Kit Marlowe and Company, Bookshop: Book worm heaven
If you like everything about a small local bookstore.... the smell, the odd variety, the helpful owner, the quiet and the thrill of looking for a "find", then Kit Marlowe and Company is your kind of place. This is a small shop located right in Victoria-by-the-Sea proper, and it's an excellent place to just browse.... which we did. The owner - and I'm sad to report that we didn't get her name - was a totally charming lady, with an odd little twist that adds so much character to "book people". Her twist was that while she was a bespectacled bookwormish lady on Prince Edward Island, she was a huge prizefight fan. In her little office, there was a huge poster of a fallen boxer... I would have loved to have gotten a photo of this interesting lady in that office. I asked her about boxing and it was clear that she was immediately talking a labor of love... which was so interesting. If I'd been asked to guess what was a major interest in her life, I would have taken three or four weeks before I finally got to prize fighting. :)
Anyway, go check out Marlowe's and see what you can find.
What to buy: I found an OLD edition of a book entitled "THE YEAR AFTER THE SPANISH ARMADA". The book was in excellent shape and had been published in 1894. I paid C$30 for it.
The owner actually showed me a book (ex libris) that she'd bought in Halifax a few years earlier, it was an immaculate late 18th century published title.
She also had a nice collection of what you'd call "racy" titles from the early 20th century. Kind of fun to see that Victorian Victorians had a sense of fun. Then again, the motto FOR Kit Marlowe and Company is "books for a pleasure-seeking audience".
Island Chocolates: Sweet indulgence in Victoria
What's better than chocolates or a chocolate shop? That's easy, it's chocolates or a chocolate shop that features freshly made, hand-crafted chocolates. THAT's Island Chocolates in Victoria-by-the-Sea, Prince Edward Island.
This lovely little shop features a variety of chocolate treats made right in the shop by the local owners. (Say hello to Emma) Additionally, the shop sells gourmet coffee and chocolate drinks, muffins, breads, etc. making it a great place for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. Island Chocolates features Belgian chocolate, along with excellent local fruit and fruit liquer fillings.
In addition to the fare for sale, Emma and her crew host occasional hands-on chocolate making workships, if you'd like to learn how to make them yourself. I understand the cost for these is approx C$35 per person.
What to buy: Chocolates. :)
I especially like the dark chocolates mixed with toasted coconut. Also, there are some excellent price bargains on the "slips or misses" section. (I think that's what they called them) Basically, they're candy pieces that just didn't quite come out as "pretty" as one would want in a gift box selection. But do realize, with chocolate candies, beauty is more than a visual thing.
What to pay: Depends on what you're buying obviously. But, generally, the hand-crafted chocolates went for something like $25 Canadian per pound box, for regular pieces. Truffles and such are a bit more.
Coach House Antiques: Go see Pam Price
This tip is written about the Coach House Antiques, but in reality, I'm really recommending that you pop by and meet Pam Price. Pam is the owner of Coach House, and she also is a local real estate broker. She knows just about everyone and everything about Victoria-by-the-Sea, and she's an interesting person to talk with. So, please DO pop by Coach House and say hello to Pam. Take your camera, she likes to talk photography with serious photographers.
And now, as for the Coach House.... this is a nice little local antique place. Pam has a nice collection of historical objects - and quite a few of them are the affordable type that travelling visitors just might want to take home. It's not all about furniture and big dollar items.
In addition to antiques, Pam specializes in teas and antique tea services. She sells quality teas in bulk, should you feel the need to take a bit of 'er Majesty's brew on your journey.
What to buy: Well, let me tell you what ::I:: bought. I found a framed flyer from the 1901 Montreal Star, celebrating a visit to Canada by the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York. I am not sure, but I believe the Duke later because George V. (I'll get back to you on that :) I am a reliable Anglophile, and finding historical items pertaining to the royals always attracts my attention. The flyer is now residing on a wall in our downstairs outer hall.
The price? Pam had it listed at C$50, but when I asked her how quickly she could get "more serious" on the item, she smiled and said she'd take C$25. Then again, we'd had several photographic discussions on multiple visits during our stay in Victoria and I think she liked us. :)
What to pay: It all depends on what you buy. But Pam is more than willing to bargain.
The Studio Gallery: Art with a "Tail"
The Studio Gallery is a higher-end local art shop featuring the paintings of owner Henry Dunsmore, the etchings of well-known Doreen Foster, and the pottery of Emily Dunsmore. Art is in the eye and to the taste of the beholder, and I will tell you that I favored the canvas work of Mr Dunsmore over most other items at the Studio Gallery. His work is period in nature, and maintains a realism that we "non-artists" tend to appreciate. OK OK, that's a dig against all of the "highly educated artists" out there who like Jackson Pollock and such. :)
PLEASE TAKE A LOOK AT MY "OTHER PHOTOS" BELOW. Photo 2 is an up-close look at Mr Dunsmore's "The Collector" piece. And then, photo 3 backs up to show that it's a painting and not an actual view. I think you'll enjoy the effect.
BTW, "Art with a Tail" is the motto of the Studio Gallery. Their emblem is a whimsical rabbit, hence the "art with a tail" tag.
What to buy: Well, this is NOT a gift shop, not a place to pick something up for under $100 to take home. Basically, you are buying one of a kind originals, and limited edition prints of original paintings and etchings. These are quality items and if they're to your taste, your home would be well served by an addition from The Studio Gallery.
What to pay: A wide range of prices, starting at a few hundred dollars.
- Arts and Culture
Victoria's Glass Studio: Classical Glass
Victoria’s Glass studio is operated by a mother and daughter artist team. In addition to creating works of art, there is emphasis on teaching any aspect of working with glass. Indoor and outdoor mosaic projects, fused glass, stained glass, glass bead making (lamp working) and sand blasting are our work shop topics. We also have local artist and artists from around the world teaching specialized techniques to work with glass, photography, painting and watercolor.
What to buy: In this entertaining store, you can find a large supply of our original (studio owners) creations, as well as arts and crafts from other local and regional artists. Among items that you will find at the studio are hand made paper products, a large assortment of glass beads and beading supplies, hand made leather products, Trout River Pottery, a large selection of sun catchers , glass key chains, large glass bowls and other items intended to accent your home.