Nestled along the side of the Connecticut River, this thriving college community was once a booming sailing port.nnOnce the home of Colonel Wadsworth and his family, Middletown now embraces over 48,000 residents.nnDuring the holidays, you’ll find the streets of this quaint area adorned with garland and lights. In the summertime, you’ll find it hopping with families, couples and singles looking for waterside eateries and hole-in-the-wall pubs.nnDuring my visit, I stopped at the New England Emporium Eatery & Marketplace. Once I entered, my senses were overloaded with sweet scents of rich coffee and melt-in-your-mouth paninis and pasteries.nnTheir impressive marketplace boasts homemade products from local farms and businesses. In the front of the store, you’ll find baskets upon baskets filled with local goodies, cookies, candies, jams and spices. Walk a little further and you’ll find local honey (research says consuming organic honey produced in your local environment may boost your immune system). Head to the back wall and you’ll find a a rainbow of different homemade sodas. These bottles are hand filled, and if yo’re lucky, yours will be filled to the brim!nnOnce you’ve shopped, take a seat in their relaxing eatery. Warm up in a leather chair or grab your computer and access their free wi-fi. The Emporium offers an array of salads, paninis, crepes, and sandwiches that will make your mouth water. Do yourself a favor and try their “Adult Grilled Cheese”. This is a taste for those looking for a twist on a traditional American treat. This parmesan cheese encrusted delicacy brings new life to a standard sandwich.