Friday, 7 November 2014

Our Fine Market

Norwich has had a market in the same spot for over 900 years, that's pretty remarkable really. I went to speak to stall holders about the market and what it means to them, recently there has been talk of losing it as stalls stand empty and I wanted to investigate, we simply can't lose it!

There's everything you expect on the market, fruit and veg, great cheese, excellent locally sourced meats, lots of lovely vintage stalls.. and some things you don't. Make Some Noise is a fairly new stall (for a 900 year old market anyway) they offer musical equipment for sale, repair, swap or hire, as well as events etc. We chatted a bit about the cost of the stalls; which are very reasonable, this has allowed Mr.Bushell to become a business owner, he sees his stall as a stepping stone to having his own premises.

Other newcomers include Cupcake and Co, we have mentioned how great these guys are before but we love how they have transformed their stall into a little patch of beauty. The cakes are all splendid looking AND delicious, it's so hard to choose (take kids at your peril).
Artisan bread company Bread Source have a stall opposite and I couldn't resist an award winning baguette, they smelt amazing and I can confirm they taste amazing too! They said the market offers a more personal shopping experience, sellers can get to know their customers, and they like that.
The market is a community place, a place to make friends and meet people. It would be great to get some younger people involved, maybe with pop up stalls or school projects. The stalls could also be used as workshops, it would be great to see potters and painters etc working, and be able to chat to them and be inspired.
We need to be proud of our historic market and use it, even one trip a week to get something you'd usually buy at a supermarket would make a big difference to local businesses and our city.



Saturday, 1 November 2014

Kieran Harper - Kinsu

I went to visit Kieran Harper in his studio after seeing his website and the amazing bags he makes there, his company is called Kinsu. Harper makes beautiful and innovative bags as you will see on his website, he also custom makes anything you want from aprons to work belts. The bags are tough and durable and made to meet any needs, he tells me how he strapped a bike frame to one of his bags and rode home on his bike, now that's a sturdy bag! The branding is perfect, simple and sleek. His products are such high quality and I'm amazed at how effortless he makes the whole process seem, there's a slick video on his website which is well worth a look.

I caught him mid product shoot

Harper is also an accomplished artist and barista and forms part of the uber cool 'Unit 15' crew. Their studio is an inspiring place full of talented young artists and photographers, I could literally spend all my time there if they'd let me! I see a bright future for Harper and the rest of the crew, and we should be proud of our thriving art scene.

Harper's studio space 
inspiration station



Friday, 24 October 2014

Moosey Art - Art in My Mouth 2

Last years 'Art in my Mouth' show was a blinder and this year is even better, the private view was tonnes of fun, with live drawing, wheat pasting and goody bags from Dogfish and Sevenwolves. 
There are some really big names exhibiting, plus lots of lovely local artists too, it's great to see all the different styles and variations of urban art.
You'll recognise the Toasters works as they beautifully emulate the Barrack St mural, so if you don't live opposite it and fancy snagging a smaller version for your very own wall, you can!

All Type No Face
Gnasher, Box Head and Scoot

Arrex came from the U.S.A to paste live last night, he had plenty of stickers with him and I spotted them all over the city today! Gnasher has struck again with another amazing portrait on the outside of Stew Gallery. One of my favourite artists Benjamin Murphy, who draws using electrical tape has several works in the show, including a collaboration with Millo.

Benjamin Murphy
Murphy x Millo
Pure Evil

My favourite piece in the show was 'David Lynch's Nightmare (Laura Palmer, Twin Peaks) by Pure Evil, partly because of my current Twin Peaks addiction and partly because it's just awesome! The image of Laura Palmer prom queen is haunting enough but Pure Evil has taken it to another level with his simple stencil and spray piece. 
Stew Gallery is on Fishergate and the exhibit is open from 11am every day until Thursday 30th. Get down there, Frazer will be happy to chat with you about anything, don't forget to let us know your favourites from the show.



Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Rum Bar at The Rumsey

With the winter nights drawing in we've been on the look out for new cosy places to spend our evenings, having spent a fair bit of time recently in The Underbelly at The Rumsey we were super excited to hear it is going to be opening as a dedicated RUM BAR!!!
For those of you who haven't visited The Underbelly it is a really interesting and cosy space located directly under The Rumsey, perfect for hiding away on cold winter evenings!

So how was the rum bar born? The Rumsey held a successful 'Rumfest' back in August and realised that the people who love rum., well.... they really love it!

You will see a selection of rum based cocktails on the menu concocted by rum specialist bartender James, as well as the usual great drinks you would expect to find at The Rumsey.

Opening hours initially will be;
Tuesday (6-10)
Friday & Saturday(6-1)

Grand Opening 24th October 2014 which coincides with The Rumseys Sixth birthday. Yes they really are that old... There will be music, slow roasted goat and of course rum! 


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Kofra Espresso Bar

If there is one thing I love that is a great coffee, I would go as far to say LIAFC (on my part anyway [Amber]) is fuelled by coffee. I've been saying for ages how I wanted to start reviewing the cities best coffee houses, and lets face facts Norwich is bursting at the seams with coffee shops it seems to be the foundation of where we socialise, casually work or spend some time reading or thinking things through on our own. There are a few I am particularly looking forward to trying and the first one on my list is Kofra. I regularly drive past Kofra and am always interested but don't usually have the necessity to stop, until now! My initial thoughts were great branding, it has that cool independant vibe that so many coffee shops get wrong. So here goes, my quest for the best coffee begins...

4 Unthank Road

Norwich, Norfolk


We arrived early on a Saturday morning and decided on the Clever Filter which was £3.50 for 2 (bargain) we paid using Droplet then sat down, the pastries we ordered were brought over whilst we waited for the Clever Filter to do its stuff... 

It was made using the 'roast of the week' Ethiopia Yiracheffe Natural, it was explained to us the difference between normal coffee and the natural beans, it is clear that the guys at Kofra are passionate about the coffee they serve and we love that! We were offered something different if we didn't enjoy the natural but it is safe to say we loved it! I could have guzzled it down like water and it certainly set me up for the day ahead. 

Great place, Great coffee run by people passionate about what they do, What more could you want? We will definitely be back soon, thanks Kofra!


Sunday, 12 October 2014

Dr.Martens #STANDFORSOMETHING Competition

Tell us what you stand for and win a pair of classic 1460s 

Here at Life in a Fine City we just love the classic iconic look of Dr Martens and when we were asked to run a competition for one of you guys to win a pair of the 1460 boots obviously we jumped at the chance.

The Dr.Martens #STANDFORSOMETHING campaign celebrates the characters who wear Dr Martens, bringing their own unique style and influences. Individuals featured in the campaign include Lauren Gregory our local landlady from The Birdcage and The Garnet! 

To show you what to do we had to get in front of the camera (not our favourite thing but we want you to get it right!) So below is what we stand for "life in our fine city" The Lanes, the scenery all of it we just bloody love it here!! 

So what do you have to do? Firstly decide what you stand for? It could be deep profound or it could be something silly and fun... Make a sign (or add it digitally) with #ISTANDFOR(your answer here) and then get out then and get snapping! When you are happy with your photo email it to us and like us on one our social media sites(links to the side) it's as simple as that! 

The competition will end November 2nd

Photos by Andy Hart

Amber and Ruth

T's and C's

I acknowledge that by entering this competition I grant Airwair Int Ltd usage of the photographs subject to the following conditions:
·         I understand that the photographs can be used wholly or in part in any publication (commercial or otherwise), portfolio or public display.
·         The photographs may be used to represent an imaginary person and any wording associated will not be attributed to me unless my name is specifically mentioned

To mark the launch of the campaign, the models feature in a series of videos which can be seen here:


Thursday, 9 October 2014

Norfolk Sloe Company - Black Shuck

Norwich Cocktail Week is in full swing and on Tuesday we got invited to a Gin tasting session in The Underbelly of The Rumsey Wells. 

