Bijoux B – A Personal Shopping Experience

In my previous post I reviewed the amazing East in the West that my husband and I attended on Valentines day.  In this post I’ll be talking about the week prior and the total panic at the prospect of my first evening out with a post pregnancy body!!

I have to start by saying that I’ve been incredibly lucky with this pregnancy.  I’m back to my previous size already, after only 8 weeks.  I should also mention that I was no slim Jim to begin with!  I’ve always been conscious about hiding the unsightly and maximising my curves, however I will admit, like many women post pregnancy, I struggle to “find my look” again. It’s difficult after 9 months, of letting it all hang out and choosing outfits that enhance the bump, to remember the rules as well as keeping on trend.

If only I’d had Bijoux B after my last baby.  For a review I’m struggling to find something critical to say about the shop but it’s all positive.  From the moment I entered I was made to feel welcome even if I was knocking into all the displays with my tank of a pram.

The business was started by owner Maggie Williams in May 2010.  The shop is situated opposite Costa Coffee on the main street in Paignton. Mrs Williams also owns another shop in Torquay of the same name.  The outside impression is that the shop is quite small and predominantly caters towards evening wear.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  The shop is split into two areas.  The front section has an impressive selection of interesting stand out pieces.  Then, just when you think you’ve seen it all,  you step through a door towards the back and enter a second area full of delights.  This gives the shopper double the selection of high quality stock than competitors in the surrounding area.

The only downside to the business is at present they don’t have a website up and running.  This however, is in the pipeline with their Facebook Page showcasing pictures taken recently in preparation for this, making it easier for buyers to browse their range.

Upon entering the shop I was immediately attended to.  The shop assistant started chatting to me about what I was buying for? and “was I doing anything nice?”  With the informal approach I didn’t realise she was infact storing this information away ready to utilise for finding my outfit.  Before I knew it we were discussing dresses and colours as well as what kind of outfits I already had at home.  The dresses soon racked up and were taken away to the changing room for trying on later………after more browsing!

What I liked most was the informal no pressure approach.  They were completley open and accepting that I wanted a dress that could be dressed up/down for day and night wear, as I’m currently on a budget.  Most of the dresses I looked at were around £30.  Whilst I wasn’t originally planning to spend that much, I was happy to part with the cash, after seeing the quality of the product, when compared to other local competitors.

I made my way to the spacious changing room (mums important note  – you can fit your buggy/pram in there with you hurray!!!!) and was waiting for the usual disappointment.  The ill fit or the material enhancing and clinging to all my problem areas but I was delighted to see that the designs, that had been picked out for me, were all very flattering.  Earlier I’d mentioned I was very belly conscious and it was clear this had been taken into consideration with all the dresses being carefully selected for their design and cut with this in mind.

Although I was left to try on the dresses it wasn’t for long as my amazing assistant was waiting patiently near by to give her opinion.  I expected her to provide full praise for how amazing they looked (which they did!) even if they didn’t – just to try and get the sale.  However both ladies were very honest and even admitted that a few weren’t right for me.

After much mulling I managed to get it down to 3 dresses out of a possible 9!  I was shocked and confused by this new process, usually I’m lucky if I find 1 I’m happy with.  As much as I wanted all 3 the bank card was having an absolute fit, this soon after Christmas, so the trusty assistant stepped in again to help me narrow the search down to my final choice.  A fabulous black and white animal print type dress which comes just above the knee with 3/4 length sleeves and a zip down the back.  The dress works great with tights and knee length boots for day wear and bare legs with patent courts and a clutch bag for evening.

Many women in Paignton head straight to Newlook or Select as their first port of call for clothes.  I’d go to Bijoux B first every time.  Not only will you be supporting a local business but you’ll also be getting a better service and higher quality items.

The dresses I tried on were not designer or bespoke but, when I left the shop, I left feeling like that’s the experience I’d had.  This wasn’t a quick dash in a shop, like it is for most busy mums or career women these days.  My visit felt like a treat and when I left I felt like I’d had a well deserved “girly” afternoon out and I wasn’t even child free!!  This is no mean feat when you’ve not had a full nights sleep in over 6 weeks.  So thank you to the team at Bijoux B for making my afternoon special and memorable and for giving me the confidence to feel not quite so terrified at the prospect of an evening out among adults.

East in the West

Image used from Herald Express website

As some of you may recall it was recently Valentines day.  In our house it’s a double hit as my husbands birthday is also 12th February  this meant that this year we went out on Valentines day and celebrated the two together.

Courtesy of my husband’s dad and his wife we were treated to a meal, in our home town of Paignton and chose the Indian restaurant East in the West.

Having never eaten Indian food I was a little worried but I needn’t have been.  Many people (like myself) are put off by the cuisine due to the premise that it’s “too spicy”.  I can flat out say that this is not the case with East in the West.  The menu is clearly labelled for levels of heat with some dishes having non at all (like mine!).  The staff are also very approachable at guiding you through the menu for any food types that your not sure of.  We had a lengthy discussion with our waiter in choosing which type of naan bread we wanted.

Whilst the location of the restaurant itself is not prime this takes nothing away from the experience once inside.  The quiet intimacy obtained due to the small space and clever decor makes you feel instantly relaxed and at ease.  The warm wood tones and careful positioning of tables made the evening feel intimate and private everything a valentines dinner should be and the cheesy power ballads being played were a happy topic of conversation.

The restaurants executive head chef, Dinesh Kadamatt, was born in Kerala and has traveled across India working within various 5 star hotels.  I can only assume that it is this knowledge and experience as well as the team working with him that shape and provide the quality of food that we experienced.
Having never experienced an Indian restaurant before I expected a menu that I wouldn’t understand with a list of chicken and beef curries all with rice and all hot.  I was excited to find that this was not the case.  The menu is clear and the options are plenty with a surprising large fish and vegetarian section when compared with other restaurants of the same caliber.  My only complaint is that there wasn’t more pudding options however with the main and starters so delicious and filling I can honestly say for the first time that I wasn’t too disappointed at not having a pudding and I have a massive sweet tooth!

For the meal itself we started with poppadoms and a chutney tray.  Provided were 4 large poppadoms and 3 different chutneys all of which were fresh and delicious.  The 3 chutneys were well balanced with a raw chunky chutney comprised predominantly of onion and carrot, a savory yogurt based dip and the classic sweet mango chutney.

For main I opted for the Seafood Molly which comprised of monk fish and prawn poached in an aromatic coconut sauce with basmati rice.  Whilst my husband went for the more “manly” lamb shank rogan josh.  We both opted out of pudding.  I went for a large glass of wine with the meal and the other half chose a pint of Thatchers.  The total bill came to around £50 which for the quality of the food eaten we were more than happy to part with.  We’ll certainly be going back again next year for our yearly night out!!

Just A Mum: Hard Days

Please hit the link and check out the blog brought to you by justamumblog

The blog covers the topic of post natal depression in an honest and open way.  I read this and realise it’s ok to make mistakes we’re all human and dealing best we can with the world’s hardest job…..being a parent.

Just A Mum: Hard Days: Some days are so much harder than others. I cannot even explain why. Today was no different than any other day when I look back on it but it…

The Crochet Journey Continues

My internal dialogue’s got Rick Astley on repeat “NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP”  as I continue to battle for the perfect baby shoes.






Continue reading