earlier this fall I was blessed to visit Waterford, Mich., for a ladies day. A highlight of the weekend was spending an afternoon with longtime blog friend Melanie of Pretties and Posies. Melanie's heart for home shines through each post, and over the years I have enjoyed exploring her home state of Michigan through her beautiful photography. Meeting her in person, I would have thought we grew up together because the rapport was so easy.

Melanie took me to visit some of her favorite shops, and first on the list was The Iron Grate in Fenton, Mich. Owned by Londoner Elizabeth Dickens, The Iron Grate offers home decor, giftware and more. From baby gifts to bath care to bedding, something beautiful awaits discovery at every turn. I found unique gifts for the children at The Iron Grate, and Melanie surprised me with several goodies to take home as mementos of my Michigan visit.

The French Laundry, Fenton, Mich.

After exploring The Iron Grate, Melanie and I were ready to rest for a bit, and bakery-cafe The French Laundry provided the perfect spot to revive with a steaming hot bowl of homemade soup or a frothy, warm mug of coffee confection. 

The French Laundry, Fenton, Mich.

View Laundry Day specials here, or visit The French Laundry blog here.

The French Laundry, Milford, Mich.

When travelling it is always great to get advice from locals about the best places in the area to eat and shop, and through ladies at The Iron Grate, Melanie and I discovered two more interesting shops in nearby Milford, Mich. First we stopped in to Colasanti's Market, filled to the brim with fresh Michigan produce, plants and giftware. Colasanti's offers in-store cooking and craft classes, so maybe I will take part on a future visit. 

Fragments, Highland, Mich.

Just down the road from Colasanti's in nearby Highland, Melanie and I stopped in for the grand opening of home, garden and gift shop Fragments. The Oakland Press says, "Fragments is a destination store. Located on approximately 3⁄4 acre, visitors entering the rear parking lot will first notice iron, steel and concrete garden accessories spread around the developing gardens. The intent has been to create a place where visitors can shop, relax and just enjoy the rural environment of Highland." At Fragments I picked up some of Michigan's own Cherry Republic sour cherry patches for Joe -- a sweet reminder of a wonderful visit.

Thanks to Melanie, I left Michigan with a suitcase full of mementos and a heart full of memories. Now it is my turn to show her some southern hospitality!
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