A massive shopping centre with all the western brands you need under one roof.
The pity is that it has killed trade in the centre of the town especially on the main avenue Laisves aleja.
Morocco as a country is the most culturally rich place I've ever visited and more specifically Marrakech. Both Ryan Air and Easy Jet fly direct from many UK airports and flights are very reasonably priced.
I'd recommend staying a week or more here and checking in to one of the many Riad's within the Medina. By doing this you will almost immerse yourself in Moroccan culture and way of life; it never ceases to amaze me. I'd start by exploring your neighbourhood and meeting some of the locals. Hello (Salam), Goodbye (Beslama), Please (Afak) and Thank You (Shukran) will always go a long way as many people only speak the local dialect, not English or French. Ask the owner or manager of your Riad where the local Hammam baths are; they are well worth a visit! Some may offer a massage for en extra few Dirham.
Before starting to haggle in the Souks it may be worth talking to other tourists and staff at the Riad about prices to expect to pay for goods. Shopkeepers will always try to take you for a ride - don't give in too easily - if the price is too high for you, walk away, they'll soon run after you. Be sure to spend plenty of time in the Souks, especially in the evening as everything lights up - it almost seems magical. Don't forget to enjoy a freshly prepared meal in the stalls at Djemaa el Fna and to take in the various forms of street entertainment. Djemaa el Fna transforms into a vibrant hub at night for both local people and tourists.
As for things to do, I personally recommend visiting the El Badi Palace and the Saadien Tombs - all for a bit of local history. The Majorelle Gardens are also well worth a visit, I'd go in the morning when it's slightly quieter. There is a cafe there, but prices are rather steep, so take water and a snack. If you have the time to explore outside of Marrakech, take a Taxi (approx 1 hr) to the waterfalls at Ourika Valley. Wear sensible shoes and hire a guide when you get there.
As for Cafes, Restaurants and Bar's here are my top 3: Cafe Bourgainvillea - situated within the souks, perfect for afternoon tea and very reasonably priced. Cafe Arabe, is a restaurant just a bit further on and serves delicious food. After your meal, sit up on the rooftop terrace and enjoy views across the city. Expect to pay prices similar to those in the UK. African Chic, is cocktail and lounge bar in the Gueliz - the new part of the city. Most evenings they have a great live band playing, it's perfect to enjoy a classy evening.
All that's left to say is to enjoy it. You won't forget the Marrakech experience in a hurry!!
Cafe Bourgainvillea: 33 Rue de Moussaine, Medina, Marrakech
Cafe Arabe: 184 Rue de Moussaine, Medina, Marrakech
African Chic: 6 Rue Oum Errabia, Gueliz, Marrakech (0524) 431 424 www.african-chic.com/
Before you start shopping check whether the supermarket operates a savings card. If it does, sign up by completing a short form and when you have completed your shop the checkout assistant will swipe the card and you will get cash discount on some items. We saved on lots of items including fresh food and wine.
We used these cards at Vons, Safeways, Albertsons and Cala Foods/Bell Markets
Scary Canary Clothing sells a range of vintage clothing from the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's, plus some retro-style wear and bespoke designs.
The shop is beautifully laid out over two floors of mens and ladies clothing, and also includes hats, shoes and jewllery.
The staff are always helpful and can find and suggest something to suit your taste.
They also have a great online clothing store.
Sticky. Sweet. Milky. Moreish. Wicked sweeties in big jars from more than a dozen sellers in a shady arcade on the Plaza de las Coches. This being Colombia, it's not coconut teacakes and licorice allsorts, but 'bebes de leche' - think supersized jelly babies made of fudge - and coconut-condensed-milk mixes, and tamarind sweets. Definitely the best come from Dona Silvia, in my opinion - she was mixing up a bowl of tamarind while we were there and let us try it straight from the bowl. One sweetie, 500 pesos is the going rate - about 25p a piece.
Plaza de las Coches, Cartagena
Austins, the world's oldest department store, is a stunning building located in the Diamond, square at the very heart of the city centre.
It is well worth popping into. It is a quaint, in many ways, old fashioned kind of store but with top of the range goods in every department.
Best of all is the Roof Top Restaurant on the third floor with wonderful views over the city. I had a gigantic scone, butter, jam and a mug of coffee for an amazing £1.60!
