An afternoon of gossip, cocktails and retail therapy with the girls… I doubt there’s a greater way to spend a Saturday afternoon; Especially when the chance to indulge in this much loved pastime is such a rarity!
So when three of my favourite friends came to visit me in Newcastle recently, I knew they would be as excited as I was to jump in the car and head to intu Metrocentre across the river in Gateshead.
Lindsey, Helen and Gemma had travelled far and wide for our day out (from Runcorn, London and Halifax to be precise), we’ve been pals since we were all students at the University of Sunderland and shared a house together, over 15 years ago!
Back then, shopping trips and leisurely lunches were a regular occurance, despite being broke students we always managed to find the means for a pair of must have bootcut jeans or lycra halter top and would spend whole afternoons at the all you can eat Chinese buffet!
These days, family commitments and full time jobs, not to mention the distance, means we only get together a few times of year, so our little reunions are really special and intu Metrocentre provided the ideal setting.
After a leisurely lunch at Carluccio’s, where we could have happily sat chinwagging all day, we hit the shops and scoured the rails for bargains in the last of the winter sales (we may no longer be broke but we will always be thrifty).
Intu Metrocentre is the biggest shopping centre in the whole of Europe so as you can imagine, we were in retail heaven!
The new Coast store was a particular hit with the girls… Our social calendars are often filled with weddings and christenings now that we’re in our 30’s so we didn’t need much encouragement to treat ourselves to something fancy.
We dominated the swish changing rooms at Coast for ages, reminiscing about the times we would spend hours on end getting ready for a night out at the student’s union.
(You can read more about my love of the new Coast store at intu Metrocentre in this post).
A couple of us managed to squeeze in a blow dry at Supercuts before we left, while the others sipped champagne at Oh You Pretty Things, the trendy cocktail bar in the Platinum Mall.
We didn’t want our day trip to end but with a night out on the Toon planned we had to force ourselves away.
Eventually we made our way back to the car, armed with bags of bargains we didn’t need but couldn’t resist, still giggling and gossiping like we were 18 again.
I had such a lovely day out, intu Metrocentre really does have everything you need for a top time with with your mates! So to help you plan your own perfect day at the shops, I came up with these…
‘Top 5 tips for a Girl’s Day Out at intu Metrocentre’:
- Nominate someone to remember where you parked! Thankfully you can park all day for free at intu Metrocentre but finding your vehicle after hours of shopping is harder than you might think!
- Book a personal shopping experience. If you’re in need of an outfit for a special occasion enlist the help of intu Metrocentre’s Style Team, they can help you navigate the maze of shops and advise you on this season’s latest trends. (The service is £15 an hour, details HERE)
- Do lunch! There are dozens of eateries to choose from with everything from sushi, to steak and burgers to burritos. You could eat your way around the world!
- Prebook some pampering. I got lucky by getting a walk in appointment for a blow dry at Supercuts but if you really want to treat yourself to a makeover I suggest you plan ahead, especially for a Saturday. House of Fraser is a beauty haven with some of the most exclusive hair and beauty counters in the country including Show Dry Bar which has had rave reviews from fellow bloggers, check out New Girl in Toon’s hair transformation HERE. I can also recommend Cover for nail treatments.
- Pop open the fizz! Definitely try and leave time for a cocktail or several at Oh You Pretty Things. It’s the perfect place for a post shopping pick me up (and if you can’t agree on a designated driver, just hop on the X66 bus with Go North East, despite what the name suggests, the Tyne and Wear Metro doesn’t actually go to intu Metrocentre!)