Photos by Elizabeth Gourlay
Specialty foods, plus vinyl, books, gifts, and décor are available at the one-of-a-kind Westchester County shop.
For those who want to savor a fine loose tea with a scone and clotted cream while watching The Crown or Downton Abbey, head to the recently opened The Hamlet, in Mount Kisco. But, if your tastes run more toward exotic “crisps” (i.e., potato chips), or you’ve wanted to try British back bacon, The Hamlet will satisfy those hankerings, as well.
Opened by Drew and Leigh Hodgson, and Karen and Mike Ransom, the shop draws upon Drew’s knowledge of all things British (which is extensive because he is one), along with his longings for items that he, other expats, and the generally food adventurous usually had to schlep to Manhattan or Connecticut to find. “There’s a large Anglophile population here, and Mount Kisco is a great town for internationally themed food,” Drew says.
The store is a veritable wonderland of both the esoteric and the familiar, with a twist. There are prawn cocktail crisps (just one of approximately 36 flavors) and white chocolate in the form of a Milkybar. There are frozen steak and kidney pies, British soda, and a variety of biscuits. “Visitors have been like kids in a candy store,” Leigh reports. For newcomers unfamiliar with the offerings, Leigh has a number of suggestions to explore among the store’s selections: Taylors of Harrogate tea, a Lion chocolate bar, a bag of pickled-onion crisps, small-batch jam, and that British back bacon, which is a cross between American and Canadian bacons. And shoppers shouldn’t be shy about asking for their favorite items from across the pond, since the store maintains a customer wish list of items to stock.