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The place to go for shopaholics
Westfield Shopping Centre (London)
Member Name: ballet_dancer134
Westfield Shopping Centre (London)
Advantages: A level up from most shopping centres
Disadvantages: In the January sales the numbers of people are rediculous
Today was my second visit to Westfield shopping centre and although it is this visit I am writing my review on, I will quickly mention my previous visit.
The first time I visited Westfield was in the post Christmas sales. Even arriving at 9am as I did it was busy and by lunchtime it was packed with people all trying to grab the same bargains. Although there were plenty of bargains to be had, getting them took some effort- fighting through people to get a look at the clothes rails and then long queues for changing rooms. I did come away with some good buys, but I will avoid such a place again around the sales. Being such a big shopping centre it obviously attracts thousands of people and the car park queue for those arriving as we were leaving at about 3pm must have been over an hour long.
This was a much more pleasant experience, and one I look forward to repeating. This time I took the tube. This is very easy to do as there are several tube stations (namely Wood Lane and White City) only about 2 mins walk from the entrance. Arriving at about 2.30pm it was surprised at how quiet is was(considering my previous experience maybe not surprising!). The range of shops is fantastic-there is something for everyone. What impresses me most though isn't the shopping, good as it is, but the layout and overall design of the centre. It is focused around a central area at the top of which is the cinema. Around here there are also plenty of eating places to suit all palettes. Around this there are what I would best describe as a network of streets. Big enough for you to lose your bearings at times, but not so big you get totally lost(and there are electronic maps at regular intervals should you want to find a particular store) At the bottom of this central section at Christmas there is an ice-rink-fun both to go on and to watch.
Throughout the centre there are areas of seats-but not just benches as in many shopping centres. They are carefully designed to look appealing and they invite you to sit down and take a rest from the shopping. Some even have a children's area to young families-a thoughtful touch.
Outside, there are the Southern Terrace restaurants. A collection of different restaurants serving food from a range of countries. This is where I ate today. All the restaurants have shaded tables outside along the pedestrian 'street' similar in style to restaurants you find in Paris and Italy and when its sunny this is a wonderful place to eat a reasonably priced and very tasty meal.
My personal favourite area of Westfield was a section called 'The Village'. This is the area where the designer shops such as Prada can be found and the atmosphere in here changes to a calmer feel. Even if you will not be buying anything there it is lovely to wander round and have a look in the shops.
I found all the staff who worked in Westfield helpful and attentive and the cleanliness of the centre was outstanding. From the food areas to the toilets I had no complaints at all on the levels of cleanliness. It also has the advantage of being so big you do not feel enclosed. It is easy to forget you are in a shopping centre as everything is on such a big scale and there are so many places to take a few moments out from shopping.
Summary: A fantastic shopping venue, but best enjoyed at a not too busy time