January sales can be viewed one of two ways – either the perfect opportunity to treat yourself to those items Santa missed out on, or a chance for shops to get rid of the rubbish left over from Christmas.
I used to belong to the latter category until my recent visit to Kildare Shopping Village. Not only did it look like a winter wonderland, the shops had everything Santa would have needed to keep even the fussiest shoppers satisfied.
Having visited back in November and got a huge chunk of my Christmas shopping sorted, I took my Mum to let her experience the fabulousness of Kildare for herself.
Kildare is most definitely a step above the usual ‘outlet’ shopping experience. The beautiful little hut-like stores and the stunning decorations are welcoming and strangely relaxing despite the bustling crowds.
Having told my Mum I was just looking for a pair of black ankle boots, I struck gold in the first store we visited – Polo Ralph Lauren.
The exquisite black leather boots had beautiful gold chain and buckle finishing and a super heel which is always beneficial to someone vertically challenged such as myself! I was already sold on the boots and given the fact they only had my size (4.5) left, I took it as a sign, they were meant to be.
Another pleasant surprise was the price. With a markdown of over 120euros, I grabbed my boots and headed for the queue. The never-ending queue! It seemed that everyone in the store had found something perfect for them too as the queue snaked literally the full length of the shop. However the busy assistants whizzed their way through and my perfect boots were well worth the wait.
Whilst in the queue, I noticed plenty of lovely tops and jumpers, suitable for casual and work wear, all heavily reduced, however I wasn’t prepared to give up my space in line for a closer look.
Boots bought, I was quite happy. Until we went into Gucci. Yes dear readers, I lost my heart in Gucci to the most stunning dress, to which my awful pictures don’t even begin to do justice.
It was heavily reduced and the only one available. Yet again it was my size – how could I possibly resist. Throwing myself to the mercy of temptation I tried it on and just like that, it was being bagged up, my card was in my hand and the gorgeous dress of my dreams was coming home with me!
Possibly egged on by my post-Gucci euphoria my Mum went delirious in DKNY and treated herself to a gorgeous winter coat with a very practical faux fur hood and a huge bag for all her work items (and possibly the kitchen sink to boot)! I picked up a slightly smaller version that will be perfect for day-to-day use.
By this stage we were on a roll, no shop was safe as we flew round the village like two whirlwinds purchasing everything that came into sight!
After such exhaustive shopping we decided to refuel in one of the Village’s restaurants, L’Officina, a warm and welcoming Italian which was well worth queuing to dine in. We both opted for the gourmet burger specials which came with rosemary potatoes and a delicious side salad. Suitably sated and too full for dessert, there was only one thing for it, us against the shops, Take 2!
We agreed to separate for half an hour. Calvin Klein underwear was my next target. Here I picked up a lovely little wrap, some lounge bottoms and a few other bits and pieces which we shant go into on here.
I met back up with my Mum and discovered she had quite literally raided Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss, Molton Brown, Cath Kidston and Asics. Having saw the amount of bags she was brandishing, I was so relieved we travelled down by coach!
Our time at the village was quickly running out, all that was left was a quick scooch to Benefit and then into Juicy Couture where I surprisingly managed to find a perfect fitting pair of black ‘work’ trousers.
Day done it was time to head back to our coach. The driver went a whiter shade of pale when he saw us and wisely offered to open up the hold underneath to store our purchases.
Exhausted but exhilarated we sent off on our journey back to Belfast. If you haven’t yet visited Kildare you really are missing out. Put aside all preconceptions, dust off your card (s) and get down the motorway to see for yourself. It isn’t “cheap” or leftover rubbish, it is quality items at slightly more affordable prices. It’s a stunning shopping setting that really does give you a warm glow. You’ll not regret a trip there.