A Day in Frenchtown

The Uhlerstown–Frenchtown Bridge on the Delaware River on the Pennsylvania New Jersey border

Yesterday, Laura and I found ourselves faced with a serious case of mid-week blues. Rather than finding something around our neighborhood to occupy our time, we decided to rent a car and get some fresh country air.

After a quick fueling up at Ninth Street Espresso (us, not the car!), we biked over to the garage and picked up our car for the afternoon.

A Fiat 500 car in New Jersey

Laura Ratliff Driving the Fiat 500 through New York City and New Jersey

Our four-wheeled companion for the day was a Fiat 500, chosen because it was both economical and eye-pleasing. Seriously, isn’t this one of the coolest looking little cars you’ve seen lately?

It was a smooth ride and I know Laura enjoyed driving it, both on the crowded Manhattan streets and the winding country roads.

Our destination: Frenchtown, New Jersey—a small town of around 1,500 people in western New Jersey along the Pennsylvania border, filled with antiques shops, old cafés and boutiques.

The drive through New Jersey was absolutely beautiful as the leaves have just begun to turn shades of red, brown and ochre. Combined with a crispness in the air and a bright, shining sun, we felt our blues from the previous few dreary days fading away.

An Abandoned Barn in rural New Jersey

An Abandoned Old Barn in rural New Jersey

Once in rural New Jersey, we decided to explore some of the old, abandoned farm houses and dairy barns scattered across the dusty back roads of Hunterdon County.

The eerie quiet of the barn with its rusted, unused machinery gave us a sense of unease. That, coupled with the deer skulls hanging around, already had us on alert, so imagine our fright when a giant woodchuck dove out from some nearby bushes to head back to his own home.

We thought it best at this point to continue our journey.

The Frenchtown Inn in Frenchtown, New Jersey

Laura Ratliff at The Frenchtown Inn in New Jersey

Upon arriving in Frenchtown, we had lunch outside at the Frenchtown Inn, right on the Delaware River.

We shared a starter of garlic sausage and poultry pâté accompanied by game liver mousse. The portion was big enough to have been an entrée for one. We followed up with warmed oysters with sherry, bacon and shallots and a pizza with mozzarella and wild boar sausage.

Garlic Sausage and Poultry Pâté Accompanied by Game Liver Mousse

Warmed Oysters with Bacon, Shallots  and Sherry at the Frenchtown Inn

Pizza with Mozzarella and Wild Boar Sausage at the Frenchtown Inn

After lunch we took a nice stroll along the town’s main street, which is currently quaintly decorated for fall with haystacks and pumpkins, and walked along the rows of beautifully-painted, dollhouse-style homes.

Colorful House in Frenchtown New Jersey

Houses in Frenchtown, NJ

Candy Shop in Frenchtown, NJ

We also stopped into one of the many antiques stores to see if there were any treasures for us. (I was again glad we chose the Fiat, as we wouldn’t have had room to take home all of the things we loved here!)

Antiques Shopping in Frenchtown, New Jersey

Antique Fan and Addition Machine in Frenchtown, New Jersey

After exhausting all of Frenchtown’s charms, we hopped back in our minty green ride and headed over the bridge. Next stop: Pennsylvania! Check back tomorrow for part two of our day trip.

– Ryan

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