Located in the heart of Castries, St. Lucia’s capital city, is the Castries Market. Named as a world’s top 10 food market by National Geographic, Castries Market is the perfect spot to be among the locals and pick up unique souvenirs and try some of the native foods. If you’re looking for unique prints or pieces outside the hubbub of the Castries city limits, there are several boutiques, galleries and working studios worth visiting. However, you can also easily find a distinctive piece of St. Lucia right outside the cruise ship dock.
To make things easy, we narrowed it down to five must-buy items and exactly where you can find them.
The lush lands of St. Lucia give way to cocoa plantations, rainforests and dense tropical vegetation, all of which garner an array of spices. Cocoa sticks, vanilla beans, whole nutmeg, mace and other aromatics fill the tables in Castries Market. For a special treat, buy a pre-packed bottle of dried spices along with a sealed bottle of St. Lucia-made Chairman’s Reserve rum. Once home, add the rum to the spices and let it soak; within 24 hours you’ll have homemade spiced rum — an island favorite! Custom laws vary, so purchase vacuum-sealed spices if in doubt.
Where to find it: Castries Market (10-minute walk); packaged rums can be purchased at The Rum Shop, next to Rum Therapy Bar & Treatment Centre in Point Seraphine (5-minute walk).
Known as the national dress of St. Lucia, madras is a Creole fabric of colorful plaids, dating back to pre-emancipation days when slaves wore it for special events. Today madras is worn throughout October for Creole Heritage Month and during Carnival in July. Madras is sold island-wide in fabric stores and throughout the Castries Market.
Where to find it: Castries Market, located off of John Compton Highway, between Jeremie and Baptiste streets (10-minute walk); Abraham’s Fabrics, 36 St. Louis St., Castries (15-minute walk).
From elaborate market scenes to the simple sea turtle, wood carvings made from indigenous woods such as mahogany, teak and cedar abound in the Castries Market and shops across the island. The most famous Lucian wood sculptor is Vincent Joseph Eudovic. Visit his studio in Castries to see him carving in action.
Where to find it: Eudovic’s Art Studio (10-minute drive).
The whimsical, bright-colored pottery made by Lucian-born artist Michelle Elliott will bring a smile to the face and a story to the table. Her tableware depicts a fun and sunny view of St. Lucia’s landscape. What’s more, a trip to see her art means lunch and a view! Find her work at The Pink Plantation House, a 100-year-old restored Victorian mansion on the hill above the city of Castries, and The Coal Pot, a historic and romantic waterfront restaurant at Vigie Marina.
Where to find it: The Pink Plantation House (10-minute drive); The Coal Pot Restaurant (10-minute drive).
Anitanja Lawaetz was born and raised on the rural Balenbouche Estate in southern St. Lucia. With her childhood memories in mind, she has created several lines of fine jewelry inspired by St. Lucia’s beautiful terrain. Among her designs of gold- and silver-plated pieces, many set with gemstones, you’ll see the Pitons, the sea and other earthly elements of her island home.
Where to find it: Harry Edwards Jewelers at Pointe Seraphine (10-minute drive); La Place Carenage (five-minute walk).
Editor’s Note: Businesses in St. Lucia don’t use addresses like we do in the U.S. (number & street name), and all mail goes to P.O. boxes. However, this list of places is very well known and any cab driver will be able to take a visitor there just by name.