John Lewis and I go way back. Our wedding list was held there, we bought a lot of the furniture and appliances for our first house from there. We buy Christmas presents from there, beauty products from there, stationery, food, cooking and baking equipment. I think I may have a little bit of John Lewis running through my blood, such is the amount of time I have spent in their stores over the years.
So when an email landed in my inbox asking me to visit the new John Lewis at Home store before it was opened to the public I almost jumped out of my seat and ran on over to camp outside the door. Little did I know that what I would actually receive would be a private tour of the new store with the manager Claire Dunkason.
I live in West Sussex so to get a John Lewis in my area means I no longer have to schlep for miles for an ‘in- store feel good factor’. And it is this feel good factor that runs through the heart and soul of every store that keeps me and people like me going back again and again. Nothing is too much trouble, you’re never made to feel like you are bothering the staff when you ask them a question, the customer service is brilliant and of course the ‘stuff’ that you can buy there is…well it’s all very, very tempting.
Would you like a tour of the new store?
Come with me, I felt like a kid having been shut in FAO Schwartz all night right before Christmas. It was BRILLIANT!
It is a large store with a fantastic atrium as you enter. The manager Claire was telling me that she had great plans for this space as the seasons change. We discussed what it would be like at Christmas but I got a little too excited at that point so I’m glad the conversation moved on. Sorry, Claire, Christmas does that to me!
Now this you’ll love. This is a range called Maritime. I’m an absolute sucker for coastal chic and this does it for me especially as we’re moving to a house fantastically near to a sandy beach!
I’d put these on the table if we were having a barbeque at home one hot sultry evening. We have seagulls fly over our house often and I’m sure you’ll agree that they make a sound that transports you to a time and a place in an instant.
I have a thing for keys. Do you?
Fresh, vibrant new takes on classic designs. LOVE the shade of teal adorning these items. I could see the enamelware kettle on a beach bonfire, boiling away quite happily while we fish for mackerel.
Bon-bon jar anyone?
Yes, I thought so.
Now these are special, these houses are part of a range called Playnation and I’m more than a bit in love with it.
The kitchenware is stunning and useful and practical and I love it…..again!
These storage jars have that lovely heritage shade of sage green which I think will making an appearance in my new kitchen so these will certainly match it.
And the measuring cups and spoons are to die for.
Thank you so much, Claire, for taking time out of your very busy day to show me around personally. You are very hands on, you have a huge passion for every item that your store carries and this shines through.
As customers we want the department store of old to come back with a vengeance.
We want department stores to be more personal, we want to see the managers walking the shop floors chatting with customers, we want to know that if there is a problem with an item we bought we can bring it back and not be stared at and then slightly abused.
Chichester is a wonderful, wonderful town. Our twins were born in the hospital there and we received care from the nurses and midwives that was extraordinary. So needless to say going to Chichester brings back huge memories.
And now I have another memory. I got to walk around one of my favourite stores, when it was empty and not even open to the public, and savour all the fabulousness that it was busy creating.
I’m extremely lucky.
I love you and thank you so much for reading.
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