We were in Newport, R.I., to celebrate a a surprise engagement weekend for a gorgeous girlfriend of ours and her equally as handsome fiancé. But before we could get to the surprise soiree we had to connect with our inner consumerist.
With our shopping shoes on and credit cards at the ready, we headed to Thames Street. Thames has countless bars, restaurants and shops; and when I say shops I mean the cutest boutiques you’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting.
Our first stop was Re-Sail. The shops sell bags and clothes using recycled sail materials. Everything from Kevlar, sails, webbing and the signature zig zag is used to create products you can wear or carry.
I had purchased a duffle bag and toiletry kit on a previous trip to Newport but was excited to see they now sold matching garment bags. I bought one for myself but can’t help but think they would make the perfect gift for any sailing enthusiast in your life, especially guys. I don’t know about you, but men in my life have drastically underestimated the convenience and ease of a garment bag.
Re-Sail is one of those shops where you cannot be afraid to ask the staff for help as each bag is unique \ in color, material and number. If you’re looking for something in particular it’s best to ask for help before pulling everything off the shelf and 20 minutes later realizing you’ve destroyed the entire shop.
Next on our Newport stroll was Pink Pineapple. The store is tiny but is full of things you’ve never known you desperately needed. Despite having great house wares, stationary and clothes, the accessories are where they really nail it. Their buyer has a perfect eye and there are so many baubles and beads my sister and I were both overwhelmed. In the end we settled on what we had originally came there for, Kiel James Patrick bracelets.
The shopgirl was not friendly, but I didn’t mind. The store is small enough where an overly eager sales girl would have felt overbearing. She acknowledged us as we walked through the door and helped find inventory, but only after we asked.
We rounded out the afternoon at Pineapple’s on the Bay. Frank, the guy who rented us our car at the Alamo at PVD, recommended the place for great views of the sunset. We hesitated to follow his advice at first, but as soon as we crossed over to Goat Island, where the bar is, we were glad to have listened. The bar is on the lawn at the Hyatt and has unobstructed views of Narragansett Bay, complete with the iconic bridge.
Their menu isn’t inventive but is delicious. We went with fresh oysters and Old Bay shrimp for appetizers and split the lobster roll for our main course. The oysters could have been a touch cooler, but were briny which I love. The lobster roll was fresh. They have a lot of fun with their drink menu with sailing classics – dark & stormy – as well as summer favorites – mojitos and daiquiris.
The atmosphere is relaxed and, despite what you see at many other places in Newport, is not pretentious. Plastic cups and cutlery are the norm so don’t complain when you get there and order wine and it comes in a plastic cup. I warned you. As the sun starts to set there is live music in the form of a man and his guitar. He’ll play a little bit of Buffet which is just the kind of thing you’ll want to hear.
We wandered over to Adirondack chairs along the lawn and then at sunset went back to the bar where they pass out (small) cups of champagne and celebrate “colors” – military-speak for the end of the official duty day and a time to pay respect to the flag. I love the sense of patriotism you feel standing amongst the storied waterfront of Newport as they shoot off a cannon.
Ready for that unobstructed sunset with a rum-filled drink. You’ll have no luck – they are closed for the season.
Come back later this week and we’ll talk about yachts. Lots of yachts.