Salt Cellar: A World of Salt
The Salt Celler is a shop located in the Commercial Alley. We orginally came to investigate this shop strictly because our favorite book store was once located here and we wanted to see what had taken its place.
Just like the name states it's a salt shop in the cellar of a building. I'm not talking about the table salt you sprinkle on you food but some good quality salt products. They sell more than 40 finishing salts for eating and cooking as well as solid Himalayan salt blocks for cooking and serving, soaking salts and scrubs for the body. Until I met my wife I had no clue there were different types of salts for different things. I knew I was in trouble when she started wandering around in this shop.
There are many shelves that hold jars of salt along with their description, origin and what you can use them for or with when cooking. Little sample spoons are in jars for tasting the salt before purchase as well as a much needed water cooler to wash away the salt taste in your mouth. We went around the room, sampling different varieties of salt:Fleur de Sel, Alaea Hawaiian, Chipotle, Vanilla Bean and more.
My wife decided to add to her ever growing collection of salt by purchaseing some Hawaiian Black and Bali Pyramid Salt. The salt came in glass jars with cork top stoppers. Each jar was $25 for a considerable amount of product. My wife left happy with our purchases already planning what meals needed her new salts.
Since first discovering this shop; we return on every visit for some new and favorite salts for home.
What to buy: I want it all!
Tulips American Handcrafts: Fantastic local craft work
What an amazing shop. I was spoilt for choice with the quality and range of work created within New Hampshire. All craft work is locally made and the shop supports its local artisans and community. The only thing that stopped me buying loads of stuff was the amount of space that I had in my luggage. I bought a lovely piece of sustainable art from local artist Nina Fox Herilhy.
Open 7 days a week - Monday to Saturday 10:00am to 05:30pm; Sundays noon to 05:00pm
Definitely a shop that I would revisit.
Various outlet stores: Kittery outlets
Just over 3 miles from Portsmouth is the Maine Kittery Outlets & Kittery Trading Post. There are a huge variety of stores spread over a large area where you can buy men's wear, women's wear, children's wear, household items, sports clothing, outdoor gear, shoes etc etc etc.
Some of the big name brands there include Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Barbour, Levi's, Tommy Hilfiger, the list goes on.
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
Byrne & Carlson Chocolatier: Chocolate Heaven
I came across this shop by accident on my way back from Strawbery Banke. I would equate the shop to an Aladdin's Cave packed full of chocolate.if you let your imagination wander and conjure up what a chocolate shop would look like in your dreams then it would bear a very close resemblance to this one! I found my eyes being drawn to chocolate after chocolate after chocolate and the hardest part was choosing what I wanted. The gentleman in the shop was very patient and helped me make my selection by boxing up individual chocolates of my choice.
In a town full of small independent shops, this has to be amongst the best!
What to buy: Handmade chocolates.
What to pay: You can spend as little or as much as you wish.
- Luxury Travel
Serendipity: Quirky little shop
Serendipity is a store we first stopped in during our pub crawl for Cinco de Mayo 2012. My wife and Lydia were intrigued by the window display and had to check it out for themselves. The shop sells women's shoes, clothing, accessories, jewelry and swimwear. The ladies had a good time perusing the merchandise especially the jewelry. I killed some time making friends with the shop owner’s small black poodle who happens to be quite friendly. During this little shopping excursion my wife found a nice necklace for herself that was a steal at $14.
Our most recent visit to Portsmouth in June 2012, we stopped in to check out the merchandise. My wife found a pair of earrings that matched her necklace that she had purchased here in May. They were nice quality and only $14.
Sheafe Books: Wonderful Bookstore
In today's world of Amazon and Barnes and Noble; it is nice to see that there is still an independent bookstore surviving. Sheafe Books to me is a treasure of new and used books. The owner Ken Kozick, is friendly, helpful and knows what his customers want in a book.
I love the inviting feel of the shop. I could peruse books all day; they have some qaulity books. My wife loves the place since she refuses to read anything but "real" books and forgoes the popularity of devices such as Nooks and Kindles. The smell and feel of a book is heaven to her and I can appreciate that fully.
Our last visitto Portsmouth during Memorial Day 2012; we stopped in to explore the book selection. I found an interesting book about the Panama Canal. The book was old but in excellent condition with a detailed fold out map in the front cover. This was just what I wanted and it was a bargain at only $6.
I can't wait to return again to see what book catches my eye.
Treehouse Toys: Toy Shopping
My wife loves coming to the shop to check out their toys. The shop has a nice selection of toys, games, books and stuffed animals for children of all ages. In particular I like their Leggos and Thomas the Tank Engine toys the best. My wife prefers their stuffed animals and books for her nephew.
Lovell Designs Inc.: Interesting Handmade Pieces
Lovell Designs Inc. is one of the many interesting shops along Market Square. We were window shopping when some of the unique compass design pieces in the window caught my eye. We decided to go inside and see the workmanship up close. We found that the shop specializes in handmade and unique pieces of earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets and other accessories in silver, gold and pewter.
