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Style focus – Metal frames

Timelessly stylish, metal spectacle frames will never go out of fashion.

Tending to be lighter and more flexible they are great if you want a simple look which makes less of a statement than bolder, acetate options.

But picking your favourite pair is unlikely to be an easy task as there is a surprising variety of shapes, looks and colours to choose from.

So which ones to choose? Read on to find out about some of our favourite metal frames currently in stock at Patrick & Menzies.


No one is more famous for wearing round metal frames than the legendary John Lennon. This pair offers a contemporary twist on the classic style, allowing you to Imagine you are the Beatles frontman if you so wish! The rounded shaping would particularly suit someone with a softly curving face.




Chunkier than your average pair of metal frames, these Jasper Conran specs are super cool. The matt silver colouring gives them an added edge.


NIKON – NC1021 – 301

NIKON - NC1021 - 301 4
For a serious look that shows you mean business these frames from Nikon are the perfect pair. In classic black with a bar running across the top of the lenses, they are a great example of how simplicity is anything but boring.



HERO – 4276 – C1

HERO - 4276 - C1 4
In a style often favoured by actor Hugh Jackman, these specs are effortlessly cool. Sophisticated and lightweight these half-rimmed frames would suit people with a diamond face shape. Not sure what shape your face is? Check out our blog Finding the Right Frames for Your Face.


VOGUE – 4108 – 5101

VOGUE - 4108 - 5101 14
We love the cat eye shaping of these glasses from Vogue. While not overly bold, the thin, black frame will really draw attention to your eyes.



WOLF EYEWEAR – 2058 – C84

WOLF EYEWEAR - 2058 - C84
Although metal frames tend to be simpler it doesn’t mean they have to scrimp on style as this beautiful pair from Wolf Eyewear shows. The almost rose gold colouring of the metal sits perfectly with the muted pinks and blues of the patterned sides. As ever you can trust Wolf Eyewear to create glasses that are a little bit different from the rest.


Did you know you can browse the range of glasses frames on offer from Patrick & Menzies from the comfort of your home? Click here to take a look. 

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Tips to help you stop losing your specs

As any glasses wearer will tell you, there is nothing more annoying than not being able to find your specs when you need them.

And sometimes it’s hard to understand how they end up in the places they do – behind the sofa cushions, under a stack of paperwork or even in the fridge! And let’s not talk about the time the puppy helpfully decided to make his own modifications to a perfectly good pair of glasses…

So, to avoid further strife we have come up with some simple strategies to help you to keep your eyewear safe, easy to find and in tip top condition.

Decide on a place to store your specs – and keep to it

Take a little time to think about the main areas where you wear your glasses, and plan out a safe place you will put them when they’re not aiding your vision.

Maybe there is a specific shelf or drawer you could use. Or it could be as simple as storing them in a case along with other important items such as your keys or wallet – so long as you aren’t the kind of person who is always losing these items too!

Building a routine around where you leave your glasses will really help you to keep track of them – but you need to make sure you stick to it.

Keep them round your neck

Although not for everyone, a glasses chain or cord is such a practical option if you don’t need to wear your glasses all of the time. They are available cheaply in a wide range of colours so you can even coordinate to fit with your outfit.

Invest in a brightly coloured case

A bold case is so much easier to spot around the home or office than a pair of glasses, and if you can get yourself into the habit of using it, your glasses will benefit too. Storing your specs in a case when you are not wearing them is definitely the best option, helping to avoid scratched lenses, the risk of getting squashed or stood on, or splayed sides if you are guilty of pushing them on top of your head.

Make a mental note each time you put them down

Sounds easy doesn’t it? Sometimes if you’re out and about and in an unfamiliar environment, this is your best strategy. When you remove your glasses, take the time to make a mental note of where you place them, repeating it in your head several times to make sure you remember. And if you still don’t trust your memory, take a quick snap on your smartphone so you can check back later.

Invest in a back-up pair

This is the best strategy of all if you want to be on the safe side! Just make sure that you put the spares somewhere you won’t forget…

Did you know you can browse our extensive range of frames online? Once you have selected the pair – or pairs – you like, with just the click of a button we can have them ready for you to try on when you come in for your appointment.

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Patrick & Menzies celebrates opening of new branch

It’s exciting times for Patrick & Menzies as we celebrate the opening of our fourth North Essex branch. 

The new Manningtree branch in the town’s High Street will open its doors to the public on Monday 20th September.  

