Thursday, 18 August 2011

Our visit to the Bentall Centre

Today I was lucky enough to have been invited to an event at the Bentall Centre along with some other Mummy Bloggers (who it was lovely to finally meet in person). The Bentall Centre is in Kingston and is really easy to get to via train or bus and if you are going by car you will be glad to hear it has loads of parking.

Once you get inside the centre you will be amazed by the number of shops under one roof, I know I was! They really do have a shop for everything, loads of restaurants, a World of Children crèche and even a Virgin Active health centre which boasts a swimming pool. Check out the full list of stores here. It's a great place to come if you have children and need to do some shopping as you will be sure to get everything you need here without the stress of dragging them about a multitude of various shopping centres. I couldn't possibly tell you about all the stores in this post so I will mention the ones we got to visit on the tour given to us by Emma Pullen, the centre's PR and Communications Manager.

We started our visit with a coffee and snack in the new Costa on the lower ground floor which is one of two Costa's along with lots of other coffee shops and restaurants in the centre. Then after a visit to the World of Children creche which has lovely staff and is well equipped with a broad range of toys, we headed to the Waterstones which is fantastically laid out with a fabulous area for kids with a brightly coloured table and chairs, perfect to bring your little one to come and browse the books they would like. Ben was in his element when he spotted a stand with Charley Bear books which, of course we ended up getting before we left, he just adores Charley!

Having fun in Waterstones
We then had a tour of the impressive Virgin Active Health club, it has all the top of the range equipment which Ben was very eager to try saying "run, run" and attempting to escape from my arms and make a dash for the treadmill; studios, including one set up specifically for spinning classes which the fitness instructor told us is fantastic for getting in shape and losing weight, they also run a host of additional classes in these studios which are included in your membership and details of which can be found on their website; a swimming pool which I really had not expected to see in such a location and there was a fun looking aqua aerobics class going on while we were there.

Our next stop was possibly one of the most interesting toy shops I have seen in a while called Fun Learning. It is packed full of educational and fun creative and imagination inspiring products. The lady who we spoke to there was so passionate about their products it was clear these people are interested in the children and how to inspire them through play. While there are items for all ages here I think children over the age of six would absolutely love the stuff here.

Some of the wonderful stuff in Fun Learning
The final store on our tour was one of my all time favourite children's clothes stores called Polarn O Pyret. We fell in love with the funky patterned tops from here when we came across their store in Westfields last year while shopping for Ben's first birthday outfit. They are a Swedish clothes brand and I cannot speak highly enough of the quality of their clothes. Coincidentally Ben was sporting one of their tops today as his wardrobe contains quite a few! Ben loved the shop and didn't want to leave as it has a tunnel which he had so much fun playing in, not to mention the other toys which included blocks to keep the kids entertained. If every childrens clothes stores had such child friendly things and pleasant helpful staff it would make shopping so much easier for parents.

Ben playing in the tunnel :)
I could not talk about this centre without mentioning the wonderful Bentalls department store. I would happily spend hours looking about this store, amongst everything it has the most fabulous stuff for the home including Cath Kidston goodies and a fantastic beauty section where you can get a range of beauty treatments including eyebrow threading, a facial or even try out the latest trend that is a Zoola Fish massage and pedicure if you're brave enough! It is also worth mentioning that Bentalls run a host of events including some fabulous kids events such as Kids Cookery Classes with Malcolm Harradine and Glee inspired Dance Workshops.

I thouroghly enjoyed my visit to the Bentall Centre and now that I know what a great place it is to visit I will definitely be going back again and again. I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thanks to Emma and all the staff we met on the day who were so friendly and helpful. If you are looking for hassle free shopping with everything you want and more under one roof make sure you take a visit - you won't be disappointed!

* Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I recieved a fantastic goody bag but this has in no way biased my post - It really is a great place to visit!


Superamazingmum said...

Lovely to meet you and the gorgeous Ben, hope to see you again soon!!  Maybe a meet at the Bentalls?!!

Love S.A.M xx

Babes about Town said...

It was great to meet you and you handled all the going up and down with a toddler very smoothly. Looking forward to your fish pedicure post one day ;-)

Mummy's Space said...

Was lovely meeting you too! Great idea for a Bentalls meetup! x

Mummy's Space said...

Was great to meet you too! I'm not sure I'll ever be brave enough to try the fish! ;)

Jenny said...

Was fab meeting you and Ben. He looked like he enjoyed the tour as much as you!

Mummy's Space said...

He sure did! I had a job getting him to leave Waterstones - he loved it there!

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