Today I visited Chester for the first time in over a year and saw it with fresh eyes. Whether it was because the sun was shining brightly (at last! Hoorah) or that the city really has changed, I walked around in wonderment, scooting up and down the steps of the historic Rows and rattling over the cobbles. The city centre was bustling with activity, with independent boutiques nestled happily between multis, and big-name retailers inhabiting beautiful Tudor buildings.
I spent a long time in Aliz Vintage, a store housing vintage Chanel and YSL pieces, along with fabulous lower-priced 1970s lurex dresses; two of which I tried on, one being too large, the other too small. Not my day! I was also treated to a tour of The éditeur, complete with a cup of tea and a slice of hat designer Laura Apsit Livens's birthday cake.
One disappointing discovery was the rebranding of Browns department store: it has always been a Debenhams but had a strong personality of its own, too. Now it seems Debenhams have clumsily ripped down the Browns sign to make way for their own branding, taking a little bit of Chester's retail history along with it.
Of course, I couldn't leave without taking a photo of the second most photographed clock in the world... especially so well contrasted against a brilliant blue sky!