LOCAL ARTS, CRAFTS AND LIQUORS
The shoppes at Crafts Alive Village carry local crafts along with Balinese and Asian items, such as wraps, sun hats, beach bags and cover-ups. Ask as you enter the store what products are made locally and the owners will point out the items that are handcrafted in the BVI. Generally this will include woven hats and baskets, painted gourd bowls, handmade local instruments, Caribbean reversible cloth dolls and linen napkins and tablecloths with hand-stitched embroidery. Several shoppes in the village also specialise in homemade local liquors, such as guavaberry wine and other fruit-based drinks. Well-known local painter Joseph Hodge maintains a studio here filled with art that reflects island life.
A stroll across the busy coastal road in a clearly marked raised pathway will connect you to historic Main Street. Here you will find Pusser’s, which carries a fine line of nautical wear and their signature rum, an authentic blend from the royal naval fleet. Sunny Caribbee is the premier spice store on the island, with wonderful soaps, lotions and bath oil products made from local ingredients. A stop by Bamboushay Pottery will be well worth it to see the finely made light sconces, platters, bowls and mugs, all in a sea-blue color.
Trellis Bay, just a hop away from the airport on the far east side of the island, is worth a drive to see the emporium of local crafts displayed at Aragorn’s Studio. These include pottery pieces, woven baskets, hand-stencilled T-shirts, lampshades from sea fans and Aragorn’s metal sculptures, including pelicans and sea turtles.
Recycled and repurposed art is now a growing trend on the island. Nutmeg Designs, on Wickham’s Cay II, is a great venue to see these products. Everything from colourfully twined beach rope baskets to sailcloth bags and Brazilian truck tarp travel bags plus repurposed wood furniture are on display. Visit Green VI Glass Studio in Cane Garden Bay, where trained glassblowers turn used beer bottles into elegant vases, wine cups and whimsical paperweights.
FASHION AND JEWELLERY
Fashion finds and unique jewellery can be found on Virgin Gorda at the Yacht Harbour shopping complex. A delightful corridor of shoppes, along with cafés and restaurants, beckon with a wide assortment of tropical souvenirs
A shoppe for those seeking trendy fashions is Something for Her on Wickam’s Cay II, which specialises in contemporary fashions, stylish shoes, bags, hats and accessories at very affordable prices. For jewellery seekers looking for duty-free bargains, the flagship store for Little Switzerland is just a stroll away from the main cruise ship pier in Road Town. Here, you’ll find an elegant assortment of his and her quality timepieces, as well as fine jewellery, including rings, necklaces and pendants. Little Switzerland is also known for their crystal figurines and pieces from the collections of Waterford and Baccarat.
ART, PHOTOGRAPHY AND MAPS
Spend a few leisurely hours meandering down Old Main Street, a historic street with authentic West Indian architecture. In a former Old Customs House from the mid-1800s you’ll find a delightful café called Island Roots that doubles as a gallery for Hucksters, a store specialising in jewellery, art pieces, pottery and classic old maps. Just across the road is Allamanda Gallery, which showcases the work of local photographer Amanda Baker, who captures island life in colourful prints, cards and magnets.