San Miguel de Allende in the center of Mexico has been a popular spot for artists, musicians, and lovers of absorbing themselves in a new culture. At a first glance it might seem that nothing has changed. Take another glance. It is amazing how these creative people always come up with new ideas, new crafts, new ways of working with simple materials. The creative flow seems so infinite here.
Who are the best and what is the best to see and do and buy here? Some change and some just don’t change but move to a new location.
Let’s take jewellry for a first example. You are sure you don’t want to see any more silver and the designs you are sure you have seen and nothing could be new. Well there are stores where nothing is really new, but others like Joyeria Paris have eternally new and just fabulous collections, often from some wonderful new designers in Guadalajara. You will not be able to turn away. The second room inside the interior patio is more traditional but also really worth asking them to let you explore.
Then try to get an appointment to see the “export only” Virgins and Saints line of jewellry and belts on Recreo. The folks at San Miguel Concierge can get you in there if you let them know ahead of time. These two shops are arguably San Miguel’s best in this category but it is worth making a few more circles to find the smaller producers and also worth a walk through the artisans market just off Loreto.
What else could you bring home? San Miguel is best in Mexico for punched tin. It is extremely light, easy to ship or to check in the airplane and very original. You think you have seen lovely lanterns in your hotel room or in a home on a tour. The selection here of San Miguel’s best is enchanting. The smallest most humble workshops are the ones you want to find. Again San Miguel Concierge has a long list and makes personal phone calls for you to get you great prices. Gorgeous Morrocan style lanterns with gold leaf and stained glass inserts are made by a family business on Prolongacion de Aldama. You want them higher, longer, or of a different coloured glass and all is possible and most probable. Start on this exploration early and they will be done by the end of the week, or have them picked up and packed for you and send to follow you. There are several shops in Colonia Guadalupe and in lower Umaran who are still working. You will just not find anything at home that will even come close. They can also make you even punched tin light switch covers. What a difference to any room!
Watch for more of San Miguel’s best!