7 posts categorized "Highly Recommended"

The Duck & Bunny ~ A Snuggery...

The Duck & Bunny Providence RI (2) 

The Duck & Bunny Providence RI (3) 

The Duck & Bunny Providence RI

The Duck & Bunny Providence, RI

The Duck & Bunny Providence RI (4) 
 
The Duck & Bunny Providence, RI 6 

 The Duck & Bunny A Snuggery
(photo courtesy of the Duck & Bunny website)

  • What: Girls Night Out
  • When: Last Night
  • Where: The Duck & Bunny ~ Providence, RI
  • Menu Sample: Bacon Wrapped Dates ~ Artisanal Cheese Plate ~ The Ultimate New York System CrĂŞpe ~ Homemade Gourmet Cupcakes ~ 
  • Brewhaha:  Guinness on draught ~ Narragansett in the can ~ Maipe Malbec ~
  • Atmosphere:  Absolutely charming!

 

blue vintage hat 
 
My blue vintage hat and I had a fabulous time out on the town...and The Duck & Bunny is the perfect venue for catching up with the gals or a romantic dinner for two.  If you're wanting to enjoy the latter, you may want to request a quiet table away from large parties of females who managed to sneak out for a night sans husbands & offspring...

 



xx ~ Michelle


Highly Recommended: Kiel James Patrick

You know my penchant for old things borders on obsession, so when my "own private (vintage) Idaho" crosses paths with another living in their "own private (vintage) Idaho" .....it's like being introduced to a rib eye to go with my potato.  (If you're not getting my little story, click here.)

Meet Kiel.  He makes a living sewing on this antique Singer sewing machine.  I know, I know.  Yes, he is/was a model, but let's focus, ladies.  Take a good look at his studio...amazing, isn't it?

This is the cool stuff  he creates in his studio.

Croffix Sailing Belts.....

Vicker Leed headbands  ....it's hard to choose a favorite.

Another great reason to love Rhode Island....KJP.... inspired by classic New England Style. 

(All images courtesy of Kiel James Patrick official site.)

xx ~ Michelle


My Alter Ego

If you've been reading my "Tales" for any length of time, you know all about my predilection for old~world style & fashion.  The way things were.  Ladies dressing like ladies.  Gentlemen holding open the door for said well~dressed ladies.  Bartender's who know how to shake up a true Negroni Capriccio.  Main streets lined with small shops & boutiques that open at 10:00 am and close at 5:00 pm, except for Thursday nights, and  are never, ever open on a Sunday.  Well~dressed and well~mannered shop clerks who greet you and are eager to provide the best customer service in town.   A new window display every Saturday morning to tempt all the ladies in town as they cruise down Main St. in their husband's new Chevy Impala...you get the idea.

1950s 
(photo courtesy of Ancestry.com) 

While the chance that all my dreams of yesteryear will converge upon me and life will, at last, be the way it "was" is practically null, there is one small part of it that seems to be making a comeback:

BlossomGraphicDesign.com
 (image courtesy of blossomgraphicdesign.com)

"The Boutique"

The 1980's are guilty, not only of some really horrible fashion trends, but of introducing "The Mega Mall" shopping concept.  Yes, The West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada, opened in 1981 - with more than 800 stores and a hotel, amusement park, miniature-golf course, church, "water park" for sunbathing and surfing, a zoo and a 438-foot-long lake.  Not to be out~done, the US hired the builders of that monstrosity to design the infamous "Mall of America" and it was down hill from there.  Small, family owned shops & boutiques couldn't compete with "The Mega Monster Mall" concept of shopping and one by one, they closed their doors.   With more than 16,000 similar shopping centers/malls built in the decade from 1980 to 1990, it is no wonder we drive down Main Street after Main Street in small town America and see this:

Deserted Main St. shops 

Saving some wonderful brick & mortar building from this fate by giving The Red Velvet Shoe a "proper" home is my dream.  And, apparently, I am not alone.  Apparently, way over on the other side of the USA, in Porltand, Oregon,  lives a gal named Liz, who, after hours of studying her blog, appears to be my very own "Alter Ego".

 Xtabay Vintage (4)

This is her shop: 
Xtabay Vintage.  

Xtabay Vintage (2) 

From the silk taffeta curtains on the dressing room

Xtabay Vintage (8)

to the antique French settee....

