The Night Before Christmas at John Lewis Birmingham

“Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house”, well, all through John Lewis in Grand Central Birmingham actually, but you get the general picture. Christmas arrived in Birmingham last week, as a group of very lucky bloggers (myself included – yay!) were invited to a Christmas launch event after hours in the flagship Grand Central store. There was fizz, there was delicious looking food, and there was everything that says ‘Christmas’, It was amazing.

The night was all about getting a taste of John Lewis Christmas, before the much anticipated advert is released. There was an opportunity to look at specific promotions, including a set of very special Christmas tree lights that work by App. These lights have all sorts of combinations when it comes to colour and shine, and can even be set to come on, or to go off after you’ve gone to bed.

Twinkly 175 LED Christmas Lights Extra Large Set, Multi L20.5m £85 Click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis is always the place to go for new Christmas decorations. It gives you ideas and themes for how to dress your tree, putting together colour schemes that you may not have thought of as strictly Christmasssy – pinks and oranges are not associated with Christmas, but they make a wonderful colour combination on a ‘Tales of the Maharaja’ styled tree. Folklore, Russian influenced Winter Palace and Highland Myths are amongst the other, wonderful themes in store this year.

Winter Palace

John Lewis Winter Palace Bauble £12 Click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis Winter Palace Babushka Bauble £6 Click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis Olivia Tree Topper, Silver Blue £12 Click to visit John Lewis

Tales of the Maharaja

John Lewis Tales of the Maharaja Lion Head Bauble Click here John Lewis Tales of the Maharaja Leopard Head Bauble £8 Click here

John Lewis Lima Llama Flamingo Clip On Tree Decoration £8 Click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis Lima Llama Flamingo Snow Globe £18 Click to visit John Lewis

Lima Lama As well as the best decorated trees around, John Lewis also had a brilliant range of decorations for the mantlepiece, tables and shelves, as well as a wonderful array of indoor and outdoor lighting solutions.

Coppenrath Victorian Christmas Houses Advent Boxes, Pack of 24 £15 Click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis Highland Myths Festive Owl Decoration, Small £18 Click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis Winter Palace Artificial White Twig Tree £15 Click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis LED Christmas TV Scene £25 Click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis Highland Myths Festive Deer Room Decoration £18 Click to visit John Lewis

One of the new products for 2017 that elicited lots of excitement was the Scentsicles, scented twig like sticks that you can hang from your Christmas tree and leave the whole room smelling of Christmas. These are just £6 and are frankly amazing, a new Christmas must have.

Scentsicles £6 Click to visit John Lewis

There were food treats to sample too, with an advent calendar full of pork scratchings proving to be a surprise hit. My personal favourites were Prestat popping pink prosecco mini truffles which had a lovely Prosecco flavour combined with the hint of popping candy – a blast from childhood combined with bubbles has to be a good thing.

John Lewis truly is a Winter wonderland during the run up to Christmas, and in terms of decoration, they are hard to beat.

*With thanks to Shani from John Lewis and the Brum Bloggers Group for the invitation.

 

 

An evening with Jacques Vert, Grand Central Birmingham

Last Thursday the gorgeous Jacques Vert flagship store in Birmingham’s Grand Central hosted an evening of shopping and fizz as it showcased its key looks for the upcoming party season.  A sort of early Black Friday, there was also a massive 30% discount on the night, which was a tempting incentive to snap up a series of gorgeous looks. I went along to check out this season’s style and to get a better understanding of why Jacques Vert is no longer just the destination of choice for ‘Mother of the Bride’ outfits.

dscn4194

SPARKLE CLUTCH BAG was £99.00 now £64.35 Click to visit

dscn4193

BOW FAUX FUR LEATHER GLOVE was £49.00 now £31.85 Click to visit

dscn4198

Left: SPLIT SLEEVE TUNIC was £99.00 now £64.35 click to view    Right: : PETITE JACQUARD PROM was £149.00 now £96.85 Click to view

 

