Lunch with Swift

Roaming southern New Hampshire's Monadnock Region and beyond — visiting unique places and tasting the local flavor..

Aesops Tables, Peterborough, NH


It used to be when it snowed: It snowed. Big deal, in the winter: it snows.

Now the weather channel names the storms. This one today was called Mika. Apparently, news 9 thought enough of the storm to position a satellite truck with a reporter, a ski parka ,a microphone, a cameraman, and lights. Every time I went by the center of town they were there. There was hardly any traffic or activity. I can’t imagine what he could have been talking about. This storm was not that big a deal. Chris and I made a few stops with the snowblower. I can tell you there just wasn’t that much to the snow. It was about ten inches of medium bodied powder. There was a little substance to it. It moved nicely and when pushed, it left the pavement dry.

When Chris and I passed by the lonely onsite news man, I asked him what’s for lunch? Chris said “not pizza!” There are 7 places to get pizza in pizzaborough. Good thing, I had been thinking about Bob McQuillan who died yesterday, so I decided we needed to go to Aesops Tables –definitely not a pizza place.

Allison Fredericks runs this cool little coffeeshop in the Toadstool Bookstore. If the toadstool is the oyster, Aesops is it’s pearl. Chris and I went on in. The bookstore and the restaurant were humming even when everything else in town was subdued by the snow.

And yes, the place reminded me of Bob McQuillan. This guy was a true village elder and an inspiration. He was a guy you could always find in this place getting coffee and chatting it up in the morning with the young folks like my son who frequent the place regularly. He was also famous on the contra dance circuit as a caller and a musician. The guy seemed to walk with air under the soles of his shoes. He was our bojangles. Anyway the last time I saw him was here at Aesops. My son said he went to visit him with his buddy Russell at the hospital in Concord after Bob had had his stroke this weekend. They sat with him at the hospital and Russell and some other musicians played him fiddle music. For a guy like this to be as full of life up until last week, laughing and carrying on with the youngsters, and then to be serenaded into the next big dance by the young folks who loved him, that is something that is nearly a fairy tale ending.

Aesops reminded me of him and I wanted that feeling I got from his presence at lunch. The artichoke bisque was a healthy comforting cup of warm smoothness. That was a great accompaniment to the nostalgic feelings I was having. If this is what makes for a haunting, I am all for the ghosts. By the way, I bet Bob would have thought naming snow storms to be a ridiculous thing, too. He would have laughed loudly at that nonsense.


2 thoughts on “Aesops Tables, Peterborough, NH

  1. Very nice piece and tribute to your friend.

  2. A touching tribute Swift, he sounds like he was a wonderful man.

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