AS the post-Christmas blues settle in there is only one solution — Retail Therapy! So I thought what better time to go and explore Westfield London (ahhh Westfield, that ‘little’ company from Down Under). A big shopping centre may be a random thing to have in London’s Top 100 but when you consider it is the largest shopping centre in Europe with over 275 shops and over 50 restaurants and cafes you can soon imagine why it can be considered a day out!
I decided to check out the Westfield at Shepherd’s Bush (there is also an Olympic sized one at Stratford City). I was armed with my Christmas money and credit cards and ready for the post-Christmas sales. When I arrived, I wandered through the first entrance I could find and was suddenly in ‘The Village’. This is the luxury section of the shopping centre including brands like Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Prada and Tiffany and Co among many others. It is also equipped with its own Champagne Bar where you can sip on champagne and canapés while you watch other shoppers shop. It’s a beautiful space but let’s face it — even with the most discounted of sales there is no way I would be spending money in this section so I moved swiftly on.
As I emerged from The Village I soon saw a few of the more High Street stores like Zara and Topshop and immediately felt more at home. So I got stuck into my shopping ! As I wandered through the centre I was overwhelmed at the size of these stores and amazed at the amount of shops and brands that were available. Westfield boasts stores from over 15 countries and I was really happy to spot a few Aussie brands such as Ugg thrown in there. One of my favourite discoveries was a Boost Juice bar. Back home I practically lived on Boost Juice and have been missing their delicious fruit smoothies so I was extremely happy to stumble upon this treat!
Shopping can work up an appetite and Westfield have catered for this with places to eat and drink popping up all over the place. There is a main food court which is host to little cafes and food bars where you can pick up a quick snack. Or if you want to sit down and rest over a meal there is the The Southern Terraces outside with a few different restaurants. If you’re heading to the movies there is the Loft which has a few places like Nando’s or Pizza Express to grab a bite before the flick. For me it was a sandwich from Pret before I headed back into the throng of shoppers.
After a few hours I was knackered, my budget was blown and I had bags full of clothes and shoes that I probably don’t need or won’t wear but I have to say it was a fun day out. For me Westfield isn’t the kind of place to pop into to pick up one thing but when you are on a mission for a new season coat, an outfit for a party or a special gift, it’s the place to go because the range is just so broad. Even with my wallet feeling a little lighter, my day out at Westfield did the trick and my retail therapy cured my post-Christmas blues. Now all I have to do is find room to store all my bargains! – AAP