Qype: Westfield Shopping Centre in London

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I make no secret of the fact that I absolutely love shopping, although I prefer to go at times that are a little quieter so that I’m not waiting in endless queues or being elbowed out of the way whilst browsing the sale racks. This is why I absolutely HATE shopping on Oxford Street as soon as we begin to even vaguely approach Christmas time. So, for a change, my boyfriend and I decided to head to Shepherd’s Bush and explore the enormous shopping mall that is Westfield.

I must admit, I was rather dubious about this place – I expected it to be crammed, busy and generic – but it wasn’t. There are several different parts to the mall – first, there’s ‘The Village’ where you’ll find the places that I can only dream of being able to afford to shop in: Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co, Burberry etc. I had a little nose around in these places, but everything costs about a squillion pounds and the ludicrously well turned-out shop assistants and their burly security guard chums don’t make you feel very welcome. After a very short while I felt it was time to seek out the more familiar environs of H&M, New Look, Topshop and Accessorize.

My enormous salad - yum!

In this place you’ll find every generic high street store you can think of, and as they’re all flagship stores they’re all huge and incredibly well-laid out. It’s an absolutely pleasure to shop here. The sheer enormity of the place is quite dizzying though – you could easily lose an entire day wandering around (which we pretty much did).

My favourite part of Westfield though, was the food court. There’s a Pho (Vietnamese street food), a Mexican canteen, a mini Indian restaurant, Italian food, salad bars, a fish and chip place… it smells absolutely divine. I went to a little place called Ooze Risotteria where I had the most enormous salad for the bargain price of £7.95. Utterly delicious.

Check out my review of Westfield Shopping Centre – I am Alice_Reeves – on Qype

Qype: T.K Maxx in Brighton

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Whether I’m a fan of TK Maxx depends very much on what mood I happen to be in when I decide to go shopping. Some days I like my clothes beautifully presented, colour co-ordinated and categorised by label or style – effortless shopping. Other days I like to take to places like Snooper’s Paradise, charity shops or here. The reason TK Maxx falls into the latter category is because, although an established High Street name, it appears to be somewhere between a jumble sale and a factory outlet. I have yet to see a tidy, easy to navigate branch. Although roughly categorised by gender and type of garment, that’s as far as it goes. If you want to find anything remotely useful in here, be patient and prepared to do some serious digging. And definitely don’t go on a Saturday.

Although I have found the odd clothing or shoe bargain in here (including a gorgeous pair of ethically made suede-style, beaded flip-flops for £20 only last week), the place where TK Maxx really stands out is their homeware and furnishings section. My most recent bargains have included a set of pretty, ceramic coffee, tea and sugar jars (ex-Debenhams stock) for £2.99 each and king-sized duvet covers sets for a fraction of the price you’d pay in the shops.

TK Maxx is fabulous for kitchen things, especially frying pans, kitchen knives, teapots, coffee-makers and sprung cake tins. In fact, I would recommend bypassing the first floor completely and heading straight to the top to re-stock your kitchen with everything you never knew you needed.

Check out my review of T.K Maxx – I am Alice_Reeves – on Qype