My Mall Meltdown was quickly followed by an Idyllic Independent Shopping experience. Accuse me of shameless propaganda (and I’m not ashamed because it’s all true!) but my mind, soul, spirit and Christmas present list was saved by some gorgeous independent shops in Berkley. Residing slightly north of where were staying my husband had the bright idea of visiting this grown-up hippy town for our shopping after his wife returned home with the Mall Meltdown Shakes (OK, there were no shakes. But you get the idea, see below).
After only two hours of sauntering up and down College Avenue in the fresh cold sun with coffee in hand and we were done. We bought books (for the same prices as Borders) at Mrs Dalloway’s http://www.mrsdalloways.com/, a pot and pan set (£6.50) and a broom (£3) for my son (no child labour exploitation here), a tea cup and tea strainer in-one at Global Exchange (£6.50) (www.globalexchange.org), Twister from Sweet Dreams Toy Store (£13), and some beautiful leather gloves for my mother-in-law (£19).
We also stopped off at the Ecology Centre (www.ecologycenter.org/store/) for tie-die socks for our 7 year old nephew (£6) and a jigsaw map of Europe (£8). After some amazing Mexican food in a little house-like restaurant with one table we were ready to for ice cream and giant donuts, where my son dismayed everyone by drinking honey straight from a pot and then charmed them with his English accent.