Terrain is to the home and garden what Anthropologie is to the wardrobe: a never ending wish list! To look at their websites is a self-induced pain and a train wreck in one. It hurts to see all the lovely, expensive, simply elegant items, but once I click, I can’t stop browsing! When I learned about the Terrain at Styers location, I found a new mission: to visit the mecca of home and garden beauty, meander in awe and consume the cafe’s food, which I imagined was created with the same careful detail and simple elegance. I had the perfect plan- a Local Honey & Craft Beer festival coinciding perfectly with a Philadelphia stint! Then Irene came to town, and the festival was postponed, meaning cancelled for this out of towner.
As I planned for my holiday in Philadelphia and the ‘burbs, my eyes widened, my mouth gaped a bit, I recovered my words and said “Terrrain?” to Heather. We both had a free Monday, and a call to the cafe confirmed it would be open. Everything seemed to be set.
I took the train into the city, where Heather retrieved me. We drove to the oasis amidst the rather suburban strip mall backdrop. I immediately drifted into a dreamland of admiration. There was birch and burlap at every turn. I knew if Nicole were with me, we’d be in a puddle of happy tears, trying to curl up together in a burlap chair.
I was walking through my fantasy home! One day, I hope to convert a barn into a home and studio space. There will be a huge kitchen with a rustic island, and an equally large and hospitable dining room with a vintage wooden table. The Terrain aesthetic fed right into my fantasy, and I lost myself to the store’s powers.
Finally, my meanderings led us from my fantasies to the cafe, which was the main goal for this trip, which leads me to…
I had called to make sure the cafe would be open on this post-Christmas Monday. I had not called to make a reservation. I failed to factor everyone else and their mothers having the very same idea on the same paid vacation day. To be fair, the voice on the phone had not encouraged me to make a reservation. It was not until the hostess took the last names for the waiting list (the people directly in front of us in line) that anyone uttered the word “reservation.” She handed me the business card for the cafe and said, “if you want to call next time before you come…” to which I simply (and probably rather rudely) responded “No…no,” signaling my defeat. I had come all that way, coveted all the merchandise, ooohed and ahhhed the food already on the rustic tables only to have a latte. A LATTE!!!
I continued to gawk a bit halfheartedly, cursing the genius of flannel pennants, a flannel wrapped glass planter and envying the vintage wood counter.
Whatever Terrain. I’ll make my own Bourbon pie.
And I’ll probably set my table with my own mason jars. No big deal.
Heather pretended to be rustic for a spell in the spirit of the place. It almost led to her lighting a to-go cup on fire. That’s when we knew it was truly time to call it quits and admit defeat.
I guess my perfect vision for a visit to Terrain was just not meant to be, but perhaps the next time, all the eggs will finally land in my vintage-inspired basket with a chalkboard detail and a burlap lining. Perhaps.