My love affair with Simon Pearce started 30 years ago when I was given six small hand blown glass bowls as a wedding gift. Years later when those much loved bowls went missing after a catered event, the wonderful people at Simon Pearce remade six more just like them. No small thing since those bowls had been discontinued for years!
Simon Pearce grew up in Ireland working in his father’s pottery studio. He moved to America and became interested in the craft of making hand blown glass. Each piece is a unique work of art. While the beautiful glass is now sold online and in stores all over the world, it is his first US shop, opened in 1981 in Quechee, Vermont that is a must see! The drive to the small town of Quechee is a treat in itself. A stop in picturesque Woodstock and a photo op at one of the many famous covered bridges is also an essential part of the Vermont experience.
It has been several years since I had been back to this part of Vermont. There had been a lot of damage due to Hurricane Irene back in 2011 and there was still work being done to fix the bridge at the entrance of Quechee. However, Simon Pearce still looked the same from the outside…it’s handsome brick facade holding a sea of glass beauties.
One major change since my last visit was a cozy wood bar that had been added…
The restaurant at the mill is not to be missed! We arrived early enough to snag a table out on the porch overlooking the waterfall.
The waterfall and the Ottauquechee River are what hydroelectrically power the site. In addition to the showroom and restaurant, there is a glass blowing demonstration facility.
After gorging ourselves on the famous mini scones, cheddar soup and quiche, we watched some of the glass blowing techniques . Watching these skilled artisans, you gain a deeper appreciation of what goes into each piece of glassware.
Then we headed up to the showroom. Over the years I have bought water goblets, lamps, hurricanes, and vases.
This time, I spied a gorgeous throw…needless to say, it now has a home in California!
My dad spotted a handsome square decanter. We had just found the perfect piece of furniture to turn into a liquor cabinet/bar and I knew this would be the perfect finishing touch. I ordered it a few days later and was excited for him to receive it for Father’s Day. When I got the call, my dad was laughing and told me he loved the vase! What?!! I thought he was joking. He told me he realized a mistake had been made and called the 800 number. The Simon Pearce representative could not have been more helpful. She was appalled that a mistake had been made, told my parents they could keep the vase and that she would send out the decanter right away in time for Father’s Day. She was true to her word. This is a company with high standards in their workmanship and in their customer service. I remain one of their biggest fans!
For more information about Simon Pearce, check out their website or purchase one or both of their beautiful books, A Way of Living and Simon Pearce, Design for Living. I love owning glass that is still made the way it was years ago, and look forward to the next time I visit this enchanting restaurant and store…who knows what I will add to my collection next?