Amy Row fled NYC for upstate’s bucolic splendor and opened her own store, Say Collie. Known for her soft take on minimalism, she’s more-than-qualified to curate the area’s most best eats, antiques, and boutiques.
Photos by Matt Johnson.
First thing: grab an early dinner at Lil Debs. Funky interiors, fantastic food. This spot is so much fun. You can tell the team at Lil Debs loves to work together and they serve up some of the tastiest, original dishes in the Hudson Valley. The South American-inspired flavors are so surprising and delightful. I could eat there every night. The place is tiny, dressed in fun neon colors with the most playful descriptions on the menu. It’s an overall delight to the senses.
Have a nightcap at Rivertown Lodge. These guys teamed up with the incredibly talented design team, Workstead, as well as a handful of local woodworkers and artists, to create one of my favorite interiors upstate. Housed in a former movie theater, the design is unique, modern, and inviting with style that’s hard to pinpoint (which I love). Friday to Tuesday evenings their intimate bar and restaurant is open for dinner or drinks, and they transform the lobby into brunch seating during the weekends.
Start by treating yourself to all-natural, spa-worthy skincare from 2note. Darcy and Carolyn, the couple that run this beautiful skin care lab, are two of the kindest people in town—and their products are incredible. They have combined their passion for skin care and music (two of my favorite things as well) in this gorgeous bright and clean space that smells like heaven and really soothes the senses. My home is now enriched by 2note products from my dish soap to my shampoo to my face oil, and it feels good to not only support these incredible humans but to have natural sustainable products in my home, which I truly believe make it a more considered, authentic space.
From there you must check out Fern. My dad is a carpenter and growing up around his work gave me such an appreciation for handmade pieces. Jason Roskey, who designs and creates the furniture in this space, is a true artist. If I had to pick a favorite, this shop is the one.
Next up, pop into Talbott and Arding to stock up on fresh and delicious provisions. Grab a savory galette and, for snacking later, I shamelessly grab a container of their pimento cheese, a giant piece of fluffy focaccia, and those little corniches for some added crunch.
After you shop Main Street, dash into Hudson Wine Merchants. You can’t miss their pink neon sign. Say hi to the owner Michael, who is a total gem and is responsible for the incredible selection that keeps me a sane woman living in a small town.
For brunch, take a 15-minute drive east to Ghent for the Bartlett House. You won’t have traffic, the back roads are beautiful, and it’s worth every second to enjoy this delightful restaurant. You can’t miss the gorgeous 1870s facade. No matter how full you are, get a twice-baked pistachio croissant to-go.
Then over to Germantown, a charming town that has become a Hudson Valley hub for artists and makers. Pop into the full lineup—furniture maker Michael Robbins, jewelry designer Mary MacGill, newcomer Athabold Flowers, home goods heaven Alder East, vintage furniture scavenger Luddite, the revitalized Otto’s Market, and the fantastic restaurant, Gaskins.
Then stop by Say Collie, my newly opened interiors and creative studio in Rhinecliff. My husband, Matthew Johnson, and I wanted to combine our west coast and east coast influences, and create a shop that’s an extension of our home—with custom monthly playlists, inviting scents, and a welcoming atmosphere. You can shop unique home decor and Matthew’s photography, or have a coffee and relax in the backyard. If you’re really lucky, you’ll get to meet our sweet puppy, Rye.
We hope that after your visit to our space, you leave with the sense that you have found a true gem.
Finish the day at Westwind Orchard. On the weekends, enjoy mouth-watering brick oven pizzas and crisp hard cider at the scattered picnic tables while watching an outdoor movie screening with the kiddos. When we stumbled upon this place last year, I knew we had found a little slice of heaven.