Inside a sea-foam green shingled house nestled on a verdant, wooded property, A Pot of Gold Gift Shop hoards more than 5,000 European beads and charms. Owner Laurette Baenziger leads jewelry-making classes where guests can craft bracelets using their favorites from a selection of more than 2,000 shiny charm beads that would drive a magpie to madness. In addition to premade jewelry and handbags, the shop stocks natural shea-butter skin lotion from Dolce Mia and Swanky Sweet Pea bath products shaped like cupcakes and cookies that soothe and smoothen skin with cocoa butter or sweet almond oil.
Along the rows of Candia Vineyards, unique grapes grow fat on the vine before eventually transforming in to some of New England's best award-winning wines. Available on the premises most days, they offer a wide selection of wines, ranging from traditional dry wines to the most fruit-forward and exotic, to nearly extinct heritage vines from the 1800’s, and aromatic new varietals. At Candia Vineyards, the owner prides himself on a more intimate experience for guests, as he personally greets guests and offers a tasting for two, amidst the tanks of the winery.
Hoping to revive the culture of the neighborhood butcher shop, with its personalized service, attention to detail, and artful products, restaurant-industry veterans Justin Rosberg and Jason Parent took a gamble on their first New Hampshire butcher shop in 2003. Dubbed The Meat House, their store quickly earned a foodie following, spawning additional franchise locations across the country. Today, The Meat House’s Mission Viejo location stocks fine cheeses, prepared side dishes, other gourmet grocery items, and hundreds of wines alongside the usual selection of traditional and exotic meats. Butchers also explain how to prepare each hand-carved cut of meat, sharing recipes, best slicing practices, and cooking techniques for giving pork chops the flavor of justice.
Aquatic Specialties guides marine dreamers to aquatic adroitness during this three- to four-hour beginner's scuba lesson. Aquatic Specialties boasts a highly experienced staff of dive instructors and an official status as an SSI (Scuba Schools International) instructor-training facility. Marinate your marine-hungry brain during a classroom instruction before wetting your flipper tips during a swim in Aquatic Specialties' heated, year-round pool. With this lesson, aspiring deep-sea divers can learn how to set up gear properly, how to ascend and descend, and how to calmly diffuse confrontations with pushy panhandling conches.
The sleek, contemporary Fringe Boutique decorates bare-walled flesh residences with designer clothes, denim, footwear, handbags, and jewelry. Dangle a shiny Swarovski bangle from five- or six-fingered appendages ($30–$49), then show off sparkly wrists as torsos flaunt a stylish spring top from Sauce ($48), Miss Me ($68), or Velvet ($88), among others. Denim ponchos can be gorgeously complemented with sub-belly button dressings such as Hudson mid-rise skinny jeans ($168) and Rock Revival bootcut jeans ($138). The store also offers regular women’s and men’s nights, as well as private-shopping appointments, enabling customers to peruse wares free of the judgmental gaze of fashionista hoot owls.