Boutique guide... South Goa
Those that know me, know I treat shopping as somewhat of a sport… I learned from the best, my aunt, and seeing as she was on hand in Goa as well as the added addition of new travel pal Binny – it was the perfect threesome to hit the shops! Here’s a rundown of my top South Goa hotspots to shop till you drop, a curated guide of boutiques throughout Canacona.
Above: 'Its about this big" - Auntie Loreta in her element in Bunti Boutique, Agonda.
Most of these boutiques cater to the new style of jet-set that are coming to the area, from ‘yogees’ and therapists enrolling at the many schools that line the south Goan coast, the boho type that is attracted to the relaxed glamour of India’s sunshine state, or simply compulsive shopaholics myself, Binny and aunty Loreta consider ourselves. A lot of the boutiques have become lifestyle stores incorporating clothing for both him and her, homewares and outdoor bars and cafes offering a little more than just aloo gobi and masala papads – they seem to becoming more popular and quite often where a boutique lays a good cup of coffee follows… overall they have a higher price tag relative to India but compared to costs back home there are sure steals to be had… queue excess baggage!
Heres a rundown of my top finds…
Jaali boutique – Patnem & Agonda - @jaali.jaali
The original Jaali Boutique and Café is in Patnem, South Goa. Set in a lush walled garden a tiny Goan cottage under teak and mango trees is home to the flagship store. In November 2014 owner Kate gathered together the many treasures she'd found on travels all over the sub-continent, designed and stitched a small line of ready-to-wear, lit the Art Deco lamps she'd found in Jodhpur and opened for business.
Above: Homewares in abundance at the Jaali Boutique in Patnem including the most beautiful tufted cushions in an array of colour.
People liked Jaali not only as a place to shop but also to gather. So, a year later she built an airy kitchen, made good coffee and delicious food and grew a garden of Gul mohur trees and spider lilies between kitchen and cottage.
Now, the boutique carries an expanded collection of it’s eponymous label as well as those of other wonderful designers based in the South Goa area. She also sells a carefully curated collection of contemporary Rajasthani jewelry, home-ware, Pondicherry trinkets and soft furnishings as well as Bengali muslins, handicrafts, vintage furniture and antiques.
Above: The expansion of Jaali Patnem with its outdoor kitchen and bar.
Above: My favorite finds from Jaali, including woven tote bags in an array of colours, vintage Rajasthani printed storage boxes and handmade clay pots which are begging for a slap of teal paint don't you think!?
Bunti Boutique - Palolem, Agonda and Patnem - @bunti_boutique
Bunti celebrates India’s rich tradition of textiles and art. through their three boutiques along the south goa coast you can find a selection of hand made and handcrafted clothing, accessories, jewelry and home furnishings, sourced from throughout India.
The Majority of Bunti's products are hand-picked pieces from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. With a strong ethos encouraging the use of traditional techniques such as hand block printing and hand weaving and also carrying a wide selection of vintage and one-off pieces that complement their range, it's definitely one to check out!
The Agonda boutique is a particular haven... through the gate ofZest cafe (my favorite spot in Agonda, offering a vegan menu and the best coffee in town) a small path through lush gardens leads you to the small, yet perfectly formed Bunti. Reflections of palms give a glimpse of the emporium that's stacked high with amazing finds from clothing to textiles to jewelry and homeware trinkets...
Above: In the lush gardens of Zest Cafe lays Bunti boutique disguised in a forest of palms.
Above: Favourite finds - handmade ceramics in ombre tones, printed clothing in rich blues, tufted cushions and printed rugs and scarfs, vintage sacred cow ornaments and dols stiched in beautifully printed textiles...
Big Bird Little Bird boutique - Agonda @bigbirdlittlebird
A small but perfectly formed boutique with two boss ladies at the helm! It's only the first season of Big Bird (Sarah) and Little Bird (Sam) but these pair are already working on their next big collection! The design duo saw a gap in the market to make beautiful, often one-off pieces from the most extraordinary vintage fabrics they source themselves traveling across India. After Sam left the world of finance back home in London and Sarah left a successful career in Modelling the pair have focussed on their new venture surrounding themself in the creative process, with fashion and home textiles at its core. With a growing customer base and fans including notable fashion designer Julian Macdonald they're on the most amazing journey.. this combined with 'Insta worthy' snaps makes this duo one to follow. Annoyingly the day I popped in my iPhone was flat so I haven't any interior shots of the boutique, but a small lean-to, outdoor fitting room and shaded courtyard sitting area make it a really gorgeous place to shop!
Above: Sarah and Sam - the duo at the helm of Big Bird Little Bird.
Above: The girls modeling their wares in the most 'gram-worthy' pics!
Above: Big Bird Little Bird Boutique at night...
Nicky Thomas artist - @Indiantravails
Not so much a shopping hotspot - but a super talented guy that's work I am completely in love with! Nicky is a Patnem based artist that has an outdoor studio area overlooking the bustling main road of the village. His work is truly stunning, interpreting somewhat Indian cliches and daily life activities of the country into truly stand out colourful artwork! He mainly uses a screen printing technique building different layers in the colours he uses in a piece, occasionally using acrylic paints including a showstopper I've currently got my eye on. This guy I just had to mention... A true colourful talent!
Above: Nicky Thomas' Colour pop artwork - I absolutely adore!
La Mangrove Boutique - Agonda and Patnem - @lamangroveboutique
La Mangrove boutique is an emporium of designer delights curated by owner Maud - focussing on mainly womenswear with a small collection for men, the jewelry showcase is stunning with the most amazing accessories available too. A high end find for those with discerning taste. The La Mangrove brand has grown now offering boutique-style yurts besides the river inland south of Patnem.
Above: Jewelry finds, and the Agonda La Mangrove store.
Above: La Mangrove Goa resort.