Norwich, for many, is a city of unknown quantities. It’s the kind of place you wouldn’t just be passing through because it’s not really that near anything. You might hear about it being nice, or you might only know it as the homeland of Alan Partridge, but beyond that, I don’t feel that many know a great deal about it.
And that’s exactly where Norwich’s Shhhh Collective come in, creating annual guides to their city, showing outsiders like myself that it’s a place with much, much more to offer than you might expect.
The Shhhh Beginners Guide To Norwich covers the cities breweries, boutiques, agencies, galleries and more, helping to make a day, stay or move to the city the best it can be.
I guess you get so used to hearing about East London, Brighton and wherever else that it's easy to presume that city you don't know much about won’t have much to offer. Shhhh show us this certainly isn't the case, sharing a vast array of the city’s best-kept secrets in their very well executed (and free) guide.
Stores such as Seven Wolves, Dogfish and Drug Store stock staples from an eclectic range of menswear and streetwear favourites such as Manastash, Fucking Awesome and Folk. Bars such as Norwich Tap House and Gonzo’s Tea Room provide a perfect pitstop for a day roaming the city, plus there are enough restaurants to make choosing where to eat nice and difficult.
The main difference between Norwich and other cities famed for their independents is the reassuringly relaxed feel. Despite having a mass of cool stuff to do, it's totally pretence free, which can't always be said for some independents across the land.
Norwich has long been known as a city of art and culture, but I guess its geographical location doesn't see it given the attention it might deserve. Shhhh Collective are doing their bit to change this, while ensuring the places off the beaten track are found, enjoyed and supported by those visiting and living in the city.
Spending too long in one place gets boring, and with cities such as Norwich offering so much more than one might initially expect, it's only right we take the time to explore them. Head to East Anglia one weekend, pick up a copy of The Beginners Guide and you might just find yourself a new favourite city.