Later I went back for lunch and had the lunchtime special. A main course, pudding, and a pot of tea or a coffee for £4.95, with good big portions. It was very busy! A wonderful mix of Derry ladies of a certain age, businessmen, mothers and toddlers. I staggered out after lunch and managed to cross to the benches in the square where I sat in the sun to let it all digest before tackling the walls of the city!
This is fantastic stall/portacabin at the largest antiques centre in Essex. They always have a great range of vintage clothing, period handbags and some amazing jewellery, all with an evocative crackly soundtrack in the background as you browse! The antiques dealer next door also has ex.MOD clothing so you can pick up an incredible military hat or uniform too.
Bath has some real gems for vintage clothes. On the weekend there is a stall at the Cattle Market selling a variety of uniforms, fur and other pieces.
Venture further up Walcot Street (towards the London Road) and you will arrive at Jack and Danny's - a vast collection of clothes
from all eras. Ask the staff if you have something in mind and they will
rummage around to find the perfect thing, and they will often hire out pieces for the weekend. Hidden in an alleyway off Milson Street is Vintage
to Vogue which has a very good collection of men's and women's clothing and last time I was
there, some one-off vintage road cycling jerseys.
Vintage to Vogue: 28 Milsom Street, Bath
Google map: bit.ly/9tH9ql
Jack and Danny's: 3 London St
Bath BA1 5BU
Google map: bit.ly/dreYDg
In Amsterdam city centre, between the Singel and the Prinsengracht, behind the Royal Palace are nine little streets dotted with interesting shops, galleries, places to eat, and the best vintage shops. For fabulous party dresses for the ladies and classic dinner jackets and morning suits for the gents I love Laura Dols. You can pick up a pair of gloves for 5E or an 80s ballroom dancing dress for 100E. For more daytime vintage outfits my favourite places are Zipper and Exota. Zipper offers some original synthetic sports wear as well as leather jackets and jeans with prices ranging from 10E to 100E and Exota does great floral dresses in the 50E price bracket.
House of Liza specializes in vintage designer clothing. The collection contains a handpicked selection from avant-garde fashion from the 50s to the 90s. Designers include Kansai Yamamoto, André Courrèges, JC de Castelbajac, Stephen Sprouse, Comme des Garçons, Jil Sander, Claude Montana, Thierry Mugler and JP Gaultier.
It is a street off MG road:
1. Hard Rock Cafe
2. KC Das(Indian sweet shop)
3. Koshy (Bacon+eggs or Appam + Stew)
4. Bowring Club petrol station(KULFI- Indian ice cream)
5. The egg factory
6. Kabab Corner
7. Noon Wines ( potent Indian wine, great if a game is going on they have a large screen and cheap drinks)
8. Bacchus (drum and bass - wed eves)
Take a detour off St Marks Road at Koshys and walk down Church Street. Do look at Blossom - used book shop.
At Spiga on st Marks Road (Halycon Building) take a right (Spiga is on your right) onto Vittal Mallya Road for more upmarket shopping at The collective, Esprit, UB City(LV, Bottega Veneta etc.
Restaurants at UB City
1. City Bar
2. Cafe Noir (French cafe)
3. Rajdhani (Gujurati)
4. Shiro (Pan Asian + Bar)
5. Fava (Lebanese)
6. Tasy Tangles (Asian)
If you are here for a long time look at the ives club on the internet. It is a club for expats to meet other expats (if that is your thing). There is a party every Saturday and you will meet the single expats of the city and some locals.
UB City is expat hangout.
St Marks Road Bangalore - start at the MG road end.
Google map: bit.ly/d8mVg9
Strut is a dress agency and vintage store for men and women which opened almost two years ago. Word has spread among stylists and lovers of highly original and designer items about this cornucopia of once-owned designer pieces and sourced perfectly preserved flapper silks, thirties tea dresses, fifties frocks and iconic designers of later decades. On my last visit I saw an Alexander McQueen jacket at under £200, an Alice Temperley dress, vintage Ossie Clarke and boxed new Jimmy Choos ranged alongside Gucci loafers and Vivienne Westwood shirts and blouses. Exceptionally knowledgeable and friendly staff make for a great shopping experience.
