Independent bookstore that's become a cornerstone of the McGill area since 1975. Standing (ongoing) vote as one of the "Best of" in Montréal by the Montréal Mirror, since 1999. Possibly earlier. Knowledgeable staff, Canadian fiction, rare books.
Oh, and it's right near two of Montréal's independent repertory movie houses, Cinéma du Parc and Excentris.
469 Rue Milton (cross Durocher);
tel: (514) 845 5640;
Less chic than Marche Atwater, but bigger, cheaper and with much better street food. Shops include the fantastically named "Qui L'ait Cru?" for cheese.
7075 Avenue Casgrain; tel: (514) 277 1379;
Metro: Jean Talon, then walk 3 or 4 blocks west (along Jean Talon) and one south;
Marche Atwater is a market selling a wide range of fresh fruit, veg, cheese, bread, cakes and other tempting foodstuffs. It is housed in a big old art deco building by the Lachine Canal, with many stalls outside in the summer, some of which also sell flowers and shrubs. Well worth stopping by if you're in the area for a cheap and tasty lunch or just to stock up if you're self-catering.
Avenue Atwater, St. Henri;
It provides exhibition space, contains a specialist bookshop and architects' offices and runs a series of lectures and events on design and the built environment. A place to glean ideas and to learn more about Bristol's escalating development.
Narrow Quay BS1 4QA
The internet, large overheads and big companies have all taken their toll on Bristol's independently run record shops but a few remain. Rooted merits a visit to its Gloucester Road premises for the selection of vinyl on offer, including a section of locally produced music, and for its informed staff.
9 Gloucester Road BS7 8AA
0117 907 4372
Number 75 bus from Bristol City Centre to The Arches.
Gunwharf Quays is a designer outlet on Portsmouth Harbour. It's a great place to pick up a few bargains with outlets by Paul Smith, GAP, Next, Burberry, Nike, and loads more including some "kitchen" shops. The day we were there, there was a skateboard event on that kept my 7 year old nephew very happy, and the week before there had been a Food Festival with Ken Hom, so seems there is always something happening.
Had lunch at Strada - there are lots of restaurants to choose from, including the usual Burger King up to Loch Fyne and other "good restaurants". Would recommend for a family day out, or just to break the bank shopping!
Here the credit card reigns supreme. One floor alone devoted to all those brand names which women die for. Tommy Hilfiger, Liz Claiborne, Mondee...soft music, the most pleasant of sales assistants and it is so easy to put it on le plastic.
The shoe floor is exquisite, even to me. Nothing less than three figures on the price tags.
I’m told King Juan Carlos of Spain comes to Palma for his holidays and has done so for many years. So. If it’s good enough for him, then it’s good enough for...
Follow the noise of the credit cards
Although Palma is usually thought of as being where the airport is, it exists in its own right as a vibrant and atmospheric city. For those addicted to shopping, this is the place. Along the main thoroughfare the shops are those in the exclusive bracket. The Burberry Shop rubs shoulders with Lacoste and Gant, while Balenciagga sneers at the browser by having no prices on the shoes.
And if the weather isn’t so good? Just go into El Corte Inglese, that monument to the shopaholic. Just think of Debenhams and multiply it tenfold in quality and quantity. And there are two of these in the city! The larger boasts seven floors with two underground, one of which is a supermarket with wine racks occupying a quarter of the floor space with several thousand bottles.
And the deli section...How many different olive oils are there?
... Is, in my opinion, in Broughton Street, and looks so posh from the outside that I hardly dare to go in. Everything is spotless, and it isn't even that expensive. They also sell award winning self-made ale pies and Haggis in one-person sausage-like portions.
The head butcher has a really big belly, which in my opinion is a quality trademark of good butchers, as they want to serve customers fresh produce but don't like to throw their high quality products away - so they eat it themselves. That's the same with my village butcher at home.
Apart from that, there is a wide variety of special sausages to try for free - from wild boar to beef with blackberries and Lucifer's matchsticks.
The butcher is also very friendly and chatty, and they have leaflets on their products such as the history of Haggis and Burn's supper, including a variety of poems. They might even recite them for you at the till to get you to hear them with the original Scots language.
Crombie's of Edinburgh: 97 Broughton Street;
Jurmala has an olde-worde holiday resort atmosphere. The weekend I was there, it was the annual street party celebrating the opening of the shopping street. There were wonderful open-air concerts and market stalls.
It was a little blowy, but most bars and restaurants provided guests with blankets to keep out the worst of the wind. When the wind wound down, it was a magical place for a short holiday.
To get a real flavour of the celebratory nature of the locals and the town, it is a good idea to visit just before or at Christmas time, when the Christmas fair is on in the city centre. It brings alive the kid in you with a ferris wheel, a very enchanting fortune teller and other rides. Besides, you can gorge on mulled wine every evening and eat scrumptuous street food while you browse through local knick knacks at the German market or empty your purse at the high street big brand sales. Very memorable!