We perused the merchandise before coming across the collection with the compass design. There was a variety of pieces in white with light blue as well as a deep navy hue. A white pair of cufflinks edged in silver caught my eye. I am a professed collector of cufflinks and am always looking for something unique or original. I didn't even have the chance to convey my thought of the cufflinks when my wife snatched them up to purchase them. She knew from my expression that I wanted them. So off she went to the register with my cufflinks. I was quite surprised that such a nice quality piece was only $48.
The woman at the register was very nice and friendly. After a brief conversation she even helped us find a rare bookstore in the area we wanted to locate.
What to buy: The cufflinks were $48 which was a good price in my opinion for hand craftsmanship and unique design.
What to pay: Affordable for any budget
Byrne & Carlson: Handmade Gourmet Chocolates
We would have walked right by this store if the sign hadn't intrigued my wife. The shop is located in a simple brick townhouse so it is easy to miss but the bright crimson sign above does draw attention.
From the moment we stepped inside; it was chocolate heaven. Display cases showcased handcrafted chocolates, dipped fruits, fruit jellies, truffles,marzipan, praline, nut clusters and bars. The shelves held unique chocolate bars with Venezuelan chocolate accented with Chipolte pepper, assorted flowers and fruits and nuts. Beautiful gift boxes were arranged on tables along with chocolate covered coffee beans.
The owners pride themselves on their handcrafted small batch chocolates made from the finest cocoa beans from all over the world. Chocolates can be purchased in boxes or by the piece. Any chocolate lover would be wowed by this shop.
My wife adores chocolate covered caramels with sea salt and they had a nice selection of both milk and dark in the display case. We decided to get a box of a dozen pieces to take back with us to the hotel for later. The chocolates were packaged in a gold box and placed in a simple bag with store logo. The chocolate was eight dollars and change for the twelve pieces; which to me is rather cheap for such good quality.
These caramels are the best my wife has enjoyed. She usually purchases some seat salted caramels from a store called Chocopologie in Norwalk Ct but has now found here favorite here in this shop. Fortunately we are in Portsmouth many times throughout the year so I can indulge my wife is some of this chocolate.
What to buy: My wife purchased some milk chocolate covered caramels with sea salt; a favorite of hers. But anyone who loves chocolate will find something delicious here.
Attrezzi: Housewares and more........
Atrezzi is a store we like to visit when we are in Portsmouth. The store has a nice variety of kitchen accesories such as dishes, serving pieces, wines, condiments, table linns and decorative items. There is always something new and fun to see especially their kitchen aprons and cocktail napkins.
Our last visit in May 2012 there was a wine tasting upstairs. It was a nice turnout with several different wines along with various cheese and crackers.
New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlet: Got Booze?
Looking for some discount wine and liquor without the tax; then stop here. My wife and I always make this a stop when we are heading home from Portsmouth. The prices are better than at home and without the tax.
They ahave a large selection of wine, champagne, hard liquor and mixers. The store is well organized with wines by region and variety so it is easy to find what you are looking for.
Our last stop here was May 2012. We found one of our favorite New Zealand wines for $10.99 a bottle which was $3 cheaper than our local store.
Macro Polo: Interesting Items....
MAcro Polo is one of those ecclectic shops that sell everything from rubber doggy poop to stuffed animals. The store is a mish mosh of gag gifts, toys, political humor, mad lib books, magnets and so much more. Liz and I had a fun time looking through the kooky merchandise.
What to buy: Liz bought a pigy bank that read: I'm saving up to quite my job...every peny saved shaves a minute off the clock. She keeps it on her desk as a joke.
Gulliver's Travel Books & Maps(CLOSED): Everything for the traveler, except the tickets
This store has since CLOSED
Gulliver's was "the" store for a travel junkie like myself. The store wass located downstairs from another book shop and wass loaded to the gills with all things travel. They had a large selction of guides, maps, tavel essays, journals, luggage tags, travel gear and other travel themed items. I was in heaven wandering the aisles and looking at all the destinations in front of me.
What to buy: Maps, books, travel guides, etc....
Our last visit here I purchased a pop up map and the latest DK book for an upcoming trip we have in May.
Cool Jewels: Dresses and Jewelry
We wandered into Cool Jewels because Liz liked a dress in the window. The shop was full of jewlry, accesories and women's clothing. After closer inspection and trying the dress on, Liz decided to pass on the dress. It was just one of those cases of somthing looking better on a hanger than up close.
The prices here weren't too bad with a sundress priced at $67.
None in particular
What to buy: Kittery has a number of retail places to shop and is apparently a destination spot, scattered alongside Hwy 1. Portsmouth has many unique shops in the old downtown area. They also claim that goods are tax free. I am not sure what that means, because I got charged tax.
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