Jarrolds Norwich - The Bloggers Event

Norwich is up there in the top 10 when it comes for places to shop. We're not the largest city in the country but we are full of shops that cater for every taste, from the big names on the high street to small independent boutiques. We also have Jarrolds, a department store which is still run by the family that started it in 1823, I think that must be quite a rare thing now? There's an amazing history section on the website which is well worth a browse.

It's a beautiful building and whilst I was disappointed by Norwich's Christmas lights last year, you can always rely on Jarrolds to be the building that still makes you smile, as it sparkles with hundreds fairy lights.  Inside it's still quite traditional with a large section of the ground floor dedicated to a beauty hall as you walk in and if you follow me on Twitter you may have seen me tweet that watching Mr Selfridge reminds me of Jarrolds.

Jarrolds recently invited me along to their first bloggers evening where we were given the most amazing nibbles  feast on arrival, including a canapé which I will 100% be recreating as it consisted of mini scones, cream cheese and a slice of radish. I love finding new nibble ideas! I should probably mention at this point that Jarrolds is famous for their scones. I can tell you for a fact that people gather outside in the mornings to buy them because I once attended a meeting here and was waiting outside for the shop to open and got chatting, that crowd was ALL about the scones.....

Now because it's a shop that has been in Norwich for what seems like forever, it's hugely popular with the older generations and as retail has boomed so have the number of shops, so it's fair to say that Jarrolds isn't always the first place some of us younger (when I say younger, remember I'm 37.....) would head to, but this year Jarrolds were once again well up there with my favourite sets at the Norwich Fashion Week Retailers Show, they do have some fantastic fashions.

After meeting some of the other bloggers and we'd all taken lots of pictures of our food, we were split in to two groups, one group stayed to explore a rail of fashion picked by the store's personal stylist Lucy and the other team headed down to the recently revamped beauty hall.

First up for me was the fashion part of the evening, Lucy chatted us through some of her favourite things from the rail. I might go back in and try the blouse on, I really need some new blouses and I liked the simplicity of this one, plus it was about £30 I think so not crazy expensive. I'm thinking it could be nice with a pair of capri pants and ballet pumps for summer evenings out. 

We were then let loose on the rail and we each put together an outfit, now Jarrolds does stock some really high end names but on the rail was a mix of price ranges and that cute jumpsuit Lucy is wearing in the picture above was under £40. The outfit I put together sadly wasn't as purse friendly but I just loved loved loved that bright pencil skirt.....

Fortunately it was a size 6, so there was no dangerous temptation to try it on! I am really loving the pencil skirt and tshirt trend that's all over the place right now so I teamed the skirt with this cute cat top. Also catching my eye was this beautiful Liberty print dress. This brand is a fave of Nigella Lawson apparently and it's called a Bombshell dress, so it seems highly apt! It was £259 but the fabric was amazing to touch.

Another dress that caught my eye was this rather cute little nautical number which is going to look sweet with heels, flats or converse. I can also tell you from previous experience that Jarrolds have a good selection of swimwear - especially if you like a classic/vintage style and/or you have a substantial chest! 

After the fashion came the makeup and by this time the shop was closed, so it was a beauty hall lock in! My kind of evening. The beauty department now feels much more slicker, I know beauty halls can be really scary places to go but just be brave, they are there to help! Jarrolds has a huge range of big brand names including a massive section dedicated to Mac complete with a Mac team to offer help and advice. They even have a special snug area where you can book makeovers. Despite being a makeup artist myself I LOVE having my makeup done, so I haven't ruled out paying them a visit. It's nice to be the one in the chair every now and again!

All the lipsticks...........I had a quick swatch of Mac's Lady Danger (top) and Candy Yum Yum, both of which I have decided I must own. 
I can also confirm that Candy Yum Yum was the lip shade used for the Norwich Fashion Week Retailers Show. The makeup for that show was done by an army of Jarrolds makeup artists, so I have this info straight from the horses mouth (so to speak!)
Photography By Simon Watson  Candy Yum Yum at Norwich Fashion Week 2014

Also catching my eye were these Dior coloured eye-liners which would make a nice statement cat eye for the summer and would be a change from the usual black.....
We also got to play in the Jo Malone department, where we were told about layering the perfumes to create different fragrances. I love this stuff and there's a huge amount of floor space dedicated to this brand including a counter where you can receive hand and arm massages.
 Talk of massages leads me nicely on to a bit of a hidden gem and that is the beauty spa. It's a petite area down stairs with several treatment rooms. The lighting is very subdued and it's obviously been designed to be an oasis of calm away from the world above.
There's lots of treatments to choose from, the Aveda massages especially appeal to me and with Aveda the price you pay for your massage is redeemable against products, so you get your massage and products to take home too, good yes? 

After spraying perfumes. testing creams and playing with makeup we headed back upstairs to collect some goody bags which included lots of samples a yummy cupcake (yes more food) and a notepad. A lovely hardback notepad! It's like they knew I'm a stationery geek! 

So after a fab evening it was time to go home and tell myself that I must not buy that skirt....but perhaps the blouse is a good compromise....When you are shopping, have a browse in Jarrolds, it's worth adding to your action plan of clothes shopping. Lucy strikes me as a girl who loves a fashion challenge and she's available for personal shopping sessions too. I'll keep you posted on that blouse, and the lipsticks......



  1. I visited Jarrolds when we went to Norwich once, I loved it! We ate in the café and it was great, how do you get to know about these events?


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