• About Séamus

    Originally from Northern Ireland, I came to England seventeen years ago. My first proper job was in an opticians and I have never left the industry since (apart from one month at a bespoke shirt makers). I have sixteen years experience of the eyewear industry and have a passion for handmade spectacles and sunglasses with an eye on innovation in design.

  • Monthly Archives: September 2010

    Wednesday, September 29, 2010

    Home again

    Back at work now and feeling pretty satisfied with my trip to Paris. I saw some really exciting new things both from my current collections and a brand new collection that is scheduled for delivery in January. Don’t want to say too much just yet but it is hand made in Germany, really fun colours and styles and at the less expensive end of the spectrum. More on that closer to the delivery date.

    The show itself was full of amazing sights but a few things made it a more difficult show. The location has moved from reasonably central Paris to way out by Charles de Gaulle Airport and unfortunately the closing time was much earlier each evening this year. With that, throw in a transport strike on the Thursday and engineering works on the line to the show on the Saturday and it made it pretty difficult to fit everything in. There was so much more I wanted to see but I guess it will have to wait till the Munich trade show in January. I’ll update you on what to expect over the next few weeks.

    Needless to say, Le Relais de L’Entrecote did not fail to deliver. Great food, passable wine and prompt service. Till next year…

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    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    When in Paris…

    One of the things I am most looking forward to in Paris is my annual trip to Prisian institution, Le Relais de l’Entrecote http://www.relaisentrecote.fr/

    They have four branches in Paris and apparently one in London too but I have never been to it. Part of me doesn’t want to go as I love my September visit to the branch in St. Germain. They have one thing on the menu, Steak-Frite. There is always a queue and no bookings are taken but the wait is never too long. Once in, you will be asked how you would like it and you better have an answer. The service is very efficient, very French and dawdlers get short shrift. The waitresses (and they are all waitresses or at least I have never seen a waiter there) are the epitome of the French matriarch in their black dresses with their starched white aprons.

    You will be given an appetiser of crispy salad with perfect vinaigrette followed by the steak as you like it. It is a thin cut of rib steak with French fries (yes French fries, not chips) with an amazing sauce, the make up of which is a closely guarded secret. Daddies it is not I can assure you. Just when you think it is over, a second helping comes along! You can follow with one of their excellent desserts if you can fit it in but to do so means navigating the impenetrable, hand written, abbreviated, French dessert menu. Good luck with that!

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    Wednesday, September 8, 2010

    Paris

    Soon I will be off to Paris for the annual optical trade show. It’s a great place to find new talent but by no means the only way. There has been less that is new over the last couple of years what with the recession. Most opticians will buy safe at the best of times, but when things are bad economically… well. With not much consumer confidence, interesting brands have suffered, start ups are not getting the necessary investment and costly new developments have been put on hold.  Of course there a few exceptions to the rule. Kirk Originals will have a very exciting new range to show in Paris and Michel Henau have a beautiful new concept which I will tell you all about when I am allowed.

    Now that most of Europe is out of recession, I am expecting a rush of new talent to emerge so stay tuned for breaking news! I will be searching for something new, interesting and innovative to bring home to Covent Garden and I will be posting updates while there.

    While I am gone (23rd-27th Sept), the store will still be open and you can pop in and my very able and friendly staff will be happy to help with  any request you might have.

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