Where to Go? What to Eat? in Newport, RI with Kristen Coates

Newport, a gorgeous coastal city located in New England’s Rhode Island, is famous for its vast harbors filled with sailboats and yachts as well as its historic mansions, several of which have been converted into museums. The city has one of the highest concentrations of colonial homes in the nation in its downtown Historic District as well as its Gilded Age mansions, which were summer “cottages” built by mid-19th century wealthy southern planters looking to escape the heat of the south. But Newport has so much more to offer than sailing, mansions, and museums!

Kristen Coates, owner of a an arts and home goods store in Newport, grew up in Newport, RI and—after having lived in Los Angeles and New York for more than 15 years—currently resides in the beautiful city. Kristen shared some of her favorite activities, places to visit, and things to eat with us so your next trip to Newport can be filled with great sights, delicious food, and fun!

Newport RI
Photo by: Christian Harder for The Wall Street Journal Off Duty

Music Festivals
During July and August Newport hosts both the Folk Festival and the Jazz Festival along with the Live Local Music Festival, a grassroots indie arts and music festival started by a local photographer.

Cliff Walk
Cliff Walk is a world famous 3.5-mile walking trail that winds along the coast behind the mansions and gives an outstanding view of the water. This public access trail is unique in that it combines ocean views, stunning architecture, and rugged shorelines.

Newport Art Museum
The Newport Art Museum is a museum and art school located in downtown Newport that features changing exhibitions and art classes year-round. The museum’s exhibitions and collections reflect Rhode Island’s cultural heritage and contemporary art scene by featuring artists with ties to RI.

Redwood Library and Athenaeum
The Redwood Library is the oldest lending library that still occupies its original building in the United States. Designated a national historic landmark in 1962, the building also houses antique sculptures, paintings, furniture, and rare books.

Third & Elm Press
The oldest operating printing press in the country, Third & Elm Press, is also located in Newport. Visitors can view and purchase woodblock prints, limited edition books, and note cards and even watch the process of them being made by artist Ilse Buchert Nesbitt.

What to Eat?

White Horse Tavern
“The White Horse Tavern is a personal favorite come fall with the crackling fireplaces and the stories of haunted dining rooms and the bar!” One of the oldest taverns in the country, established in 1673, this place offers delicious food and drinks in a cosy historic setting.

Thames Street Kitchen
TSK is a wonderful farm-to-table restaurant that focuses on fresh seasonal and local ingredients. “The family that owns this place also owns the epic burger restaurant, Mission, and Winner Winner where they serve—you guessed it—chicken.”

Other Locally Owned Restaurants
Newport has dozens of locally owned restaurants including the Clarke Cooke House as well as Diego’s and Perro Salado (both excellent for Mexican food and margaritas). Stoneacre Brasserie has the best brunch, Pasta Beach for authentic Italian, and newly opened Bar and Board has cheese and charcuterie boards perfect for sharing over delicious wine

Additional Tips

Kristen notes her favorite Newport sights are along the coast and at the beaches. There are coves filled with soft-to-the-touch powdery white sand and waves perfect for surfing. Other beaches have great walking areas full of various flora and fauna. One of the best parts about Newport is being on the water and sailing around the island. There is a reason Newport is famous for it!

“The quality of life and the beauty surrounding the island,” Kristen remarks, “there is no other place like it in the world.”

Retailer Interview: Egg & Dart

Egg-and-Dart-Etta-Billie-Display
Painter Chris Wyllie and designer Kristen Coates collaborate to bring you Egg & Dart, an eclectic collection of art and home decor. Their flagship store is located at Bowen’s Wharf in Newport, Rhode Island or you can find them online at egganddart.bigcartel.com. Both shops are filled with a carefully curated selection of local art, handmade objects, fine linens, table decor, gifts, books, apothecary and seasonal greenery arrangements. What’s not to love about that? Read Kristen’s interview below!
1. What is your favorite color?
I got back and forth between favorite colors. Gold, grey, white, blue, white, grey, blue, gold. Lately I have been in a big black and white phase, but as I am putting the pieces together for our store, we are getting all sorts of sandy beachy palettes of gold, grey, white, blue with some hints of black.
2. Favorite smell?
My favorite smell is my dog. I have 9 month old Cavalier King Charles, Sofia Banana, that pretty much rules my life right now.  Her fur smells of cinnamon and hints of almond and the beach.  So treats and salt water basically.  Traditionally I am drawn to espresso in the morning, tuberose and lilac throughout the day and then rose and patchouli in the evenings. I love when people can pick up on scents in my home and more often than not, when someone comes in my store they say “It smells delicious in here”.
3. Go to cocktail or beverage?
We keep a couple of bottles of cava on hand for impromptu cocktails along with bitters and some sugar. A bit of sugar in a glass, a dash or two of bitters and top with champagne.  If there are roses in the garden I add a few petals for garnish or a slice of strawberry or even nasturtium just for the color. I don’t drink a lot of alcohol, but when I do drink, I like it to be pretty. I think guests appreciate the special touches.
4. Favorite thing to cook?
I grew up as a vegetarian that did not like cooked vegetables. In the last year or two as I have transitioned out of living in NYC full time, I have taken to visiting farms near our home in Newport and going to the farmer’s markets as much as I can and have fallen in love with cooking vegetables and experimenting with different flavors.  While in LA this winter, we were very much in love with Summerland.is – they deliver local famer’s market items to your door! I love a thick, baked cherry tomato sauce over polenta cakes, or soup with butternut squash, caramelized onions, an apple and a little white wine and grilled radicchio, I could eat it every day.  I don’t know if it is tastes changing or actually paying attention to food and cooking that makes it all seem better now, maybe a combination.
5. Favorite book?
Daily Rituals is a series of short essays on how writers, artists, filmmakers, composers, poets, musicians, novelists and the like go through their day. The book details each person’s work ethic, alcohol consumption, eating habits and sleep (or lack there of) patterns. Maya Angelou works from a hotel before heading home to make dinner for her husband and makes sure she has time to unwind her brain before dinner is ready.  I find this type of information to be fascinating and inspiring.
egg-and-dart-art
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Egg & Dart
57 America’s Cup Avenue at Bowen’s Wharf
Newport, Rhode Island
Open
Mon – Thu: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Fri – Sat: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sun: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm