Redcliffe Quay, St. John's
Overlooking the harbour of St. John’s, the historic district of Redcliffe Quay was once the slave-trading area for the town. Along the peaceful quayside are the original Georgian buildings interspersed by small courtyards and now restored, renovated and painted in a large variety of dazzling colours.
The old buildings now comprise around 30 shops selling gifts, pottery, paintings, and other locally made gifts, as well as clothes, shoes and accessories. You can easily pick up an artistic painting, a length of the local Antiguan Batik cloth or a local piece of handmade artefact. Most goods are priced in U.S dollars, are duty free and aimed squarely at tourists, particularly those from the cruise ships which dock nearby, however, you will be amazed to discover what a polite greeting could do to the final price of an item.
Within the courtyards, shaded by awnings and palm trees are numerous café’s and restaurants. In addition to being a place for shopping and dining, Redcliffe Quay is a great photo opportunity. What is now a dock for visiting yachts was the main quay for trading slaves, rum, sugar and coffee between Antigua, Europe and Africa. Antigua has only a few export taxes, they include sea cotton and fish and go back to the days when Antigua was an exporting country
One visitor review on Tripadvisor said “Redcliffe Quay is a pretty assortment of shops in brightly coloured shacks and restored buildings. Most are totally aimed at tourists, particularly those from the cruise ships which dock nearby (to the point of pricing their wares in US dollars and running duty free concessions)! Some of the shops have good local crafts and pottery. Redcliffe is also home to the fantastic Mama Lolly's veggie cafe - where most of the stall holders and shop workers buy their lunches. You can get some great healthy tasty food and watch the cruise ship detainees being herded to their tour coaches at the same time!”