25.6.09

Yet more sales

Get lucky with the Feelin’ Lucky line of charms, 50% off in the Links of London sale. Or glam up with a discounted piece from Mawi at the Outnet. Make a splash at your next committee meeting with a champagne fountain pen from the Cross - a steal at £22. Classic white shirts never go out of style, and you can get one at 50% off in the White Company sale. And if you’re lucky enough to be a UK size 14 or smaller, be sure to snap up the white and cream Rick Owens wrap jacket at a jaw dropping 84% discount - thank you Catwalk to Closet. While you're there, be sure to check out the shoes. So many sales, so little money. Sigh.

21.6.09

Glasgow shopping news

Despite the economic downturn, and news of retailers like Coast and River Island going into administration, there seems to be a large influx of investment in Glasgow’s shopping world. Hamley’s are to open their first stand-alone shop outside of London, Belstaff will be opening a store in Prince’s Square, and St Enoch’s rennovations trudge on. Lord Adonis’s plans for high speed rail networks between London, Manchester and Glasgow, with train times between London and Glasgow reduced to 2 hours and 42 minutes, could make spending an afternoon shopping in London, without the expense, hassle, and environmental problems related to air travel, a reality. Here’s a brief summary of some of the shopping news to be hitting the papers at the moment:

Glasgow's dramatic retail expansion is raising questions about its sustainability
From October, Glasgow shoppers will share the attraction of the renowned store as Hamleys has chosen the St Enoch Centre for the site of its first large, standalone store outside London. It is seen as a major coup for St Enoch and the move must have come as relief to owner Ivanhoe Cambridge as the property developer is pumping £100 million in to what was becoming a tired centre and has added a 250,000sq ft extension to the complex.
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Lord Adonis sees demise of short flights
The proposed high-speed rail network, due to be completed by 2020, would initially run from London to Birmingham and eventually extend to Manchester and Glasgow. Detailed plans are being developed by a government-backed company. Early estimates indicate that the line will cost up to £30 billion. The government will make its final policy decision in early 2010.

“We have a very exciting agenda for transport investment over the next 10 years and I believe that will be a central part of our manifesto,” Adonis said.
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Queen Street on track for multi-million pound revamp in flagship line upgrade
GLASGOW's Queen Street Station is to undergo a multi-million pound expansion, Scotland on Sunday has learned.

The landmark – which dates back to 1842 – will get new and longer platforms and, sources suggest, an airport-style passenger terminal.

The upgrade will be made as part of the Scottish Government's proposed £1 billion revamp of the flagship Edinburgh to Glasgow route.
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Clothing firm to the stars to open store in Glasgow
Belstaff will unveil its new outlet in the city's Princes Square later this summer.

The firm is famous for its leather jackets that have been worn by Tom Cruise in War of the Worlds and Mission Impossible, Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Leonardo DiCaprio in The Aviator.

The company has stores in London and Manchester as well as Spain and Italy and has picked Glasgow for its new opening because of its trendy reputation.
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McArthurGlen Wins Glasgow Airport Contract
Travellers at Glasgow Airport will soon have a much wider range of shopping to choose from as plans took a step forward today to develop the new retail section of the airport.

McArthurGlen is currently in negotiations with potential retailers to occupy the space. Although not yet revealing any names, the chairman of luxury retail for McArthurGlen, Brian Collie, said: “We are targeting mid-market to high-end fashion brands, sportswear and casual ski-wear.”
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Glasgow to redevelop Savoy Centre in £80m prestige project
Plans for a £80 million development in the heart of Glasgow were announced yesterday, just as Edinburgh pulled the plug on one of its largest projects.

The Savoy Centre, the dated shopping precinct in Sauchiehall Street, is to be pulled down and replaced with a 30-storey landmark featuring a 221-bedroom hotel and restaurants with panoramic views of the city. There is also to be 6,000 sqm of office accommodation. The work will involve the demolition of an unloved walkway over Renfrew Street to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
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20.6.09

Summer Sale Round-up

It’s that time again, girls, so get your credit cards ready. All the usual high street suspects have started their sales (apart from the always late Monsoon, of course), so get out there. House of Fraser has even put a discount on perfume, so stock up on Stella in 2 and Delice de Cartier. Also, check out the coated canvas hobos at Mulberry. Borders is having a sale as well, so get saving on your beach reading.