It will make a great addition to our existing branches which are already offering top-class eye care to patients in Braintree, Brightlingsea and Mersea. 

We stepped in to take over Manningtree optician Piper and Priem when previous owner Stephen Preim decided to retire.  

Over the past few weeks, the practice has had a full refurbishment, including new flooring, wiring and lighting, a lick of paint and a re-equipped consulting room. The selection of frames on offer has been refreshed and some new ranges will be introduced.  

Although there is a new look, the branch will open with the same familiar faces, as well as some new optometrists joining the team.  

Patrick & Menzies Partner and Dispensing Optician Dan Edwards, said: “As a proudly independent optician Patrick & Menzies has been looking after people’s eyes for more than 30 years. Our professional team always goes the extra mile to take care of our patients and make sure their eyecare is the best it can be.   

“We are really excited to be taking on the Manningtree branch, which will offer fantastic service to customers as well as a greater selection of frames. We are delighted that although Stephen Priem is retiring, he will continue to be a familiar face at the branch, working a reduced number of days alongside new optometrists joining the team.”   

Due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, Patrick & Menzies still has an appointment-only policy, so please call 01206 392529 to book before visiting the branch.

Find out more about our new Manningtree branch.

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Brand Spotlight | Ray-Ban

Think of Ray-Ban and it’s pretty likely you will conjure up an image of stylish sunglasses worn by the glitterati.

In reality, this high-end brand has so much more to offer than that (though it’s fair to say their sunglasses are pretty spectacular).

The brand was born in the 1930s when US Air Force pilots needed to protect their eyes from the sun. Since then, Ray-Ban has shown the sky’s the limit when it comes to creating stylish eyewear.

The Ray-Ban range bills itself as timelessly classic and fearlessly modern and includes a wide spectrum of styles.

These are much more than just spectacle frames. As Ray-Ban explains, they are: “a weapon of self-expression to match how you see the world and how the world sees you.”

Read on for our top pick of Ran-Ban frames in stock at Patrick & Menzies at the moment.


RAY BAN – 5279 – 5775

RAY BAN - 5279 - 5775 1

In mottled browns, these neutral specs are an exciting alternative to the traditional tortoiseshell. The design is bold enough to add interest without being over the top.

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RAYBAN – 3547V – 2502

RAYBAN - 3547V - 2502 14

Looking for a classic style of specs? These are just the ticket! The silver frame and curved shaping will never go out of fashion. They would look particularly good if you have a square face shape.

Find out more >


RAYBAN – 8415 – 2503

RAYBAN - 8415 - 2503 11

Black frames coupled with angular shaping result in a serious pair of glasses that really mean business. These would work really well if you have a rounded face shape.

Find out more >


RAY BAN – 4440-N – 6356/XO

RAY BAN - 4440-N - 6356/XO 1

We love these Ray-Ban shades which show that the brand has so much more to offer than just the classic Aviator style. Need help picking your perfect pair of sunglasses? Check out another of our blogs  ‘Why are sunglasses important?’. 

Find out more > 


RAYBAN JUNIOR – 1584 – 3686

RAYBAN JUNIOR - 1584 - 3686 1

Ray-Ban frames aren’t just for adults. We stock a selection of Ray-Ban Junior glasses for kids, too. These deep blue specs pack a real punch and are a great example of what you can expect from the junior range.

Find out more >


Did you know you can browse our extensive range of frames online? Once you have selected the pair – or pairs – you like, with just the click of a button we can have them ready for you to try on when you come in for your appointment.  And if you need help picking the right frames for your face shape take a read of another of our blogs. 

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Style focus – Acetate frames

Light and comfy to wear, there is so much choice on offer when it comes to plastic spectacle frames.  

From solid colours to intricate patterns, chunky acetate to lightweight resin, you really can project your personality with a plastic frame.

With so many different frames to choose from, we have taken our pick of some of our favourite options on offer at the moment at Patrick & Menzies.



Style focus – Acetate frames News
If you are looking for pattern in your frames, plastic really is fantastic. This pair from Mattisse is a brilliant example of what can be created. A burgundy strip draws attention to the eye, coupled with a striking pattern of criss-crossed black lines, resulting in a spectacular pair of specs. 

