Full-time sign writer and hand lettering enthusiast, Lorna Dunn has worked with tonnes of fab indie businesses which means she knows some of the best places locally so it was a no-brainer to ask her all about them...
Take it away Lorna…
I discovered The Bloom Project,
Queens Road, Leicester before it opened when I was asked to write the signage for the shop. I immediately knew it was bound to be a special place based on Emma’s (the lovely owner) vision and since it’s opening have been absolutely stunned by the uniqueness and colour that comes out of it. I pop in pretty often for a chat and a bunch of blooms for any up coming occasion (or just for myself).
My favourite gift shop is Freckles. I absolutely love this friendly and uplifting space that Yolyn has created in Barrow Upon Soar. This gift shop doubles up as a coffee shop too so is a nice little destination. Often in the evening there are workshops held here too ( including my brush lettering workshop )! I really like Yolyn’s selection of gifts, ranging from jewellery to books, and the interior decor makes it just a nice place to spend some time.
Because my work involves a lot of close-up focusing and concentration I like to unwind by just letting my eyes look at things that to me are relaxing. This could be a stroll up New Walk to look at all the nice houses and doorways there, to spot some old hand painted signs or gold leaf on windows. Also I love second hand shops and looking at interesting things so somewhere like the second hand warehouse on Welford Road is an ideal unwind spot, just to browse and find unusual things. I love to be outdoors and walking my dog, Aubrey. I’ve been brought up visiting Bradgate Park so this place will always be of significance and a go-to for a change of landscape. More often than not though I go for walks in south Leicestershire where my parents live. There are some great walks from Welford which I like, especially along canals so I can look at boats as I love to see the traditional sign painting on them.
My favourite breakfast spot would be Kai
for it’s pancakes and iced coffee. For a cosy meal with my partner I like to go to The Baker’s Arms in Blaby. I believe its the second oldest pub in the country so it’s got loads of character and great food. During the week when I’m working I like to get food at Grounded Kitchen
(Korean rice bowl based food). Check our Muddy’s review here.
Grounded Kitchen, Queen’s Road.
Another nice spot for lunch and somewhere I do a lot of signs for is Wistow Cafe Bistro
. Lastly 100 & six on Queens Road in Clarendon Park is a great small plates and cocktails spot.
I love charity shop shopping for clothes and Wigston has so many in a small area it’s my favourite place to go! After that, Market Harborough is my go to charity shopping destination. I recently helped to arrange a clothing swap shop in Leicester city centre which was really well attended and a great shopping experience, ie promoting recycling and reusing fashion whilst getting new clothes for free AND enjoying a clear out! I love finding second hand furniture online too like gumtree and free cycle and just prefer to re-purpose than buy new! When I am shopping in stores I only go to independents. Nada the Zero Waste Store
in St.Martin’s square is great for all home essentials.
Saints of Mokha
on Evington Road offer something really special which along with the warmest welcome and attentive customer service, is unbelievable latte art! For example the last time I went and ordered a red velvet latte and it had an image of a koala up a tree created on the top. It’s all very aesthetically pleasing and they are really passionate about what they do.
A red velvet latte at Saints of Mokha
A local independent cinema is something I really treasure! Everywhere I travel to I always research their independent cinema or oldest cinema in town etc. I absolutely love going to watch a film especially documentaries. I’ve been a regular visitor (and also a part time employee) of Leicester’s Independent cinema and art centre, the Phoenix
f for many years. Their programming is brilliant and you’re really guaranteed to see something interesting here. It’s a really friendly place where many creative people work and therefore there’s a really sense of community. If you’re into art and film, please do check it out.