For some people, just the idea of going to a mall breaks them out in hives. The crowds, the queues, the seemingly limitless choices…
But if you’ve got babes in hand, and the weather’s unpredictable, a one-stop shopping experience is probably your safest bet.
Westfield London is so huge and crammed with goodies you could easily get lost in space and time. A bit of military-style planning is key when you’re heading out.
Check the web site in advance for shops and special offers. Once you arrive, grab a mall guide at the front desk. If you need extra help, use their concierge service.
You’ll find pretty much anything you’re looking for here, whether it’s salivating over Jimmy Choo, Mulberry and other luxury brands in The Village or scoping out high street favourites like Gap, Zara and Uniqlo.
For kids’ stuff there are shops like Polarn O. Pyret, Bebe Bisou, and Mamas & Papas (although strangely no sign of Mothercare).
Playworld, a mini-soft play centre bang in front of Early Learning Centre, is always busy with little ones crawling in and out of tunnels and grown-ups resting their feet.
Shopping with the babes can be headache-inducing but at Westfield there are ways to relieve the stress. Arrive early and hire your munchkin his own Kiddy Car to cruise around in. Or book a spot at the Little Gym, a combined creche and play centre, so that you can shop in peace.
One cool option for mums is the ‘Handsfree shopping’ service (£7.50) that allows you to shop without being weighed down by bags. Or splash out further and opt for home delivery.
Westfield is an ideal spot to catch up with a fellow shopaholic for a spending spree, a movie (Vue Cinemas are now open) or just a lunch date. Along the stylish Southern Terrace, there’s a range of top restaurants offering kids menus or even ‘kids eat free’. Inside the mall, there are loads of snack stations as well as child-friendly options like Nandos and Pizza Express.
One of the more impressive features at Westfield are the family rooms, which are spacious, with cosy chairs for breastfeeding and a decent number of changing stations.
In the toilets, not only is there room for a double buggy but there are even two potties, one sized for you, one for your baby bear. Ezra’s pretty taken with this facility and keeps looking for his own mini-toilet when we shop elsewhere.
Aside from regular Mummy Mornings, Westfield hosts frequent family-friendly events. Check our Easter at Westfield guide for what’s coming up.