Saturday, July 18, 2009

Return to Red Riding Hood's Basket, Southwick, MA

Once again last night I went to Red Riding Hood's Basket in Southwick, MA. It was a last minute, spur of the moment date. How many times have you said to someone that you should get together for coffee or lunch? How many times do you do it? I don't know about you, but life is too busy and I rarely do it. Things just fell into place last night as I arranged to meet my friend.

I can never say enough nice words about Red Riding Hood's Basket. The atmosphere is so unlike any other coffee shop or luncheon place that I've been too. There are unique antiques perfectly placed throughout. Don't forget to check out the creepy wolf in the window hiding near Red Riding Hood. The ceiling is tin, there are tiny bouquets of flowers or plants on every table. If you don't want to sit at a table, you can go to the little nook area with a couple of couches and an artificial fireplace and a loaded book shelf and coffee table--home away from home. I do believe they have computer access too. There is a little corner with books and a desk for kids.

My friend enjoyed looking at every detail as I gave her the tour before we had dinner. She lives so close to this place but had never been--such a loss. She will be back.

All the food is freshly made on the premises. My friend had the shepherd's pie--a big topping of mashed potatoes with ground beef, corn and green beans. I had the homemade macaroni and cheese made with cheddar cheese and bread crumb toppings--delicious. Both were served with a wonderful salad of greens, oranges, sunflower seeds, raisins and I'm not sure what else, but with the dressing, it was a symphony of flavors that we both loved.

There are coffees, teas, lattes, smoothies and newly added, she sells ice cream. But don't forget all the wonderful homemade desserts. If you go in the morning, you can have a pastry or treat yourself to a breakfast casserole or french toast. The food is wonderful.

Honestly, the part I like best about Red Riding Hood's Basket that keeps making me choose it for a meeting place for friends (when I finally get to do it) is the atmosphere. My friend and I stayed for nearly 3 hours. No one hoovers over and makes you feel like you should leave (though not every seat was taken, so we did not feel guilty). It is a comfortable, relaxing atmosphere to just sit and talk. If I lived closer, I would be there now with my laptop or morning paper having coffee and breakfast. It would be a ritual. My husband agrees. (Maybe we'll just have to move closer.)

Whenever we meet friends there, we just linger and linger. Last night too there was a woman who sang and played the guitar for us. They have entertainment every Friday night and some Saturdays. We are going next Saturday night to see a friend perform.

There is a newly opened bike trail that runs along side of Red Riding Hood's Basket. This makes it a perfect place to stop for a reward after a long ride or walk.

If this seems like one big advertisement for Red Riding Hood's Basket, it is. I can't believe that a place like this isn't thriving. I know the economy is hurting everyone but this is the kind of place to sit back, relax and you can choose to talk about politics or the world issues with a friend or you can get away from all that and just kick back. I hope you will find the time to reward yourself and take a friend.

Red Riding Hood's Basket is on Congamond Road in Southwick, MA. It is close to Congamond Lakes. It is open seven days a week, Sunday through Tuesday 8am-5pm and Wednesday though Friday they are open until 8am or 9pm if the entertainment is still going.

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