Photo: Joseph Jones
WHERE TO SHOP
FROM OUR BOUTIQUES TO OUR BOULEVARDS...
Antigua's main duty-free shopping areas lie on the edge of the Caribbean Sea in our capital St. John's. Redcliffe Quay and Heritage Quay are not just a magnet for hotel guests, but also a breezy walk from our bustling cruise ship terminal. The adjacent streets are well worth exploring too, the colourful Vendors’ Mall perfect if you’re after local hats, T-shirts and wraps to take home as souvenirs or gifts. And when you’re all done splashing out, you can relax with a Wadadli beer or a barista coffee in one of the alfresco bars. You can even win all your money back in the Boardwalk Casino...
Redcliffe Quay is a particularly quaint shopping enclave selling everything from local art and limited edition jewellery to couturière evening wear and freshly-made ice cream. The delightful bars and cafés are waiting when you’re finally ready for that slice of pizza, tasty Croque-monsieur or restorative glass of South African chardonnay.
The icing on the cake here is definitely the historical vibe – this waterside enclave was one of St. John’s main trading places back in the 18th and 19th centuries, and it seems fitting it still is. Most of today’s businesses are housed in the old sugar and coffee warehouses, their vibrant wooden shutters set off by the crumbling bricks that came to Antigua as ballast in the sailing ships long ago.
Two stores in particular have come to define Redcliffe Quay over the years. The Goldsmitty has enjoyed a prime location here since 1981, not for selling gold jewellery, but for crafting it. Owner Hans Smit was once called a ‘modern-day Fabergé’, his limited edition and one-of-a-kind pieces set in 14 or 18 karat gold with gemstones ranging from topaz to tanzanite. Hans’s creations tend to be inspired by the tropics, a distinguishing feature shared by another Redcliffe Quay gem, Exotic Antigua. The clothes on display at this iconic waterside store are a heady celebration of Caribbean living, their colours vibrant, their styles loose fitting, and their fabrics primarily cool linens, cottons and silks.
Nearby Heritage Quay is a more contemporary shopping boulevard. But no less appealing for it. Over its two storeys, it sells a wide choice of international brands at unmissable duty-free prices – we’re talking everything from Levis and Dockers to Raybans and Rolexes. Yet there’s a delightful mix of local boutiques too, the kind of places you can pick up glamorous resort wear or a cover-up for the beach.
Quintessential Heritage Quay stores include Sterlings which showcases jewellery collections sourced from around the world. Pandora and Dune rank amongst their bestsellers. Tobaco Negro prefers to focus upon the premium cigars of one of our neighbouring Caribbean islands. Cuban favourites like Cohiba, Hoya de Monterrey and Romeo y Julieta are on sale here, the knowledgeable staff happy to explain the difference between a corona and a parejos. Land is another success story, its premium leather collections ranging from wallets and cosmetic cases to shoes and statement handbags. You can even pick up a travel holdall for your next visit to our shores!
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