Any one who lives in the UK will know Holland & Barrett as the ‘go to’ high street health store that offers a wide selection of vitamins, free-from foods and every nut, seed or dried fruit (yoghurt or chocolate coating included) you could possibly think of.
Now I have to admit: In the past I have found the store somewhat ‘limited’ when you compare it to the big boys such as Whole Foods and Planet Organic in London – where I am literally overwhelmed with the super vast choice and variety of products that line their endless number of fully lined shelves.
So when I was told that Holland & Barrett were giving themselves a sexier makeover and were really stepping up their game to encourage shoppers to live healthily (both internally and externally) – I was more than intrigued to find out just how much this new store will have transformed their brand, potentially forever…
And the best part?
It opened right down the main high street of my home town, York. Yep – an ACTUAL health store that makes you want to fill a basket to the brim the moment you step inside! Things are moving forward, friends…
Last week I met the passionate team who have been working like crazy to make this happen – and I even had the pleasure of joining them on the launch day. I know it sounds a little odd to say, but it was more than just a quick stop: It was an experience – something I never thought I’d say about a Holland & Barrett visit. Each section (yes, there’s a lot to explore here!) had a friendly team member ready to answer questions and make you feel, dare I say, ‘special’ – as though you are being completely taken care of as opposed to being treated as just another customer.
I left feeling refreshed, uplifted and seriously excited for H&B as a company – as it seems they are really expanding from their small stores that are shyly positioned in cities right across the UK.
So, with out further ado – allow me to virtually (and visually) guide you through my brand spanking new Holland & Barrett experience!
First things first – obviously I had to get a photo with the Bunny Mascot outside the store. Hey, my inner child just wouldn’t forgive me if I entered the store with total dignity…
Plus, he matched my jumper. It was only right.
Now, the first thing that caught my eye as I walked in was the Olive Bar, which allows the customer to fill up a tub of whatever variety takes their fancy.
A grown up pick a mix, if you will.
Olive lovers – you’ll no doubt be in your absolute element here! Just look at those juuuuuicy bad boys…
On the other side, you have a selection of dips and spreads that scream out ‘Italian Deli’ – perfect for taking home to pep up your favourite home dishes or impressing your guests with.
The grilled artichokes and harissa looked particularly tempting – and so perfect for keeping in the fridge to dive in to as and when!
Next section is the mad selection of nuts, seeds and dried fruits. If you thought Holland & Barrett already have a pretty good selection – you’d be blown away by the amount to choose from here!
Again – think of this as a pick and choose kinda vibe… So you can either go crazy and buy in bulk or just get the amount you need for your own personal needs. I’m liking the use of alliteration going on here, too…
Ahh, now for the glorious ‘Free From’ section. Here you’ll find gluten and dairy free alternatives from the big brands that are finally more accessible up North… Can you spot your favourite products?
I hear ya, Rude Health fans!
Next stop was the natural beauty section… AKA – Heaven.
I’m a big green beauty junkie – and am passionate about using products that actually do my skin good, not harm. So as you can imagine – this was quite the pleasure to be faced with!
Burts Bees offer a divine selection of lip balms and hand creams that both me and my mum have always loved using… And I even discovered some new finds from their very own stand in the store.
*Makes room on beauty shelf and waves goodbye to bank balance*
Oh, and the bath bombs? BEYOND delicious. I felt like a kid in a candy shop picking up every single colour and taking in the ‘good enough to eat’ aromas that filled the store.
I’m thinking these would make perfect presents for your beauty loving friend, or as a ‘because I deserve it’ treat for yourself!
The only trouble is is that it’s far too hard to not want to take every single one home with you…
Don’t mind getting your hands dirty?
Welcome to the Beauty Kitchen: The bar where you can make your own skin exfoliator the natural way.
All you do is pick up a jar and choose between salt and sugar for the base…
… Before mixing with oil.
It results in a ’60 second manicure’ – simply by ridding the skin of dry cells and moisturising it with the natural beauty world’s most nourishing oils to leave your hands feeling silky smooth!
Right in time for my favourite section…
The nail bar.
Choose your colour from these natural nail polishes (by Zoya) and get a professional mani by a beauty therapist right there and then. Perhaps it’s a good idea to do this whilst you decide on which bath bombs to choose from?
And why not go REALLY crazy and sip on a little coconut kefir whilst you enjoy your pamper sesh?
The nail varnish was surprisingly good quality and had a beautiful ‘gel’ like shine – something I wasn’t actually expecting from a natural polish.
Man, I love a fresh mani!
(Excuse the turmeric fingers. #FoodBloggerProblems)
You can also find cruelty-free make up and endless other products to choose from to add to your natural beauty collection.
And for paraben-free candles, H&B have got you covered. Choose from any of these babies to put in your burner and wait for your room to transform in to a tranquil, beautiful smelling haven!
You get total freedom here; just pick up a box and fill it up to your hearts content.
Moving on, we have the ‘Body Composition’ section – where you can go if you really want to keep track on how your body is doing weight wise. They’ll give you your BMI and even provide you with advice on how to reach your goals – whether it’s to build muscle or lose fat.
There’s also a specialist tea bar… Tea enthusiasts: Take note.
You’ll find every kinda leaf here!
I mean, I could keep going on sharing my snaps – but I wouldn’t want to give too much away…
So swiftly moving on: What exactly did I come home with?
Go on, take a peak…
(All products will be listed below)
Biona Almond Butter, Rude Health Smoothie Oats, Awesome Almonds, Konjac Sponge, Apple & Cinnamon Tea Bags, Yacon Porridge, Gluten Free Oats, Pulsin Maple & Peanut Snack, Beneficial Blueberries, Seed & Bean Pumpkin & Hemp Chocolate, Gluten Free Pasta, Mint Chocolate Lip Balm, Zoya Nail Polish, Rude Health Brown Rice Drink, Sweet Almond Oil, Coconut Oil Lip Balm, Spelt Grain, Raw Chia Flax Crackers, Weleda Hand Cream
So, I hope you have enjoyed your little tour around the new H&B store with me! Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for one of these mega stores opening in a city near you… If you’re anything like me, you’ll be walking out a pretty happy customer!
Until then, you can visit www.hollandandbarrett.com and order any thing that grabs you online! X