I have to admit that until a couple of weeks ago I had never been to Camberley, in fact I wasn’t even entirely sure where Camberley was (I still might be a tad unsure on this but let’s just pretend for minute that I’m now extremely knowledgeable). Despite having lived in London for over five years I really haven’t explored as much of England as I should have. (Between you and me it has always come second best to a little place north of the border but I guess that’s no secret.)
However a couple of weeks ago I was kindly invited out to this quaint little town by the team at Next for a little private shopping tour of their new store, ahead of it’s official launch to the public, and a slap up meal at Marco Pierre White’s nearby restaurant. Well what better way to explore a new area than with shopping and food? I was most definitely in!
Along with fellow bloggers, Hayley, Abi, Simon, Kylie (and little Eva) and Kirsty I braved daylight at an ungodly hour and hopped on the train to a little place called Blackwater (I say hopped it was more like panted and sweated as I went from bus to tube to train to sprint across station to another train to taxi to… oh hello we are here!).
Now one of the brands biggest stores in the UK, this opening was rather a big deal and as soon as I arrived I saw why – the place was huge! Officially a Next Home and Garden store, this shop hosts their extensive range of homewares and interiors as well as the usual womenswear, menswear and childrenswear clothing offerings. Now apart from London’s options the only Next stores I have ever really been privy to are those in my local town where their ‘home’ range is usually limited to one shelf of photo frames and a couple of cushions. So you can imagine my surprise/ delight when I realised that Next can actually kit your house out from top to toe, offering everything from cushions and throws right through to a complete bespoke kitchen and bathroom service. Who knew?
If that wasn’t enough the store also has an outside garden area where you can find flowers, plants and garden accessories all nicely colour coded to make playing interior designer that little bit easier, a clever layout which takes you from room to room inspiring ideas for colour themes and trend options along the way and a cafe upstairs for when you need a little pit stop. I was really impressed with not only the diverse options that were on offer for your home, but also the quality and value for money. I fell in love with the vintage style bedding, cute homely accessories and chic glass tablewear and can’t wait until I have my own place so that I can start kitting it out in style.
After the initial hour before the store officially opened whizzed by, and then a subsequent two further hours followed in the same manner, we realised how easy it would be to spend an entire day in the store, each member of the family perfectly occupied with their own area. And judging by the queues that formed as the clock neared 10am there were plenty of people who couldn’t wait to do just that.
Before we headed off for lunch we were given a bit of time to shop and an extremely generous £75 voucher to spend. My fashion compass did what it always does of course and pointed itself firmly towards the shoes. I did almost reconsider and head back to the homeware section as the bedding in particular was absolutely gorgeous and really good value but in the end the rows of heels won me over. My main mission was to try and get my hands on those gorgeous pink suede heels I had been hankering for ever since this blog post as my size had sold out online. Unfortunately this branch didn’t have them either (popular style) but luckily I got to take the voucher with me and tracked them down, along with another equally gorgeous black suede pair, in the Bond Street store later that week! And boy am I glad I did as I LOVE them, they have already been worn to death and even survived a full day and a heatwave at Ascot (full outfit post coming soon) as well as countless nights out so as you can imagine I’m a pretty happy bunny.
After I’d tried on almost every pair of shoes in the shop, and along with Hayley been filmed by the Next team saying a lot of ‘It’s great, it’s great, yeah it’s really great‘ (look out for that little gem on their Facebook page), we all headed off to Wheelers, Marco Pierre White’s signature restaurant in the area for a much needed refuel and a good catch up. (don’t worry I didn’t eat two desserts, just couldn’t resist snapping the cheesecake too as it looked so pretty!)
I can’t thank the team at Next enough for inviting me on such a lovely trip, not only was I educated on English geography but I also had a pretty super day with some lovely folks and much to GB’s horror have added another two pairs of gorgeous shoes to my collection!
If like me you weren’t aware of Next’s Home and Garden’s products then definitely check out their full range on the website or even better pop along to their new Camberley store as I promise you won’t be disappointed.