A Nespresso machine, industrial-feeling interior, 'gram-worthy lighting and the mini-bar we want next to our bed. Nope, there isn't a new hotel in town. But good-looking Glimpse opticians has moved in to Great Western Arcade and our editor, Laurie, and dep ed, Katy, have tried on every frame. There's CCTV footage and everything.

The Shop


Independently-owned, Glimpse is about as far removed from a High Street opticians as it gets. Impossible to pronounce European brands that aren't available elsewhere, a friendly bunch behind the desk, art on the walls and chairs you're actually encouraged to sit on —  you're going to want to stay longer than the eye-test. 

The Frames


We’re secretly (not so secretly now) thrilled we have to wear glasses.  Call us superficial, but we love having to indulge in some serious facial fashion. And Glimpse is kinda perfectly placed to fulfil our want for chic, instantly-make-you-look more-intellectual specs. They are the only stockists in the city for some brands, like Vinylize (pictured right, below) as well as the likes of European brands Mykita, Ørgreen and Lindberg.

Face Shapes


Lucky us, and now lucky you. The team at Glimpse passed on their genius-grade levels of knowledge on choosing the right frames. One reliable rule is to pick a pair that contrast your face shape. If you have a round face, offset it with rectangular shaped frames. Likewise, angular, oblong or square faces will benefit from the balance of soft, rounded specs.

Apparently, the oval-shapes amongst us (like Laurie, left) have the biggest pick of the bunch and suit the majority of frames. Katy (right) and her heart-shaped profile suit an angular frame, that adds width to the lower portion of her face. And if you’re a matchy-matchy type, take complexion and hair colour into account too.



Historically, the optician wasn't our fave — so freaked out by the pitch-black, hermetically sealed room and medicalised feeling experience were we, that we actually favoured the dentist. White lab coats are not a feature at Glimpse. The relaxed AF testing room is pretty much your best excuse to get a view over the Arcade other than Loki's top deck. And optometrist Matt explains everything before, after and while he's doing it — Katy's optical nerves are about as healthy as it gets if you're asking.

And if like us, excessive screen time is a big contributor to your ocular pickle, Glimpse majors on lenses designed to suit your life. Forget thick bifocals, we walked away with a prescription which gets progressively stronger towards the bottom of the lens, to help avoid eye fatigue (and how much time we spend looking down at our mob). Reflection-free lenses also better direct the light from our unnecessarily large desktop. Ta-ra, migraines.

And Finally


Glimpse is to the world of Birmingham's peepers what The Grand will be to its hotels. You can get a proficient eye test under the stripped lighting of a New Street provider we shall not name and maybe some 2-4-1s, or your next pair of frames can be a genuinely pleasurable experience, from a team who major on making you feel and look as good as you possibly can. And who remember your name if you want a slight adjustment on fit, or simply fancy that Nespresso on your way past.

Mention us to get £50 off a full set of frames until Nov 18. Terms apply.

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