Xtabay Vintage (3) 

From the gold gilt mirror & leopard print rug

Xtabay Vintage (5)

to the Pomeranian perched on the perfect antique french~blue chair...

Xtabay Vintage 9 

I wouldn't change a thing...not to mention the amazing vintage frocks she manages to get her hands on.  So insist the children ARE taking a nap today, fix yourself a cup of tea (or a glass of something else), and treat yourself to a virtual tour of Portland's amazing Xtabay Vintage.

Liz of Xtabay Vintage Michelle of The Red Velvet Shoe
(photos courtesy of Xtabay Vintage)

Just promise me you won't leave me for my alter ego!
 

xx ~ Michelle


TABLE OR BOOTH?

This post has been swimming around in my mind for a few weeks now, as it has taken me that amount of time to absorb the wonderful events that transpired one glorious, sunny afternoon...

My sister invited my mother and I to come to Connecticut to spend the day and "do lunch"~~she had somewhere special to take us.  Knowing my sister and her refined culinary taste, I knew we would not be disappointed.  Little did I know there was far more than lunch awaiting us...

The Golden Lam Buttery Robert & Virginia Booth (7)

Tucked away in Northeastern Connecticut, in the sleepy little town of Brooklyn, is a wonderful place called The Golden Lamb Buttery, opened in 1963 by Proprietors Robert & Virginia Booth.

The Golden Lam Buttery Robert & Virginia Booth (10) 

"Virginia Wagoner Booth, known as Jimmie Booth, studied printing and engineering at Syracuse University. An engineer with Pratt & Whitney during World War II, she entered the fashion world as a bridal consultant at G. Fox in Hartford in 1945.
In 1952 Dorothy Shaver, of Lord & Taylor, hired Booth for the Hartford store and asked her to develop and manage The Country Clothes Shop in the 5thAvenue store in New York. There, Booth collaborated with and promoted such American designers as Clare Potter, Bonnie Cashin, and Claire McCardell. Booth also worked extensively with European designers.
Married to Bob Booth of Hillandale Weavers, Jimmie promoted the use of both American and European hand-loomed fabrics by her designers. She frequently modeled the fashions herself. Her casual, yet elegant, style is the epitome of "the American Look" still popular today.
In 1998, Jimmie Booth, Dorothy Shaver, and other creators of The American Look were saluted in the exhibition, "Designing Women: American Style 1940-1960"at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford.
In addition to her design work, Booth was a violinist with the Hartford Symphony in the 1940s, and later became the chef at the Brooklyn, Connecticut, Golden Lamb Buttery, which she and her husband, Bob, own and operate."
(Courtesy of Archives Center, Smithsonian,National Museum of American History)

The Golden Lam Buttery Robert & Virginia Booth (40) 
(Virginia Booth featured in The New York Times~Courtesy of
The Golden Lamb Buttery)

Robert Booth was the great grandson of William Booth, founder of The Salvation Army.  His father was textile mogul Henry Booth (1895~1969).

"In the early 1940s, (Henry) Booth came up with the idea for the PhotoMetriC camera system to be used in the custom tailoring industry. The system consisted of a specially-designed arrangement of nine mirrors. Eight mirrors reflected separate views of the customer and one mirror reflected the customer’s name and other information. These angled mirrors allowed a photograph to be taken which showed the customer from the front, back, side, and top. A slide of this photographic measurement would be sent, along with the customer’s garment order, to the manufacturer. When the order arrived, the tailor would project the customer’s image on a special screen which facilitated the taking of certain physical measurements. With the aid of the PhotoMetriC calculator, the tailor translated the measurements into specifications for a customer-specific garment. When finished, the garment would be mailed directly to the customer’s home. According to testimonials in the collection, the garments fit perfectly the first time, every time. The PhotoMetriC system both saved the tailor money and relieved the customer of the inconvenience of having to return to the tailor again and again for time-consuming fittings, alterations, and adjustments.
The PhotoMetriC system made its debut in two Richard Bennett stores in New York City on May 17, 1948. It was subsequently licensed to other select retailers such as: The Custom Gentleman (Englewood, NJ); Nathan’s (Richmond, VA); The Golden Fleece (Point Pleasant Borough, NJ); and Joseph’s (Terre Haute, IN). 
Hillandale, a Brooklyn, CT farm which Booth purchased about 1940, was later used to produce hand woven wool fabrics. These fabrics were used extensively by various PhotoMetriC retail outlets. Henry Booth’s son, Robert (b. 1924), took over farm operations circa 1960 and opened a retail outlet on the premises which featured a PhotoMetriC fitting room which provided custom tailoring until the mid-1970s. "
(courtesy of  The Lemelson Center, Smithsonian,National Museum of American History)