Various locations in the centre of Edinburgh;
Many of these are not noted for their singing quartets, or even any evidence of a pair of scissors. Worth knowing that plenty of them have back rooms for a little more (less?) than your average 'short, back and sides'.
If you go to a hairdresser's that actually does cut your hair, chances are you will get your hair washed, your scalp massaged very nicely and a decent haircut. If it's 30 rmb for a bloke's haircut and wash, all in, then that's pricy. It's a bit of luxury, but allow about an hour. Otherwise, pay 3 to 5 rmb at a cheap (genuine barber) place on the street, and it will be much quicker.
All over town
A whole day could be spent in this street alone with its huge range of shops. The Buchanan Centre in Buchanan Street makes Castlecourt (Belfast) look like a corner shop. Here is everything. Shop for shirts. Look for lingerie. Scream for skirts. Drool over dresses. Shiver over shoes.
Half way up Buchanan Street an arched doorway beckons through into a huge open expanse of an Atrium stretching upwards for four stories. What was once a large court, surrounded by brick-faced offices that stored documents for the legal firms in Glasgow, is now a variety of small specialist shops and eating places. The Atrium is criss-crossed by scissors of escalators that rise without visible support through the space.
Princes Square, elegant with its Art Nouveau wrought iron, is a welcome haven populated by a plethora of tiny restaurants and intriguing nooks of shops. A great place to browse for an hour or two, or if it’s raining! The Rennie Mackintosh Museum nearby is worth going to if you’re at all interested in the Arts, especially considering the influence he had on design.
Nothing sums up 'Gallus' Glasgow better than a Saturday morning trip to the Barras. Here, Glasgow's answers to Del boy and Rodney make their Southern cousins look like shy introverts, as they sell anything not bolted down, from fur coats to football strips and computers to car parts.
The market has expanded from its humble beginnings to include hundreds of stalls and shops selling everything and anything. Barras are rented out on a daily basis, meaning an ever-changing stock and providing an ad-hoc sales channel for anyone with stuff to shift.
Never one to miss a trick, the Barras has evolved with the times, reflecting the changing needs of a varied clientele. Nowadays, Maggie's original fruit barra has evolved into a farmers' market, which takes place on the last Saturday in every month from 8 am (but get there quick, because stock sells out by lunchtime), and the modern market does a roaring trade in computer software of perhaps dubious origin. Never mind, it's all yours for a tenner.
The Barras was there long before Versace and the Italian Centre, and despite constant raids from overworked and frankly exasperated trading standards officials, it will still be there a long time after they're gone too. Margaret Russell would be proud.
Near Bell Street
A couple of RMB/yuan for entrance to the gallery up the stairs. Art book shop downstairs, and art supplies on sale in the lobby. Occasional visits from international artists/exhibitors.
From TianFu Square, standing at the base of the Mao statue, facing Mao, turn left (west) and after a stroll of just over 500 metres, you will see the gallery on your right.
This street is great for shopping with the smaller shops selling souvenirs and kilts and the outside stalls selling handcrafted goods. It is really peaceful too as cars are banned from this street.
It also has a buzzing atmosphere in the evening with people drinking in the many pubs and eateries with funny names like Filthy McNasty and Dirty Dicks. It's a great place to mingle with the Scots.
Rose Street runs parallel to Princes Street between St Andrews Square and Charlotte Square.
Not always on the tourist trail, home to the Last Drop pub, scene of executions in years gone by, and also some good places to eat and interesting shops - Two Fat Ladies cookshop, Mr Woods Fossils and some amazing jumper shops.
Down the winding hill from Greyfrairs Bobby - the most over-rated dog in town.
One of my favourite shops at Victoria Park Market is The NZ Touch. Owned and operated by New Zealanders, this small store has a wide range of homewares and other things.
Many of the suppliers are small enterprises, which means that you could be there on a day when one of the supplier's is re-stocking and you get to meet the person who made your bowl, board, piece of jewellery.
This is a small operation so you get the personal touch: product knowledge is great, you can have a joke, be given recommendations on what to do on a rainy day in Auckland or for that matter a sunny day, good places to eat and where to get that all important good cup of coffee. They also gift wrap for free
Victoria St, Auckland
Amongst the usual produce are products peculiar to Cork. Drisheen, a mixture of dried sheep’s blood and herbs in a long pudding skin. Or Crubeen, pigs’ feet boiled “with the hoof on!” And Trotters - sheep’s feet boiled in water.
Tel: 353 21 427 3251
If your preference is for browsing through little shops hoping for the non-existent bargain, visit the Paul Street area, a former back street now converted into a thriving shopping area of restaurants, boutiques, craft shops and bookshops in the heart of old Cork. It has to be said that it is different from the usual trendy street that most cities have nowadays.
There is a French feel about this part of the city which isn’t surprising as this was part of the Old French Quarter in the seventeenth century when Huguenots fleeing from persecution in their own country, settled here and started trading.
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