It was 7pm and with the opening ceremony long gone, I was determined to see the London Designer Outlet on it’s first day before retail stores were due to close. I had an hour to run around the 350,000 sq ft circuit. I made my entrance, starting on the 1st level via Stadium Way.
I decided to invite myself into H&M and GAP Outlet after hearing stories earlier about queues stretching around the block. Poking my neck into H&M, what struck me was its cosy little size and set up, just right for Wembley, people are going to love it. On to GAP Outlet, it was very spacious and required much more time than I had to seek out the essentials that were waiting for me . . . I’ll be back tomorrow.
Wembley finally has decent coffee destinations with the likes of Cafe Nero nicely nestled against the GAP Outlet, with a view overlooking the ground floor shops leading up to Lakeside Way most of which are not yet open.
Due to the eye catching, alluring shop-front of SuperDry Store, it meant this had to be my next visit. The interior had the same feel as it’s Regent St branch just on a smaller, more intermit scale. It. Was. Packed. I then nipped into Guess, located opposite SuperDry Store which was full of smiley customers, bargains in hand.
Just a few steps further led me away from fashion to the home-ware quarter, Villeroy and Boch was first up and this place was an instant favourite, the quality of their products was enchanting, a hidden LDO gem for sure. Denby followed, the staff were sweeping up when I entered, it looked like they’d had a busy day so I moved swiftly on.
I roamed away from the home-ware quarter and into Clarks Outlet, one of the LDO anchor tenants. Offering rows of aisles, categorised by shoe size the store’s vast range appeared quick and easy to use. Disappointingly, as the men’s shoe size increased to size 12, the range dramatically decreased so if you have big feet there’s little choice.
Halfway round the circuit I reached a quiet quarter where many of the store fronts had signage ‘coming soon’ and were still being fitted; although there was sign of life towards the end. Cooking up a bit of a buzz was ProCook a brand you might be familiar with on Shopping channels selling quality cookware; I found it had the Ikea effect on me, you walk in and you’re guaranteed to buy something you didn’t really need, I purchased a great pair of aubergine oven mitts! I will be back to make more impulse purchases, great store.
Arriving at Boulevard Way time was running out, so I quickly window shopped at Sun Glasses Hut and made a note to grab tomorrow’s breakfast from either coffee destination #2 or #3, Costa or Pret. My first experience of the next store goes back to 4 years ago, I was on a business trip in Sunnyvale California when the team and I visited Great Mall, the largest indoor outlet in Northern California. It was there that I came across Nike Factory Store. The running shoe’s I purchased from there I still run in today!
So naturally, I was intrigued to visit Nike Factory Store Wembley, it was evident that Nike had gone the extra mile to ensure their store front which faces Wembley Stadium is a worthy looking neighbour. On entering the store it had a similar layout to the Californian store. Shoes were on display at each end of every aisle; along the width of the aisle you find your size from the stack of boxes piled from floor to ceiling. I’ll be back tomorrow to upgrade my long overdue running shoes.
Earlier whilst on level 1, I looked up and noticed Las Iguanas on level 3 had some activity going on, so made a mental note to take a peek later on. Having now arrived on level 3 and in need of refreshments, I made a quick decision to check in to Las Iguanas. What a good decision that was. My girlfriend and I were treated to complimentary cocktails and tapas, not to mention a great overall customer experience, will definitely be back soon.
As tempting as it was to stay for more drinks, we needed to stay sober enough to make it up to level 4. We made our way past some restaurants still yet to be open, including a Nandos which was being fitted next door to a Zizzi’s that appeared to have staff undergoing training. Finally, got on the escalators going up with a superb view of Wembley Stadium and then we arrived on level 4.
The Cinema is equipped with an amphitheatre where you can sit and watch trailers before you go into one of the 9 screens. There’s also a Cineworld’s d-box demonstration so you can try them out. I’m looking forward to writing some movie reviews, I think Cineworld have delivered an innovative, likeable space to enjoy film.
The last surprise came whilst I was still in the Cineworld and looked up to see there was a further level. At the very top of London Designer Outlet lives coffee destination #4, Starbucks! You can’t argue with coffee and great views of Wembley Stadium.
Quintain’s £100m London Designer Outlet completion is an important mile stone for everyone, a trend setting labyrinth of leisure.HOW DO I GET THERE?
— Martin Francis (@WembleyMatters) October 27, 2013
— Alison Hopkins (@Hopkins_Alison) October 27, 2013
@LDN_TUBE I very much like the design of the place
— Tim Roberts (@Tim_A_Roberts) October 28, 2013
Have you visited the London Designer Outlet, what did you think? Participate below.