Maine attraction

An unusual antiques shop-cum-bed-and-breakfast in coastal New England

Marston House is a rather special antiques shop in the village of Wiscasset, Maine; a place full of wonderful objects and ephemera not only from New England, but also the UK, Belgium, Sweden and the South of France. Husband and wife owners Sharon and Paul Mrozinski spend half the year in Maine and the other half at their property in Provence – their base for buying trips all over the continent.

Surrounded by lush gardens and lilac bushes, this 19th-century home is now a 21st-century treasure trove. In each room of the shop’s ground floor I found pieces to delight: English gardening tools c1880 ($50-$150), late 18th-century American textiles and French and “jaspe” pitchers – one off items that soon sold, would be replaced by other curios discovered on the Mronzinskis’s forays abroad.  

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Elsewhere, culinary antiques run the gamut from French coffee pots to “Tire-Bouchon” corkscrews to sculptural ebony-handled knives. Larger pieces of furniture include vintage worktables and an oxblood red American blanket chest c1820 ($1,800) with original finishes. Old printed books and journals, beeswax candles, assorted linens and pillows ($30-$98), French lavender sachets ($45-$65), bolts of fabric and tin lanterns are just some of the smaller exquisitely edited finds.

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For those making the trek up the well-trafficked US 1, there’s always the option of making a weekend of it by staying at Marston House’s two-bedroom carriage house located behind the main store. Quiet, quaint and cute, the Mrozinskis make the bed and breakfast concept a personal one, with elegant yet simple furnishings, breakfast-filled baskets, freshly cut flowers and roaring fireplaces. Equal parts Americana and Aix-en-Provence chic, Marston House is an unexpected gem.

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