Living Well in Litchfield County, Connecticut

On Our Radar
Faces, places, treasures, and trends that caught our attention
Tony Vengrove

Holiday Gift Guide 2022

This year, you might still be giddy about the return to holiday normalcy—Bring on the trappings and tidings! Or, maybe you’re surprised (panicked?) it’s here again so soon—Is there a sensible way to scale this back? Either way, creative purveyors and experience-makers from across Litchfield County (and beyond) have lined up unique goods and services for spreading joy to you and yours this season. [Sponsored] 

By Brandee Coleman Gilmore 

The Season to Shine

The salon shampoo experience is hard to top—every-thing smells scrumptious, and leaves your hair look-ing and feeling otherworldly. This holiday, luxe salon Byrde + the b suggests treating your holiday honey to that luxurious salon feeling right in their own shower, with a Shu Uemura trio. This best-kept-secret for beautiful, healthy, shiny hair hails from Japan, and is a favorite of supermodels. They’ll help you hand pick perfect products for a stress-free experience. $156

Byrde + the b

10 Titus Road, Washington Depot, 860-619-0422,

Tony Vengrove

The Weather Outside is Frightful

For the person who spends winter on the slopes (or simply surviving the local temps), 3 Guys Ski & Ride is where to get gear. They stock, of course, skis and boards, but also rugged apparel for men and women. This season, they love the ladies Highlander Jacket by Marmot. Its body-skimming down silhouette fits great under a shell, or can be worn every day as an outer jacket. $225

3 Guys Ski & Ride

406 Sharon Goshen Tpke, West Cornwall, 860-248-3281,

Tony Vengrove

The Greatest Gift

During the digital age and the dead of winter, many of us appreciate an opportunity to unplug with a good book. You can check off your list with a range of best sellers at House of Books in Kent. Your nephew’s not a reader? No problem. They’ve got fun stocking stuffers and extras, too, like pens, toys, candles, and notebooks! If you aren’t sure whether they’ll like the latest novel or a gripping piece of nonfiction—go with the gift card. $5-40

House of Books

10 N Main Street, Kent, 860-927-4104,

Tony Vengrove

On, Dasher On, Dancer!

Your furry friends need to have their stockings stuffed, too. Depot Dog Boutique is your source for all things pet wellness, carrying everything from leashes and toys to sweaters and snacks. This season, they also stock a selection of horse blanket coats by Canine Styles, made to keep your doggos warm and stylish. $100-135

Depot Dog Boutique

11 Titus Road, Washington Depot, 860-619-0430,

Tony Vengrove

The Gift of Freedom

Today’s high-end sports cars are so good, so capable, there’s simply no way to explore their limits on the street. Owners often can’t resist the opportunity to drive them as they’re meant to be driven. The Lime Rock Drivers Club offers a “ticket-free” opportunity to run your ride without speed limits. Whether you’re experienced or a total novice, you can purchase four hours of track time that includes in-car coaching by world class professionals. $750+

Lime Rock Driver’s Club

497 Lime Rock Road, Lakeville, 860-435-5000,

Making Spirits Bright

It’s hard to go wrong with high-class hooch—especial-ly when it’s locally crafted. Litchfield Distillery doesn’t disappoint this year with its holiday release of a lus-cious Rum-finished Bourbon Whiskey, bottled at 100 proof. The five-year-old Connecticut-grown bourbon rests an additional seven months in South American rum casks to bring out notes of caramelized sugar, with hints of molasses and dark fruits. The bottle comes in a classy wooden box with two rocks glasses, and is available at several local retailers. $89.95

Litchfield Distillery

569 Bantam Road, Litchfield, 860-361-6503,

Tony Vengrove

Reindeer Games

The holidays are all about toys—even for the grown up girls and boys in your life. No quarters are required in this 60-game tabletop arcade unit, available for delivery from Encore Billiards & Gameroom. It features classics like Pacman, Space Invaders, and Donkey Kong for one or two players. You just plug it in and play… until your screen time is up. Made in the USA, and also available as a cocktail table or upright unit. $1795+

Encore Billiards & Gameroom

1581 Boston Post Road, Milford, 203-783-1159,

All is Calm

After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, settling in for some self-care would be the best gift. The Spa at Litchfield Hills has the perfect holiday treat: their limited edition spa package includes a 50-minute Cause+Medic CBD Massage, an OSEA Organic Spa Facial, a Spa Pedicure, and Spa Manicure. Let your loved one usher in 2023 with professional pamper-ing. Gift certificates can be purchased online, over the phone, or in-store. In-store pickup or shipping available. $430

The Spa at Litchfield Hills

407A Bantam Road, Litchfield, 860-567-8575,

Tony Vengrove

All is Bright

Newcomer Plaid Rooster Co. is sleigh-ing the soy candle space, boasting fresh scents and small batches hand-poured in Litchfield County. Launched in the doldrums of 2020, their mission is to awaken the senses (cue the rooster) with only the finest natural, non-toxic ingredients. This holiday’s bestseller is their ‘Lump of Coal Fire Bowl’, a hand-carved wood dough bowl filled with American-grown soy wax. It’s infused with a rich smoky fragrance, and nestled in reflective black glass. $44

Plaid Rooster Co.

22 Kent Road South, Cornwall Bridge, 860-248-3040,

Tony Vengrove

Good Tidings

Holidays are the traditional time to send warm wishes, but expressing kind thoughts in a note is never out of season. Sumptuous stationery makes for a lovely yet practical gift, and D.K. Schulman in New Preston has all you’d want. This season, they have a new collection of scallop-cut note cards from Gros-venor Stationery Co. of London. The edges are hand-painted, and the scallop-cut carries to the envelopes. You can also literally wrap up your shopping here with the curated selection of housewares, jewelry, ‘gifts for him,’ and wrapping services. $70/set of 10

D.K. Schulman

15 East Shore Road, New Preston, 860-868-4300,

Tony Vengrove

You Better Watch Out…

for the ‘Whimsical Wonderland’ holiday gift shop, hosted by the Washington Art Association & Gallery open Wednesday through Sunday November 25 to December 24. Designer and artist, Paige Boller, chairs this year’s events. Kick off the weekends every Friday from 5-6:30pm with a ‘Jingle & Mingle.’ Have a little holiday cheer over cocktails with your friends and neighbors, and keep an eye out for a special surprise! Return on Saturdays for TAX-FREE shopping on one-of-a-kind offerings by local artists and artisans.

WAA & Gallery

4 Bryan Memorial Plaza, Washington Depot, 860-868-2878,

The Charm of You

Sinatra sang, “The charm of you is comparable to a Christmas tree with toys.” This season, you can literally charm your significant other with a line of 18-karat gold, jeweled charms designed exclusively for Hays Worthington in New Preston. Create a unique gift bracelet recalling all those special moments of life. If you haven’t ever popped in to ogle the other eye candy on display at this fine and period jeweler, you’re in for a colorful treat. Open Thursday – Sunday, 11:30 – 5 pm.

Hays Worthington

13 East Shore Road, New Preston, 860-619-0714,

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