If you’ve never been to Tickle’s, stop what you’re doing and go. Well, finish this story first, then go. Just over the state line in Swansea, Tickle’s is the kind of place you can spend hours exploring and never see the same thing twice. There are three parts to the property: Tickle’s Shop, Tickle’s Tea Room and The Aviary Restaurant.
Tickle’s Shop is a great place to shop for holiday gifts, but it isn’t any ordinary gift store. Room after room of carefully chosen and beautifully displayed items are on view. When you walk in, you immediately see three things: a case of chocolates and sweets to enjoy there or take home is in front of you; to the right, there’s the clothing shop, with women’s lines like Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, Vera Bradley, Habitat and UGG; to the left is a jewelry room filled with case after case of on-trend pieces from Pandora, Alex & Ani, John Medeiros, Skagen, Brighton and more. Beyond, there is so much to shop for: beautiful gifts for children and parents-to-be, handmade pottery and art, and more Christmas ornaments than you could fit on your tree. Home decor and housewares from lines like Mariposa, Town Glassware and Nora Fleming are always great choices, too.
If you’d like to get off your feet after all that shopping, pop into Tickle’s Tea Room, which serves lunch and afternoon tea every day. Lunch offerings include gourmet salads like Candied Pecan Pear and Apple Walnut Gorgonzola, and soups like Tomato Bacon Bisque. They’ve got a Grilled Cheese Bar, and irresistible savory crepes with smoked salmon, grilled chicken or prosciutto. The centerpiece, though, is Tickle’s afternoon tea service, which comes with a selection of tea sandwiches, pastries, scones with jam and a pot of tea. Tea sandwiches come in delectable varieties like Classic Cucumber with lemon and dill cream cheese, Brie Honeycomb Apple and Pesto Chicken.
For a dining experience, though, don’t miss The Aviary, the new restaurant next to the shop. The stunning space serves lunch and dinner daily, and brunch on Sundays. You can enjoy a cocktail in the bar, where birdcage lighting sets an artful ambience, or warm up by the fire in the Garden Room. For lunch, start with Duck Wings with a honey habanero glaze, Deviled Eggs topped with bacon, pickled chili and chive or a Beet and Mozzarella Salad. Then delve into a sandwich like the Ahi Tuna Wrap with seaweed salad and wasabi mayo, the Aviary Burger with avocado and smoked bacon or the Cubano with pulled pork, housemade pickles and smoked ham. Or, choose a larger plate like RI Mushroom Pappardelle with truffle oil and arugula, Crab Cakes and Chowder or Grilled Flat Iron Steak with chimichurri sauce.
Dinner at the Aviary is an unforgettable experience. Start with Gorgonzola Stuffed Dates, a Charcuterie Board or the made-to-order Aviary Clam Chowder with littlenecks, broth, cream, onions and leeks. Their grilled pizzas, in varieties like Sweet Potato and Chourico and Bacon, are worth a taste. Pastas like their Handmade Gnocchi are always a great choice, or opt for Filet Mignon with onion and potato gratin, a Chargrilled Pork Chop with cider glaze and bacon Brussels Sprouts or Grilled Swordfish with mango salsa. Sunday brunch is an experience unto itself, with classic and reinvented variations Eggs Benedict, Belgian waffles with fresh fruit, Breakfast Pizza and more.
Spend an afternoon at Tickle’s. It’s sure to be an unforgettable experience.
2219 GAR Highway, Swansea