New London, New Hampshire | Could You Live Here?
The Reality: Besides Graze, you can zip over to the solar-powered Flying Goose for pub grub and local brews. Peter Christian’s Tavern hearkens back to the ’70s with its wooden high-backed booths, and “the mustard can change your life,” says one local. For special occasions there’s fine
dining at the Inn at Pleasant Lake.
COULD YOU SHOP HERE?
First Impression: You’ll find an idiosyncratic magazine selection at Morgan Hill Bookstore; a gifty selection of jewelry, clothing, and handcrafts at Artisan’s; and a farm stand on Main Street—Spring Ledge—that’s like a breath of spring, with a pretty greenhouse, local breads, pies, and PYO flowers.
The Reality: The Art of Nature is like a woodland nymph’s living room masquerading as a gift shop. Step through the artfully draped bittersweet vine engulfing the doorway and contemplate the bits of moss, mushrooms, Buddhas, and antlers adorning the walls—an expression of Mauli McDonald’s unleashed woodsy creativity. Then, if you’ve got the will to continue along Newport Road, you’ll encounter, in short order, the New London Shopping Center, with Clarke’s Hardware, a corker of an old-fashioned store. (Motto: “What you need. How to do it.”)
First Impression: Colby–Sawyer College is in your backyard, with its lifelong “Adventures in Learning” program. Or sign up for regular classes; sweet fumes wafting from the sugar “shack” by the library will tempt you to go for “The Science of Maple Sugaring” (Environmental Sciences department).
The Reality: This pretty brick liberal-arts enclave, founded in 1837, opens its library to town residents for a small fee—and the silo entrance and broad-beamed, light-filled space subvert all traditional notions of a library. Or you can enjoy workouts and swim through the winter months with a membership at the ultra-modern, 63,000-square-foot Hogan Sports Center.
GETTING YOUR BEARINGS
Lake Sunapee Region Chamber of Commerce
328 Main St. 603-526-6575; lakesunapeenh.org
The New London Inn
An 18th-century giant that rambles through town, with 23 rooms, a restaurant, and a tavern.
At the far end of town, the New London Barn Playhouse packs in audiences with summer-stock classics. And the New London Hospital benefits from a recent $20 million transfusion, with a proposed affiliation with Dartmouth–Hitchcock in the works. Its boisterous Annual Hospital Days event is 90-year-old proof that “laughter is the best medicine,” with rides, games, music, and a triathlon. Additional cultural events in the Lake Sunapee region, including music, dance, and gallery nights, are sponsored by Center for the Arts, based in New London: centerfortheartsnh.org