After spending several hours at two of last Sunday’s Garden Conservancy Open Days gardens, we drove into the town of Lake Forest on the north shore of Lake Michigan to find a little something to eat. One of the volunteers suggested a few places in what is considered the oldest shopping center in the country. Market Square. It is a charming block of stores of varying architectural styles that house retail as well as other types of business with living quarters upstairs. The idea of mixed use properties isn’t as novel as we might think these days, as Lake Forest’s Market Square illustrates.
We ate at the Market House. It felt good to sit and relax, sip iced tea, and feel the cooling breeze of overhead fans on the restaurant’s porch. When the waitress said that the salads were made from local produce sold at the small, open air market across the street, we decided to give them a try. My choice was the special of the day, shown above, made with fresh arugula, avocado, heirloom tomato, goat cheese, and toasted walnuts, with warm shrimp and a balsamic vinaigrette on top.
Sated, we took a stroll around the square, which was charming with fountains and towers adorned with clocks and weather vanes, green common space, and all one could imagine in this historic shopping center which made its debut in 1916.
The produce market was closed, but, we were able to see most of what this open air business holds. It is really an alleyway between two building, running through to both sides of the block.
I couldn’t believe how many plants, produce, and ornamentation was in this rather small space, or how visually appealing it was, not to mention the scents from the herbs and flowers that hinted their presence as we walked by.
Click on some of the pictures to get a better view of all the wonderful things in this small space.
I so love these hidden gems of life that find their way into my own.
Don’t you love these unexpected finds that life sometimes tosses your way?