As a British expat, tea is something Kathleen Kern takes very seriously. She's traveled the world in search of the finest tisanes and blends, bringing back from her journeys the knowledge—and products—that make Churchill's Fine Teas distinctive. It's Churchill's eclectic stock that led to it being honored for the Best Tea Selection by CityBeat's Best of Cincinnati's voters in 2014.
With more than 250 teas to choose from, the possibilities are seemingly endless, and tea aficionados and newbies alike can both explore, learn, and, of course, drink tea. For those interested in learning more about the many nuances of brews, classes and tastings illuminate subjects ranging from creating custom tea blends to pairing tea with chocolate.
Swatches boasts more than 1,500 bolts of fabrics, alongside trims, tassels, and hardware drapery from brands such as Kirsch, The Final Company, and Paris Texas Hardware. Before launching textilian makeovers on pillows, couches, or chairs, solicit advice from Swatches' in-house design team of Karyl and Michelle. They can help define your project and steer you toward the appropriate solid or patterned fabrics ($12.99+ per yard). In addition to selling fibrous coverings, Swatches stocks collections of trim ($2+ per yard) and tassels to tame and accent edges of drapes and blinds with magazine-ready elegance.
From behind a pair of baby grand pianos, two pianists take audience requests each Friday and Saturday night at The Penguin Dueling Piano Bar, urging the crowd to sing along in a display of musical showmanship. The ivory ticklers hail from all over the country and belt out popular tunes from the past 50 years that they’ve memorized by heart or tattooed on the inside of their eyelids. Onlookers seated at tables around the stage or nestled into plush couches in the lounge sip cocktails, quaff brews, and dive into salty snacks. Although the show runs on Fridays and Saturdays, drinks specials pop up each night and salsa-night Wednesdays promise copious amounts of hip shaking.
For 50 years, the owners and staffers of Plaza Artist Materials & Picture Framing have encouraged the artists of their community. They visit local fairs and set up booths for kids to color and craft, and they workshops, demos, and classes for artists of every age. As their name implies, they also outfit art makers of all skill levels with top-of-the-line materials, such as Gamblin oil paints, Prismacolor pens and markers, and custom frames perfect for saving a favorite art pieces or memorializing a sibling's failure to color within the lines.
Jones the Florist first bloomed back in 1865, under a different pseudonym, and has been flourishing in the Cincinnati area ever since. Green thumb your way through the botany business's online catalogue to find thoughtful bouquets for just about every occasion, whether you're celebrating a birth, birthday, or just want to announce an imminent military invasion with the traditional bouquet of roses. Otherwise, dress your digs appropriately for the warm months with a vibrant bouquet featuring summer sunflowers ($34.95–$54.95), or send off a bundle of the season's best ($44.95–$64.95) blooms to your best buddy, significant other, or allergy-ridden enemy.
Pangaea is a great alternative to the big box shopping experience, a world flair boutique with surprisingly down to earth prices. A veritable treasure trove, this shop delivers a delightful selection of unique and hard-to-find gifts, fabulous clothing, sterling jewelry and so much more.