Tuesday, September 20, 2016

at home in Chester

The French Hen is now in our 3rd month in Chester and we feel right at home. Many of our lovely customers are finding us and discovering the magic of Chester center. Chester may be small, but it's mighty. The options for dining are numerous and range from fine dining to pubs and coffee shops. Our restaurants downtown include (all conveniently within a stone's throw of The French Hen and not listed in any particular order):
1. River Tavern
2. Good Elephant
3. Pattaconk
4. Riverside Thai
5. Otto Pizza
6. Wheatmarket
7. Simon's Market Place
8. Homage coffee & art
9. The Villager

Plus, just outside of the village we have Moravela's Pizza and Rustica Italian.  If you haven't been to Chester yet, come soon because you are bound to find something wonderful.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

All moved in and lots of thanks to go around

It's been quite a week! Last Sunday we closed the door at the Essex shop for the last time at 5pm. While it was a little sad to end our run there, I was anxious to get to work...and work it was! Less than one week later, Friday at 5pm,  the shop was open in Chester.  The painting, cleaning, staining, packing, moving, unpacking and arranging have taken every moment of everyday and was utterly exhausting! But, the outcome is spectacular. The store is so beautiful, even better than I could have ever imagined. It's light, bright, airy and happy.

The transition from Essex to Chester would not have been possible without the help of my tireless husband, sons and many friends; A huge thanks to Rob, Shay, Dan, Beth, Andy, RJ, Nina, Drew, Patrice, Jeff, MaryKay, Jon, Geoff, Henry, John, Kevin, Zach, Dave, and Paul. My team of French Hen girls have been great too- Kathryn, Kay, Alicia, Stephanie and Rachel...I am so very lucky to have such wonderful people in my life. Thanks to all of my helpers....xxxooo!

Stop by when you are in the area...you will love the new shop! Now, time to rest these weary bones.

Monday, June 6, 2016

S'well Bottles

If you have been in The French Hen, lately, chances are you've heard me gush about S'well bottles. They are simply awesome. They look and feel great and keep my water nice and cold. I drink more water because I love my S'well so. I use the medium size for my personal use and the big boy for the boat and beach etc. PS:the big boy holds an entire bottle of chilled wine so concerts in the park...no cooler or ice needed! This is THE GIFT for the graduates, golfers, boaters, yogis, tea totalers, wine lovers, hikers, bikers, teens, chicks, dudes...everyone!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Wall art & Mirrors

Sale...30% off... spruce up those walls on the cheap!

Friday, May 20, 2016


Yes, it is true,  I am relocating the shop to Chester. It has been a tough decision and one that took a long time to make. I knew it was time for a new space and I looked around for quite a while...even considering Glastonbury. But as a resident and huge fan of Chester...the choice was made. I hope my "regulars" will make the trip to shop in Chester...it's only about 8 minutes away. Meanwhile everything in the store is discounted...some more than others. I"m just lightening the load for the big move. At the end of June some of the larger fixtures will be offered for sale.

I will miss the village of Essex and all of the wonderful people that live and work there. But, like I've always said, to me Tri-town is actually one town...and a small one at that! I love Chester, Deep River and Essex.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The best gift I ever received

What's the best gift you've ever gotten? I can tell you mine. It was from my husband on the Christmas right before I opened The French Hen.  I think in Rob's mind it was a "stocking stuffer" level gift. It was a book titled "A Shop of One's Own" and it meant so much to me. The expensive sapphire earrings were meant to be the star,  but in my heart it was all about that little book. I cried when I opened it and just typing this got a little misty thinking back . I felt understood and acknowledged and that meant everything.

As you can imagine, I think about gifts a lot. Not so much about receiving them, but giving them and what makes a great gift great. I help people pick out presents for their loved ones everyday and have witnessed some very interesting gift-buying styles over the years. While there are the confident and decisive gift givers,  I would say that the indecisive and uncertain ones make up the majority of shoppers. When someone comes in with that obvious, "on a mission" posture, I jump in to assist. A good starting point is price because everyone knows how much they can afford to spend and I respect that. And price is just the first filter. And then- what are the recipient's interests? Gardening, yoga, preppy stuff, cooking, TV, nature, music, dragonflies, big earrings, apple pie, pink, entertaining, family? Just a little nugget, anything at all. What is their age? I could never suggest the fabulous peony-scented candle in mercury glass for an elderly lady or a teenager for that matter (danger Will Robinson). I would never suggest a figurine for someone that is described as a "hoarder" (actually happened today-no lie!) but instead a "consumable" like organic french soap or shea butter hand cream. My advice, whether you are shopping at The French Hen or any other gift boutique, is to allow the shop keepers to help you...we have the intel on every product on the shelves. We know the trends and can make great suggestions...it is after all, what we do.  It's very satisfying to hear about a gift that hits the mark from my store.

So anyway...its graduation time and we have some really nice selections for those who are about to launch into the future. Come on in and I will help you find something wonderful.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

give her what she wants, what she really really wants

Mother's day is Sunday people. It's the day Mom gets her performance appraisal...from you. This is a cumulative review from the moment you were born (or delivered by stork) to now. Consider the sleepless nights, countless bedtime stories, the fevers, parent teacher conferences, rides to swim lessons and all the LOVE. It's the day to say thanks for it all, the day to lay it on thick. Sappy, sweet and sentimental. She deserves it, but you already know that.