Okay, I know it’s starting to look like I’m never in Portland. I love our special city, but what can I say? I’m restless, and I love to travel. I’m a small-town girl at heart, so I I try to get out of the daily grind whenever I can. Plus, I’m a foodie, so if I hear about an amazing pastry place miles outside of the city, you can bet I’ll go and try it for myself.
So much so that, to meet demand for these buttery buns, the place began selling them frozen so that out-of-towners could take them home and bake them hot. The owners have expanded the cute teahouse so it now has a bakery side for to-go coffee and a full case of pastries. They’ve also started an innovative program where amateur bakers can rent their bakery and sell their specialties there. That makes it fun for us customers, because each time you go back there are new treats to try. I love it!
The teahouse itself is completely charming. Each table is adorned with cute mismatched antique china, and chandeliers and flowers add a bit of elegance. It feels really relaxed, too; I could see myself planning a date there to catch up with an old friend, or throwing a little tea party. It’s really feminine and fun — which also makes it the ultimate place to take your mom when she comes to visit.
Speaking of which, my mother would go crazy for the beautiful things I saw at Sleighbells of Sherwood. Okay, when I first heard there was a Christmas store open year-round, I did kind of wonder how they stay in business all year long. That is, until I saw it! This place is incredible, even if (like me)you’re not really into Christmas decorations. You could compare my skeptical entrance into the place to a guy who could care less about roses stumbling across Portland’s famous rose garden — so completely enveloped in this one beautiful thing, I couldn’t help but be seduced by it.
I’ve never seen anything like Sleighbells. It’s a shiny, sparkly, Christmasy wonderland, full of more ornaments than you’ve ever seen in your life. Downstairs, they have a teahouse too, and a candy shop. The candy shop has all kinds of flavors of homemade fudge on display, like caramel chocolate swirl, peanut butter, and orange cream.
As if you weren’t full after a day of all that, a hidden treasure in Sherwood that’s not to be missed is Hunter’s Ridge Grill. Turning off of the highway into strip-mall zone, you’d never know that this warm restaurant is here, tucked into a corner of the forest. There are old-growth trees and a little stream just outside the door, and a fireplace inside the bar. It feels like a contemporary hunting lodge. Unfortunately, I only had time to poke my head in and drool over the menu, and I can’t wait to get back to try it. House-cured pastrami … butternut squash ravioli … flat iron steak with a bacon and onion potato cake … yum! The prices are really good for this type of cuisine too, fresh and locally sourced. The back of the menu boasts a list of all of the farms and purveyors they use — a detail I look for that is uncommon even in Portland. This restaurant would definitely round out a trip to Washington County wine country, and no doubt, my next visit to Sherwood.