I’ve always loved shopping. As a teenager, the potential to go on a shopping trip armed with as much pocket or Saturday job money as I could scrabble together and potentially blow the lot on whatever it was I found and fell for whilst browsing my favourite stores was always my ultimate way to get to spend time. Now, no matter how much online shopping is great when you’re talking convenience there really still is nothing like spending a day browsing and finding gems you didn’t even know you needed in your life.
Post sponsored by Bentall Centre Kingston.
With the end of pregnancy near and the arrival of Baby Thorne imminent I knew my opportunities for a day spent mooching around the shops, browsing at leisure and enjoying a nice lunch in peace are definitely numbered. So when I was invited down to the Bentall Centre in Kingston to do just that I was keen to make the most of it.
The Bentall Centre – Kingston
In the decade I had been living in London I had never made the trip to Kingston to visit the Bentall Centre but had heard about it from friends who lived in the area. When I looked up the store list of what is there I got really excited – it was basically a who’s-who list of my favourite stores. All in one building.
From all my favourite beauty brands being housed in Bentalls (a Fenwick store) including a large Charlotte Tilbury counter, MAC, Benefit, Dior, Khiels… to stand alone stores for the likes of NYX cosmetics. Then for fashion there’s & Other Stories, Zara and COS. Plus they have home-wear and stationary favourites like KiKiK, Oliver Bonas and my all time favourite home store West Elm that recently opened its second UK store there. Plus of course a selection of great places to refuel – from the usual fast food outlets to other more sit-down type of options.
The centre itself is a very short walk from Kingston Station and is quite impressive. All housed under a glass roof with escalators, walkways and lifts cross crossing the airy foyer space.
New season – new look
Apart from having a generally enjoyable day shopping, my aim for the day was ALL about the NEW. With the big old life change of baby arriving soon plus the general seasons changing I was very much in the mood to shop and pick up a few treats to give my wardrobe, beauty routine and more a little fresh feel.
I don’t know what it is, but the fact I’m hopefully soon to be able to expand my wardrobe beyond the baggy, elasticated maternity options that have been my uniform for the last few months has me VERY excited to shop. Being able to browse around and see things in person too was a great way of getting my head around what sort of items I want to add to my wardrobe for my ‘new mum’ style. So far I’ve established I want to still have comfort as my focus so will mostly be filling my wardrobe with cosy but lovely jumpers, jeans or slightly looser trousers and the all important awesome trainers. I definitely have a thing for trainers at the moment and one of my favourite discoveries from browsing The Bentall Centre was that & Other Stories has one of the coolest selections of footwear out there. And jewellery for that matter. Definitely a new favourite store and 100% that really does ‘shine’ when browsed in person rather than online in my opinion.
Beauty counters galore – Bentall Centre
One of the other things I love about spending a day shopping is the chance to browse beauty stores. Whilst I’m lucky to get to see and try so many new launches via the blog – there’s still a whole different experience of checking them out on counter or browsing the beauty aisles. You get to see what catches your eye when in amongst other products. Plus being able to see a whole range in one place rather than just the latest and greatest can be a great way to discover new hero products.
Which is exactly what happened as I had a skincare appointment on the Khiels Counter in Bentalls. I got to spend some time chatting to the consultant on counter about my skin and what I wanted to address. Plus I enjoyed a custom facial with the products she selected for my skin. But I also got to browse the shelves – which was a reminder that they have an insanely big range of products. I had forgotten they cover everything from hair care to a range of specific ‘problem solvers’ and of course an extensive range for men (I hadn’t forgotten this as Ollie loves Khiels!)
NYX – Bentall Centre
Definitely another massive plus point to taking that time to browse! The same has to be said for a couple of the other beauty store in The Bentall Centre – a large NYX store that’s newly opened there. I felt like a kid in a candy store in here. So many products, so much colour and such good prices! Top picks for me – the new lip oil, the liquid highlighters, and the butter gloss products. But this is 100% one of those stores where there’s something for everyone – if you want to create a rainbow/glitter makeup look or if you want to keep things subtle. NYX has SO much to choose from!
Natural Beauty – Panacea, Bentall Centre
I also loved browsing the Panacea store which is a healthy beauty and lifestyle store. Because it was right before Mother’s Day when I went to browse they had lots of mum & pregnancy focused items in store and gave me a sample of some tea especially designed for mums or mums to be… I’m not sure what gave away the fact I was pregnant.. oh yes, maybe the whole ‘look like you’re snuggling a watermelon’ thing… I took the chance to shop here for some of the natural & herbal bits and bobs that I’ve been recommend for towards the end of pregnancy like Raspberry Leaf Tea and Arnica. But they also feature some gorgeous natural beauty brands like Pacifica, Antipodes, Burt’s Bees and Weleda (plus loads more).
Retail therapy lunch break – Maison Du Mezze
Then, in amongst all the shopping it was a good time to take a load off and a bit of a breather from the retail therapy with a spot of lunch. The latest opening in The Bentall Centre is Maison Du Mezze. A Lebanese restaurant that’s the perfect place to refresh in amongst all the shopping. The food is DELICIOUS – with the smaller sized Mezze plates or sharing platters being perfect way to try a bit of everything without over doing it. I can also really recommend the non-alcoholic cocktails/juices. So refreshing! The setting is lovely too, probably because my favourite colour is turquoise I just loved the little booths and metallic tables. They’ve definitely brought a dose of the Middle East to Kingston.
Definitely one to recommend trying out – and make sure you have some of the traditional tea to finish your meal off. It’s delicious!
The new season shopping haul – The Bentall Centre
So what were the treats that made it home with me after my lovely day browsing and lunching in Kingston?
Well, I picked up a bit of everything to cover of a new season feel across beauty, home and my wardrobe!
I choose a gorgeous cosy jumper in the perfect shade of pink for Spring from & Other Stories. Plus two pairs of earrings – one silver and one gold as I’ve been recently stepping out of my usual gold comfort zone and embracing the silver side of accessory life.
I chose a pretty reed diffuser from Oliver Bonas that I’ve had my eye on since Christmas. I love that they sell these pretty, empty diffusers so I can fill it with my fragrance of choice and then re-fill each time rather than throw away. I’m on the hunt now for the perfect Spring fragrance to fill it with and getting my home as Spring fresh as possible ahead of baby Thorne making an appearance.
Then of course I couldn’t leave without a beauty purchase! I was given a great selection of samples from Khiels – including one of their new face mask that’s just lovely. But I also paid a visit to the Dior counter as I wanted to check out the new Lip Glow range. I love the original lip glow and decided to pick up one of the new ones in a bright pink shade. The texture of these is gorgeous for every day – light enough to apply easily and sheer enough to be low maintenance. A nice fresh alternative to the matte lip!
Shopping heaven – The Bentall Centre, Kingston
I had a lovely day down in Kingston exploring The Bentall Centre. I would really recommend paying it a visit. It’s really easy to get to (a short train ride from Waterloo) and close to the station.
For more information on The Bentall Centre or to plan your visit: www.bentallcentre.co.uk