Strut has recently opened a sister shop, Stroll, just down the road at 111 Church street, where more modest tastes can be indulged. Operating as a dress agency for the local fashion cognoscenti you will find high-end high street and designer bargains. On the day I visited £30 would have bought me a brand new pair of John Rocha brogues or a Betty Jackson jacket.
182 Church Street, Stoke Newington, London N16 OJL
Google map: bit.ly/b200bb
+44(0)207 254 4387
A vintage clothing store set in a warehouse in Digbeth, Birmingham (though a new shop has opened on Corporation Street).
You can get anything you want here if you have the patience to rummage through the rails.
Williamsburg Brooklyn is home of the hipster and has so much affordable vintage available you can even buy it off the footpath!
I recommend this because it is a cheap way to buy vintage clothes and the stuffy musky smell of Thrift Store is not an issue. Shopping en plein air!
Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, New York
Google map: bit.ly/ciUaxI
An eclectic selection of vintage shops specialising in different decades can be found between Albert Road and the Palmerston precinct. Start with Tango Tea and their flapper and Art Deco collection then onto Style in the City and the One-Eyed Jockey with clothes from the Seventies, or for a real Fifties and Sixties experience step into Dead Man's Glory and bop away to skiffle music playing on the turntables whilst riffling through the rails.
The House of Avalon is a vintage clothing store full of quirky little surprises in York. After picking through a stunning array of vintage gear - from gorgeous tea dresses to sparkling handbags and headgear - you can enjoy a cup of tea and a cupcake or large slice of victoria sponge in the Avalon's cafe. While you browse or eat, enjoy the classic films which are projected onto a screen in the cafe. To add to Avalon's many charms, you can also get your hair styled into a retro do by a talented stylist before you leave. The shop is a project of the Avalon Group aimed at providing work opportunities to people with different abilities. A delightful shop with a social conscience. You will leave smiling.
After travelling to both Milan and Rome, two of the most influential cities of Europe fashion-wise and finding nothing but street after street of generic designer boutiques, I was ecstatic to find Edinburgh riddled with vintage clothes boutiques. Not only does South Bridge and Nicolson Street play host to several charity shops, often home to the most wonderfully unique pieces, but W. Armstrong & Son (founded in 1840) is the true heart of Edinburgh vintage. Found on The Grassmarket, room after room is filled with genuine World War II jackets and 1940's fancy dress; complete with trunk full’s of top hats, wigs and Venetian masks. Although W. Armstrong & Son is the crème de la crème of retro fashion, other vintage gems can also be found along Teviot Place and on Frederick Street.
If you're a vintage addict the Northern Quarter is where to head for your daily dose. Always the creative heart of the city, the number of vintage shops has blossomed in recent years catering for all tastes. For girly, try Retro Rehab, bargain basement- Ryan Vintage, altruistic- Oxfam Originals or full on, whacked out craziness- American Graffiti. Not to mention many more hidden backstreet gems. Failing that head straight to Afflecks Palace possibly the world's only punk/goth/vintage/alternative department store.
Retro Rehab: Oldham St 0161 839 2050
Ryan Vintage: 46 Oldham street, M4 1LE,
0161 228 1495 Google map: bit.ly/9QThm8
Oxfam Originals: 51 Oldham St, Manchester M1 1JR
0161 839 3160 Google map: bit.ly/cZ2NBy
American Graffiti: 10-14 Hilton St, M11JF
0161 228 3677 Google map: bit.ly/bFLjIj
Afflecks Palace: Northern Quarter
52 Church Street, M4 1PW www.afflecks.com
0161 839 0718 Google map: bit.ly/9TmKTn
The Vintage Warehouse is a big vintage emporium that has loads of cool clothes inside. As with any old clothes shop, it is fairly jumble sale like and requires a good trawl, however I've acquired some great finds from it. Plus, they have a one pound bargain pit, and, although the style of the clothes in there isn't exactly fashionable, there are some nice materials if you rummage for long enough. Best of all, even if you don't buy anything it's a fascinating place to wonder around.
82-84 Lower Parliament Street, (main entrance on Cranbrook Street) NG1 1EH
Google map: bit.ly/9KA40c
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