Brilliantly hued ceramics line the Jon Faulkner Gallery (formerly Bermuda Clayworks), a boutique and working collective studio in the Royal Naval Dockyard. Many of the items are salt-glazed; all are expertly crafted by local artisans. The main studio is celebrated for its bespoke house plaques—many made-to-orders feature family crests—and tableware. Other artists in the collective, which is housed in a former sail repair shop for the British fleet, create vases and other pieces that reflect the spirit of Bermuda. Seasonal activities and workshops take place throughout the year, while there is a paint-your-own pottery studio open every day.
19 Maritime Lane, Royal Naval Dockyard MA BX, Bermuda
Rum cakes, so the story goes, were once hard biscuits that got dunked in the daily serving of black liquor provided to sailors of yore. Whatever the origin, the recipe has improved over the years, and you can taste the newer—and softer—versions soaked in island rum at the Bermuda Rum Cake Company. This “cakery,” which is housed in a historic dockyard, is a Bermudan marquee attraction. Sharing a space with a glasswork factory, the bakery allows visitors to see the classic treats prepared and packaged and also try free samples. In addition to traditional cakes with lemon and vanilla, there are ones flavored with chocolate and coconut—as well the Swizzle, dotted with apricots, cherries, pineapple, and other ingredients.
11 Front Street
This chic shop on Front Street in Hamilton is an assemblage of urbane-rustic goods curated by owner and style setter Nicole Golden. The housewares-heavy collection includes vintage, repurposed, and locally made items; popular offerings include bespoke throw pillows that are emblazoned with island images and nautical maps. Lighting and furniture made from reclaimed materials are another mainstay. The hip retailer is also a showcase for regional artisans like Rebecca Little who, inspired by textiles, creates delicate jewelry pieces from metal. Follow the boutique on social media for pop-up announcements.
Washington Mall, 9 Reid Street, Hamilton HM 11, Bermuda
October is a great time to visit Bermuda. The temperature is mild and the sun is still warm. But, of course, as the season turns to winter, it is not uncommon for a cold, rainy day to blow in. That was my luck and I was unprepared. In need of pants and a warm sweater, a local suggested I look in Atelerie. The boutique is well curated and had just the pieces I was looking for, plus fun accessories to match. If you must shop, stop in atelerie.
4 Freeport Rd Royal Navy Dockyard Sandys, Bermuda
More than 60 artisans demonstrate how they create their crafts—and sell them, too—at this mazelike marketplace in the Old Cooperage of the historic dockyard. There are candles, stationery items and soaps. Some stalls offer antiques and nautical maps; others, old stamps and transportation tokens. Christmas keepsakes are perennially popular picks.
Forget your beach read? No problem. Head to The Book Cellar, a tiny bookshop with a surprisingly large selection of literature to choose from. The shop itself is tucked below the 265-year-old Tucker House in the historic town of St. Georges. Not sure what to read? Try the “blind date with a book”, where you don’t get to unwrap the newspaper packaging around your book until after purchase.
17 Church St
Whether you choose a museum of national treasures and priceless artifacts or a gallery where you can purchase original works of art, visiting the local art scene is a great way to connect with a place. Since 1985, Windjammer Gallery has displayed original paintings, sculpture, and textile art by local professional Bermuda artists. Life-size bronze sculptures can be seen in the garden. Windjammer Gallery is located in the shopping area at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess and has scheduled exhibitions throughout the year. Shipping can be arranged for purchases. The Bermuda National Gallery is located in the City Hall Arts Centre in Hamilton. It opened in 1992 and is home to Bermuda’s art collection. Permanent and revolving exhibits include African, Bermudian (1680s until today), and European art. Gallery tour guides conduct informative tours of each exhibit. There is another branch of the Bermuda National Gallery in the UNESCO World Heritage site of St. George at Bridge House. Admission is free.