Northern Goldsmiths on Blackett Street in Newcastle is one of my favourite buildings in the city. I first noticed it on an evening out during one of my early visits to the North East, covered in beautiful lights and with an eye catching 24ct gold clock watching over the street below, it's a well known landmark of the city.
Having not grown up in the North East it wasn't until I was invited to Northern Goldsmith's VIP re launch party that I realised exactly how iconic the store is and how important this gorgeous building is to the people of Newcastle.
The showroom has reopened this month following a £1 million refurbishment. A perfect combination of new and old, the new look showroom is stunning. Freshly painted cream walls with gold trim and polished cabinets perfectly compliment the original features of the listed building. With the refurbishment comes an expansion of the Rolex Boutique as well as the addition of an Omega Boutique and the first floor of the building has become a service area for watch repairs and enquiries.
Attending the party with friends who have grown up in the North East I was fascinated to hear how each of them had a Northern Goldsmiths story to tell.
During the re launch Northern Goldsmiths are calling for locals to share their timepieces to become part of an archive collection. My friend Ashleigh brought along a knife owned by her Grandmother and has also written a rather lovely blog about her family's history with Northern Goldsmiths.
Picture taken by North East Family Fun
Of course when you're spending the evening in Northern Goldsmiths who are a Diamond Specialist it's not long before conversation turns to engagement rings. The girls shared their proposal stories and I found myself completely swept away in the romance.
If my head wasn't already full of tales of love and romance, during the welcoming speeches we learnt about the history of the gold clock that hangs outside the building. It is known as the "Kissing Clock", a place where courting couples would meet for dates long before the invention of mobile phones. A fair few proposals have taken place under the famous clock with newly engaged couples rushing straight into the store to pick out the perfect engagement ring.
Maybe it was the champagne or maybe it was my beautiful surroundings but before I knew it I had been introduced to the lovely Helen and was having my ring finger measured. She was absolutely wonderful and a real joy to chat to. I know the thought of walking into a jewellery shop to pick out a ring is pretty scary for a lot of men but Northern Goldsmiths is a fantastic place to take the leap and I will be giving Simon a "gentle nudge" in Helen's direction next time talk turns to weddings!
I really can't wait to begin my very own Northern Goldsmiths love story.