What to do on a bleak mid-winter day when you need a good old catch up with your bestie and a little treat (or two!) would be a welcome respite from the January blues?
For us, the clear solution was to hop in the car, post a.m. school runs and head up to the latest, greatest addition to the shopping spectrum around these parts, Rushden Lakes.
We really didn’t know what to expect but when we drove into the vast expanse, we quickly spotted store after store that we love and couldn’t wait to explore.
Watch my vlog here to get the feel for our day!
So we first popped into M&S for some essentials and found a great spring-infused neon light which any Instagrammer would feel compelled to pose next to!
Whirling along the left hand side of the complex, each new serendipity was a joy and it was the Robert Goddard store which stopped us in our tracks. A retail unit that could have happily doubled as my forever home, the design and layout was opulent perfection and the fact that it was packed with lustworthy brands was just a Brucie bonus!
There are plans afoot to expand this already fantastic space, with the scheduled addition of an orangerie lending itself beautifully to the existing layout, it promises to be a sight to behold.
The stock in this store is the pick of the bunch, with pieces I don’t even see in the individual brands’ own flagship stores – the buyer here sure has their head screwed on! Faux fur as soft as snuggling baby kittens and Ted Baker killer heels to strut your stuff on the dance floor, they have it all.
The male section at the back of the store is a stylish haven, with the jean selection effectively displayed on a full size pool table and the quiet corner in the back, home to a roaring virtual fire complete with Chesterfield chairs and stag heads in a quaint, old money aesthetic.
Rushden Lakes’ Primark is massive. I have no better fitting adjective to describe it. Andrea and I decided straight off to do a massive haul but actually ran out of time and have that booked into the the diary soon as a must-do.
Stock popping off the shelves, every Primarni fan’s dream! No need to forage for the last of the bargain must-haves, it’s choc full of everything you need and want, with plenty of space to saunter.
Luxury skincare is covered by a fabulous L’Occitane store which has everything you need for some natural face and body TLC. A real favourite brand of mine, with an ethos I love, it is wall to wall indulgence and packed to the rafters with stock making it nigh on impossible to leave empty handed.
So by this time we had worked up an appetite so we lustily wandered into Patisserie Valerie and almost plumped for some indulgent tea and cake but as lunch was booked for a short time later, we managed to hold back and just look longingly at these beauties.
In hindsight, thank goodness we abstained because our lunch at the Eden champagne bar in House Of Fraser was absolutely gorgeous.
I will let the pictures do the talking but in essence, we went for a mix of small plates and picky bits to share, tapas style, with a side order of pink fizz. Need I say more? Mouth watering, plentiful plates with no overfull hangover, just the job.
We couldn’t linger too long over lunch because in the background we could see all that House Of Fraser had to offer beckoning, so off we went for a quick make up spree and some last minute pics before we had to head home for the school run.
We made plans for a return trip before we had even left so that must be a pretty good indicator of how much there is to do here.
We didn’t even touch on Next, H&M, River Island or many other faves but that’s because there was so much shopping to do and so little time.
We had a lovely walk round the lake and put the world to rights even though though January skies were grey, we were blessed with a sneak peak of Spring to come!
Watch my vlog to see lots more of the day:
School run beckoned and it was time to load the shopping in the boot and bid farewell to Rushden Lakes for now but one thing is for sure, we will be back really soon!
*This post is in paid partnership with Rushden Lakes BUT this place is cracking and we ran out of time we were having so much fun, so my review is 100% our honest experience.*