We went to see New England in the Fall in 2008. It was one of those holidays I had always dreamed about but always slightly hesitant that it might be a disappointment and not quite live up to expectations. I shouldn’t have had doubts; it was a really brilliant holiday. Was this going to be the year that the trees turned colour late, or not at all? I couldn’t believe the autumnal colours could be so vibrant, just like in the movies. The colour spectrum of yellows, oranges, reds, russets, browns and a hundred shades of green were breath-taking. What was charming about New England is that it was really full of small towns with white clapperboard houses and churches, vibrant communities welcoming tourists but not taken over by them. I loved the New England food. Clam Chowder has to be my favourite; you can guarantee fresh fish and and great home cooked food in New England.
The other thing that New England towns specialise in is Christmas shops – shops open all year round selling Christmas decorations and artefacts, often alongside other shabby chic and shaker-style furnishings. In one shop I bought a Christmas tree decoration of a wooden lounger that you find on the porch of the clapper board houses; at another I bought a tiny bird house to hang on our tree.
I bought this tea towel in Wilmington, Vermont, a delightful town with a great ice cream bar – first thing I spotted and had a banana ice cream sundae. There was a shop selling linen – tablecloths and napkins, towels, bed linen and, of course, tea towels. This Christmas tea towel is very much understated, in two-tone green (although the photograph is deceptive and it looks blue), with Vermont written down the two long sides and some Christmas symbols – trees and snowflakes. It is a lovely tea towel to use because it is made of soft and absorbant cotton – great for drying glasses and delicate china.
Using this tea towel brings back some wonderful memories of New England in the Fall – don’t let anyone persuade you that New England in the Fall isn’t as good as the publicity makes it out to be. Well worth a visit, a visit of a lifetime.
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