Family Designed Logo

We settled in with a 'Gin Sour' and Patrick started to tell us about the business; The Norfolk Sloe Company is a family run business, they started 3 years ago with their first batch of 'Sloe Gin' which quickly sold out. All fruit is sourced locally in Norfolk so you are at the perils of Mother Nature and when one year was not so 'fruitful' for sloes they decided to move onto other fruits and now the Norfolk Sloe Family consists of

Sloe gin which at 27% is a true Sloe gin
Raspberry Liqueur - made with Vodka
Plum Liqueur - made with Brandy
Blackcurrent -made with Dark Rum 
and soon to available Damson - made with Port 

We had a taster of these throughout the session and they were all delicious, I favoured the Blackcurrent which tasted just like grown up Ribena! 

We asked what happened to the fruit once it had served its use making the Liqueurs... 

The Sloe's are made into dark chocolate truffles (boozy chocolate what more could a girl want?)

The Plum's and Blackcurrent's are made into chutneys by Candy's Chutney's 

with exciting plans for the Damsons in the near future! 

A great range of product's using the best locally sourced ingredients, clearly not just us who thinks this as they won the coveted Great Taste 3 star award this year. Definitely one to watch! 

Click to find out more...



Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Jo Malone at Jarrolds

I decided to write my second beauty post about something which I LOVE, and can be found exclusively in the department store Jarrolds located here in Norwich, so very in keeping with celebrating our local treasures. The Jo Malone boutique, if you’ve never been in I insist you go now, is just the most beautiful place filled with such chic fittings of cream with black edging and fragrance everywhere you look. Jo Malone is a brand which specialises in scent in all forms from colognes and body products to candles and linen sprays. The world of Jo Malone is timeless and elegant and delectably luxurious and British.

My first job when I was a teenager was as a Sunday girl on Fine Fragrance, so selecting the perfect smell is something close to home. Whether you know what you're looking for or not Jo Malone are there to help you find out. As cliché as it may sound a scent is so personal and can remind you in a second of something or someone so clearly when it hits your nose. I booked my friend and me in for an appointment as she was looking for something particular that had spice and body with an ethnic feel to remind her of her travels in Asia. On arriving we were welcomed and promptly seated and supplied with glasses of champagne (lovely old job), we were looked after by the lovely Jess who has been there from day one.

She asked Gema questions to determine what kind of fragrance she was looking for and decided that what she had described suited their intense range better which is a smaller line of heavier fragrances that all come in black bottles, she laid all the bottles out and with the labels facing away and let her smell each one to eliminate the ones she didn't like, after narrowing it down to two she liked best; Jess began the scent layering, from a body scrub, into a shower gel and then a lotion all applied in a pampering massage, she selected notes in the body products that would complement the final spritz of cologne and then with one fragrance on each arm she was left to pick her favourite as the decider to treat herself to. The process was repeated for me with two from the classic line that I would highly recommend Pomegranate Noir (one of their lush candle fragrances too) on the body then layered with my absolute obsession Peony and Blush Suede.

What an amazing way to invoke the senses... such a sensory experience to create a bespoke combination chosen by you. There is something just so unique about this experience from this beautiful brand. If you are struggling for a gift for someone or just feel like treating yourself, Jo Malone will not disappoint. From getting that perfect fragrance for a wedding day or just fancying something new, there’s over 360 scent combinations you can make so no one can fail to feel unique! Jo Malone is all unisex too, so guy's you don't have to miss out! The fragrances transform from person to person. Even if you just poke your head in for a nose or a squirt of something I highly recommend paying them a visit.

-Love Holly xx  

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Local Artist Showcase - Adam Avery

Adam Avery is a published illustrator from our fine city, you may have even seen his work recently in The Guardian. Avery's work is jovial and fresh, he uses purely digital media, which is hard to master, but he has certainly mastered it! Avery studied at NUA, and is another example of how well students can do after graduating from this great institution. When he isn't working in an artists studio he can be found in a recording studio with his band Real Life Charm; for which he produces the band artwork. You can follow his story on his blog The Suffolk Punch Press. Or have a listen to his band here.

RLC artwork

Illustrations in The Guardian

As well as national newspapers and band artwork Avery has had his work published by Wrap Magazine, and several of his wraps are available to buy here. I love how simple yet evocative Avery's work is, it is illustration at its best, no fuss and to the point. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for him, I'm sure it will be bright!



