The world headquarters of MacKenzie-Childs is located on a 65-acre former dairy farm overlooking Cayuga Lake in quiet Aurora New York. The property is open to the public, and contains a production studio, a beautifully decorated farmhouse, and a retail shop filled with everything MacKenzie-Childs.
What is MacKenzie-Childs?
“… Colorful, hand-made ceramics, enamel ware, glassware, furniture, and home accessories…”
These words understate the vibrant colors and generous attention to detail in every piece.
The on-site production studio is where handmade, hand-decorated majolica pottery, tile, furniture, and home furnishings are crafted over 100 artisans.
MacKenzie-Childs has only been in operation since 1983, but the style seems reminiscent of the Victorian age, with a giant dollop of the crazy spirit of “Alice in Wonderland” mixed in.
“Each piece created by our artisans holds the surprise and joy of the unexpected. Turn over a ceramic mug or platter or chair and you will see the stamps or marks of the artisans who contributed to its creation, to each step in the process.”
Rebecca Proctor, the Creative Director, is the mastermind behind much of the current MacKenzie-Childs style. A glimpse into her creative mind can be found on her Pinterest pages or in her blog, “Chartreuse.”
If you want to see how to “apply” the style you must tour the Farmhouse, which is set on a bluff overlooking Cayuga Lake. This beautiful 15-room home has been completely restored and serves as a showcase of how to decorate. Whether you might be looking for a “Preposterous Bench,” unique drawer knobs for your bathroom wall, beautiful hand painted shower tiles, a one-of-a-kind lamp finial or a four-poster bed with roosters, it is all on display with a wonderful sense of fun.
Free tours of the MacKenzie-Childs farmhouse are given seven days a week. Tours, which are about 40 minutes long, begin in the Shop. Individual reservations are recommended but not required. Reservations are required for groups of 15 or more. Call 315-364-7123, ext. 1282.
The address for the “farm” is 3260 State Route 90, Aurora, NY 13026. For more information, please call 1-888-665-1999.
Besides the store in Aurora New York there are also stores in New York City and Palm Beach.
For an even more impressive display of decorating, you can virtually tour the Estate of Victoria and Richard MacKenzie-Childs, in King Ferry, NY, currently on the market for under a million!
In the heart of Northwest Rochester, as you enter the town of Charlotte, there is a magical trail that allows you to walk right OVER the Genesee River!
Tucked right off Lake Avenue, Turning Point Park has a 3,572 ft-long boardwalk over the Genesee River, at the “Turning Basin.” The boardwalk section of the park features a pair of nesting swans, on display each year, famous rail hopping herons, turtles, ducks, Kingfishers, and many other water-loving creatures. Bring your binoculars!
The trail is also part of the 16+ mile Genesee Riverway Trail. Continue north, once back on land, and you will wind up in Ontario Beach Park (Home of the H2O Hero). If you bike the trail south you can pick up the Greenway Trail in Genesee Valley Park, and go all the way to Mt Morris, and beyond.
The easiest way to reach the boardwalk is to park in the lot at 260 Boxart St, right off of Lake Avenue.
How do you convince a girl that loves her wine that she ought to give vodka, whiskey, and gin a chance? Take her spirit tasting at Myer Farm Distillers on the west side of Cayuga Lake in Ovid, NY - that’s how!
No, I’ve never been a “whiskey girl". But I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the Blueberry Orange Vodka, John Myer Rye Whiskey, and Myer Farm Gin that I recently got the chance to sample at this fairly new Finger Lakes distillery.
At the western edge of downtown Rochester there is a neighborhood full of turn-of-the century homes, restaurants, cafes and a bakery, gift shops, and dance and artists studios, referred to as the Neighborhood of the Arts (NOTA). It is only 15 city blocks long and three blocks wide, with boundaries reach north to Main Street, south to East Avenue, west to the Inner Loop that surrounds the center of the city, and east to Culver Road (East Avenue to Atlantic Avenue).
Rochester Fringe Festival opening night
Downtown Skaneateles is charming AND tasty! Making stops at Doug’s Fish Fry, the Skaneateles Bakery, and the Patisserie would be way too much food for one day, but great if you are here for a week. While you are here, stop in at Rhubarb and Pomodoro to check out the great gifts.
Of all the wineries in the Finger Lakes Lamoreaux Landing is my favorite. The winery is situated on top of vine-covered hills rolling down toward the lake.
The tasting room is a simple but elegant structure, simply decorated with the windows capturing the best views. The tasting bar area is very open with lovely art on the walls. I felt like we had all the time we needed to enjoy the tasting.
We purchased a 2010 Cabernet Franc, the 2009, 42 North, and a bottle of Red Meleau Port — which is a $40 investment for a tiny bottle, but is a spectacular taste from start to finish. This is not on their website and I’m not sure if they make this “Semi-Dry Specialty WIne.”
The 42 North is described on their website as “bursting with aromas of orange blossoms, jasmine, and coriander. A sweet citrus core structure is highlighted with subtropical flavors of orange, peach, and honeydew melon.” I would not have been able to identify all of that upon tasting, however we had a great server who had insights about the chemistry of wine-making and how that affects what you taste. He greatly improved the experience.
When we started our journey our destination was Red Newt’s tasting lunch, but Lamoreaux eclipsed all our wine stops that day.
If you are wine-tasting on Seneca Lake, swing over to the East side of the lake so you can try Lamoreaux Landing.
9224 Rt. 414 Lodi, NY 14860