Find out more >


Style focus – Acetate frames News 1Looking for ethical eyewear? Then Sea2See is for you. This stylish range of frames is made from abandoned fishnets and ropes collected by fishing communities off the coast of Spain. Best of all you don’t need to abandon a love of style in favour of your beliefs as the Sea2See range fulfils in both areas by the bucket-load. These beautiful two-toned frames are a great example of what’s on offer from Sea2See.
Find out more >



Style focus – Acetate frames News 2In a muted red, these Silhouette specs show that plastic can just as easily be sleek as well as chunky.  

Find out more >



TIFFANY – 2189 

Style focus – Acetate frames News 3
Feminine without being overly girly, these dusky pink frames are proof that Tiffany really does know how to create standout eyewear. The sparkle along the sides is the perfect final touch.  

Find out more >


Style focus – Acetate frames News 4
Plastic frames don’t need to be brightly coloured. This perfect pair from Amporio Armani is classically shaped and superbly stylish. 

Find out more > 



Style focus – Acetate frames News 5So, we may have just mentioned that plastic frames don’t have to be colourful, but if you do want to brighten up your look, they offer a fantastic way to do just that. For people who like bolder colours and patterns when it comes to their glasses, Wolf Eyewear is a great place to start. This pair makes us think of sipping cocktails on a tropical beach – and what could be nicer than that? 

Find out more >


Did you know you can browse the range of glasses frames on offer from Patrick & Menzies from the comfort of your home? Why not take a look.

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What happens at a child’s eye test?

Keeping on top of your child’s eye health from an early age is so important.

As well as allowing any issues to be addressed early on, taking your child to the opticians from a young age can help make the experience part of the norm, ensuring they get into good habits.

The best time to start coming for regular eye checks is around the age of two. However, if there is a family history of vision problems then it would pay to book in even earlier.

Patrick & Menzies’ Dan Edwards explained: “At the very least we recommend children have their eyes checked out before they start school. We want to make sure any issues are addressed as early as possible, even if it takes some time to resolve them.

“If visual problems aren’t picked up, not only may that child have difficulty seeing clearly and struggle to keep up with their learning as a result, but it can also sometimes lead to other issues in the classroom such as poor attention span and disruptive behaviour.

“Sometimes when children are struggling with their sight, they will respond by going into themselves, while others may express this through bad behaviour.”
If you are looking to have your child’s eyes tested for the first time, just give us a call and book an appointment. Try to talk to your child in advance about why you will be coming for the appointment and what will happen, so they can arrive calm and confident about what to expect.

Explain that they will need to sit in a big chair, and the lighting may be dimmed for some of the tests.

As well as assessing the general health of the child’s eyes, the optometrist will check their vision in a number of different ways to understand how well they can see. It’s not difficult or scary – they just need to give easy, straightforward answers to the questions the optometrist asks, and at the end they might even get a sticker for coming along!

Don’t worry if your child isn’t talking much yet or is unable to recognise the alphabet, as there are other methods that can be used to assess the health of their eyes.

Dan explained: “The optometrist will be able to get lots of information from the parent or carer about what the child will and will not understand. For those children who can’t yet read letters, pictures of familiar objects can be used instead. These are specifically designed to replicate the same results as if they were reading the letters chart.

“If the child is very young, we will use retinoscopy techniques where we shine a light in the eye and assess how it reflects off the retina. We can see how it moves and judge if it the child is normal sighted, short sighted or long sighted.

“It’s normal for young children to be slightly long sighted, this resolves as the child grows. The optometrist will be able to judge if their vision is as expected for their age.”

As part of the examination the optometrist will be checking for stereo vision – or in other words if the eyes are working together as they should – by showing them a series of pictures, which should look 3D.

If the child is able to recognise numbers, they will also be tested for colour deficiency. They will be asked to look at an image made up of different coloured dots and say if they can see a number hidden within it.

Usually, children should have an eye examination once a year, unless any issues are spotted and then it will be more frequently.

Should you discover your child needs glasses, we have a great range to choose from at Patrick & Menzies. Take a look at all of our children’s glasses currently in stock.

Call us to book an appointment or book online

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Making sure your vision is the best it can be

If you are due an eye test, need to replace your glasses or are thinking of switching to contact lenses then look no further – Patrick & Menzies is here to help!

As a proudly independent opticians we have been looking after people’s eyes for more than 30 years and have always done things a little bit differently to the competition.

With branches in Braintree, Brightlingsea and Mersea, we have the added benefit of being based in market town and seaside locations which mean that it’s much easier to find a parking space nearby than in the centre of a bigger town and you may even get to enjoy the local area after your appointment.

