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Pickity Place is Red Riding Hoodís home

By Angela Hughes

Deep in the woods of Mason, NH, a little red cottage has graced the landscape of southern New Hampshire since 1786. Seemingly untouched by time, Pickity Place, inspired by the fairy tale classic, Little Red Riding Hood, is a popular luncheon site and day trip for New Englanders.

"From soup to dessert, the delightful 5-course gourmet luncheons are accented with edible flowers and herbs grown and harvested from our very own culinary garden," said Chef/Owner Keith Grimes. On the menu for March, you will find sweet pepper onion dip, white bean and escarole Soup, pepquino salad dashed with a pepper dew dressing, fresh baked maple oatmeal bread and delicious crab and gruyere phyllo purses.

If these choices arenít enough to get your tastes buds worked up. Pickity Place also serves mouth-watering ratatouille lasagna with broccoli rabe and lemon oil. A piece of bourbon maple walnut pie is the perfect finish to the perfect meal. The enchanting cottage was chosen by Red Riding Hood author Elizabeth Orton Jones as the model for her illustrations in

Little Red Riding Hood. It is a popular culinary experience for foodies around the state, and a tourist destination for travelers from all around the country. "On an average, most of our lunch cliental travel at least an hour one way and we have many regular guests who travel from Boston," Grimes said.

"This is a day trip experience! You can come here to shop, eat and enjoy the gardens. It is a total sensory experience." Creators Dave and Judy Walter named the property " Pickity Place" because friends remarked that the owners were so "Picky." Grimes remarked, "They knew their vision." Known as a mecca for gardeners, Pickity Place is bursting with flowers and fresh herbs. Perennials, annuals and scented geraniums delight even the most discerning guest. The sweet aroma of English lavender fills the air and tickles the senses.

The 17th century Old English gardens are host to a variety of kitchen herbs including the sweet smell of basil and the sharp, peppery flavor of nasturtium. In the culinary garden you will find the fresh ingredients used in each of the gourmet herbal luncheons.

Bursting with fragrance during the spring time, the greenhouse invites all green thumbs who want to shop and take a little bit of Pickity Place home with them. Herbs, perennials, flowers, heathers along with a variety of old fashioned seeds can be purchased on-site.

Lunch is just one of many reasons to join us at our hilltop hideaway in Mason, New Hampshire. After your luncheon, browse our herbal gift shop, Red Riding Hood Museum, and green house. Once inside you will be greeted with herbal potpourri and homemade delicious treats including jams, jellies, gourmet soups, herbal blends, dips and teas, as well as many gift ideas.

The menu changes monthly and is served in our cozy cottage at three private seatings 11:30, 12:45 and 2:00 pm. The dining room is open seven days a week and reservations are advised. Pickity Place is open year round, 7 days a week.

For more information, visit www.pickityplace.com.