Last Saturday Dan and I did something that we haven’t done for quite some time. We took a day and went on a local adventure that included boutique shopping and fine dining.
When we share with people where we live, a lot of people will respond with, “all the way down there”. What they don’t understand is that in 45 minutes, you can be in some amazing small towns and villages. Along the way, you will see some of the most beautiful Appalachian countryside as an added bonus.
As I write this, I am trying to remember the last time that I was on a major 4 lane highway. Honestly, I can’t remember.
Morgan County is small. It is one of the smallest counties by population ranking at #85 out of the 88 counties in our great state of Ohio. However, our county neighbors a few of the larger counties in our state which makes Morgan County a great home base and central to a lot to see and do.
So last Saturday we ventured over into neighboring Perry County and spent the day in historic Somerset. Like McConnesville, Somerset has a beautiful downtown square with a few unique restaurants and stores. It is SO worth the drive.
As you know, we are big social media buffs, and we are blessed with a few good friends in Perry County. Lately, we have been seeing a lot of buzz online about a new shop and restaurant located in the heart of town - a french restaurant, and a second-hand western shop. It got our attention. Well, perhaps it was the thought of baked brie and wine, but do not hold that against us.
After checking in with our weekend guests and making sure that they were well cared for, off we went, traveling those back country roads into Perry County. Our first stop was for food. Of course, one can’t shop hangry. At least this girl can’t.
Our goal was to shop, and eat at three local restaurants for the day. Not only were we trying to fill our bellies, but also help support small local businesses who need all of our help now more than ever.
We landed in town around 11:30 am, and it had to be 5’oclock somewhere. We thought a glass of wine and appetizers would fit the bill for this stop, and the new Epicerie et les fleurs did not disappoint.
Epicerie is located right off of the square on Main Street. It’s a vibrant looking building with a very charming and rustic feel on the inside. They even have enclosed outside seating with heaters for cooler days. For this day, we chose inside for the rustic appeal. Mismatched chairs and tables combined with hardwood floors and wood beams gave such a cozy feel. I am sad to say that we were so focused on the food that I totally forgot to take interior photos.
We stop dead in our tracks for a good brie. We found that and then some with baked brie topped with fig jam, a side of scrumptious olive tapenade coupled with amazing bruschetta, and crusty french bread. All of this was nicely complemented with a wonderful suggestion of good Pinot Noir.
As we scoured their menu, we drooled over their homemade dessert listing. Remember, we were on a mission to visit three restaurants. With shopping to do, time in between meals would be short so we had to skip the dessert this time and get our retail therapy on. We know that we will be returning to Epicerie.
Then it was off to our second stop of the day, Mid Western Second Hand. This carefully curated second-hand shop was just perfect. I did snap quite a few photos in this tastefully decorated boutique. The wool blankets might have had me drooling, but the selection of fine second hand, name brand denim jeans and shirts made my heart stop. Not to mention, the pricing is good too.
We both picked up some jeans, and I snagged a Woolrich flannel for the upcoming winter months. My favorite by far was a holiday gift that I secured for a certain family member. I so wish I could divulge, but I promise to share it when the time is right.
From Mid Western we ventured over to the unique shop of Gypsy Hawaii Boutique. Here, they feature a variety of local artists’ wares including handmade jewelry, original paintings, artisan tie-dyes, crystals and so much more. We picked up a couple of cute little handmade gifts for our two youngest grandchildren. Definitely a shop worth the stop.
We also popped into the Antique store and browsed their floors. We are always on the look out for unique items for the Inns at 8th & Main.
After an afternoon of traipsing around the square, we popped in to Strong and Company for a beer, an appetizer and the end of the OSU game. This family owned and operated restaurant was a great stop to rest our feet and prepare for our next meal.
Our final meal of the day was from the historic Clay Haus serving the Somerset area with fine German inspired and American cuisine since 1978. They tag themselves as the “Little country cookery with German influences”. Homemade potato cakes and fine prime rib coupled nicely with a red blend wine. We finished with coffee and a fresh baked cream puff. It was a meal fit for a King and Queen.
The Clay Haus is much like the Stone House. It is an old, historic building of the 1800's. It was built by a cousin of President Andrew Jackson. The president himself was a visitor there.
Overall, it was a successful day out supporting neighboring local businesses. We are so happy that we took the time out for this day trip. It again, reminds us that our home, the Inns at 8th and Main, is the perfect place to call home base for a few days - the perfect place to lay your head with close proximity to first-rate shopping and dining.