Westfield London, the largest urban shopping centre in Europe is celebrating its first anniversary this weekend with a series of events and activities.
I bet opening a retail centre developed at Â£1.6bn amidst a recession last year wasn’t lost on the finance-types or the owners.
It seems like it’s had a good year so far, managing to establish itself as London’s most exciting shopping destination.
My BFF J. mentioned several times how stunning the place and wonderful the shopping experience was.
She was very excited and couldn’t wait for me to see it.
To be honest, I didn’t really share J.’s excitement.
I cringe a little whenever I hear another supermall has opened somewhere in the UK, because I feel it diverts from quaint High Streets, which I prefer and feel is more British.
Also, I couldn’t imagine how excitingly different a shopping mall could be, I use to spend a ridiculously insane amount of time at Westfield Montgomery, (when it used to be Montgomery Mall) a lifetime ago.
As for upscale, I imagined Tyson’s Galleria – which National Geographic called “the Rodeo Drive of the East Coast”, an out-of-the-way suburban shopping centre with very exclusive shops.
Thankfully Westfield London turned out to be a little different… in a good way.
It has a distinctive set up.
It combines shops, restaurants, bars, exclusive services and public services in an architecturally beautiful complex located in an urban setting.
Its central location makes it easy to get to; it was a short ride to Shepherd’s Bush tube station for us.
There are about a dozen or so restaurants outside lining the terrace on one side, and an informal sitting/meeting area.
The Village is an exclusive section of the mall with high-end retailers like De Beers and Prada.
The interior design is bold, minimalist, with airy corridors, and a brightly lit atrium.
There are over 250 stores; high-end retailers, high street stores an d regular mall-type stores.
There’s a shop for every budget, really.
It tries to get away from the mall feel with unique details like bold abstract chandeliers and clean open designs.
It succeeds to a point but it’s still a mall.
Overall, it was a nice shopping experience – it’ll be a great place to hang out on those gloomy weekends.