 

The Golden Lam Buttery Robert & Virginia Booth (42) 
(Courtesy of Hillandale Handweavers Farm Estate)
 

As we walked into the stable, which is the restaurant, my eye was drawn to this:

The Golden Lam Buttery Robert & Virginia Booth (12) The Golden Lam Buttery Robert & Virginia Booth (13) The Golden Lam Buttery Robert & Virginia Booth (14) 

Please bear in mind I did not have the advantage of the family history I have provided for you, dear reader.  As we stroll the length of the stable, the walls are covered with such a variety of art, artifacts, sketches, photographs, and paintings that my Art Gallery OCD begins lurking it's ugly head, I am overwhelmed.  I cannot seem to correlate the wonderful smell of horse & hay, the un~even barn board floor, the smell of fresh herbs & simmering pots of deliciousness wafting through a secret doorway, and this constant thread of couture fashion that seems to run through the vast estate.

The Golden Lam Buttery Robert & Virginia Booth (16) The Golden Lam Buttery Robert & Virginia Booth (17) 

The Golden Lam Buttery Robert & Virginia Booth (18) The Golden Lam Buttery Robert & Virginia Booth (28) 

 The Golden Lam Buttery Robert & Virginia Booth (24) The Golden Lam Buttery Robert & Virginia Booth (27)
 (a quiet table for two, the most requested in the house)
 

Suddenly Katie, granddaughter of Mr. & Mrs. Booth, arrives.  She escorts us to the veranda for cocktails...a delightful idea.

 The Golden Lam Buttery Robert & Virginia Booth (20) 

The view from the veranda.

 

The Golden Lam Buttery Robert & Virginia Booth (23) 

The aromas coming from the kitchen entice us to our table...the menu is simple but wonderful.   Zucchini Bisque and Duck Salad for me, my Mom and sister try the chilled fresh berry soup (which looks like a delicious dessert!), the Shrimp Salad & Crepe Du Jour...divine.

The Golden Lam Buttery Robert & Virginia Booth (37) The Golden Lam Buttery Robert & Virginia Booth (38) 

Long, leisurely lunching is encouraged, if not required.  A wonderful change from the harried restaurant experience that has so sadly become accepted today.  So linger we did.   Just as we finished our lunch, the delightful sous~chef Betty arrived at our table, and the story telling began...

It was from her we learned all about Mr. & Mrs. Booth and their fascinating love story.  Mr. Booth's father (of Hillandale Handweavers)  made frequent trips to NYC for business and it was there his path crossed with Ms. Virginia Wagoner.  He returned from NY and told his son "There is someone I want you to meet."  The rest is history.  Ms. Wagoner became Mrs. Robert Booth, left the big city and moved out into the beautiful, but very quiet town of Brooklyn.  She went straight to work in the haberdashery with her new husband and father~in~law; her experience in the fashion/clothing industry proved extremely valuable to the family business.  Bespoke suits were the order of the day~~clients arrived from all over . . . and would return multiple times a year, either for fittings or for something new.

As time passed, Mrs. Booth, being of an engineering mind, realized that if their clients were willing to travel from all over to this quiet country town, they would need a place to dine.  Alas, there was no such place for miles and miles in any given direction.  In 1963 The Golden Lamb Buttery was born.  She renovated part of the barn across the street into a quaint restaurant, where weary travelers could find refreshment.  The menu was simple but with fresh ingredients from the farm & prepared by Mrs. Booth's loving hands~delicious!   Visitors were encouraged to linger and relax, to enjoy the beautiful view and the peaceful serenity of the farm which stood in stark contrast to the cities from which most had come.

This wonderful marriage of bespoke tailoring and gourmet food continued into the 1970s.  In 1971, The Golden Lamb Buttery began offering dinner... just as the custom tailoring part of the business was slipping away.  Ready~made clothing & synthetic fabrics had become the more fashionable choice for the masses and this wonderful old~world haberdashery eventually closed it's doors for good. 

