Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Okay, I've been...

...I've seen...and...It's a shopping centre.

Many of you here in the UK will have heard about the new Westfield Shopping Centre that opened in Stratford, East London, back in September (13th Sept). It was certainly plastered all over the news and has been 'the' place to spot a celebrity or two...Nicole 'whats-her-name' who used to be engaged to Lewis Hamilton, Peter Andre and even Justin Beiber. Despite all of this I hadn't stepped across the thresh-hold. Why????

Well despite there being hundreds of shops in this new centre (approx 70 places to eat before you even start on anything else) and just about the biggest John Lewis and M&S stores - there are no 'craft' type shops of any kind and until last week the promised Foyles book store hadn't opened either.

Tuesday evening I worked late and as I walked towards the station I thought 'what the heck, why not' so in I toddled.

The Westfield Centre is a mix of in-door and out-door with the out-door areas being made to look like 'streets' with seating areas and lots of gold & white Christmas lights... poor little camera doesn't cope well with low light levels but this sort of gives you an idea of the outside.

I didn't go into many shops as I really only wanted to have a look around.

I did go into John Lewis and there is the tiniest craft department imaginable mixed in with the haberdashery...way up 'in the gods'. For a store that advertises 'never knowingly undersold' - I think they need to check a lot of their prices. I'm not a massive fan of HobbyCraft and don't find them to be that reasonably priced but I bought some sprays of flowers in HC a couple of months ago at £1.56 per spray...the same thing in JL was £3 - slight difference.

Foyles was a disappointment...I had sooooooooooo looked forward to having a book shop to wander around - what a let down. The new WHS located further along the centre had a better selection.

The layout of the centre is quite pleasant but there are a lot of units not yet ear-marked for any specific retailer. It was very crowded in the 'street' areas but the shops were relatively empty.

The Christmas decor was very tasteful with lots of elegant white & gold lights everywhere and the decor in John Lewis was beautiful - mainly red & white baubles & stars. However, I think I had built my hopes up with the thought of having a well know book store to wander round and the disappointment may well have clouded my overall view of the place. I'll probably wander over there at some point but I can't say it is somewhere that I will be raving about any time soon.....................


Paula - Buenos Aires said...

I miss M&S and WHS, specially the later. *nostalgic sigh*

Ruthie said...


Why dont you come and visit our libraries in Havering...looking better every day! AND we have lots and lots of crafting books...just thought I would mention it! lol


The Crafty Elf said...

Darn! I hate that!!! They build things up and you expect amazing things only to be let down....too bad! Maybe in time things will change, lets hope ...for you!