There are lots of other reasons to support our local, independent business. Here are just a few.


Your vision matters to us. That’s why we give longer for our eye examinations than many opticians, allowing our optometrists the time they need to assess all aspects of your vision and eye health.

Our aim is for all of our patients to leave feeling listened to, fully informed and reassured that their eyes are taken care of, whether it’s a routine check-up or an appointment about a specific concern or symptom that’s bothering them. We’ll never rush you or dismiss your worries.

Once we have examined every aspect of your vision and eye health, we will take the time to clearly explain any changes that have occurred and explore what we can do to help.


When you book an appointment at Patrick & Menzies you can be confident in the skills and expertise of all of our staff.

Every member of the team, from our optical assistants and dispensers to our optometrists, is continually developing their knowledge and expertise to ensure the information we provide to you is bang up to date.

The technology we use to assess your eyes is also regularly updated.


When picking your glasses frames our team is on hand to help you select the perfect pair. We can offer advice on which frames will best meet your needs, taking into account fit, comfort, and suitability for your lenses.


The fit of your glasses plays an important part in how well they work for you, so it is always best to go to a dispensing optician when buying new frames.

That’s why as well as taking accurate measurements, we also take the time to understand what you need from your glasses to make sure you get the very best from them.

When your frames are ready for collection, pop in and we can do any final adjustments to make sure they fit just right.

Our patients tell us this is particularly useful when there has been a significant change to their prescription or they’re trying out a new type of lens for the first time.

And if your glasses should become uncomfortable or slip, we will be happy to adjust or refit them.

After care

If the worst does happen and your glasses break, don’t worry – we can more than likely fix them.

Just pop into one of our branches and in most cases, we will be able to repair them while you wait.

If you bought your glasses from us, we won’t charge for small fixes like new screws or nose-pads. If it’s something more serious then we can send them to our repairers.

If you are concerned about your eyesight, or are due a regular check-up please do give us a call to book an appointment.


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Colour focus | Neutral tones

Your glasses make up a central part of your look so selecting your next pair is a really important decision – especially if you need to wear them throughout the day. 

Alongside feeling comfortable in terms of fit, you need to make sure the shape and colouring suit your style. The last thing you want is opt for pair that make you feel self-conscious or out of your comfort zone. 

In previous blogs we have looked at both cool and warm toned frames. This time it’s the turn of neutral frames, which as well as offering timeless style have the added benefit of going with any outfit. So, if you do decide to change your wardrobe, your specs will still look great! 

Here are just some of our favourite pairs of neutral frames in stock at Patrick & Menzies at the moment. 

HERO – 4297

Colour focus | Neutral tones NewsA wood grain-like fleck adds real interest to these natural-toned frames from Hero. They certainly prove than opting for something neutral in colour doesn’t translate to meaning dull.  

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POLO – 2155 

Colour focus | Neutral tones News 1Cool and clear these Polo frames ooze sophistication. The rectangular shaping would really suit someone with a round or oval face (though to be fair people with oval shaping can take their pick as they tend to suit most styles!).  

Find our more >




Colour focus | Neutral tones News 2The design of these Puccini frames really does help to accentuate the eye. The rich brown split pattern borders the lenses and extends along the sides. Tear drop detailing around the hinge completes the look. 

Find out more  >



Colour focus | Neutral tones News 3
You can rely on Walter & Herbert to create stunning, top-quality frames. This pair combines mottled greys and black with almost cat-eye shaping to create a pair of glasses that are stylish without being showy. 

Find out more >



Colour focus | Neutral tones News 4
The soft, natural colouring of these Silhouette specs is lifted to another level by thin, dark stripes running across the front of the frames. The interesting design is sure to draw attention to your eyes for all the right reasons. 

 Find out more >


Did you know you can browse our extensive range of frames online? Once you have selected the pair – or pairs – you like, with just the click of a button we can have them ready for you to try on when you come in for your appointment.  And if you need help picking the right frames for your face shape take a read of another of our blogs.  

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Hay fever eyecare

Watery eyes, runny nose, constant sneezing – for many these are signs that summer is on the way and hay fever season has kicked in. 

Starting as early as March in the UK, hay fever season continues throughout the summer, though depending on what you are allergic to you may only suffer from symptoms for a portion of that time. 

But what exactly is hay fever? 

