The tiny hamlet of New Preston is famous for a clutch of startlingly great shops. We made our way from one end to the other and came away a bit poorer and a whole lot happier. Plain Goods Yes, everything is plain in here, but it’s not simple. The clothing for men and women is mainly from Japan and Denmark and the fabrics and construction are exquisite. For those of us who know the difference between pin point oxford and chambray, this place is heaven. Everything has been chosen and displayed with a curator’s eye (not surprising that the owners are interior designers). Even my super-picky husband was tempted by items here: a pair of perfectly cut washed-canvas khaki’s and what just may be THE ultimate white poplin shirt. All the American antiques on display are for sale, too, plus ridiculously adorable baby clothes. A robust online presence means you can shop this elegant boutique from home. www.plain-goods.com (image of antique straw hats above is Plain Goods.) Dawn Hill Antiques This class of antique store elevates my heart rate. Museum-quality painted Swedish furniture from the 17th and 18th centuries holds court with more accessible flint glass and unusual and oversized white ironstone. Upstairs find stacks of gleaming copper pots and a few cases of Mexican jewelry. A simply gorgeous store to browse. dawnhillantiques.com J. Seitz It’s hard to believe that J.Seitz’ thoroughly modern shop has been around for thirty years. They’ve kept it current with fresh inventory from the likes of James Perse, Matta, Hartford, CP Shades, and White & Warren. You’ll find caftans and kurtas, jeans and cashmere, a smart selection of gifts and baubles, and some classy men’s goods, too. The home section features Matteo and Libeco linens, and downstairs is a haven for Mitchell Gold and Cisco furniture. Fill your closets AND your home here with tasteful goods. www.jseitz.com Pergola This meticulous Japanese-inspired shop mixes botanical prints with potted orchids, and John Derian’s decoupage platters with famed ceramicist Guy Wolff’s pots, plus all manner of natural curiosities. Displays are simply stunning in this strange but alluring shop. It’s the sort of place that makes you want to buy all of it and rush home and restyle your living quarters to look just like this zen haven. www.pergolahome.com Privet House You’ll find everything for the home at this intriguing shop. French cutting boards line the walls, towers of every conceivable shape of basket rule the floor space, delightful lemon and grapefruit scented soaps and potions line the shelves, speckled stoneware and odds and ends for the table, a hand-picked selection of vintage design books (what a find!), outsized antique armoires, plus a Mark DiSuvero print that may just have my name on it. I could move right in. Shop online here: Privethouse.com (and buy this grapefruit handsoap). The drive to New Preston piqued our appetite, and we stopped at the White Horse Country Pub for lunch. The name is not promising and neither was the expansive menu (Chicken Tikka Masala to Bangers and Mash), but the burgers whizzing by looked delicious and they were. The place was packed, and justifiably so, sitting hard by the river with wonderful views and cozy rooms decorated with horsey portraits and paraphernalia (even the burger bun is branded!). Outdoor seating, too. Next time: A stop for a glass of wine on the terrace at The Owl Wine Bar after shopping!