Matilda Browne at the Flo Gris & Cafe Flo Opens


When I moved here from Massachusetts almost 18 years ago (!?!) I didn’t know a soul. Well, that’s not exactly true. I knew two people (that’s you, Jenny and Robin), although I hadn’t seen them in years. But my happy place has always been an art museum, and there was one handily right around the corner. My four-year-old daughter and I immediately treked over for a look-see. What we found was a cozy house museum (the modern galleries on the Lieutenant River had yet to be built) filled with American Impressionist works by the Lyme Art Colony painters. I didn’t know a thing about American Impressionism, but that didn’t matter. There were openings, activities and art camps, and I was IN. That first year we practically lived at the museum, and I’ve been involved ever since. It helped me make a life in Connecticut; I’ve made tons of friends through events there, and it’s a calm respite whenever I need a moment to get out of my own head. I’m telling you this long story, mainly to say that this museum in our midst is a very special place and now is a particularly good time to visit.

The Matilda Browne exhibit “Idylls of Farm and Garden” is NOT to be missed. This is the first retrospective in a museum for the only female painter accepted by her male peers in the Lyme Art Colony. The curation and display are smart and accessible with sections for all of her favored genres: animals (mainly cows), landscapes, gardens, and still lifes. The purchase of her masterwork, Peonies, by the Flo Gris in 2013 sparked the show. It’s a gorgeous exhibit. On view through May 28, 2017.

Spend an hour or two with the paintings and then head straight to Cafe Flo, which opens on May 2nd. This is one of my absolute favorite Shoreline lunch spots in summer. The tables sit under the eaves, smack on the Lieutenant River, the stunning view that the artists of the colony so dearly loved. Gourmet Galley chefs are the experts behind the scenes, and although I haven’t had lunch yet this year, I’m sure its as yummy as ever. The tuna nicoise, lobster BLT and lemon mousse are favorites.

Other happenings:

Garden Fest Plant Sale, May 19, 2017  Find out more here.

Meeting Matilda: A One Woman Show About One Remarkable Artist, May 28th. Details here.

Garden Fest, June 9th through 18th. Floral festivities and a festive Garden Luncheon on the terrace (get tix, this one always sells out!) highlight this annual event. More information here. 

See an article about Cafe Flo, here. 


Cafe Flo