I got invited to a TweetSeat event by The Arndale in Manchester so that some of the shops could show off their outdoor homeware stuff for the summer. Which basically involved being forced to look at lovely things, take pictures and tweet about them.
It was, as you can imagine, incredibly hard work. Hellish, even. Ahem.
I haven’t been in the Arndale since I was a kid when it was a dark, dank place, full of sulky teens and empty shops.
It couldn’t be more different now. It’s really rather lovely and modern: all light and bright with some really great shops. And not just fashion either as I found out; but some lovely home shops too.
These were some of my favourites of the products Argos, Home Sense, Clas Ohlson and Wilkinsons had selected to show off.
The gorgeous picnic basket is from Home Sense as is the pelican. The tent is an amazing £17.99 from Argos and the green BBQ bucket and picnic rucksack are from Argos too. The very pretty DAB radio was just £20 from Clas Ohlson and the chimenea was from Wilkos.
And then we were shown around the shops by the managers and got to ogle more loveliness.
I’d never been in a Home Sense store before and was fascinated by all the fabulous stuff they had. Apparently they change their stock all the time so every time you go in it’s different. They have a fantastic kitchen range with every type of pot and pan imaginable. The weird-shaped vase thingies are tulip vases, so we were told.
Also, they do large dog beds for £20. They are usually about £40 in pet shops. I never would have thought to look in somewhere like Home Sense for dog beds!
Is it terrible to admit I’d never heard of them before? They are a Scandinavian company that sell, well, just about everything. They had lots of really nice outdoor home stuff, some great camping gear, electronics and even toys.
I really loved their free hanging brazier for £20. It’s now on my shopping list.
What can I say? Everyone loves Wikinsons, right? They have such lovely stuff at great prices and I love their photo frames and nicknacks. I found out that they also do their own ranges on all sorts of stuff from dog food and paint and they’ve got some really cheap BBQs in at the moment.
All in all it was a great day out and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Arndale was such a nice shopping centre and somewhere that wasn’t just about clothes.
I’ll be back. With my credit card.