Charlotte Wearmouth, Optometrist and Patrick & Menzies Partner, explained: “Hay fever is essentially an allergic reaction to pollen – mainly either from trees or grass. Usually, you will be exposed to the pollen by breathing it in. The body sees the pollen as something harmful, which triggers your immune system. A chemical called histamine is then released and this causes the blood vessels to widen alongside an increase in mucous production which will leave you feeling congested with a runny nose and watery eyes. 

“Hay fever sufferers often find their eyes also become red and itchy with swelling or puffiness around the eyes caused by inflammation. Generally, if you are suffering from hay fever it will affect both of your eyes, not just one.” 

Even if you haven’t grown up with hay fever, it’s something you can develop in adulthood. And, like other allergies, you can grow out of it too.  

Over the counter treatments are usually the best course of action to combat hay fever symptoms. If you are particularly suffering with eye irritation antihistamine eye drops may ease the discomfort. 

However, Charlotte warns: “If there is no improvement in your dry, itchy, red eyes after taking antihistamines for a week, then you should make an urgent appointment at your opticians to ensure you are not suffering from a different eye condition.” 

Hay fever sufferers may benefit from reducing the amount of they wear contact lenses while experiencing symptoms, especially if using two-weekly or monthly contact lenses.  

“This is because the contact lenses could accumulate allergens over time, and glasses may provide a barrier to protect your eyes from pollen in the air,” Charlotte explained. 

Wearing sunglasses when outside can also help, again providing a barrier to protect your eyes from pollen in the air. You can check out our full range of sunglasses online

If you are concerned about your eyesight please do give us a call to book an appointment. ⠀⠀ 

We are here to look after your eyes, glasses, and contact lenses, with Covid-secure measures in place to keep everyone safe.

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Focus on sunglasses

There’s much more to wearing sunglasses than looking stylish. In fact investing in a good pair has a whole host of very real benefits. 

Why should I wear shades? 

Sunglasses lenses are tinted to cut out the ultraviolet rays (UV) from the sun, protecting your eyes and also the lids and skin around them.  

These UV rays can cause real damage to your eyes over the years, with excessive and prolonged exposure potentially leading to a number of problems such as early cataracts and macular degeneration in later life. 

If you have very blue or pale coloured eyes it’s even more important to wear sunglasses as they reduce the amount of radiation reaching the back of the eye. 

Most sunglasses offer full UV protection, cutting out UV to a level required by EU law. You can check they comply with these regulations by making sure they are labelled with the CE mark.  

What is UV 400? 

You may have heard the phrase ‘UV 400’ when talking about the best level of protection offered by sunglasses. This means they block all light rays with wavelengths up to 400 nanometers. 

It’s a bit unclear where ultraviolet ends on the spectrum and blue light begins so the 400nm mark takes in some of the blue light of the spectrum to offer even more protection to the eye. 

Dan Edwards, Patrick & Menzies Partner and Dispensing Optician, explained: “UV 400 is the belt and braces option for sunglasses. By cutting out some of the blue light it means you are definitely blocking all of the UV and this helps to further reduce glare which is particularly useful if you wear your sunglasses for driving. 

“You may also come across polarised lenses when shopping for sunglasses. This means they are designed to be even better at reducing glare and they make a huge difference to the comfort of your vision.” 

Most off the shelf sunglasses conform to the UV 400 measure, while our prescription sunglasses are made to order and we can make sure the tint is dark enough to filter out all of the UV. 

Should children wear sunglasses? 

As most damage caused by UV light is accrued over a number of years it really is of benefit for children to get used to wearing sunglasses from a young age. 

Dan added: “The skin around a child’s eyes is delicate and wearing sunglasses is probably as important as having sun cream on their faces. If they need to wear normal glasses all the time, ideally, they should have prescription sunglasses to wear outside on bright days.” 

How do I pick the right pair? 

When choosing your sunglasses, it’s important you pick a pair that is comfortable both when it comes to the fit of the frames and the tint of the lens. 

Lenses come in many different colours from grey and blue to green and brown and the right one for you will simply be down to personal preference. Get it wrong and your vision will feel uncomfortable. 

When shopping for sunglasses try to go on a sunny day so you can test them out and try three or four different options to find the right one. 

In terms of frames, choose a pair that is slightly bigger than standard glasses and is fairly tight fitting, but not so much that the lenses steam up. If they are very flat fronted you may end up seeing a reflection of your own eye in the lens which can be distracting so try to choose a frame that is slightly curved. 

Check out our selection of sunglasses online

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