I am going on a two-week trip to Goa next month. Rather than a beach holiday and the usual visit to flea markets there, I want to use the opportunity to explore the boutique shopping scene. Can you suggest stores that stock garments by Indian designers, as well as homeware and furniture? One of Goa's best-kept secrets is the surprising number of boutique shops scattered all over the state.
You could start with Wendell Rodricks' recently opened shop in Panjim (house No 158, opposite Francesco Luis Gomes garden, Campal; www.wendellrodricks.com; 0091 832 223 8177) for high-end designer fashion that includes everything from evening gowns to casual beachwear. Then there's Malini Ramani, the darling of Delhi's fashion scene, who has made Goa her second home. Her flagship store in Calangute (opposite St Anthony's Chapel, www.maliniramani.com; 0091 832 227 5305) is full of her signature designs - camouflage-print tube tops, embroidered backless jumpsuits and flowing sequinned dresses.
Sosa's in Panjim (E-245 Rua de Ourem, Panjim; 91-832/228-063) does limited-edition ensembles from established designers and also has simple jute bags emblazoned with images of Hindu deities. The shoe designer Edwin Pinto sells his stunning creations from his home (Aldeia Aurino, near Damian de Goa, Porvorim; 0091 832 241 2129). His best-selling designs include mules in jute or silk and fairytale slippers with turned-up toes. Another style haven is Camelot (139 Fondvem, Ribandar; 0091 832 313 0072), popular for its swimwear and stylish handmade scarves. The store also stocks wool and linen throws and colourful block-printed fabrics.
For traditional furniture such as inlaid rosewood wardrobes, stop at Sangolda (E-26 Chogm Road, opposite Mac de Deus Chapel, Sangolda; 0091 832 240 9309). And if you're hunting for azulejo (white tiles painted blue then fired in a traditional oven), visit Velha Goa Galleria (Fountainhas, Panjim; 0091 832 242 6628). It stocks a staggering variety in every possible shape, size and pattern. Don't forget to check out its selection of souvenirs (mugs, table mats, porcelain plates) featuring charming scenes from Goan life by Mario Miranda, the state's most famous cartoonist.
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