If you’re new to this series, I’m on a mission to discover more about my own city of Ashland, Oregon. I want to visit more places, have more in-town experiences, and see our city with the wide eyes of a tourist.
My first stop was unexpectedly disappointing: a winery my husband and I had been meaning to visit for a long time. The staff treated us like we were invisible, offered no cheese or crackers with the paid wine tasting, and was pouring wine that was as bad as their customer service. This was the opposite of what I hoped for and I felt guilty about writing such a negative review. One friend who owns a business in town said, “I’m glad you were honest but I hope you don’t write about us next!” I protested. When I go on Project Discover Ashland outings, I’m hoping to find the good, not looking for the bad, I explained. “Kidding,” my friend added. She grew thoughtful for a minute. “So, did they ever contact you?” Her feeling was that the owners of the winery should have invited me back for a second look to give them another chance. I’m still waiting for that phone call.
My second stop was … the beach. The discerning reader will realize that Ashland is not on the coast. Sometimes you just have to break the rules.
Today’s review is of The Tudor Guild, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s gift shop run by gray-haired volunteers that sells everything from manuals on how to teach Macbeth to locally crafted Elizabethan masks.
The Tudor Guild
15 South Pioneer Street (located on the bricks by the OSF theaters)
You won’t find the hours of operation listed on their website because they are closed until February 15th, 2013, when the Oregon Shakespeare Festival starts previewing plays for the 2013 season.
Oriented towards tourists, the Tudor Guild is not the kind of store usually frequented by Ashland residents. But it’s a fun place, full of clever items and nice gifts. We got to check it out on December 6th when they had a holiday open house and James’s chorus (More Fools Than Wise) performed there. (That’s him in the dark purple shirt to the left of the skull in the picture below.)
Anyone need a skull piggy bank?
A handmade mask for Mardi Gras?
Or how about a miniature swords to use as a letter opener?
Or a nice blank book?
My 9-year-old son bought a book on the history of weapons:
My 3-year-old daughter looked longingly at the fairy and princess costumes they have (in toddler to adult sizes):
I bought a book on King Lear (a play that will be performed at OSF and that I’ll be teaching to middle school students this spring.)
The Tudor Guild gets two thumbs up. The (all volunteer) staff was friendly and helpful. The prices reasonable. The merchandise fun. Next time I’m shopping for a gift, I’ll stop in here. Let’s just hope they’re open.