It’s no secret that I’m not great at shopping, but I have never been one to turn down a challenge. When I do go shopping, one of my favourite towns to head to is Hereford.
So today, we were given the challenge of visiting the Old Market Shopping Centre in Hereford. We were given a list of gifts to buy and an hour to do it in. We had a budget of £10 per recipient.
Our mission; the recipients
- A work colleague who loves trying out new makeup trends
- A mum who needs something to brighten her home
- A son who isn’t too fussed about Christmas but loves a good pair of new socks
The shopping centre
Old Market Shopping centre is a brand new retail area. It has loads of beautiful, upmarket brand-name shops. These are complemented by cafés, restaurants and a six screen cinema.
We visit the shopping centre quite regularly anyway but to help with the challenge, I was sent a list of the shops in Old Market Shopping Centre so I could plan which shops to visit.
I had the following shops to choose from to purchase my gifts:
- Cath Kidston
- Fat Face
- H & M
- Jack Wills
- River Island
- Seasalt Cornwall
- The Hygienist
- TK Maxx
On the basis that I only had an hour to do the challenge and I had two small children and a husband on crutches to contend with, planning was important.
As soon as we’d had a photo with the man in red, we headed into Cath Kidston to buy our first gift. This was definitely the easiest gift to buy because I knew exactly what I wanted to get.
I think makeup is such a personal thing that I wouldn’t buy it for somebody else. But everyone who loves makeup needs a beautiful makeup bag.
And Cath Kidston is the perfect place to buy one of those. I have to say, the staff in Cath Kidston were AMAZING. One of them kept the children entertained while I had a look around the store and paid for my purchase.
The other member of staff then wrapped it for me. This cost exactly £10 complete with beautiful gift wrap.
A mum who needs something to brighten their home
Really stupidly, this was the gift I found the most difficult. This is possibly because I pretty much fit the description of the recipient. And I’m fully aware that to brighten my home I probably need a good tin of paint.
As this didn’t seem like an appropriate gift, we headed to TK Maxx to have a look around their home section. I found a lovely clock in there that was within the right price range.
The mistake I made was to show it to my husband. In his own inimitable manner, he said that he didn’t like it. I promptly bottled it and didn’t buy it.
We then headed to Debenhams where there is also an extensive home range. We settled on a lovely novelty biscuit tin that cost £10. It wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, but it will definitely brighten up the kitchen.
A son who isn’t too fussed about Christmas but loves a good pair of new socks
This gift was also very simple to buy. I knew straight away that Jack Wills was the best place to by a good pair of socks. The shop is a relatively new addition to the Old Market area so it was great to have the opportunity to check it out.
The staff were really friendly and helpful. They approached us and said hi when we went in and then directed me to the right part of the store for what we were looking for.
We settled on a beautiful quality pair of Jack Wills socks that came in at £9.50. The perfect stocking filler.
All in all, I think we did quite well on our little mission. I was really surprised at how easy it was to get everything we needed in an hour, despite having the girls with me to cause chaos.
In fact, we finished with plenty of time to enjoy the Christmas Light switch on. During the afternoon, there were some bands playing. The girls loved this, especially Lia who had to keep stopping every few minutes for a dance.
When it came to time to switch on the lights, Father Christmas sprinkled some magic dust on the Christmas tree and on they came, much to Libby’s delight.
After that, Libby was lucky enough to have a photograph with both Santa and his elf. Lia is still a little wary of Father Christmas so she didn’t want to get involved.
We all had a lovely afternoon and will be back soon to buy our own gifts for Christmas.
Please note that this post was written in collaboration with Old Market Shopping Centre. All views, opinions and Santa obsessed toddlers are my own. Lia’s absolute refusal to go near Father Christmas resulted in her avoiding all photos. Despite that, she still had a lovely time.