Except for a quick stop at a t-shirt place during our last day on St. Kitts, Caribelle Batik at Romney Manor was the only place on the island where I shopped…twice. The first time, cruise ship travelers crowded the little boutique, making it inefficient to maneuver around the shop. However, the good thing about being there with the cruise ship travelers was that it guaranteed a demonstration of the batik process.
UPDATE March 6, 2012: A YouTube video of a Caribelle Batik demonstration is immediately below.
A couple of days later we returned. (Since our first visit, I had decided I wanted to purchase a few items. I also wanted to take photos of flowering plants on the grounds.) Arthur Jones, our taxi driver, suggested he get us to Caribelle Batik before the cruise ship traffic descended upon the grounds. We scurried to get there; I finished my shopping and photography just as the cruise ship traffic arrived.
I don’t know where the garments (shirts, dresses, etc.), handbags, placemats, potholders, cosmetic bags and too much more to remember are constructed. I do know that Caribelle Batik is the main (only?) outlet for selling their products, offers batik demonstrations, “exhibits” batiked fabric hanging on the lines outdoors, and has absolutely gorgeous plant life on the extensive grounds of Romney Manor.
My Lonely Planet book* says about Romney Manor, “Just above Old Road Town, the 17th-century Romney Manor sugar estate once belonged to the great-great-great-grandfather of Thomas Jefferson. Since 1964 it has been the home of Caribelle Batik, which sells handmade batik wraps, dresses, wall hangings and other items. There is also a small workshop where you can watch the colorful fabric being made. Don’t leave without a stroll amid the palms and poinsettias of the glorious gardens**, which are guarded by a magnificent 350-year-old*** saman tree.”
If you click on one of the thumbnail images below, you can view all of them in a slideshow.
* * * * * * * *
For “St. Kitts — Part I” click here.
For “St. Kitts — Part II: Vervet Monkeys” click here.
For “St. Kitts — Part III: Lobster” click here.
For “St. Kitts — Part IV: Caribelle Batik at Romney Manor” click here.
For “St. Kitts — Part V: Mr X’s Shiggidy Shack” click here.
For “St. Kitts — Part VI: Brimstone Hill Fortress” click here.
For “St. Kitts — Part VII: The Beach(es)” click here.
For “St. Kitts — Part VIII: Plant Life” click here.
For “St. Kitts — Part IX: Miscellaneous” click here.
*Caribbean Islands, Lonely Planet, 2011, p. 683.
**In a future St. Kitts post, I’ll include more photos of the grounds.
***The sign at the Romney Manor entrance says the tree is 400 years old.
(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)