Christmas in the Norwich Lanes
Everything about Norwich exudes individuality. From the cobbled streets to our independent stores, it’s truly a place of exploration, whether you’ve lived here a life time, or are a first time visitor. Nothing sums up Norwich like The Lanes. An interconnected community of fantastic independent shops, and places to eat & drink right in the heart of the city. The community spirit is alive and well in this part of the City, and more than ever at Christmas, you can shop until your heart is very content, and at the end of the day walk into a coffee shop and feel at ease.
Below are some of our highlights we think you should look out for over the Christmas period, and potential gift ideas you may not have thought about.
Places to Shop
Having been in Norwich for over 30 years, Philip Brown is well known for his work with up and coming designers, along with well-known established brands. All of which combine to make a creative shopping space where customers can express themselves through fashion.
Sonkai are already working on orders for Christmas. Lead times for bespoke work can be 6-8 weeks - and everything takes longer towards Christmas, including postage, and hallmarking. They urge people to place orders for bespoke work by early November, to avoid any disappointment for the festive season.
Along with bespoke pieces of work Sonkai are selling their own handmade unique jewellery too, which is always available. They have a wider range of their own designs and items this Christmas compared to previous years, giving you more choice for that special gift.
Sonkai have gift vouchers are available from the store, menaning you can still get someone a highly personalised and special gift, but know 100% they will like it... but more interestingly, for those who may not have time to order bespoke or feel confident ordering bespoke; Sonkai also sell many beautiful loose gemstones which can be gifted with a promise to come back and take part in the design process together!
Norwich is fantastic for charity shops. Norwich will make you love diving into charity shops and finding a bargain because everything is so organised. Usually charity shops are quite frantic and uncoordinated as they have so many items donated, but in Norwich they seem to be curated in a fantastic way that makes browsing those vintage garments a breeze.
Not only do they boast a range vintage delights, from clothing, to games and collectibles, but no two charity shops are the same.
Some great finds from our office… (opinions)
You may not want to buy your main gifts from charity shops but you’ll be surprised how many items you find that would be a perfect gift! Why not re-purpose this Christmas and head to some charity shops, it’s good for your wallet, the earth, and puts money back into a good cause.
Records are on the rise, and are a perfect gift for those who love music. Record players aren’t that expensive, and can be a more interesting gift as it starts a process of accumulating a library of vinyl. Moreover, if you’re planning to buy something for a real music lover vinyl has richer, crisper sound than the more commercial compressed music files found online, and where better to shop for them than Norwich Lanes. There are the perfect amount of stores which allow you to rifle through an array of vinyl spanning every genre imaginable. Some notable stores to peruse second-hand and new records are below:
Eat & Drink
When they’re not in the papers, or giving interviews, this nationally renowned fish and chips shop produces some of the best food in Norwich. The staff are fantastic, and never judge me when I ask for loads of scraps on my chip barm. The shop has a fantastic layout which even lets you eat in the cellar next to old exposed walls and tunnels under the city. If you don’t fancy eating downstairs you can always pop across the road to The Birdcage pub and eat there, so long as you buy a drink. If you want to grab something quick whilst shopping, or take the weight off your feet and relax whilst eating, you can do both here, and it won’t break the bank.
This place gives you freshness in every bite. Each day fresh pizza and specials are made from the best ingredients. With a couple of chairs outside this place is great for eating on the go, so perfect for all those wanting to concentrate on Christmas shopping. If you need an energy boost, you should definitely go for one of their tantalising smoothies. They have vegetarian and vegan options galore, and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
Moorish have taken something simple, done it well, and stuck with it. The shop is always busy, but service is always quick and friendly. You can add a wealth of delights to your wrap, pitta, or salad, and even combine with drinks for cheaper bundles. The food really is fantastic and healthy. They are vegan and vegetarian friendly, just ask. This is perfect for people wanting something quick and healthy to eat, on the go or sat inside.
The Bicycle shop on St Benedicts of a great selection for brunch and dinner. They have an incredible tapas menu which includes mouth-watering sensations such as fried halloumi in sweet chilli sauce, amongst other treats. They have a great menu of main courses with a strong locally produced incentive. Alternatively, if you want a nice cocktail and some relaxing music after a long day Christmas shopping head downstairs in the place for an atmospheric bar with a range of comfortable seating, and comforting bar staff. Whether you have lived in Norwich for ages, or are purely on a trip to the city to shop The Bicycle Shop is fantastic way to wind down and enjoy some great food.
This incredible restaurant set in a beautiful cobbled street, near one of Norwich's medieval churches has a wonderfully intimate atmosphere, with a small dining area, giving a comforting feel. The food is amazing, and is perfect for a relaxing night after a ong day of shopping, or perfect for a ladies luncheon.
Nationally renowned chef Richard Bainbridge, winner and judge on Great British Menu, and his wonderful front of house staff give you simple, elegant, and exquisite food that you will want to write home about. Your meal is not just about eating, it is about experiencing the food which is presented, from it's inception in the field, to execution in the kitchen, taking time out to indulge at Benedicts is a must when visiting Norwich.
To read more about Chef Bainbridge and Benedicts take a look at our blog post here.
Roger Hickman’s Restaurant is one of the highest-rated restaurants in Norwich, and the only AA 3 Rosette establishment in the city. The restaurant was given the award in 2012 and has retained it ever since.
In September 2017 Hickman’s was named as the highest-rated Norfolk restaurant in the annual SquareMeal Best UK Restaurant survey, as well as receiving a prestigious ‘Notable Wine List’ award from the AA for the variety and quality of its wine list, for the third year in a row.