Café Lotus: A Gathering Place & Gallery
On any weekday morning or afternoon -- and Saturdays, too -- if you make your way through the tempting treasure trove of The Blue Moose at 29 High Street, or follow a curious hallway that begins through the next door up the sidewalk, you'll eventually find yourself in a bright, expansive space known as Café Lotus.
The café, which opened in April 2006, is furnished with an eclectic blend of mismatched furniture that offers patrons a real choice, including a range of café, kitchen, and comfier stools, chairs, and a settee or two; efficiently sized café tables for a party of one or an intimate tête-à-tête; and larger, sometimes even arty, options that can hold five or six people for a leisurely conversation over coffee or something more substantial. If you're not feeling particularly social, you might head toward the cozy alcove at the back with your coffee or tea and take advantage of the eatery's Wi-Fi service. Or, in the case of groups of more than six with serious work to accomplish, you can reserve the handy meeting room ahead of time, grab a snack or meal with your friends at the service counter, and get down to business in a private space. Meanwhile, the changing gallery exhibits on the café's walls give regular patrons a continually refreshed ambience as the cycle of the year turns ever onward. Friendly counter service and a self-serve coffee bar make for an uncomplicated, informal experience.
Tuk Long, a native of Thailand with extensive experience in catering and hospitality, and Lark Eustace, former proprietor of the MeadowLark Inn in West Brattleboro, are co-owners of Café Lotus. They first worked together at Café Beyond in the same space (it was "beyond" the Collected Works bookstore spaces that are now occupied by The Blue Moose craft and gift gallery.) A natural partnership formed as they cooked and served the variety of folks who stopped in. Their Café Lotus menu offers breakfast and lunch choices, most with an international flair -- including a variety of muffins and breads, wraps, sandwiches, salads, and a deliciously different breakfast omelet. Most items have a simple touch of Thai, and all are cooked to order with fresh ingredients, making it healthy as well as tasty.
The café is open Monday-Friday from 8 to 5 and Saturdays from 10 to 5. Call (802) 254-6245 for further information.
MEREDITH INGERSOLL'S WORK FEATURED IN SEPTEMBER
The gallery spaces this month at Café Lotus feature paintings by Meredith Ingersoll. A native of Peterborough, N.H., Meredith now lives in Hinsdale and works for Joe Famolare at the Vermont Agricultural Education Center to support her creative endeavors. She studied art education at Plymouth State College, earned her Bachelor's degree with a concentration in oil painting at Keene State, and is also certified as a graphic designer. She has participated in several group and solo shows since 1997 and has been represented exclusively at Carley's Florist LLC in Brattleboro since 2003. Following are excerpts from Meredith's artist statement:
"My paintings are all about personal self-expression. They are a reflection of my feelings and of my environment. Color is a powerful medium that can evoke feelings, memories, and imagination. I am constantly fascinated by nature and how inspiring it is to me. The vibrant red petals of a tulip, or the bright yellow of a sunflower against the deep brown center excites my senses. It seems to me that nature is the ultimate master painter. My floral studies and still-lifes allow me to explore these concepts and open up my imagination, which triggers impulsive self-expression and develops into an abstract painting. . . . Painting allows me to reconnect with my surroundings. My abstract compositions open up my mind to freely choose color and push wet paint on canvas in a joyous, meaningful way. . . . I hope the images that I paint will evoke a response in the viewer."
Copyright 2008, Gallery Walk, Brattleboro, Vermont