If you’ve ever flipped through the pages of the King Arthur Flour catalog, then you know what it is to dream. To lose yourself in the possibilities of so many different flours, to voyage across the globe in search of the perfect vanilla extract, to wrap yourself tightly in recipes, to line your imagination with parchment, to punch down doubt, and to rise above the ordinary loaf. To live, however briefly, and only in your mind, as the baker that you always knew you could be.
Or maybe that’s just me.
Situated in Norwich, Vermont, this epicenter of all things baking features not only a café and bakery, but also offers classes, and a store that feels like the catalog come to life. But, if one of the drawbacks of the catalog is the high prices, you’ll see no relief from that here. True, by visiting the store you’ll save on shipping costs, but there are no additional discounts. There is a small clearance section where you may find a bargain, but if, like me, you were expecting some kind of “congrats for finding us in the middle of the Vermont woods” discount or a “thanks for driving allllll this way up route 91” price break, you may be a little disappointed.
But don’t worry, there’s always the café to lift your spirits. Sandwiches, salads, and sweets–everything I’ve tasted is delicious. There’s even a section of the place where you can watch the bakers create the specialties of the day. The café seating area is charming, with a couch-filled gazebo-like section in the middle and lots of tables and chairs surrounding that.
So daydream your way through the store, stroll through each page of the catalog, and remember to check the back counter for a taste of the day’s sample. And if you don’t buy something, don’t feel bad. You never actually bought anything from the catalog anyway.
Get yourself a nice strong cup of coffee, pick out a pastry, and hit the road. I think of it as the fanciest pit stop I ever get to make while on a road trip.
I’m participating in the A to Z Challenge for the month of April. The idea is to post every day, except Sundays, and end up with one post for each letter of the alphabet. It’s a good challenge to help me to blog every day.