Shopping: The English Village

For the past two weeks I've focused solely on restaurants in downtown Florence, and since I’m a foodie at heart, I could probably use every blog post to talk about each restaurant in town. However, this week I’m going to switch gears and focus on some unique shopping you must check out in Florence. If you’re a new resident of the Shoals area, let me introduce you to a hidden treasure in the middle of town: The English Village located on Darby Drive. If you've lived in Florence for quite some time, you know that The French Basket, Sidelines Jewelry, and Marigail Mathis are three boutiques that are on your list for spring shopping!

The English Village is an outdoor shopping center and promises a relaxing walk from one boutique to the next, and your first stop should be at The French Basket. This upscale home décor boutique has one-of-a-kind pieces that cannot be found anywhere else in the Shoals area. The store boasts a mix of rustic European and American antique furniture and an array of other home décor options such as dishware, Cucina handsoaps, and hand-made wine stoppers. It’s the perfect store to find that one piece of furniture you've always wanted, or a quick stop to pick up a small, unique gift for a friend. They also offer wedding gift registry and display certain pieces from each registry to make it easy to pick up items for upcoming showers. Another exciting incentive to visit this store is the very recent addition of Harper Clothing Co! The high-end clothing boutique that was once on North Court Street, now shares a space with The French Basket, making this a perfect stop for your home and clothing needs. Both sides of the store are beautifully decorated with soft twinkle lights, dramatic chandeliers, and a blend of neutral tones, creating a calming shopping experience.  

Next, you better hurry to Sidelines Jewelry; they have new items coming in soon, just in time for summer! This charming jewelry store has carefully selected quality pieces to craft a beautiful collection of distinctive jewelry. Each piece is a statement that is the final touch to your favorite outfit. Every season the accessories are thoughtfully hand-selected at market to cater to the Shoals community. In addition, if you have a piece of estate jewelry that you would like to have redone, they can turn it into a ring, bracelet, or necklace to be handed down from one generation to the next. They also sell unique items such as African Elephant Hair jewelry, gold or sterling silver necklace’s engraved with Florence’s coordinates, or stylish, handmade rings that are made in the store. The staff is welcoming, knowledgeable, and passionate about their craft. If you’re looking for something you will love or that you want to give to a loved one, you will be sure to find it at this local jewelry store.

Marigail Mathis is a lovely clothing boutique that has served the Shoals area for 22 years. Last June the store took new ownership and she has added a flair to an already delightful store! The boutique has been expanded and sells versatile, timeless pieces that are suitable for all ages. You can find bright patterned dresses, Citizen of Humanity jeans perfect for dressing up or down, fun rompers, chic skirts, and stylish, comfortable shoes. On Saturdays the boutique offers wine while shopping for an overall fun experience with your girlfriends. The shop is bright, revitalizing, and adorned with fresh flowers and the staff is kind and incredibly helpful. You will leave Marigail’s with the perfect dress for a night on the town or for that casual outfit that will be your summer staple.

In conclusion, The English Village is the perfect Saturday afternoon shopping trip. Start by selecting gorgeous pieces for your home at The French Basket, splurge on one-of-a-kind jewelry at Sidelines, take a break at The Sweet Basil Café (another upcoming blog post), end with a glass of wine while shopping for your new spring wardrobe at Marigail Mathis, and I would say you've had a satisfying experience. The English Village really does have so much to offer, and while it can sometimes be overlooked since it’s between downtown and the mall, don’t count this shopping center out—it’s a delightful walk from one beautiful store to the next.


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