Posts Tagged ‘Southampton’

Welcome to the Hollister’s

June 1, 2009

Up one, two, a garden chair in a patio, lights are turned down, quite dark, quite cosy. Look right, look left, still dark. Right, down one, two into the darkness only lightened up by some spotlights here and there.

That’s the new shop, Hollister, recently opened in Southampton’s West Quay shopping centre. Not a restaurant, a chic bar, not somebody’s home. A shop where you can hardly see what’s being sold, yes clothes and you’ll see it if you hold it in the light if you can find enough light. Oh, and if you dare to touch and hold the clothes.

I bet the shop workers there don’t have to spend hours tidying and folding the clothes, like workers in Primark, since the clothes seem to be part of an exhibition.

Apparently to get a job there, you’ve got to be a model with a portfolio. Why would a model give up their modelling career to work as a sales assistant? I also heard they’ve got to speak with an American accent. The first  rather short ‘model’ greeted me with a what’s up, so I’ll guess she ticked the box but the other one further in the store had more of an Eastern European accent but she was catwalk tall. So maybe they had to lower their criteria and settle for the best they could get. This is Southampton and Southampton is quite chavy.

I have to admit that the assistants were pretty but I still think their purpose of being there is to serve customers and not just model around even though the clothes probably look better on them. Still, you can hardly see them.

The reason why I was a bit excited to go in there, besides it being a new store, was because of Abercrombie and Fitch, it had been advertised on the store front before it opened. But in the dark, I didn’t find any A&F clothes. I didn’t try anything on but I hope the lighting is better in the fitting rooms but maybe that’s the way to fool customers. Everything looks better in the dark, even the price tag since you can’t find the price.

A new tactic to go by in recession times. I’ve been to many stores, but nothing like this.

I haven’t been in to any other Hollister stores, but I know there’s on in Westfield, London. So next time I’m there I’ll have to go in just see if the same theme is followed with the ‘models’ and the lighting. Not for the clothes because they’re nothing but boring casual basics. I might have to try the jeans though, for fit. Well-fitted jeans are hard to find.

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Chilli Chocolate

May 24, 2009

The sweetness of chocolate with a sting of chilli may sound like a weird combination that shouldn’t happen and no, it shouldn’t. Especially not chilli chocolate flavoured crisps. It was something salty with something sweet and then spicy that only got sickly at the end. A daring flavour from Walker’s fooling many chocolate lovers that just didn’t work for me.

At a Christmas party last year I chose the Chilli Chocolate Mousse for dessert. My first encounter with cocoa and chilli in one dish and how delicious it was. Very rich, very chocolaty with a clear sting of chilli in my palate. I was hooked. Chocolate with chilli feels more like food than a sweet. By the way, the restaurant was Coco Rio in Southampton.

Next, I tried Hotel Chocolat’s Aztec Chilli Liquid Chocolate. A bit disappointed because where was the sting? I added some more flakes and there it was. It’s a luxorious hot chocalate product, it’s not powder, it’s chocolate flakes that need to be mixed in the milk while it’s heating, preferably on the hob. It can be done in the microwave but it needs to be stirred and back in the microwave again, doesn’t taste as good though.

Most recently, I got a bar of Lindt Excellence fine dark chocolate with premium red Chilli and the advice is to only have one square at a time. It’s spicy! And the one I will go back for.