Jacques Vert is a British High Street icon. The company was originally founded in 1972 by Jack Cynamon and Alan Green, two tailors from the East End of London. In 1977 they created a fashion range, combined their names and added a French twist (Jacques Vert is just so much more sophisticated than Jack Green) creating the Jacques Vert brand and public company. The brand is synonymous with quality, I collect piece of the brand from the 1970s and 1980s and they are still so washable and wearable due to the excellence of the design and fabric. But in recent years Jacques Vert has taken a new direction, it is no longer just about beautiful occasion wear, the coats, day time looks and party frocks are also very important to a brand that has moved with the times. Mother of the Bride is not forgotten, but she may have to share the space with her younger daughter now.

dscn4183

LACE AND CREPE DRESS was £129.00 now £83.85 Click to visit

dscn4182

OFF THE SHOULDER VELVET DRESS was £199.00 now £129.35 Click to visit

dscn4184

 

dscn4188

CREPE COWL DRESS was £129.00 now £59.00 Click to visit

dscn4190

LUX MOONLIGHT PROM DRESS was £169.00 now £109.85 Click to visit

There are some really lovely, stylish pieces both in store at Jacques Vert, and online ad they show that the brand is able to cater for a gamut of style and taste. In particular, the retro inspired  Lux Moonlight prom dress, and the off the shoulder velvet dress that could have come from Princess Diana’s wardrobe, are absolute winners. At the opposite end of the spectrum,  the crepe cowl dress is a perfect day dress that would work for the office or the boardroom.

dscn4179

JACQUARD AND DRESS was £149.00 now £96.85 Click to visit

dscn4185

TWILL FAUX FUR TRIM COAT was £229.00 now £148.85 Click to visit

dscn4202

OVERSIZED CHECK COAT was £199.00 now £99.00 Click to visit

dscn4203

DRAPE CAPE DRESS was £169.00 now £109.85 Click to visit

Jacques Vert is already embracing Black Friday with all their deals now available in store and online. Click here to visit Jacques Vert online.

With my friend Terry of Terry Terry jewellery

With my friend Terry of Terry Terry jewellery

Fashion Heritage Reading

Lobby on Hill Street Taster Evening

Birmingham’s thriving food and cocktail scene continues to grow, and, this week will see the opening of The Lobby on Hill Street.  Located under the City’s Holiday Inn, and withing a stones throw of Grand Central station, The Lobby on the Hill offers a mixture of vibrant street food dishes that are served tapas style, with an extensive range of cocktails that take you from the classic to the exotic and unusual. Last Thursday I went along to a preview taster evening, and, I have to say I’m really looking forward to getting back there for the official launch party this week.

dscn3854

dscn3855

Guests were treated to a cocktail making class where the end result was a rather glorious Passion Fruit Mojito. Other cocktails on the menu include such the Flaming Zombie, the Bubblegum Daiquiri and the Make-Up Martini. There are also choices for those not partial to a cocktail (do these people exist?) including craft beers, fine wines and champagnes, high-end spirits, as well as a wide selection of alcohol free alternatives.

dscn3856

We were treated to a montage of dishes from The Hill Street Food menu which features a variety of small street food inspired dishes such as Black Country Faggot Sliders which come with a tiny glass of Pale Ale, “Make Your Own” Pot Noodle with juicy prawns and a kettle of stock, Posh Cheesy Chips with blue cheese and pancetta glaze and my absolute favourite, triple cooked chip butty with a slightly spiced chimichurri mayo. I love the fact that you can choose a selection of three dishes for just £14.

dscn3861

dscn3857

dscn3859

dscn3863

dscn3864

dscn3865

The food is delicious and of a real high quality in terms of produce and presentation. The tapas style presentation makes these great bar snacks for sharing in a group, and when they are combined with the great cocktails and relaxed yet sophisticated atmosphere, you get all the ingredients for a fabulous night out.

dscn3866

dscn3870

dscn3862

dscn3860

The Lobby on Hill Street

Smallbrook Queensway

Birmingham

B5 4EW

Phone: 0121 634 6221