London, Paris, Milan…Kingston! Well almost. With some amazing shops scattered within their somewhat stunningly light and open centre they have fashion to rival the best and without breaking the budget either! Obviously you don’t get the sunshine of Milan or the cafes of Paris (though the pastry’s in Costa are incredibly scrumptious) you do get lots of parking, restaurant’s and some amazing designers without the tramping round endless streets and you can submerse yourself for an afternoon and be back in time for tea!
From the stunning high fashion of LK Bennett to the beautiful hand stitched dresses in Yumi there appears to be drop dead gorgeous fashion to suit all budgets all in one place - Bentalls!
Now LK Bennett is just amazing, I think you all have to agree with me there but I always had them down as more special occasion wear, however, no longer. They have, fresh for this season, decided to approach the everyday and their designs (liberty of londons no less) are amazing. Plus and I didn’t know this, when you buy a pair of shoes or boots they offer in-house repairs. Rather than taking your beautiful shoes to timpster you can take them back to LK Bennett and get a proper job done on them! See you can’t really do that if you purchased them in Italy now could you?
I had a lovely tour of these shops today and next on the list was Crabtree and Evelyn and while some of us might have this down as a “for our mums” shop they gave us a free hand wash. I am not exaggerating here when I say I have never ever ever tried anything like this. It’s their 60 seconds hand treatment and I had hands to rival any childs or babies. I have never felt anything that soft! A mothers day present for anyone I think.
And then we have Yumi! Who I actually always pictured doing childrens clothes or something a bit different. Hmmm I fell in love with this store the split second I walked through the doors. And not for the prices either. Each item has been designed by one of Yumis designers and just has a certain something to them I haven’t seen for a while. Classical flattering cuts or styles but different. They launched their crochet dress recently and it was sold out immediately and I can see why. They offer different ranges to for different styles and ages which I rather like! I also found these shoes instore which I love and now need to save for as they are must must must haves!
We then toured some lovely stores like Austen Reed where boys you can get your suit hand designed for you (less than the cost of flights to Italy) Esprit where all yummy mummys have to go! Comfy stylish vibrant colours (thankfully no sludgy colours) and then to T.M. Lewins who did you know actually make shirts for the Prime Minister! They also make for women and they have some seriously cute cufflinks! Picture bat and wickets and cricket balls for the boys. Seashells and highheels for the girls!
Then why not for the ultimate luxury after finishing shopping pop down to the only Nail Inc bar which serves alcohol and coffee! Perfect way to end the day to my mind. Plus if you feel like something slightly different why not go for one of their new designs? From crackles (imagine gold glitter over base varnish) or my favourite is their new magnetic range. You can have this in most colours but I adore their deep red. So if you fancy an afternoon or day of boutique style stores, make up and manicures, coffee and pastry head down to Kingston and stop in at the Bentalls store!