Thursday, 21 November 2013

Celebrating Westfield's 5th Birthday

A couple of weeks ago, the lovely team at Westfield London invited me over to help celebrate their fifth birthday. Seeing as it’s been about 20 years since I’ve actually celebrated a fifth birthday, I couldn’t resist. Besides, this was a little less pass-the-parcel and much more shop-til-you-drop with a side of delicious food. Westfield is on my way home so I need little no persuasion to make a detour to head inside so popping in with a legitimate reason for retail therapy was very welcome. I was greeted by lots of smiley helpers who gave me a handy guide to all of the discounts which were available for the night as well as a cute pop-up featuring all of the limited edition birthday jumpers which I blogged about a couple of weeks ago.

I started my evening with some food, after all you can’t shop on an empty stomach you need fuel! Between Wagamamas, Busaba, Balans, The Meat Co and Bill’s, I was spoilt for choice with some of my favourite places but Byron just cinched it. I went for “the usual” which is the chilli burger with courgette fries and chocolate milkshake – incidentally I love a restaurant where you can order “the usual” and it’s delicious and consistent every time. I’m a huge burger fiend and a total Byron devotee, the chilli burger is one of my favourite burgers in London, I think the green jalapenos and chipotle mayo work so well with the juicy beef and cheese. And don’t get me started on the addictive courgette fries.

Suitably fuelled, I began shopping. I won’t bore you with the details; I’d rather share my purchases. I went a little tartan crazy like most of the high street stores and picked up a super cute red tartan kilt from Topshop and a pair of more muted berry tartan trousers from Zara which have totally become my work favourites. I also picked up a basic slate grey jumper from River Island which has some cute elbow patches. I have a secret penchant for grey jumpers, they tend to go with everything and they’re a great grounding for my wardrobe which is a mix of colours and prints. I also got a chunky gold chain necklace from Topshop.

Suitably clothes shopped out, I needed  a lipstick to pep up my face to match my new tartans. A bright lipstick aficionado, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and try a more muted shade suitable for daytime but I wanted it to be very matte. I thought Mac would be the answer to my lipstick prayers but alas, the Westfield store is almost as busy as the Pro store in Carnaby Street so I stood around forever unsuccessfully swatching lipsticks on the back of my hand. Same problem at Bobbi Brown too. The secret to buying lipstick, I discovered, is heading to House of Fraser who sell most brands (bar Mac) under one roof. I ended up trying a Nars lipstick which I absolutely love and it’s been on my lips pretty much since I bought it. Super matte and very pigmented, it’s slightly more expensive than Mac but worth it if you want a deep colour. I can’t wait to head back and try a bold shade in matte.

After that tiring spot of retail therapy, I ended my evening with a trip to the cinema. I settled down to watch Captain Phillips which is an incredible movie, Tom Hanks has to be in the running for an Oscar. Weeks later and I’m still raving about it, now it’s your turn so book tickets and tell me what you thought!

Thank you to Westfield London for a lovely evening of delicious food, retail therapy, beauty treats and a pirate tale as the cherry on top.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Join Westfield's 5th Birthday Party

Westfield London is five years old. For me, it’s really hard to remember what London was like PW (pre-Westfield). The shopping centre giant seems as much a part of London as Topshop’s flagship on Oxford Street. In fact, I actually prefer shopping in Westfield to Oxford Street, particularly at Christmas – I’ve actually managed to begin and end ALL of my Christmas shopping in a single trip there. Although we now have two Westfields bookending London, the original is definitely my favourite so I’m really looking forward celebrating its upcoming birthday. 

To celebrate, Westfield have a super exciting pop up shop with fashion exclusives from the likes of LK Bennett, Hugo Boss, Ted Baker and Reiss as well as a collection of limited edition sweatshirts designed by Louise Gray, Richard Nicoll, Sophia Webster, Peter Pilotto and Thomas Tait with all proceeds going to Save The Children. With only 300 of each sweatshirt being produced, you better get down to Westfield tomorrow to snap one up and celebrate! 

Louise Gray
Peter Pilotto
Richard Nicoll
Sophia Webster
Thomas Tait

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Girl's night out at Westfield London

There’s nothing like a girly trip to Westfield. With all the favourites including Dune, Oasis, Miss Selfridge and New Look are in close proximity, Westies (as I like to call it) is a little piece of weatherproof shopping heaven. Along with the hundreds of shops, it’s also home to almost 50 restaurants, ideal for a post shopping refuel or a girl’s night out.  Last week, I experienced the latter thanks to lovely guys at Westfield and I’ve got to say, it was the perfect venue for a chilled out girl’s night out.

