We hopped on the 49 bus, ready for a day of shopping.
We started the day as we meant to go on - with a champagne lunch at Searcy's Champagne bar - before hitting the shops. We stopped in at my mum's favourites - Marks & Sparks, Wallis, and Next, where she ended up spending most of her gift card (which you can spend anywhere in the centre), kindly gifted to us by Westfield.
On my mum's wish list? The perfect pair of black trousers. Above you can see a rare sight - me waiting for Mum in the changing rooms (usually it's always been the other way round, so I can't complain!). She found The Ones! A pair of blue suede flats (chosen by moi) and the perfect black trousers. Mission: accomplished. Unsurprisingly, I ended up finding a few things for myself, including a pair of navy silk shorts from Next and a pink faux fur collar, leopard print t-shirt and amazing baseball cap from H&M - photos to follow another day.
After admiring the Caroline Issa x LK Bennett shoes, we stopped for a snack - a cola bottle and brie and rocket mini baguette, YUM.
After six solid hours of shopping, we were definitely ready to drop. Luckily we had enough bags of shopping to make ample pillows for the bus ride home. Zzzzzz....
Thank you Westfield for organising our fabulous day out! We had the best time. Highlights included: seeing a four-year-old boy wearing a LEATHER BOMBER JACKET, beanie and skinny jeans, trying to drag my mum into the Disney store and failing (it will always have the same, magical allure, no matter how old I get), being completely bemused by the live DJ set in Topshop (I think my exact quote was, 'This must be what the kids like these days'), scoffing chocolate truffles and champagne, trying on COUNTLESS pairs of pink trousers and, of course, those little pieces of heaven also known as the Mr Pretzel samples tray (more on him below). Oh and thank you to my dad for being official photographer all day.
NATALIE'S GUIDE TO WESTFIELD SHEPHERDS BUSH
As you may or may not know, I used to work at NET-A-PORTER, whose HQ is inside Westfield Shepherds Bush! Consequently, I spent a LOT of hours and lunch breaks seeking out sale buys and delicious lunches. I thought it might be useful to give some of my favourite places to stop by, especially as the centre is so gigantic:
EATING & DRINKING
Marks & Spencer - people often think the only place to get pre or post shopping bubbles is Searcys Champagne bar. Little do they know that good old M&S have a pretty sweet Prosecco bar. AND when every other eaterie is PACKED at lunchtime, the little cafe on the second floor (I think) nearly always has a table free (only the old ladies seem to know about it).
Benugo - I always order ciabatta with brie and rocket and no butter/sauce. They always give me a funny look. BUT IT'S WORTH IT.
You Me Sushi - Go at 1pm on a workday and I guarantee you will see all the NAP girls standing in line for sushi at this little stall. The miso soup is some of the best I've ever tasted for takeout (but make sure you ask them to fill in up to the top, they can be a little stingy). I just checked and they do online delivery now. MY LIFE = CHANGED.
Mr Pretzel - Oh, Mr Pretzel, you draw me in with your cinnamon samples and I want MORE. Except you don't accept cards and I don't carry cash. You're maddening, Mr P. (Tip: you can go for more than one sample if you change your hat or leave a few hours between visits OR like the cheeky yoof I saw today, take two and run.)
Sacred - BEST. COFFEE. EVER. Again, a NAP haunt. And quite often very good-looking Aussie baristas for the coffee-loving perves among you. Order a flat white. They make 'em PROPA.
Topshop - especially the top floor, a lot of the good stuff is hidden there. Downstairs can be a little teeny bopper.
House of Fraser - OK, you guys, I'm gonna let you into a little secret. House of Fraser sells CÉLINE. Yup, you heard right. I'm not sure of the details but I think once upon a time a contract was set up and Céline don't seem to want to shout about it but... they have the bags and a waiting list should that micro Phantom not be on the shelves. You heard it here first.
Zara - An obvious choice but also the TRF section here is ACE.
Joseph - I LOVE this Joseph. All own brand and all the classics - cashmere sweaters and leather pants agogo.
Miu Miu - the staff in the Westfield store are super helpful and friendly, and once helped me track down a pair of polka dot platform sandals.
Next - I'd always been a bit cynical about Next - that is, until I visited this shop. They have the best stock - the stuff you tend to see in magazines but somehow doesn't seem to be available to mere mortals. Why? It's all HERE.
Hershesons Blowdry Bar - I had many a beehive concocted here during my NAP days, when I needed good hair fast for work events and parties.
Le Monde Nails - Great for a quick, cheap-ish mani when you're done with shopping. I much, MUCH prefer this to the Models Own concession.