I’m not a big city girl, never have been and never will be, but with the twice (sometimes even triple) weekly trips to London I make for work, I often forget about the pleasures of living in a smaller city and what it has to offer.
As part of my on-going partnership with Skagen Denmark the brand encouraged me to explore my hometown and share what it is I love about Norwich. I’ve been using the Falster II smartwatch since September, and while it has many great features (Google Fit, Google Pay, Swimproof), my favourite thing is the freedom the watch gives me. We are a generation addicted to our phones, I totally get it though, and I think that’s just the way things are now, but it’s still so important to disconnect from screens. As someone who is almost glued to their phone from the hours of 9 am to 6 pm, I cannot begin to tell you how freeing it has been leaving my phone unattended safely knowing the Falster II will notify me of anything important.
I can leave the house and fully embrace my surroundings whether it be having lunch with a friend, going to an exhibition, or simply a walk around the city. I can do it all without worrying about what I might be missing on my phone.
So with my camera in one hand and phone tucked away for the day, I went around Norwich to show you three of my favourite independents.
It's taken me almost a year to get used to the routine of working from home and even though I think I've got it nailed I still need some days out of the house from time to time. So where do I head? The answer is Bread Source. I find myself in here a little too often, but I'm blaming that on the delectable cardamom buns (and my lack of willpower). Made up of a team of artisan bakers Bread Source take great pride in the process and quality of their work. The result is some of the best pastries, bread and sandwiches in the city, alongside great coffee (so I've been told, I'm not a coffee drinker) and specialist teas.
Unfortunately, it was too busy at the time for me to photograph, but the central hub of the store is a large paired back space with a long communal table (see more photo's here), plumen bulbs and hanging foliage.
The informal nature of the space makes it a great place to both relax at the weekend over a coffee and pastry, or work remotely from during the week. My favourite thing to do is take my laptop and diary first thing in the morning, order a pot of tea and unlimited toast (that's right unlimited, with all the spreads you could ask for) plan my week and tackle my inbox.
Bread Source is simple and honest, exactly how I like things to be.
The charm of this city, for me, has always been the abundance of independent shops on offer ( you can never have too many) and the supportive spirit of its residents to keep those businesses going, but something we've lacked is a unique and contemporary lifestyle store. Enter Elm, a carefully curated store of homewares and gifts that often can't be found elsewhere in the city. Making it a truly unique shopping destination for Norwich. You'll find scandi favourites such as Ferm Living and HAY alongside locally sourced prints, beautiful greetings cards and bespoke ceramics made by owner Paige Mitchell (I'm addicted to her mugs!) Oh and I forget to mention the oasis of plants available to buy.
Having recently moved to larger premises and celebrated their 1st birthday, Elm is only going from strength to strength. It's fast becoming my favourite place when looking for a gift, but more often I end up treating myself in the process. Norwich, you're on to a winner with this one!
Flint isn't just any hair salon, it's the best hair salon in Norwich. Ok ok, I might be ever so slightly biased having been a customer for almost 10 years, but it truly is a unique salon. Owner Connor is changing how we perceive hairdressing and traditional salons in Norwich. For years the business was based in cosy premises on St Benedict's street and was very much your standard contemporary looking salon, but with growing demand for more chairs and more space, Flint recently moved to a much larger 3 storey property. The team has successfully transformed what was a lacklustre shop interior into an industrial gallery-like space. A mix of steel and ply is complimented by mid-century furniture, vintage salon chairs and local artwork. Every few months Flint curates a different exhibition, always supporting local artists, this month is one of my favourites, Paul Flack. (see more info on current and previous events here).
From the waiting room to the basin, to the chair. Connor has created a serene, considered space to relax and enjoy every step of your hair journey.
The colourists and cutters in the salon have a wealth of experience and it shows in every client that walks out of that salon. Whenever I visit to get my hair cut or coloured I love to watch the other staff at work because the attention to detail and pride everyone takes in their creations is inspiring. Even when I'm not due a haircut I love popping in to top up on Davines products and hair masks.
Word of warning, the wait list is long, but boy is it worth the wait.