Friday, July 31, 2015

A Double Dose of Sweetness Comes to Bainbridge

Sweetlife Farm has a Tipi you can sleep in!  And if that isn’t enough to make your heart go pitty-pat . . . we now have REAL bagels on Bainbridge.  And chocolate or almond croissants you can hear.  And cinnamon-laced, orange zest-flecked spirals of heaven on earth called Nice Buns.   Best.  Summer.  Ever.
First, the Tipi. 

Travel up a one-lane gravel road buffeted by fir and cedar, turn onto a winding drive, and suddenly the view astonishes.  Welcome to Sweetlife Farm, home of Bob and Nancy Fortner, where the living (and visiting) is very sweet indeed.  Ten picturesque wooded acres, a pond with an abundance of frogs, bee hives for honey, gardens galore, impossibly adorable dogs, and a comfortably appointed Tipi guesthouse. 

Sweetlife Farm is a place of tranquility, where nature is nurtured, art abounds, and quiet reigns.  If you live in the Pacific Northwest, sneak away and spend a couple of nights here.  Out-of-town guests definitely should stay here.  Tipi + Fortners' Breakfast = Bliss.  
The Tipi is available for two-night stays through AirBnB.
Spanky, One Impossibly Adorable Dog

Now, one and all, rise and shine, and welcome Coquette Bake Shop.

I feel like a stalker.  Or an addict.  Maybe both.  Oh look, it’s 8:00am.  I’m sure I need something in Winslow.  Anything to make possible a stop at Coquette on Winslow Mall.  If the obsession doesn’t wane, Phil and I are going to waddle by autumn. 
Let it be known that I love all our local bakeries.  Each has something that brings me back again and again.  Helen’s rolls at Blackbird Bakery.  Peanut butter and jam pullaparts at Bainbridge Bakers as recovery food after a hard swim. Cold brew coffee with raw sugar simple syrup at The Marketplace at Pleasant Beach.  Fresh roasted beans at Pegasus.  A potent and delicious latte at Roosters Cafe. Our daily bread and the occasional dark chocolate brownie at Pane D’Amore
But the new kid on the block has serious cred.  
The French will tell you that a good croissant speaks to you.  I get it now.  Hold a Coquette croissant to your ear, gently squeeze, and the crust shatters in a cascading symphony.  It whispers butter with every bite.

Then there’s the bagels. 
If you spend any time on the east coast, you have an opinion on good bagels.  For me, it's gotta be The Bagel Hole in Brooklyn, served at Russ & Daughters with the world’s best smoked fish. Pre-Coquette, my feeling was west coast bagels were better used as flotation devices. But no more. The crust of a Coquette bagel crackles, and fights you just enough before yielding to an interior with the right amount of chew. 
If you’re in town after 10:30am, Coquette also has a variety of sandwiches on their own fresh-baked baguettes. 

What makes Coquette special is the combination of impeccable ingredients, spot-on technique, and attention to the smallest detail.  The packaging is simple, clean, and bright.  Dark chocolate in the croissants is just the right amount of gooey, and barely sweet.  The Nice Buns have a perfectly browned crisp crust, a soft yet substantial crumb, a hint of orange zest, and a sprinkling of sugar.  

The ice cubes in their herbal tea are made from the tea itself, so your drink never waters down.  See what I mean?  They’ve thought of it all.
C’est tres bon, n’est pas?
Coquette is open Wed - Sun from 8:00am to 4:00pm
Wed, Thurs, Fri, and Sunday they're in Winslow Mall
Saturday they're at Farmer's Market in the morning, then Winslow Mall in the afternoon

P.S.  Coquette bagels keep for a day, if left in paper and then wrapped in plastic.  The next day you can, you will, make fabulous bagel and egg sandwiches.  

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