On Monday I attended a small blogging event at a local independent opticians in Nottingham called Gray & Bull. They’re a small shop located on Pelham street which is just off the market square and Bridlesmith Gate. I was amazed to hear that they were actually established in 1806 and have kept that traditional theme to their shop over the years and the back story of how the current owner, Shiraz, came to buy the shop was a lovely lovely piece of history. He has actually been a client of Gray & Bull since he was a child and spoke about gazing through the window at the frames he wanted to buy with his parents. After finishing his degree in optics he approached them asking to buy the store and in 2010 they finally gave in to his dream! I loved the little back story as it really felt special and you could tell Shiraz loved his job!
As a daily glasses or contacts wearer, I really appreciate a good pair of glasses and I managed to find quite a lot of lovely frames in the store. I would say that this is definitely a high end store and for that reason, sadly nearly all of the frames were way out of my price range. Gray & Bull really focus on quality which often means that that is reflected in the price! For this reason though, they do often supply the police with their vital glasses for their roles be it undercover police or even those that patrol the streets keeping us safe. It’s crucial that their glasses are fit for the job and Gray & Bull ensures that this is the case.
On the night we were lucky enough to chat with a representative from one of Gray & Bull’s key high end brands, Barton Perreira. We got to hear all about the luxurious, hand crafted frames made from the best quality acetate from Japan called Zyl. The glasses are actually made by a group of men so each pair is unique and is finished to the highest standard, often not even including screws to keep the glasses in place which is quite mind boggling! You could definitely feel the difference in the frames quality compared to other acetate frames but again there was quite a jump in price! Barton Perreira have quite a large amount of famous clientele and apparently even Kate Moss doesn’t get a free pair and has to pay herself!
One of the things that Gray & Bull love is that they do actually still sell from their windows. This means that someone can pass by, spy a frame in the window and actually get it made up for themselves. Personally, I didn’t feel like the window display didn’t represent the calibre of frames inside the store and was quite easy to pass by without noticing. If I was part of the team I would definitely focus on making this area more of a draw for the extensive foot traffic that goes on outside of the store! They have some absolutely beautiful frames on offer but this wasn’t really shown to the best of it’s ability in the window.
I really enjoyed the evening finding out about what they have to offer and definitely found tonnes of frames I would love to wear. I’ve included a few throughout the post so let me know which one is your favourite and why! As a student I can’t see myself being able to have a pair anytime soon as they’re more than my yearly car tax and insurance combined! I think their niche is high end clients and if I had the money I would definitely be joining the queue to get a pair though. Thank you so much to Gray & Bull, Barton Perreira and Amy especially for putting on a lovely evening!