Saturday, 27 September 2014

Norwich Cocktail Week

It's nearly time to don your tuxedos and get your Great Gatsby on, Norwich Cocktail Week starts October the 4th and runs until the 10th. We've been preparing for the event by concocting our own cocktail with the wonderful Dom from Norwich Cocktail Club. Dom will be serving up our 'Life in a Fine City' drink in the Underbelly of The Rumsey Wells and I can tell you it's ruddy delicious!

Our cocktail consists of as many local ingredients as possible including, Adnams Copper House gin, Norfolk Cordial, a dash of limonchello, Prosecco and garnished with blackberries picked from Horstead (thanks Sue). It's a refreshing drink that reminds me of a late summer picnic, tangy and terribly British. If you like the sound of that then keep an eye on our Facebook page for a competition to win two drinks and two Norwich Cocktail Week wristbands.

Norwich Cocktail Week looks to be an exciting series of events including taster sessions and lots of new drinks for you to try, you can buy a wristband which gets you discount on cocktails, they are £8 or £4 if you buy using Droplet (we love Droplet!). With the wristband there is a sticker card for all the participating venues and if you collect over ten you can enter a prize draw. There is also a Stoli Martini Masterclass on the 8th, spaces are limited so get in quick.

Norwich Cocktail Club will be running four taster sessions at The Rumsey with some local brands including The Norfolk Sloe Company, they are £5 with a wristband and include drinks of course! 
I've certainly got a taste for a good cocktail since making ours, and Dom has some delicious ones to choose from. I recommend having a 'crack baby' shooter while you peruse the menu.

I hope you all enjoy NCW and do let us know your favourite drinks on our Facebook or Instagram.

Thanks to Andy Hart Photography for the photos.



Thursday, 25 September 2014

A Few of our Favourite Things (Life in a Fine City Map!)

It's that time again when Norwich is awash with new students, eager to find out the best places to go...

Let us make it easier for you with our map of (what we think) are some of the best places to go...

We will be handing out these maps Friday 26th September at the UEA Freshers Fayre and they will be available in the places listed. If you're at the UEA come and say 'HI!' We will have news of some amazing competitions. 

Map Designed by Ruth Knapp - Freelance Artist & Designer 
For more details please contact Ruth at 



Monday, 22 September 2014

Makeover Edition 2

So it's been a while since we brought you our first Makeover but you know the saying 'good things come to those that wait' well that is totally the case when it comes to our next makeover model.

Since we first laid eyes on Chloe we knew she had a great look but being a super mum to 4 children she doesn't always get the chance to glam up these days...

Chloe before

We wanted to go for a glam party look and headed down to Catfish to seek out a cool yet affordable outfit for Chloe to wear.

Back at LIAFC HQ we turned our attention to Chloe's hair, prior to seeing us it was a short grown out crop, we wanted to funk this up taking it short in the neck and around the ears leaving it longer through the top so she could use product to add texture or leave it flat for a more casual look. We opted for a warm pastel apricot colour which complimented Chloes skin tone. 

Chloe doesn't usually wear any makeup and we wanted something dramatic yet easy to recreate at home, so a good base, nude lips and dark smoky eyes finished the look. 

And here is the final result... 

Dress: Mink Pink @Catfish £54.00
Bag: Vivienne Westwood (Davina) @Catfish £195.00 current season
Shoes: Vivienne Westwood Melissa @Catfish £80.00 down from £200.00 
Tights: Stylists Own 

Just look at those shoes!! Amazing! 

We think Chloe looks like a supermodel and here is what she had to say ...

"I felt like a superstar. It was all sorts of awesome fun, and actually when I saw the pics I thought I looked the part, which was pretty frickin' special." 

If you want to nominate yourself or someone you know for a makeover follow us, like our page on any social media site and tag us in a picture and tell us why! 

Hair:  Amber using Wella & Tigi
Make Up: Ruth Knapp
Stylist: Ruth Knapp
Photography: Amber 

Special thanks to Keiran Harper for the use of his lights


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