Eating, Drinking & Shopping Around Portsmouth

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Last weekend’s trip to Portsmouth was a blast. I had never been to the city, but heard it was quite the foodie spot. And it did not disappoint. For a quaint New England town, it is packed with restaurants and bars. Here are a few of my favorites from our weekend of eating, drinking and shopping.

Portsmouth Brewery: This was our first stop of the weekend. We arrived late on Friday evening, tired and starving and were lucky to snag a tiny two-top in a corner of the bar. Our waiter was great and miraculously offered us a free  appetizer to start (which we took as an omen of good things to come for the weekend). Their beers were great and flavorful, and the scene was friendly and lively.

Book & Bar: I had read that Portsmouth is known for its used book shops–which I think is pretty awesome–and I was excited to browse one or two while we were there. Book & Bar (just like it sounds) is a book store and bar, serving up nice lunch food, coffee and cookies, and yes, beer. We poked around the book selection, which unfortunately was a bit less than stellar, and then enjoyed good paninis outside on their patio. All in all, it’s a really cool spot.

Gus & Ruby Letterpress: This stationery and gift shop is one of my favorite things I discovered this weekend. It was the kind of shop that I could spend hours in, reading their witty greeting cards, appreciating the beautiful letterpress cards and calendars and getting inspired by quirky craft ideas. Colorful, cute and artsy–I hope to make it back there sometime.

Helene M: My cousin suggested this boutique, and it definitely lived up to the recommendation. The racks were filled with labels like DVF, Tory Birch and White + Warren, and the fall selection of sweaters, sweaters and more sweaters was pretty much just what I was looking for.

Library Steakhouse: This New England steak and fish house is located in a former hotel estate, called the Rockingham House, which hosted people like Teddy Roosevelt and JFK back in the day. Today, the restaurant feels like you’ve stepped back in time and into the grand library of a stately manor house. Bookshelves line nearly any open space and are filled to the brim with classics (including Harry Potter–a classic in my book). Oh, and the food was delicious.

During our quick weekend, we also popped into a few other spots like Colby’s for brunch, a beer at the Press Room and a few other boutiques here and there. Who knew this little city was packed with so many great spots to explore?

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