Swindon Designer Outlet Part 2

Swindon Designer Outlet | McArthurGlen | Christmas Shopping

If you have read Swindon Designer Outlet Part 1, you will know that a couple of Saturday’s ago, myself and Jo went wild in the aisles and shopped until we dropped at McArthurGlen Swindon. And by dropped I mean, we both spent far too much money and promptly fell asleep on the train home. Our mission as part of The Gift Hunter Challenge was to find Christmas presents for three of our nearest and dearest. With the promise of The Cadbury Store, blogger (and personal!) favourite Yankee Candle and Ed’s Diner, and an eggnog latte or two, it sounded less like a challenge, and more like the perfectly indulgent girly afternoon out!

To fully embrace the Christmas spirit, I wore my snowflake jumper from Matalan* and subtly festive beret from Gallic Rooster*.

Swindon Designer Outlet | McArthurGlen | Christmas ShoppingSwindon Designer Outlet | McArthurGlen | Christmas ShoppingSwindon Designer Outlet | McArthurGlen | Christmas Shopping

After a few hours browsing and admiring all of the lovely things, we made the difficult executive decision to head to Wagamama to have an in-depth discussion about Strictly Come Dancing what we wanted to purchase. Here are the items that are now patiently waiting under the tree.

Swindon Designer Outlet | McArthurGlen | Christmas Shopping

The store I spent the most time and money in, and I’m not ashamed to say this, was Hornby. I am so ridiculously pleased with what I bought from the store and also, with the incredible customer service I received whilst there. Following advice from the very knowledgeable manager, James, I decided on what I wanted to buy for my dad, a life long model train fan. He often gets somewhat forgotten about at Christmas, his annual gift of a box of Liquorice Allsorts from every member of the family being hilarious to everyone but him, so I wanted to give the old boy something special this year. As soppy as it sounds, being able to give my dad the above gifts will be the highlight of my Christmas Day, especially as I am back to work on Boxing Day! I did blow over half of my budget in Hornby, but I don’t think any of the other recipients will mind.

Swindon Designer Outlet | McArthurGlen | Christmas ShoppingSwindon Designer Outlet | McArthurGlen | Christmas Shopping

My favourite auntie really loves Christmas and makes the whole family a small stocking every year full to the brim with small but uniquely personal gifts, which we open just before our Christmas dinner. It’s probably my favourite of our family traditions. To say thank you, I decided to put together a rather special stocking of treats just for her, including a gorgeous Bobbi Brown set from Cosmetic Company Store.

Swindon Designer Outlet | McArthurGlen | Christmas Shopping Swindon Designer Outlet | McArthurGlen | Christmas Shopping

These two gifts are for one of my BFF’s. Although there are several specialist bag shops at the outlet, including Osprey London, Antler, Radley and Fiorelli, it was this gorgeous blue French Connection bag that caught my eye. I think it will make a perfectly casual but fun day bag. My friend has been super supportive this year, and as she is a fellow Yankee Candle obsessive, I couldn’t leave without popping in to purchase my last perfect present! I spent far too long choosing the most festive Yankee Candle from their vast selection, and I really hope I made the right choice. Just another 23 days to find out!

If all these goodies have got you in the mood for a little festive shopping, as a little Christmas gift from me to you, to get an extra 10% off during your trip to McArthurGlen, just click here!


Swindon Designer Outlet Part 1

She and Hem: Swindon Designer Outlet

Having grown up in a town that lies between Bristol and Bath, I can assure you that neither city was quite the shopping destination that they can now both claim to be. For myself and my friends it was either Topshop, Pilot and Claire’s in Bath or, errr,  Topshop, Pilot and Claire’s in Bristol. Cheers, then. It was for that reason that we used to very often board the train to Swindon to visit their Designer Outlet where we would spend many a happy afternoon picking out our new knickers Kickers for school (showing my age terribly here) or buying the biggest, warmest GAP hoodie we could find.

It was a nice nostalgia filled surprise then, when an email landed in our inbox inviting us to come check out what’s new at the McArthurGlen owned centre. I probably hadn’t been back to the outlet since maybe 2004 and was instantly very curious to revisit this shopping haunt of my past. As it turns out, we’ve both been doing a lot of growing up!

