Before I travel to a new place, I do my research to find the best of the best. And in all my readings, I always came across the Tuck Box. This is one of the fairy tale cottages of Carmel, built by Hugh Comstock in the 1920's for his wife to make her dolls. What a lovely story, and an even more lovely shop. We arrived and were seated in the outdoor eating area. With only a glance of the menu, I knew I would have the tea and sconces, for I had been told by a million Google hits that this is what I should have. And indeed, all my Google friends were correct. The most unbelievable sconces were placed in front of me, smothered in cream, then topped with a jam that I could have ate by the spoonfuls... Ololliberry is the name of the jam, and it can be ordered online from the tuck box website. The tea is also an absolute delight, served steaming hot and strained yourself. Add a dollop of cream and enjoy! Since the tuck box is somewhat like the mother load of Carmel’s fairy tale cottages, they have a map that will inform and direct you to all the cottages throughout the town. It is hand written and illustrated and a sight to see. I scooped up every bit of information I could get, and then headed out to find Hansel, the original 'doll' house. We found it and loved it, and the Gretel cottage was just around the corner. It was so amazing to see these little wonders.
|Tuck Box - English Tea Room|
|outdoor dining area|
|another little shop in the outdoor dining area|
|the map of the fairy tale houses|
After leaving the Tuck Box, we passed through dozens of Inns, which is where you stay if you visit Carmel by the Sea... and this was one that captured me. The flowers surrounding the building and the feel it had, made me decide that when I return, this is where I will stay!
When walking around Carmel, you will notice that the shops have little passageways that lead to different shops. For instance, you walk into a particular shop, and the back of the store opens up to a whole other set of places you would never have known about. This is how we found the magical mosaic tile staircase that I realllllllly want in my home! We were shopping in a Christmas boutique for our 2010 ornament, and these stairs led you to out to another set of wonderful little shops. Just amazing.
|the Christmas Boutique where we purchased our ornament|
|the magical staircase that I so badly want!|
|our 2010 Christmas Ornament|
After walking through the town and taking in as much as possible, we decided to check out Carmel’s beach. Wow. Not only is it one of the most beautiful beaches I've seen, it is overlooked by the famous pebble beach golf course. And another fact about the fabulous town called Carmel by the Sea - locals and visitors gather on the beach in the evenings to watch the sun set. Yes, a town like no other. If you ever have a chance to go, definitely take the opportunity!
|a view of Pebble Beach Golf Course|