Alternative IslandAsk someone what they know about the Isle of Man and the answer will most likely be the TT or cats without tails. Here, we delve beneath the surface to explore a more alternative view of the Isle of Man.
Mother T's - Community Café and hidden gem
Mother T's is a shop, community centre, and tea café.
Taking over an empty space in Laxey just a few years ago, Valerie Miller had to be very resourceful to make Mother T's the well-loved place it is now. With Indian and Nepalese inspired décor from donated furniture and furnishings, Valerie has seen first hand the positive impact places like this make to the community.
''I wanted to make a change and create a space where people would feel comfortable being creative and being part of the community. The support for this initiative has been incredible''
Now a regular hang out for those seeking sustainable living, live music and art, Mother T's runs regular Chai nights, exhibitions and performance nights which include music jamming and poetry. Attracting Laxey locals and visitors from across the Island, this venue is also an inspiration for those looking for ethically-sourced gifts, local artisan creations and food produce. Expect to max out on colourful cushions, sparkling crystals and vegan treats!
Regulars call Mother T’s a ‘fantastic hidden gem’ and we agree.
Mother T's Community Centre can be found at 26 New Road, Laxey, Isle of Man or on Facebook.
Alpine Café – Super salads and pop up restaurant evenings
On the Island, you don’t have to travel far for fresh succulent dishes, delicious cocktail concoctions and vibrant atmosphere – it’s all here for you. Step into Alpine, a café in the heart of Douglas town centre.
Taking the name and inspiration from the French Chalet, the café sure packs a punch. It offers delicious fresh salads with an international twist, a fresh take on Sunday brunches and regular pop up nights that sell out months in advance.
‘’We wanted to run a place that we would want to come back to’’ Mel and Simon, the duo behind Alpine, tells us.
Texas, BBQ and Brazilian are some of the many flavours of the months that you can explore at Alpine in the evening.
Daytime meals are something seriously special at Alpine. Mel and her team will cook up whatever fresh produce you bring in. So why not head to Alpine after a visit to your allotment and taste what the experts can make from it!
Local artist Jamie Duggan was invited a few months ago to transform the interior with the large-scale wall mural. The colourful results and the gastronomic delights are surely worth seeking out.
Shakti Man – Where Fairtrade comes to the Isle of Man
Shakti Man is the first Fair Trade store in the Island, first opening in 2004. Most recently expanding into a beautiful space over three floors in a restored and reinvented Victorian building, it is located in the centre of Ramsey.
Shakti Man's founder Leni Lewis’s dream was to have a company that would benefit everyone. Leni has succeeded. His store supports many projects including Children’s Homes in Nepal, UK Charities and ‘From Syria with Love’.
Behind each product at Shakti Man are many stories. Stories of vibrant creativity, incredible skills, families, and communities transformed. Whether it's hand-dyed scarves from Vietnam or reclaimed furniture from India, you will be sure to appreciate both the artisan quality and the contribution your purchase is making on the world.
What really makes this store so special is not just the appeal to conscious consumers, but a creation of a place and space on the Island, where you can experience more of the world through every single product on offer and, most recently, educational talks and events.
Hebe Atzori Illustration- Creating artwork for local businesses
Hebe Atzori is a freelance illustrator originally from London who now lives and works on the Isle of Man. Having been brought up on the Island since the age of 14 and leaving for Falmouth University to study illustration, Hebe is back interning with Pokerstars and working with local businesses on projects such as mural wall art and enticing window displays.
Visually captivating, Hebe's work appeals to anybody who finds themselves in spaces that she's transformed. With a strong graphic design influence, she is currently working on her 3rd mural on the island, with a few more to come soon.
"My artwork is mostly inspired by adventure and created through a combination of sketches, printed textures, and digital painting. Art is something I have always loved and enjoyed doing from a very young age and I'm so happy that creating art is actually now a part of my profession and so many amazing projects I have been involved with have happened here on the Isle of Man."
Look out for Hebe's work in Shine Om, Grand Stand Karting, Corrin Home, Karma Studio and Claire Christian Couture.
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