She and Hem: Swindon Designer OutletShe and Hem: Swindon Designer OutletShe and Hem: Swindon Designer Outlet

The first thing I did on arrival was to appologise to Victoria for having never told her about the place. As she got massively overexcited at seeing a Cadbury factory shop and I lost my composure at the sight of a Ted Baker outlet, we both realised that despite having a lot of great shops on our doorstep, there’s always time for a good discount. We spent an embarrassing amount of time looking around all of the many (over 90!) stores on offer, only pausing for breath for a cheeky Wagamamas (soy happy). We left with so many bags we could barely carry them all!

She and Hem: Swindon Designer OutletShe and Hem: Swindon Designer Outlet

She and Hem: Swindon Designer Outlet
Hat from Fox and Feather, jumper from Matalan* (menswear), top from M&S and jeans from Topshop

We weren’t being completely self-indulgent though as we had in-fact been set the challenge of buying Christmas presents for three of our nearest and dearest for under £250…..as well something for ourselves for under £100. OK, that’s pretty darn indulgent but let’s go with it. So, without further ado, here are my results! Mum, if you’re reading this, STOP READING THIS.

She and Hem: Swindon Designer Outlet

I began with my other half who, as you might have already guessed, is a big kid. I knew the moment Victoria took me into the Hornby shop (more on that from her in part 2) that I wasn’t going to leave without some sort of train set for the railroad-tycoon-sorta-chap I married. It’s also, really, a present for my nephew (an actual child) as I know the two of them will be playing with it for years to come. I plumped for a Christmas themed set as a) it will look so cute around the bottom of our Christmas tree and b) I will only have to deal with tripping over train tracks once a year. SMART. On the hunt for another gift, I spotted the Cold Brew Bottle in Whittard and knew it would make the perfect addition to all of his tea and coffee related paraphernalia. I rounded things off with some chocolate from Lindt……..I am hopeful that I might get a few sneaky squares!

She and Hem: Swindon Designer OutletShe and Hem: Swindon Designer Outlet

Next up for a bit of Christmas spoiling was my lovely Mum (WHO SHOULD NO LONGER BE READING THIS BY THE WAY). I knew before I arrived that I would be heading to Radley for her main gift as she is obsessed with that little dog and it’s not the sort of thing I would usually be able to afford for her! I spent quite a lot of time umming and ahhing over the range of bags and was so pleasantly surprised at the very heavy discounting on offer! I ended up paying under £50, which is a pretty good deal for a Radley! I had already picked her up some Lindt and decided a Christmasy Yankee Candle would finish things off nicely. Luckily for Mum (WHO HAD BETTER NOT BE READING THIS) I then spotted her beloved Origins GinZing eyecream in The Cosmetics Company Store for at least a fiver cheaper than it would be on the high street and threw that in for her too. What a nice daughter I am.

She and Hem: Swindon Designer Outlet She and Hem: Swindon Designer Outlet

Finally it was the turn of my teenage cousin who also ended up with some goodies from The Cosmetics Company Store! The trio of Bobbi Brown goodies above set me back a cool £30 which is pretty insane value and I’ll admit I am very tempted to keep that lipstick for myself! I picked up the bow bag from M&S because I considered it to be well trendy and added a salted caramel Yankee Candle because everyone knows that it’s the absolute best.

She and Hem: Swindon Designer Outlet She and Hem: Swindon Designer Outlet

It was then on to buying stuff for me! Hooray! I knew that I wanted to buy some sort of sparkly Christmas outfit and having narrowed down my options to about 34 different dresses I finally took the plunge in French Connection and bought the beauty you see above, along with a lovely gold bag to go with it. I had a little bit of money left over which went on another salted caramel candle for yours truly! It’s the best, remember? I buy myself the greatest presents!

What do you think of my choices? Will it be a very merry Christmas?

I will definitely be seeing you again soon Swindon Designer Outlet. Thanks for a great day! To see what Christmas goodies Victoria purchased, check out Part 2.