27 September 2007
One of the things London is most celebrated for is the way it embraces people of all cultures and backgrounds and brings them all together in this big, sprawling city. This cultural diversity is especially evident in The Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre. The Weekender took a lazy afternoon to stroll amongst the diverse selection of shops and cafes to see what this shopping centre has to offer... writes Alice Burnfield
Emerging out of the island of Jamaica was a movement known as Rastafarianism.
This brightly coloured, loaded barrow, owned by a husband and wife team, sells a wide range of Rasta gifts and memorabilia. In addition to this it specialises in homemade hats and scarves - made by the owners themselves. Its open charm, friendly atmosphere and softly pumping music make this a delightfully quirky store.
One to see!
CASTLE FRUIT AND VEG
'English, Indian and Afro-Caribbean fruiterers'
Home to the Indus Valley civilisation and a region of historic trade routes, India is the seventh-largest country in the world.
It's cuisine is characterised by its sophisticated and subtle use of many spices and herbs. Curries are some of its most renowned dishes. Boasting a range of foodstuffs from three different nations, the shelves of this pocket-sized shop are literally bursting with wonderful ingredients. From standard products such as rice and cooking oils, to the rather more unusual plantain crisps and 'Irish moss', which can be made into a popular Caribbean beverage, there is a choice for every palette.
A charming little Columbian café, La Bodeguita, boasts a quirky, homely feel, as well as reasonably priced products.
Its shelves and ceiling are adorned with native craft and products, making you feel like you've stepped into another world. To tantalise and tickle your taste buds, homemade patties and hearty slabs of cake start from a mere £1, while a cup of tea is 70p, cappuccino £1.50, and a hot chocolate sells for just £1.30.
'Dragon' is a delightful barrow, heavily adorned with beautiful necklaces, bracelets, incense and striking Eastern fare.
With a sizeable variety - ranging from fashionable, modern-day jewellery to more traditional Budda figurines - it is a colourful expression of all things Asian.
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