If you can’t stand the crowds, here are some lush online bargains you won’t want to miss:

Hush

For super stylish comfort, get in on the flash sale happening at lush loungewear retailer Hush - order anything off the site by midnight on 22 June and get 20% off. The only decision you have to make is whether to get the cardigown in navy or rose.

Pure

Get summer cashmere up to 50% off in Pure’s online sale. Follow this link to get your glamorous in-flight knitwear in time for your summer hols.

Browns

If you’re way too hip for the likes of House of Fraser, check out the sale at fashion forward Browns. I’m lovin’ the Kara Ross lizard skin bangles.

Fortnum & Mason

Enjoy all this sun with a picnic in Kelvingrove Park. All the mustard, chutney and chic biscuits you can handle for up to 75% off will be just the thing for your picnic basket.

Anya Hindmarch

Yes, her bags are way way too expensive for these troubled economic times. But they’re totally gorgeous, and on sale. Follow this special link to get in on the early VIP sale before it opens to the public.

My Wardrobe and Far Fetch

Providing fierce competition to net-a-porter, sites like My-Wardrobe and Far Fetch are raising pulse rates and capturing hearts. Find out why at their sales.

18.6.09

Party Central

That’s what my flat was until after our 10th anniversary party, at which point it became mess central. And because I had to pass 2 exams in my Chartered Institute of Marketing diploma programme, and move flat, and submit 3 assignments on top of working full time during the month leading up to the party, much of my party planning and preparation was done at the last minute.

The positive side to this, is that I learned some shopping lessons, which I am now passing on to you.

Lesson 1: TK Maxx at the Fort is better than the one on Sauchiehall Street

Particularly for the home department. We bought 32 glasses and 2 enormous yet fashionable serving platters, all for under £40. While we were there, we nipped into the ASDA home shop and bought plastic plates and utensils and a white table cloth (for £5!).

Lesson 2: Majestic Wine Warehouse are here to help

Yes, they’re no longer located at Charring Cross. Booo! But the one in Bearsden delivered a case of very reasonably priced rose cava, a half case of wine, and 64 glasses direct to our door on the day of the party. They offer many party services, including free loan of glasses (you will have to pay a deposit, which you get back after you return the glassware), free loan of coolers, and ice sales. It meant that whatever else happened, I was going to have booze and glasses for the party.

Lesson 3: Debenhams and John Lewis - basically the same stuff at different prices

In my search for party platters and chip and dip sets, I looked at many department stores, and I realised that Debenhams and John Lewis sell essentially the same dishes and barware (not the same brand, but looking very similar), but Debenhams, though very good quality, is cheaper.

Lesson 4: Don’t buy when you can borrow

Talk over your party plans with your friends - you’ll be amazed at what people are willing to do. Many of our friends brought food, chairs, we even had an excellent volunteer DJ.

Lesson 5: Be flexible with your menu

I had all these plans for food I was going to make, but didn’t end up making any of it. In the end, most of the food consisted of easy party treats from Costco and Sainsbury (tubs of hummus, ready-made Spanish Tortilla, crudite and dips, crisps) and anything else was either brought by friends, or recipes I’d found and was able to delegate to helpful family members. Most people can follow a recipe, so if your menu is all down on paper, it’s easier to pass tasks on to others.

Lesson 6: If you toss a bunch of treats onto a 3-tiered cake stand, it looks like you have a gorgeous, extravagant dessert

I used a silver cake stand from Confetti on Queen Street, and covered it with mini cinnamon rolls, French fancies, chocolates from Thorntons, cupcakes from Marks and Spencer, and pieces of coffee cake. It looked beautiful. Their heart shaped confetti was also an inexpensive way to decorate our table top.

Lesson 7: Flash with bleach will get red wine off the wall

One of our friends decided it would be fun to cover as many surfaces as possible with red wine. We love him, but we’re never letting him drink red wine in our home again. One particularly lovely house warming gift he gave us was an enormous stain on our white wall and beige couch. We’re still waiting to see if the wine came off the sofa cover (we took it to our favourite dry cleaner, Aqua on Great Western Road near Southpark Avenue) but the wall stain was gone after some vigourous scrubbing with a rag and some Flash with bleach spray. Now we’re just waiting to see how effective on carpets the Wine Away spray from Lakeland is.

Lesson 8: Take time off work

Our party was fairly large: a family lunch with 14 during the afternoon and then about 30 to 40 in the evening for a buffet and many many drinks. Taking a couple days off before, and a few days off after made it possible to do everything I needed to prepare and to recover. The party was on Saturday and I’m still cleaning!

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