I grabbed four of my favourite girls, Jenny from The Style PA, stylist Frankie and the gorgeous Maria, and headed to Balans for a night of girly gossip, delicious cocktails and yummy food. Balans is situated on the Southern Terrace and is beautiful and slick inside, the dark wood gives a minimalist feel while the outdoor terrace area is perfect for alfresco dining in summer. Described as “modern European”, the menu had plenty of tempting dishes.

It actually took us so long to pick what we wanted to eat that we got through two bread baskets as we perused the menu! Highly impressed by the super soft, warm bread, we were eagerly anticipating our meals. I went for chicken gyoza to start followed by Thai red curry with rice for my main and it was scrumptious. The gyoza was probably the most delicious I’ve had and the Thai red curry was spicy but super flavourful. The girls were equally impressed, I think the only time we were actually quiet was when we were eating! As I was still suffering from tonsillitis, I was on fresh mint tea which was just what the doctor ordered, while the other girls indulged in some rather impressive cocktails.

 Oh and there were the desserts. Hello, thin apple tart. The name really, really does not do this culinary masterpiece justice. All I will say is that it comes with salted caramel icecream, and yes it really is as good as it sounds! In fact, I had such a great experience I returned less than a week later and had another superb experience.

If you haven’t experienced a girly night out at Westfield yet, you really should, I can’t recommend it highly enough. There are so many restaurants to choose from (go to Balans) and both the tube and overground are super close by. If you’re a driver like me, definitely take advantage of the valet service – by the time I’d finished my meal, my car was sparkly clean and ready for me to collect. Perfect.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Westfield's AW11 style challenge: The heritage trend

Recently, I popped over to Westfield to do some hardcore retail therapy. No really, it was hard work not just a jolly! Let me explain. Their AW11 campaign is based on five key trends for this season: sequins, mod, heritage, faux fur and coats. I've got to admit, it can be a little daunting to go to Westfield with a specific item or trend in mind, the choice of stores is a little overwhelming and they all have their own trends going on. On the upside though, if you can't find what you're looking in Westfield then it probably doesn't exist anywhere! To tie in with their offline campaign, they bought in four  bloggers including yours truly to take each trend and shop it til we drop! I had a choice of sequins or heritage, sequins was the obvious choice given that I'm a fashion magpie so I chose heritage to give myself a bit of a challenge. 

Elements of the heritage trend have been around for a few seasons now; think Hunter wellies, cable knits, riding boots, tartan and tweed. Tartan always features at Vivienne Westwood and iconic British fashion houses Daks, Burberry and Mulberry are the epitome of heritage. An entire heritage look can be a little much but it's easy to give a nod to the look without going OTT, autumnal colours like mustard yellow, forest green, deep blues and rusty browns give a hint of heritage to an outfit, as well as faux fur and thick wool. You can also accessorise with a pretty brooch or plaid scarf with a knee length skirt and pussy-bow blouse. Easy peasy.

With about an hour and a half to go, I headed straight to Topshop which turned out to be heritage heaven. I wanted to go for a more subtle take on the trend and was in my element with burgundy wide leg trousers, chunky cable knit cardis, quilted coats and an abundance of heritage colours. 

This faux fur collared, oversized rust coloured boyfriend coat is an unassuming piece which epitomises and it formed the basis of my outfit. Everything I paired it with automatically looked heritage. I initially tried it on with burgundy wide leg trousers but the colours were so similar it just didn’t look right; the oversized jacket also didn’t work with the wide leg fit of the trousers. I opted for a pair of blue tapered trousers, the jewel toned hue worked well with the coat and they came with a camel coloured belt with equestrian-inspired buckle details which lent itself well to the trend. 

Here's a video of me shopping my trend! 


Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Westfield blogger style challenge

For the past week or so, Westfield London Shopping Centre have hosted a fabulous event: The Big Fashion Wardrobe. Featuring 'fashion cupboards'  from the likes of Reiss, French Connection, River Island and Ted Baker as well as fashion shows, make overs and blogger workshops run by the lovely Jenny. They also had a little blogger style competition, which they asked yours truly to take part in.

The theme was summer so I went for a Moschino-esque lemon print dress from New Look with some coral Reiss shoes, H&M belt, Alexander Wang Angela bag and my usual mish mash of jewellery.

I'd love you all forever and buy you each a slice of yummy cake if you'd take 0.5 seconds of your day to click 'like' on my page on the Westfield site.

Thank you!

Special thanks to Ginger Group for their hair styling expertise, Zaida Jubera for the gorge make up and photographer James Wicks for being a sweetheart. 

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