Pointe Seraphine, next to the main port in Castries, is a designer-built, duty-free shopping centre (same opening hours as other shops, so closed Saturday afternoon), with many tourist-oriented outlets, restaurants, entertainment and tour operators.
In the centre Llewellyn Xavier has an art gallery selling his own work as well as an interesting range by other artists including Derek Walcott and Canute Caliste (see Culture). Goods bought here can be delivered directly to the airport. Cruise ships can tie up at the complex’s own berths. Batik fabrics and cotton clothing from Caribelle Batik on Old Victoria Road, The Morne and Bridge Street; Bagshaw’s silk screening workshops at La Toc, T4522139, are very popular, studio open Monday-Friday 0830-1630, Saturday 0830-1200, also shops at Marigot and Windjammer; souvenirs from Noah’s Arkade, Jeremie Street, Castries, T4522523 and other branches at Rodney Bay opposite St Lucian Hotel, Pointe Seraphine, Hewanorra duty-free and Soufrière; high quality local crafts and paintings from Artsibit, corner of Brazil and Mongiraud Streets, open Monday-Friday 0900-1700, Saturday 0930-1300.
Eudovics Art Studio, T4522747, in Goodlands, coming down from the Morne heading north, sells local handicraft and beautiful large wood carvings. Daniel Jean-Baptiste makes hand-painted, limited edition, silk artwork, call T4508000 for a private studio visit. Perfume from Caribbean Perfumes, by Green Parrot, T4537249. Peppers, on Jeremie Street and a larger store in Rodney Bay, next to Mel’s opposite new JQ Mall, toys, souvenirs, T-shirt printing, custom designs, US$3.40. Sunshine Bookshop, Gablewoods Mall, books, foreign newspapers and magazines, open Monday-Friday 0830-1630, Saturday half day; Book Salon, Jeremie Street on corner of Laborie Street, good selection of paperbacks, several books on St Lucia, also stationery. Rodney Bay Shipping Services runs a book exchange, two for one, mostly spy thrillers and light novels, not a huge selection, but useful. Garden Gate Flowers has takeaway boxes (cargo transport) and bouquets (hand luggage) of pink and read ginger, heliconia, anthuriums, 48 hours notice required for export, US$12-30, at Bois D’Orange T4529176, at Hewannora T4547651, F4529023.
Market day in Castries is Saturday, very picturesque (much quieter on other days, speakers of Patois pay less than those who do not). A new public market has been built on the Castries waterfront, with the old market building renovated and turned into a craft market. Wire World, booth 3, charming figures by Paulinus Clifford, T4538727, he and the next artisan, Augustus Simon, a potter, T4521507, will craft to order. Buy a coal-pot (native barbecue) for EC$12 and bring it home on your lap. Buy a cocoa stick or 10 for US$5 for chocoholics. To make hot chocolate, put two tablespoons of grated cocoa in a pan with half a pint of water and boil for 15 minutes, strain, then add dry milk, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to taste.
There is a new Fisherman’s Co-operative Market on the John Compton Highway at the entrance to Pointe Seraphine. Many fishermen still sell their catch wherever they can. Fish is cheap and fresh. JQ’s supermarket at the traffic lights at the end of the Vigie runway, open Monday-Friday 0800-1900, Saturday 0800-1600, bank next door, fair range of goods, also supermarket on the William Peter Boulevard. Wholesale meat from Chicken Galore behind Shell station on Manoel Street. Gablewoods shopping Mall opened in 1992 between Rodney Bay and Castries with a selection of boutiques, gift shops, book shop, Post Office, pharmacy, deli, open air eating places and Julian’s Supermarket, open Monday-Thursday until 2000, Friday, Saturday until 2100. Next door is a delicatessen with a choice of frozen and defrosted foods. The shop, Made in St Lucia, has paper and jewellery made of local fibre, banana skin et cetera. A few doors away is the Sea Island Cotton Shop, the outlet for Caribelle Batik clothes. On the way to Gros Islet from Castries turn left for the studio Zaka’s, where masks and totems are carved from driftwood collected along the Atlantic coast or discarded lumber off-cuts found in the forest. Prices from EC$140, open Monday-Friday 1000-1500, T4520946, also available from Snooti Agouti in Rodney Bay. Rodney Bay Marina has a variety of shops: Pieces of Eight has a good choice of gifts, although few are made in St Lucia; Le Marché de France Supermarket is one of the few to open on Sunday morning; the Bread Basket sells excellent fresh loaves, sandwiches and cakes. Soufrière has a market on the waterfront. At Choiseul, on the southwest coast, there is an art and craft centre, T4593226, but it is rather dated. In Castries cold drinks are sold on street corners, EC$1 for a coke, drink it and return the bottle. Snokone ice cream vendors roam the beach and streets, a cup of ice cream should cost EC$2.
You can save money and help a charity by buying the annual Values for Vision book of coupons for EC$50 from the Blind Welfare Association (BWA). The book can be bought directly from the BWA, T4524691, F4527066, PO Box 788, in Sans Souci, Castries, and other outlets which participate in the scheme. The coupons give you discounts at a wide range of hotels, restaurants, shops, nightclubs, fitness centres etc.