Lord Mayor's Celebration: Bumper weekend ahead for businesses

People enjoying the Norwich Lanes Summer Fayre, part of the Lord Mayor's Celebration. Picture: Stuar

People enjoying the Norwich Lanes Summer Fayre, part of the Lord Mayor's Celebration. Picture: Stuart Anderson - Credit: Archant

Norwich's businesses are ready for one of the busiest weekends in the city's calendar. 

The Lord Mayor's Celebration and the Lanes Summer Fayre take place today and tomorrow. 

Now in its 14th year, the party in the Lanes is now a firm, and beloved, fixture for Norwich.

Alan Sabol, of St Giles Pantry, said he's looking forward to a bumper weekend that restores a sense of summer normality.

Alan Sabol, owner of St Giles Pantry on St Giles Street in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden

Alan Sabol, owner of St Giles Pantry on St Giles Street in Norwich - Credit: Danielle Booden

The owner, who set up the pantry 18 months ago, said: "We're doing an oyster and gin bar on Sunday from outside our shop and we're launching a brand new Norwich dry gin.

"There'll be a Norfolk blueberry gin and a Norwich dry gin.

"There's been a lot of work that's gone into this place. We're really excited to have that extra footfall coming in."

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In St Benedicts Street, Fireaway Pizza supervisor Dileeb Attunure said that after a busy pandemic serving takeaways, the staff were excited to meet new faces at the fayre.

Dileeb Attunure and Karthik Sadam at Fireaway Pizza on St Benedicts Street in Norwich. Picture: Dani

Dileeb Attunure and Karthik Sadam at Fireaway Pizza on St Benedicts Street - Credit: Danielle Booden

"It's exciting to have footfall coming through and people coming here for pizza," he said.

"It's important to celebrate the independent businesses and eateries in this part of Norwich."

Down the road at Melville and Mayell, Peter Orr is looking forward to the shop's inaugural Lord Mayor's Celebration weekend.

The store, which opened in February 2021, stocks hundreds of spirits, wines, beers and gins that you typically wouldn't find in the supermarket.

Peter Orr at Melville and Mayell on St Benedicts Street in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden

Peter Orr at Melville and Mayell on St Benedicts Street - Credit: Danielle Booden

"We're all part of a community and we really value the Lanes and independent shops ethos and vibe," he said.

"Our products make a statement. We don't sell the every day.

"The Lanes are a fabric of Norwich.

"We're really well supported by locals, so we're looking forward to people coming in and having a look around."

This weekend Melville and Mayell will team up with Newmarket Street's CRUNCH selling ice cream sandwiches, have 10pc off St Giles Gin and the opportunity to take home a magnum of wine.

St Gregorys Antiques will welcome its dealers to stalls outside the former church to sell their wares.

Duty manager Dave Marshall said: ""It's a really important - and financially good - day for us.

Reporter Maya Derrick browsing St Gregory's Antiques on Saint Gregory's Alley in Norwich. Picture: D

Reporter Maya Derrick browsing St Gregorys Antiques - Credit: Danielle Booden

"It gets us outside as well, which is enjoyable.

"It's a popular event and good for business. It's one of the best days in our calendar.

"The green gets packed here. It's a lovely busy and community spirit."

St Gregory's Antiques on Saint Gregory's Alley in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden

St Gregorys Antiques - Credit: Danielle Booden

St Gregory's Green will host DJ collective Soul Stew, who will take to the decks with a mix of soul, tropical, disco and house.

In Lisa Angel's first shop in Lower Goat Lane, Connie Reid shared her anticipation ahead of the weekend's proceedings.

"We're excited to have new blood coming in and to speak to new customers who wouldn't normally come into the city.

Connie Reif and Lily Mason at Lisa Angel on Lower Goat Lane in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden

Connie Reid and Lily Mason at Lisa Angel on Lower Goat Lane - Credit: Danielle Booden

"We've got a few promotions on. We'll be handing out gin and sharing testers and 25pc off Owen Mathers designs.

"The Lanes are important to us. This is Lisa's original store, so it's good that we're positioned here for the celebrations.

"We're gearing up for a bumper weekend."

Now with two venues in the city - the original bar in Charing Cross and the new gin academy in the Royal Arcade - Gyre and Gimble will have a pop up gin bar at the city end of St Benedicts Street, showcasing their award-winning gin distilled in the Lanes.

Manager Jess O'Leary-Jones said: "We're excited to get back out there, especially since opening the academy.

"We can't wait to let everyone enjoy our creations.

Jess O'Leary-Jones at Gyre and Gimble's new academy in the Royal Arcade

Jess O'Leary-Jones at Gyre and Gimble's new academy in the Royal Arcade - Credit: Maya Derrick

"We've been super busy and had lots of people coming through and we want to keep that vibe rolling.

"We're generally a winter and Christmas venue at our bar, so although we look forward to those months coming back we're hoping summer could be a new season for us."

Councillor Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council, said: "We are committed to supporting local businesses and boosting economic recovery following the pandemic.

Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council. Pic: Jeff Taylor.

Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council. Pic: Jeff Taylor. - Credit: Archant

"The Lord Mayor’s Celebration brings thousands of people to the city and an opportunity for all businesses to benefit from.

"We are delighted to have been able to support the return of The Lanes Summer Fayre which celebrates so many unique Norwich businesses."