Hedgehogs & Other Shopping Pleasures in Barbados

Hedgehogs & Other Shopping Pleasures in Barbados

My hedgehog from Greenwich House Antiques

A souvenir and a pet: my hedgehog from Greenwich House Antiques in my home.

When visitors ask me about where to shop in Barbados, my face (and mind) goes blank for a moment. Shopping? Umm … I wouldn’t call Barbados a shopping mecca exactly. The duty-free shops along Broad Street in Bridgetown are good for buying designer watches and perfume (try Cave Shepherd and take your passport to get the duty-free price), but Rue de Saint-Honore it ain’t.

It’s best to view shopping in Barbados as part of your discovery of island culture instead of finding a designer outfit. That way you won’t be disappointed. In fact, you’ll be delighted, because what you find at the following is truly a piece of Barbados. My favorite places to shop and the places I suggest to visitors are these:

1. Earthworks. Since 1978, Goldie Spieler and her son David have been creating whimsical and useful ceramic dinnerware and serving pieces, candlesticks, trivets, table decor, and much more, all the colors of our beautiful sea and watermelon sunsets. Their studio is also their shop, in Edgehill Heights, St Thomas. They ship, but it’s lots of fun to just buy a few pieces each time you visit Barbados and build your table collection slowly. 246-425-0223

2. Ins & Outs Emporium. Right next to Earthworks, this little shop sells the best marmalade (lime, grapefruit, orange, and more) I’ve had anywhere in the world. (The brand is called Ins & Outs.) The packaging of the marmalade is adorable; they stack three together in a pretty package, making the marmalade a special gift for friends. Ins & Outs also makes really great chutneys, pepper sauce, and other food accompaniments. Be sure to pack what you buy in your checked luggage; I learned the hard way, by having three gifts packs of marmalade (that’s 9 jars!) confiscated at Grantley Adams International Airport. I nearly cried! (“Ins & Outs” is also the name of the premier guide to Barbados. Both “Ins & Outs” are created by by the talented Keith and Sally Miller.)

3. Also next to Earthworks is a fabulous little art gallery called On the Wall (featuring gorgeous work by Vanita Comissiong and other major artists). Upstairs is a fabulous lunch place, Treehouse Cafe. The food here is delish and the view from the open verandah of the St George Valley breathtaking.

4. Greenwich Antiques. A hundred years ago, the building housing Greenwich Antiques was a genteel sugar plantation mansion. Today, the beautiful home’s rooms are filled to the brim with a range of treasures dating back to early 20th and late 19th centuries. Wander among heavy mahogany furniture made by Barbados craftsmen, china, silver, and trinkets galore. I love going here with a girlfriend and taking my time sifting through the organized clutter for treasures. Unless you have the sort of husband who likes to wander aimlessly amongst old stuff, leave him on the beach while you shop … Trents Hill, St James.

Elephants at the stimulating Barbados antique store Greenwich Antiques

Elephants and other treasures galore await at the Barbados antique store Greenwich Antiques in Holetown (St James parish)

5. Walkers World. One of my very favorite stores in Barbados, Walkers World sells beautiful items for the home, some made locally and others chosen with a good eye by owner Karin Truedsson and imported. Two locations: St Lawrence Gap in Christ Church and Edgehill, St Thomas. (Karin: You really need your own web site! You have too many treasures not to share online.)

6. Best of Barbados.  Begun by famed Barbados artist Jill Walker as a way to showcase local art, Best of Barbados is today the #1 gift shop on the island because of Jill’s art. Jill’s beautiful water colors and oil paintings of traditional Barbados life have been reinterpreted on tea towels, pot holders, beach towels, aprons, coffee mugs. You can also buy fine art prints and posters of Jill’s playful street scenes of an era gone by and the gorgeous tropical flowers of Barbados.  Several locations around the island, including St Lawrence Gap and Grantley Adams International Airport. (Full disclosure: Sue Trew, owner of Best of Barbados and daughter of Jill Walker, is a dear friend of mine; also, I am redoing the web site for the store. Just so you know.)

All of this is specialty shopping … and very special shopping. Every one of these spots has quality items you won’t find anywhere else.  So who needs Rue de Saint-Honore?



3 Responses to “Hedgehogs & Other Shopping Pleasures in Barbados”

  1. […] Here is the original post: Hedgehogs & Other Shopping Pleasures in Barbados […]

  2. HaltonHills says:

    Jane – I posted this at http://bbtravel.freeforums.org/
    and thought that you might be interested in reading this comment.

    “I have THE most beautiful Madeiran embroided Victorian Table Cloth and 12 matching napkins from Greenwich Antiques !!

    Before she died a few years ago, old Mrs Greenwich used to run it. She also kept a herd of cows and bred horses and had loads of old dogs. The place used to smell as though they all lived in it together !

    We used to love going there, it was SOOOOOOOO crammed with stuff both good and rubbish, it was such fun to go rummidging. Mr TCG used to say the only Security risk there was people breaking IN an leaving their rubbish there, :D but if you could stand the smell and the risk of finding the odd dead body :lol: you could find some wonderful and REAL antiques. She was never cheap though. When she finally died, her children tidied the place up, and ruined it for us :(

    Another great blog posting. Keep up the good work!

  3. Oh, you made me laugh! Thanks for the url … that’s a Forum I didn’t know about; I’ll join!

    Well, the smell of Greenwich Antiques is A-okay now, and there’s still plenty of character, fortunately … but I can see it had character to spare back in the day … ! Thanks.

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