In 2008, Mr. & Mrs. Booth's granddaughter, Katie Bogert,  accepted her role in the family legacy and began as hostess & proprietor of The Golden Lamb Buttery.  A large order, but one I greatly admire & respect.  To have such a young lady (perhaps in her late 20s, of course I couldn't ask!)  realize the wonderful heritage she has been granted and to do her part to keep it alive is practically unheard of today. 

Well advanced in years, Mr. & Mrs. Booth have since retired, but their presence is strongly felt everywhere, from Mrs. Booth's beautiful sketches to her hand~written recipes still used in the kitchen.  Some of the very first patrons are still coming to "The Lamb" some 40 years later to enjoy the experience.  Paul Newman, Glenn Close, Carol King & Alec Baldwin are just a few of the celebrities who made the journey to this quiet little corner of New England.  

That day will be a day I will always treasure...being just 15 miles or so from my grandparents dairy farm tugged at my heartstrings...how very much Mrs. Booth reminded me of my grandmother in so many ways.  The only thing which could have made this day any more perfect would have been the privilege of meeting this fascinating couple, Mr. & Mrs. Robert & Virginia Booth.  

At The Golden Lamb Buttery, you don't have to decide between a table or "Booth"~~you can enjoy both at your leisure...just be prepared to linger.

The Golden Lam Buttery Robert & Virginia Booth (11) 

Post Update/20 July 2011:  
The Golden Lamb  has also added a new country gift shop called "The Primitive Creek".   Staying within the country decor, the gift shop carries local artisans with items such as hand knitted scarves, knitted and felted wool purses, pottery, jewelry and Gourmet Chocolate Truffles just to mention a few.  For the folks with a taste of more modern flare they also carry Murano, Italy Glass, vintage/antique window glass in every color of the rainbow and much, much more.  Tami Hamel, a Folk Artist of acrylic painting, is the owner/operator of this wonderful gift shop added to the already enchanting establishment.  (See comment thread for more information provided by Ms. Hamel.)

 

Virginia_Wagoner_Booth 
This post is dedicated to
the Memory of
Virginia Wagoner Booth 
20 June 1922 - 9 January 2011

 
 

xx ~ Michelle


HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: AN AFFORDABLE WARDROBE, FABULOUS FINDS GAL & THE SART

 

With the plague of rain still upon us, I don't have much time to waste spend blogging as the H2O level in my basement continues to rise.  Of course the flood has to hit AFTER my DH has a brand new washer & dryer delivered for me ~~ (you know you've been married a long time when this is a cause for great excitement!)  and right when I need to be working & preparing for The Top Shelf Flea. 

I do, however, wish to share the following three Highly Recommended Blog Posts (Two for purely selfish reasons, I admit).

1.)  AN AFFORDABLE WARDROBE

Our fearless leader for the Top Shelf Flea has at long~last posted the list of vendors who will be marketing their vintage treasures, so click on the link above to visit his fabulous blog that's all about "how to be a well~dressed man even if one has a small budget for fashion" ~~ or in his coy words:
"Penury is not an excuse."

2.)  FABULOUS FINDS GAL

My Californian~Blond~Goddess blogger pal, who I've written about in the past , has once again given The Red Velvet Shoe a front & center spot in her latest blog post all about Vintage Lingerie.  She did all the leg~work finding some of the best vintage lingerie out there, so if you're in the mood for some OO~LA~LA, click the link above & go take a peek, we won't tell!

3.)  THE SARTORIALIST

Funny, I wonder how many people not directly involved in the "fashion world"  would even know what the word sartorial meant just five years ago . . . interesting.  As is the little contest Mr. Schuman is hosting on his blog right now~~submit a favorite antique/vintage photo of someone who inspires you in some fashionable way and, if you're photo is chosen . . . you'll have to go see what the prize is~just click the link above.  Unfortunately, his blog isn't that easy to navigate around, so you'll have to just scroll back through the posts to find the actual contest post.  Numerous beautiful sepia~tone photos await you, so it shouldn't be that painful!

Stinkin rain (3) 
Definitely not as bad as this! 

xx ~ Michelle