The Fabulous, New and Improved, Joules in Harrogate
It’s not much of a surprise to many that Joules is one of, if not my favourite clothes shop. Mainly for myself (I’m the queen of sale shopping and finding a bargain!) but also for little man or gifts.
Harrogate is town about 40 minutes away from me but as I used to both live and work there for many years (and party during my 20’s) it’s my favourite place to shop as it has a really nice selection of shops. It’s had a Joules shop since 2009 but as a shopper, I would have described it as popular, but because of this and it’s small size, it was really hard to make your way through the shop and look at the clothes, as there just wasn’t room.
When I was told that we would be getting a new and improved Joules in Harrogate, I was really excited. Worried for my bank balance, but excited. To be asked to write about it was even better!
So if you’re not local, let me tell you a few things about Harrogate. Have you seen the tv advert for Yorkshire Tea, when the tea makers are in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales? Well, Harrogate is the gate to the Dales. That scenery is on our door step and Taylors of Harrogate make Yorkshire tea amongst other things, all based from this great town in North Yorkshire, in between Leeds and York. We also have Betty’s. You don’t know what Betty’s is? It’s a cafe. Well, more than a cafe. It’s a bit of a tourist mecca. Locals do go, don’t get me wrong, but we book a table or bob in to grab a fat rascal (a cross between a scone and a rock cake with glace cherry eyes and almond sliver teeth). Their afternoon tea with the live pianist and impeccable staff in pristine uniform is an experience. You will often find a queue of at least 20 people on a saturday as tourists wait to enter.
We’re not all about tea and scones though. Harrogate has many choices for food from Grill’s, a Noodle speciality, upmarket chain’s such as Jami’es Italiqn and also lots of excellent independent cafes and restaurants including French.
Shopping with the new Joules, is excellent. We have an independent Department store called Hoopers with a separate Mens store and lots of independent shops selling designer brands, as well as your usual high street and lifestyle shops. They shopping area is quite compact with much of it being pedestrianised.
Harrogate is very green as it is surrounded by and also contains 20o Acres of open grassland and verges. You’ll see football games, rugby practice, exercise classes, dog walkers and in summer, locals relaxing on area’s. Harrogate has won Gold in Britain in bloom many a year. The Valley Gardens is walkable from town and has a little boating pond, a cafe, a kiosk selling World Famous Ripley Ice Cream and an excellent playground, skate park and crazy golf next to tennis courts and a frisbee golf course.
There’s so much more I can tell you but I think I’ll write a separate post. A last few bits of info about Harrogate if you fancy a visit:
Harrogate is just over 2 hours from London by train, and the station is right on the edge of the town centre.
Rudding Park Hotel was voted Best Hotel in the UK outside London, TripAdvisor Travellers’ choice Awards 2015.
Harrogate has been voted the happiest place to live for the third year running in a report by Rightmove.
Harrogate is a Spa town and has a Turkish Baths. Great for relaxing. We also have a lot of water – you may have seen some bottles around with black labels for still and white for sparkling!
The store had a grand reopening after refitting a shop just a few doors up from the old one with plenty of local advertising. For those who were truly Joules mad, there was an opportunity to win a £200 gift card by being the first person in the queue to enter the new shop. There were 65 people in the queue at opening time! People arrived at 5am, 4am and the winner? She started the queue at 3am. 3am! Mind you, if i didn’t have a child and could sleep later, I might have beeen tempted to get there mega early but I think I would have been disappointed to find that I wasn’t the first!
The new store is double fronted with big windows, a nice wide doorway and feels very spacious and light inside. It’s spread over two floors, as it was before, but upstairs is just as big and light and full of glorious clothes!
One thing that I hadn’t realised, is that within a Joules clothes collection, they have different grades. I always thought that there must be a way for brands to decided what clothes to stock in smaller stores and this is how Joules do it. So, a smaller store will stock some clothes but not all – with similar sized shops carrying the same range. What’s great about the new Joules in Harrogate is that it carries the A grade range of the collection. More gorgeous clothes to view in person. Yes!
I of course, spent ages looking at the Womenswear. I noticed that although there were plenty of my favourite Joules signature brights and patterns, more monochrome pieces were creeping in, with some beautiful tops and wellies. They are able to showcase lots of accessories and have a great selection of jewellery and leather handbags.
I stole myself away and went upstairs using their lift. Hurrah! Great for prams and people like myself, with mobility issues.
Upstairs has once side dedicated to childrenswear and the other to Menswear. As I admitted when I went to the opening of the new Milton Keynes Joules shop, I’ve never really looked at the menswear but this time, a manager from another store showed me the range. One thing that I hadn’t noticed before, is the tongue in cheek, slightly risqué names of the underpants and phrases on some nightwear!Absolutely brilliant and perfect for gifts.
At the other end of the shop, by the window, you’ll find the childrenswear. I could spend hours looking at these clothes. The boys clothes are funky yet classic – probably down to the colours and style. There are some great glow in the dark t-shirts that my son loved. He has the ‘Up To Snow Good’ shirt which he thinks is funny but as he can’t read, the joke is on him as what glows, is ‘Up To No Good!’ I loved the tweed jacket and one day, I will save up for one for him!
The girls clothes were as ever, to die for. So cute! Lots of patterns, florals and stripes, in bright baby pink and blue for the youngest and darker pinks, purples, blues and a hint of metallic for the older girls. Two accessories caught my eye. I just know that so many girls will love them. One is a pony handbag and the other is a pont washbag with Joules Shampoo and Bubble bath inside. Little girls and pony’s? Little girls and handbags? Boom. Obviously there are exceptions to the rule but well done Joules!
Does anyone else love changing rooms?! To me, they are really important. If I am going to try some clothes on, I don’t want a harsh, stark, white environment that really accentuates my wobbly bits. These new ones are really nice. The womens are pretty and welcoming with carpet and fabulous wallpaper. Two of the changing rooms convert into one large changing room with the clever manoeuvre of a wooden door which is great if you are shopping with a wheelchair or big double buggy etc.
The men’s is also really nice. Less pretty but with definite style. I don’t think I’ll be the only one to wish that Joules started selling fabrics and wallpapers.
I’m sure that you’ve got the gyst – this new shop is lovely. Joules has had an excellent few weeks with the opening of a new shop in Sheffield Meadowhall, this shop in Harrogate and the brand’s 100th shop in Dublin. I’m looking forward to seeing the company continue to grow and know I’m not alone in hoping that they will branch out into more homewares such as fabric and wallpaper soon.
Oh and that bloomin car was there to taunt me again. Please Joules, would you ‘bejoule’ my qashqai?