The name of Nicole Golden’s stylish Hamilton shop – Urban Cottage – sums it up. The shelves, tables and walls here are filled with a retro-futurist mix of cool new products (the urban) and timeworn, vintage Bermuda items (the cottage). It’s a must-visit for anyone who wants to see how the island’s past blends seamlessly with its present – and the perfect place to pick up an only-in-Bermuda souvenir or gift.
Nicole is the quintessential island insider, so naturally, we wanted to get her personal guide to Bermuda. Here’s what she told us.
What to expect at Urban Cottage
We are a lifestyle brand located in a historic Somers Building in Hamilton. Our retail space is decorated with vintage images of Bermuda as well as new items. We love the mix of old and new! We encourage our customers to treat shopping at Urban Cottage as a social experience. It’s never a quick walk-through! We know most of our customers by name and we love that people enjoy exploring the shop and taking photos to post on Instagram.
Where Old Meets New
My tastes aren’t traditional – I love a clean, modern aesthetic, but I also love bringing something of Bermuda’s history into my home. That juxtaposition of old and new can add real character to a space.
Her Favourite Finds
I love the vintage Bermuda street signs that we have on display in the shop. They don’t make them anymore and I’m never going to part with them! There are also great things that have been discovered in shipwrecks in the waters around Bermuda such as vintage inkwells with barnacles still on them. I love that kind of thing.
I’m a huge fan of Meredith Andrews, a local photographer. Her eye captures Bermuda in a way that is really fresh and original and with her still-life photography, she is able to make the most mundane objects look beautiful. I also love Nhuri Bashir, who is an all-round creative person. His lifestyle photography and his images of Bermuda portray the magic of ordinary life on this beautiful island.
Bermuda’s Sense of Style
First, there are Bermuda shorts. Where else in the world can you see businessmen going to work in a suit, tie and short pants? Second, there is the architecture, where a bright pink building can be found right next to a mint green one. It shouldn’t work in theory, but in Bermuda, it does.
Bermudians are so friendly and welcoming. We’re excited to share those off-the-beaten-path places that aren’t necessarily listed in the guidebooks. If a friend visits, I always try to get them to meet with some locals. I'll take them to someone’s house where they can see what life here is really like – and it usually turns into a party.
Spectacular Sunset Spot
Gibbs' Hill Lighthouse in Southampton Parish is my favourite. You can go up there in the evening with a friend and a bottle of wine, sit on the grass and see the most amazing sunsets.
You can go up there in the evening with a friend and a bottle of wine, sit on the grass and see the most amazing sunsets.
Horseshoe Bay Beach, the main beach on the island, is just beautiful… and it’s great for people-watching, too!
Ultimate Island Eat
I’d have to say fishcakes, which in my opinion are a bite-sized version of the traditional Bermuda breakfast of codfish and potatoes, but formed into a cake with fresh herbs and seasonings added in.
No Trip to Bermuda is Complete Without...
Spending some time on the water. Whether you’re sailing on a boat, paddling in a kayak or zooming around on a jet ski, seeing Bermuda from the water lets you view the beauty of the island from a whole new perspective.