Seymour is one of those towns that always feel like a rare find; it has managed, over the years, to retain an old-fashioned authenticity while adding a dash of revitalization with lots of creative businesses. (Connecticut tends to do this well. See also: Shelton, Putnam, and Stafford Springs.) The result is a slightly gritty, more than a little adorable, walkable historic downtown that’s not a tourist destination per se but is highly enjoyable to explore. As it happens, the predominating colors of the eclectic architecture here are pink and turquoise, which only adds to the sense that Seymour is an ideal choice for a ladies’ afternoon out.
I’ve listed my current Seymour favorites below, and they’re all within a few short blocks of each other along Bank Street. But as you stroll, don’t neglect Main Street, where a vintage movie theatre and other retro-style local businesses – not to mention the tiny train station across the road – add to the old-school small town vibe. One of the best things about this downtown area is that everything is so concentrated, you’ll probably stumble across another shop or restaurant that intrigues you as you walk, and probably find some favorites of your own.
Picture a miniature tea party inside a child’s dollhouse. Now imagine it growing until it fits into a real life, adult-sized eatery. That fantasy is the reality at Tea With Tracy (16 Bank Street), where prettily mismatched furniture and floral cups and saucers create a fanciful, girly atmosphere in a bright space. The tea menu is extensive, with everything from traditional to herbal to blooming (Organic Flower Fountain, anyone?) They also serve breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea.
For more sweetness, stop into Wildflour Confections (18 Bank Street) for a cupcake. They make classic options like chocolate and vanilla, as well as many more elaborate confections, and if you don’t love cupcakes, there are also cookies and other baked goods to choose from. There are a few indoor tables here, but you can also get your treat to go in a cute little box.
I’ve said it before (most recently, in my post about Connecticut home stores) and I’ll say it again: Seymour Antiques Co. (26 Bank Street) is a store worth traveling for, even if you don’t live anywhere near Seymour. While antiques are everywhere in Connecticut, and many antique stores are excellent, this one remains my favorite for its carefully selected stock and calming layout. There’s a lot of industrial salvage as well as beautiful furniture and tableware, and everything is arranged aesthetically and logically.
For a wide array of gifts you won’t find elsewhere, check out Trish’s (16 Bank Street, enter on Columbus Street), where every item is handmade by Connecticut artisans. From jewelry to housewares to accessories to furniture, there’s a surprisingly large selection waiting inside this small storefront. The shop also hosts classes.
For an absolute overload of everything pink and frilly – especially if you have a child or teen to shop for – visit Tickled Pink (27 Bank Street.) At first it feels a little like walking around inside an Easter basket, but look closely and you’ll see lots of items that aren’t entirely frivolous. (Not that there’s anything wrong with a little frivolity.)
Yes, it’s very niche. But if you don’t think you’d be into a store where everything is made of glass, Glass Source (18 Bank Street) might prove you wrong. Part shop, part gallery, the items here are both impressive and lovely.
If Seymour is a mix of down-to-earth and whimsical, the store that perhaps best captures that vibe is Lizzie’s Corner (36 Bank Street.) In this comfortably cluttered space, you’ll find a hodge-podge of bits and bobs including art, furniture, clothing, local specialty foods, candles, and lots – I mean lots – more.