I did rather well this Christmas as far as gifts went. But then writing a blog does have its advantages, people have a fair idea of what to buy you.
Top of the pile was a pair of dress pumps with flat grosgrain bows from UK based Broadland Slippers, which came courtesy of my girlfriend Westie. These are an acquired taste, but as the name implies Broadland’s speciality are beautiful velvet slippers and house shoes, ranging in design from the simple to the decadent. A subject we covered at length some time ago.
I returned home to Norfolk this Christmas, and by a curious quirk this happens to be the home of Broadland Slippers. An unlikely location for such a company; think English shoemaking, think Northampton. However, Norwich was once the home of the BALLY shoe factory, until production was moved to Eastern Europe in the 1990s. But it’s nice to know that the craft was not entirely lost. All Broadland’s products are hand made here in England and they’re made to order, so expect a 4 to 5 week wait for your order.
My girlfriend wanted my pumps in time for Christmas and so rang the company to try and clarify that they’d be ready for the big day. Her report was that the guys at Broadland were extremely helpful and even talked her through sizing and design – of which she was a little unsure.
I have to say that the pumps are beautiful, as good as any I’ve seen, so no worries on that score. The quilted silk interior is soft and substantial, which helps keep the pump on your foot if you’re planning on tripping the light fantastic. What’s more they’re extremely well priced.
Unfortunately, the natural sizing of the last seems to be a little on the narrow side, and in my case a half size too short. Having a quick scan of the forums this seems to be a common issue. I’m normally a straight ten, and when the guys at Broadland spoke to my girlfriend they didn’t indicate there would be a problem. I have a suspicion that the thickness of the interior quilting also contributes to them being a bit on the narrow side.
So, despite the effort to get them to me in time for Christmas mine will be going back, but this hasn’t proved a problem. I’ve been in contact with the company and without quibble they asked me to send the pumps back and asked for a measurement of my foot for safety’s sake.
I can’t really fault the product or the customer service. If I had one complaint it would be that while boxed the pumps aren’t in shoe bags – which would prevent scuffing in transit- and the box ought to be bubble wrapped, again an insurance against damage in transit. That aside, I have to say I was extremely impresses. Delivery is free in the UK and only £15 extra World wide. A company well worth adding to your internet favourites.