Honeymoon Guide: Antigua & Barbuda

Continued (page 12 of 13)

Redcliffe Quay
St. John’s
Tel: 268-462-1888

Set between the waterfront’s pair of cruise-ship docks, Maggie and Cameron Fraser’s eclectic operation is crammed with crafts (place mats, trays, bags, baskets, candles) of Antiguan and other Caribbean artists. There’s plenty more too, especially edibles (rum cakes, boutique coffees and teas, locally made jams, hot sauces, chutneys, herbs, spices) and skin products (soaps, cosmetics, perfumes, lotions).

Lower St. Mary’s Street
St. John’s
Tel: 268-562-3198

In an old white clapboard building near the waterfront, on the street that leads into the cruise ship dock, this pair of sister shops pretty much has you covered when it comes to stuff made on or written about Antigua. If you want to read up on the island’s history, lore, folk culture or nature, Best of Books claims the widest variety in the eastern Caribbean. And if you want to bring back other souvenirs, Made in Antigua sells plenty of good-quality candidates—mostly local edibles, such as jams and hot sauces, and arts and crafts, including paintings (more folk than fine art), woodwork and shellwork. On Sundays it’s open only if a cruise ship’s in.

Long Street, Heritage Quay and Nugent Avenue
St. John’s
Tel: 268-462-0463

The head office of this well-known tobacco and liquor retailer (est. 1924) is on Nugent Avenue, but the yellow clapboard building at Long Street and Corn Alley may be its most appealing branch. Any branch makes a great place to browse not just for fine Caribbean cigars (and these days the better Dominicans top the Cubans in quality) but also for the local beer, Wadadli, and the award-winning local rums made by the Antigua Distillery Ltd. The distillery's Cavalier line includes white, dark, 151 proof, "extra old" (aged for decades) and rum punch. It also puts out a premium line of aged rum called English Harbour. Quin Fara has another location south of St. John’s in Jolly Harbour.

Officers’ Quarters, Nelson’s Dockyard
English Harbour
Tel: 268-562-5386

Maybe you’ve made it into the new Catholic cathedral and noticed the life-size sculpture of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Well, here you can meet and buy from the artist who carved it: The studio of Antigua’s top woodworker, Carl Henry, nestles in the restored Elizabethan-era shipyard complex that’s also home to a museum, the Copper and Lumber Store Hotel and various shops and restaurants. No trees were harmed in the making of this stuff: Henry uses found wood—mahogany, eucalyptus, almond and other hardwoods—to create gorgeous and sinuous objets d’art, from bowls and masks to fish, turtle and sailboat sculptures. Check out his cool Warri boards (for an African-derived game played with seeds and passed down by slaves).

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