L’Antiquaire and S’mall & Chic: A shopper’s paradise in Curepipe
Those with an interest in antiques, interior design and homewares might think they can temporarily leave their passions behind when visiting the Indian Ocean, but one trip to the elegant boutiques of S’mall & Chic in Curepipe could put the act of shopping firmly back on the agenda and days by the pool in jeopardy.
Located on the corner of Virgil Naz and Rue Emile Sauzier, S’mall & Chic is the brainchild of antiques expert and local businesswoman Geraldine Ducray-Bouic, whose vision has come to fruition in the form of this atmospheric shopping complex arranged around a central double-height atrium.
Old meets new
Occupying the largest space is L’Antiquaire, Geraldine’s original business which has been in operation for four years. Crammed to the gills with stunning Mauritian pieces from the colonial period – striking chandeliers, huge ornate mirrors, immaculate tea sets and so on – the store is an absolute treasure trove for the casual visitor and connoisseur alike.
But just next door lies a more contemporary kind of Mauritian shopping experience – a rabbit warren of small independent retailers stocking striking modern homewares, jewellery, bags and clothing from mostly homegrown designers, artists and craftspeople, arranged around an inviting plant-filled courtyard café. The complex has only been open for six months, yet the space already has a pleasing ‘lived-in’ quality with an ambience that is genuinely warm and inviting.
Keeping it local
Ensuring S’mall & Chic features a strong range of locally-made products is extremely important to Geraldine, who understands exactly how much untapped potential exists on the island and is passionate about developing a space for local designers to shine.
Creating a buzz is one way to get the word out there, so the complex is often transformed into a special event and gallery space to showcase homegrown talent, while at the same time introducing attendees to the products and services offered by the mall’s eight brands. Just last month, a successful art exhibition was held featuring unknown Mauritian and foreign artists, leading to the sale of many paintings and plans for a repeat show this month with new exhibitors.
And with a fabulously stylish café space and a range of tasty treats from the likes of French bakery Pains et Moulins, even die-hard shopaholics will want to linger for a while.
What to buy
Looking for authentic Mauritian goods, or an unusual souvenir to take home? The following stores all offer something different for the design-minded visitor: - L’Antiquaire : Furniture and antique pieces, decorative and fine arts, heritage of the earliest settlers.
- GB Interiors: Decorative objects and accessories for interiors and gifts
- Elisa May : Authentic crocodile skin handbags and accessories
- Intérieur Passion : Decorative objects and accessories for interior and gifts.
- Libertie: Pretty clothing and accessories for children and adults
- Arabesque: New shop selling clothing and accessories for women
- Ailleurs & Demeures: Decorative objects and accessories for interior, and gifts.
- Bijem: Jewellery