Well - I started shopping on the internet. After all there MUST be shopping on a 20 by 25 mile island ;) And there was indeed!
A Google search for Islay revealed several options including the website for Persabus. An inquiry about the bowls they showed on their website led to an email exchange where they said they would have the bowls ready for me and that if no one was there, just to leave the money in the honesty box. What a combination of modern communication and old fashioned values!
So we dropped by and purchased two bowls which we now use for our morning cereal.
What to buy: There is a limited assortment -- vases, pitchers, bowls, mugs and a few other items in basic colors. The designs are Celtic and include imagery from the historic seal of Islay.
They also do a lot of commemorative pottery -- we picked up a cute little pitcher at the Laphroaig distillery.
What to pay: Very reasonabale indeed! Bowls were 6-8 pounds.
Here you will find books about and maps of Islay, jeweltry based on local designs, glassware, local crafts using historical images as well as some local woolens. It's just about as "one-stop" as you can get -- they even carry a small sample of Persabus pottery!
What to buy: Whatever you prefer!
I bought a "stained-glass" round seal of Islay for hanging in a window and my husband bought me the birds and grapes pendant [in silver!] that is based on a design from the famous Kildalton cross found on Islay.
The picture below is from the shop's website. [Please see the soon to be posted Kildalton travelogue for more]
What to pay: Things aren't cheap, but they are unique and will remind you of an incredibly beautiful island.
It was an awful lot of fun to compare the different distilleries, including a few that are no longer active, such as Caol Ila. Of the three small bottles pictured here I hanker after the middle one, Bruichladdich.
How could I forget? You can get the Islay single malts almost anywhere they have a store:) What's fun is you can buy small tastes of different ones as well as big bottles. This bottle WAS full of Laphroaig -- purchased at the distillery after the tour.