If you visit St Kitts, you’ll find plenty to entice you in the shops around Port Zante, with colourful clothing, t-shirts and gifts in the Amina craft market. But if you want an original artisan souvenir of vibrant batik, artworks that reflect the richness of life on St Kitts or foodie gifts that are produced locally, here are some things to look out for;
The Gallery Café on Independence Square
In the green and shady Independence square, just 5 minutes walk from Port Zante, the pastel shutters and awnings on a whitewashed wooden house, signal the Gallery Café. This traditional St Kitts house, one of the oldest on the square, was in the same family for centuries until it came up for sale and was bought by local artist, Rosey Cameron Smith who now runs it as an art gallery and café.
The airy rooms contain Rosey’s colorful artworks, scarves by well known St Kitts artist, Kate Spencer as well as showcasing sculpture, pottery and glass from other local artists. Buy a small print or miniature artwork (from $15) to remind you of the nature and street scenes of St Kitts long after you’ve unpacked your suitcase. Be sure to try a fresh juice and home baked bagel with local smoked wahoo fish in the tranquil Gallery Café garden before you leave.
Read more about St Kitts: The Stylish Traveller’s Guide to St Kitts
Caribelle Batik at Romney Manor
Most island tours stop at the Wingfield Estate and adjoining Romney Manor where you’ll visit Caribelle Batik set in the plantation house once owned by the great great great grandfather of US President Thomas Jefferson. The ladies who make the batik will explain to you how the cotton cloth is painted with wax designs and dyed multiple times, with no two pieces turning out the same. The shop sells a wide range of vibrant batik items, from sarongs and cushions to all types of clothing to brighten your wardrobe. In the gardens take some time to stand on the lawns under the majestic 350 year old Saman tree, stroll through the botanic garden and sit with a cool fruit punch on the terrace looking down onto the old Wingfield Sugar Estate.
Foodie souvenirs of St Kitts
To recreate the spice and flavor of the Caribbean after you return home there are plenty of foodie souvenirs that will easily pack into your luggage. Many shops sell bottles of the fiery Mrs Greaux or Brimstone pepper sauce made with tiny scotch bonnet peppersFor something milder look out for jams and preserves made from the local fruits such as guava, tamarind and sorrel. Your sweet tooth will thank you for a bag of the local jelly sweet known as Guava Cheese and if you’ve developed a taste for the local rum while on St Kitts, you’ll find miniatures of Bellmont, Brinley Gold and CSR in the liquor stores of Port Zante.
Read more about St Kitts: 10 views of St Kitts that would make the perfect postcard
The Shell Workshop at Palm Court Gardens
Take home a little piece of the ocean from the Shell Works at Palm Court Gardens where their workshop produces handcrafted boxes, decorations and jewelry made from shells, driftwood and other local materials. There’s often someone demonstrating their craft outside the small gift shop with a range of very pretty jewellery made from freshwater pearls and coral at affordable prices, from $35 for necklaces.
Need somewhere to stay on St Kitts? Ocean Terrace Inn is a colourful, contemporary style hotel with pool and landscpaed gardens, on the edge of Basseterre | Read my review | Check prices and book for Ocean Terrace Inn
The botanic gardens are planted with exotic palms and flowering shrubs, you can have lunch in the café and also buy a day pass for $12 if you wish to use the pool with stunning views across the bay. There’s a $2 entrance fee to the gardens that helps support a children’s educational charity on St Kitts.
Read more about St Kitts: Top 10 Things to do in St Kitts for Cruise Visitors
Artistic glass designs
An artistic glass dish or plaque to hang in your window is a charming reminder of the fishes, turtles and boats you may have seen on your visit to St Kitts. You’ll find small artistic glass designs reflecting the natural world and scenes from life on St Kitts at galleries on the island such as The Gallery Café and Les Mains d’Or gallery in Frigate Bay, which also sells a wide range of pottery. Look out for the work of Calvin Delpleche of Caribbean Glass who sells through the galleries mentioned and sometimes has a stand in the Amina Craft Market in Port Zante (smaller glass items $15-40).
Need somewhere to stay on St Kitts? Check out Bellemont Farm for eco-luxury and elegant dining on the scopes of Mount Liamuga volcano. Check Prices and Book for Bellemont Farm
Pink Conch jewelry
Fall in love with the delicate shell jewelry that is made on St Kitts by local artist Jenny Peets of Living DeLife Jewellery and accessories. Conch fritters and chowder are on every beach bar menu but the shells are often thrown back into the sea, while here the naturally pink shell is polished and made into pretty bracelets, earrings and necklaces. There are also pendants and rings made from the ice blue quartz larimar stone, and natural speckled brown jewelry from large whelk shell. Rings, bracelets and pendants start from $15 and Jenny’s stand can be found in the Amina Craft Market of Port Zante.
Read more about St Kitts: Top 10 things to eat and drink in St Kitts
Need somewhere to stay on St Kitts? Check out St Kitts Marriott Resort, a luxury resort with golf course, casino and spa. Check prices and book for St Kitts Marriott Resort
Some places to shop for local crafts and souvenirs
- The Gallery Cafe on the Square, North Independence Square, Basseterre
- The Craft House, Bay Road, Basseterre
- Amina Craft Market, Port Zante, Basseterre
- The Shell Works at Palm Court Gardens, Wilkin Street, Fortlands, Basseterre
- Caribelle Batik at Romney Manor
- Les Mains d’Or Gallery, St Christopher Club, Frigate Bay
- The iFlamboyant artist’s collective started by local potter Dale Kelley holds exhibitions of local work at Christmas in leading hotels around the island.
Visitor Information for St Kitts
To plan your visit to St Kitts check out the tourism board website at www.stkittstourism.kn or follow their social media channels: Twitter @StKittsTourism | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | Pinterest |
British Airways flies to St Kitts from London Gatwick twice a week on Saturdays and Wednesdays with the flight going on to nearby Antigua. There are regular ferries every day to Nevis, with a journey time of 45 minutes from Basseterre, making it easy to plan a combined stay on both islands.
To start and end your holiday on St Kitts in style, the YU Lounge offers a private terminal at the airport. A private car will meet you from the plane and whisk you to the luxurious lounge where snacks and drinks are available. While you are waiting your luggage will be picked up and you’ll be cleared through security by the YU Lounge staff.
Check out the prices and book hotels on St Kitts
Thanks to St Kitts Tourism for hosting Heather’s visit to St Kitts.
Read all my articles about St Kitts:
The Stylish Traveller’s Guide to St Kitts
10 views of St Kitts that would make the perfect postcard
Top 10 Things to do in St Kitts for Cruise Visitors
Top 10 things to eat and drink in St Kitts
Ocean terrace Inn in St Kitts – colourful contemporary style
Classic Caribbean Luxury at Ottley’s Plantation in St Kitt
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