The Shopper: Going Mad

Sure, you like college hoops. But if you’re crazy for fine jewelry, fine wine and fine watches, here are some places to investigate between games.

French Sole at Dale’s Shoetique

Take a break from those March Madness brackets that are flowing through your office and consider that there other things to be mad over. So turn off ESPN and turn on your car. You’ve got some shopping to do.

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Women go mad over pretty much anything—shawls, hats, lotions, potions, the works. But what really gets our hearts pumping are shoes. So make your way to Dale’s Shoetique (4023 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 655-6003). Shop unique labels like French Sole, Taryn Rose, Pervata, Claudia Ciuti and more. The store looks like the closet every girl dreams of—swathed in pink with shelves lined with shoes and accessories.

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but pearls are more fun. My favorite place for pearls is, fittingly, at the beach. Valhalla Jewelry (137 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-8489) is versatile enough to please Jackie O and Gwen Stefani at the same time. From simple strands to fine silver-pearl fusions that drip with fluidity, Valhalla is sure to please all pearl pundits.

Don’t worry, guys, we’ve got you covered, too. Carltons (31 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth, 227-7990) knows how to tickle a man’s fancy. Watch aficionados will rejoice at a selection of timepieces that are anything but standard. The Bobby Jones collection, backed by Seiko, doesn’t look anything like the traditional pieces, but they mimic the same Japanese quartz movement. The store also offers Tommy Bahama watches. Don’t let the label fool you. These funky, fun pieces are crafted of precious metals with jewel movements in Switzerland. If you flip for cuff links, check out the Robert Talbott selection. Make that French cuff sparkle with martini links, complete with an olive, or set the tone of a board meeting with a skull and crossbones pair.

Our vices don’t stop there. Fortunately for those whose vices come in blonde and redhead, Delaware is home to Moore Brother Wines (1416 N. DuPont St., Wilmington, 877-316-6673). The store boasts an impressive roster of wines from such French regions as the Loire and Rhone, to German regions like Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, and of course, American-bred wines from Napa and Sonoma. Bring your jacket. These guys know how to do wine right, so it’s chilly in there.

In the same vein, cheers to the people who go mad for sweets—but don’t feel an ounce of guilt about it later. If that’s you, get to Sweet N Sassy (134B E. Main St., Newark, 368-2253) before they run out of the red velvet cupcake. If the fun decor and all things pink don’t suck you in, the cupcakes will. The store operates on daily menus, so check out for more info. I sampled Sweet N Sassy cupcakes and cupcakes from the Crumb’s bakery in New York City in the same week. Little Delaware won.

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Whatever you’re crazy for, we’re sure you can find it right in your own backyard. If you come up empty, drop me a line. I’m mad about shopping. A girl could do worse.

Our Best of Delaware Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!

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