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How It All Began

It started with Olly bringing back gifts for friends from his travels abroad: interesting things from interesting places. Then came the first shop, opened in Fulham in 1993. Now there are 40 Oliver Bonas shops in London, Kingston, Cambridge, Bristol and Scotland.

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Legendary DJ Don Letts shares his Carnival Tunes

Posted 20th August 2014

Legendary DJ Don Letts shares his Carnival Tunes

It's the August Bank Holiday this weekend and in London and Leeds it means only one thing. It's Carnival time.

And if it's Carnival time, then there's only one man you speak to. And that man is Don Letts. Don Letts is a film maker, music maker and creator. From DJ'ing reggae in the punk clubs of the 70s to making music videos for the likes of The Clash, Elvis Costello and the Pretenders; from managing 'The Slits' and founding 80's band 'Big Audio Dynamite'  to making Grammy Award winning films, Don has been a major player in the world of counter culture music. In his own words, 'Everything that I am came out of music'.

Don has been going to the Notting Hill Carnival for four decades (he even took Bob Marley along one year) and seen it go through all it's ups downs and cultural dynamics. He captured it all in his documentary 'Carnival!' a few years ago. Check out excerpts from it here.

The character of the music at Carnival has changed over the years, so this week we asked Don for his current top Carnival tunes. Here are the tracks he sent us, and boy does it set the tone for a proper reggae party:

      • 'No.1 Sound'     Benji Boko ft. Ricky Rankin
      • 'Feel Like Jumping'     Marcia Griffiths
      • 'Broadway Jungle'      Toots & The Maytals
      • 'Riddim Killer'   Rodney P  (Wrongtom Remix)
      • 'Tease Me'   Chaka Demus & Pliers
      • 'Could You Be Loved'  Bob Marley & The Wailers
      • 'The Care Song'      Riva Starr ft. Bob Andy
      • 'Walk and Skank'    Jah Screechy
      • 'Welcome To Jamrock'  Damian Marley
      • 'No, No, No' (You Don't Love Me)    Dawn Penn

Listen to the Spotify playlist here: Don Letts' Carnival Tunes  

Don Letts DJ's on BBC 6Music and this Sunday's programme, 'Culture Clash Carnival Special',  is essential listening. Make sure you tune in between 10-12pm.

Carnival Time

Posted 19th August 2014

Carnival Time

The biggest carnival of the year, the Notting Hill Carnival, is on this weekend, attracting more than 2 million people. It may be the biggest, but it's not the oldest. That record goes to the Ryde Illuminated Carnival down in the Isle of Wight which is on from 27-30 August. It first started in 1887, Queen Victoia's Diamond Jubilee and it has been growing ever since. Now here's an idea, you could make it to both the biggest and oldest Carnival, if you had the energy!

The Notting Hill Carnival does face some tough competition from the Leeds West Indian Carnival though, which has been running since the 1960's. It too culminates in a big Carnival Day on the August Bank Holiday, Monday 25th.

I'm afraid that we do have a bit of a vested interest in the Notting Hill Carnival because, of course, we have an Oliver Bonas store right there at Notting Hill Gate. We've had a top tip too, that there will be a great party at 'The Cow', a local pub that will be playing all the greatest reggae tunes to get your booty moving!

So what to do if you can't get to any of them?  Well, you could create your own carnival party at home. We can provide all the bits you'll need to get into the spirit...dress, decorations, outdoor seating, cups, bottles, you name it. If you want a closer look at any of them, take a look at our Carnival Pinterest Board.

Brighton, Here We Come!

Posted 8th August 2014

Brighton, Here We Come!

There's a new Brighton landmark opening on Monday 11th August!

 Most of us are familiar with the important and historic sights of the quintessential seaside town; Brighton Pier, the Royal Pavilion and more.

Now there's a new one to join the elite ranks, an Oliver Bonas store, right in the heart of Brighton, part of the historic Lanes quarter. You'll find the store not far from the Pier and the Brighton Wheel; a hop skip and a jump from the Pavilion; round the corner from the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery and only a gentle stroll from the train station.

Right in the middle of the holiday season, the ideal time for the thousands of visitors as well as locals to enjoy this top notch destination in a top notch seaside resort. 

The Royal Pavilion

'The Lanes'

The Brighton Wheel

Our Glasgow Store is all abuzz...

Posted 30th July 2014

Our Glasgow Store is all abuzz...

...with Commonwealth Games excitement. Here's a report from Emma, our Assistant Manager in Glasgow:

'The atmosphere in Glasgow at the moment is electric. There is such a great buzz about the city and it is great to see so many different nationalities here, not only watching the games but also enjoying what we have to offer and of course our fantastic shopping!  It is lovely to hear customers' reactions and tourists commenting on how friendly we Glaswegians are and how welcomed they have felt since being here.   

Everyone in the Oliver Bonas Glasgow store either watched or attended the Opening Ceremony and we all felt so proud and honoured to be hosting the Games. It was a fantastic show and the atmosphere was incredible. Waitrose has since reported a massive increase in Tunnock’s tea cakes and I am sure a few more people will be introduced to our favourite drink, Irn Bru! 

The city is full of markets, stalls and live entertainment specially created to keep our visitors happy. And happy they are. Even without tickets, Glasgow Green is a great place to go and watch the games live on a huge outdoor screen whilst enjoying a drink and some food and enjoying the lovely weather we have been so lucky to have. It is great to see Glasgow being showcased in such a positive way.

We have had loads of tourists and visitors though our doors including a few Commonwealth Games participants. Definitley a buzz!'

Thanks, Emma.

See the pics of the supporters and officials visiting our Glasgow store and our team members who couldn't be happier to help them:

 

Reading Railway Station Travel Alert

Posted 18th July 2014

Reading Railway Station Travel Alert

Oliver Bonas shop opens in Reading Railway Station.

Passenger notice:

Those travelling via Reading railway station over the next few weeks will need to allow extra travel time. We expect that customers will be held up for some time due to the irresistable shopping opportunites at Oliver Bonas.

Customers of the new shop, which opened on July 13th, are already experiencing travel delays as they pour over the exciting new fashion, relish the fabulous selection of homeware and admire the wide array of jewellery.

The Queen even dropped by for a visit...well, she officially opened the new Reading Station on July 17th and passed by the Oliver Bonas store. We are sure she wanted to come in for a look around, but official duties had to take priority!

Here are some pictures of our new store....or, if you have a train ticket (the shop is next to the platforms), you can drop by yourself.

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