Friday, December 13, 2019

AD | A Christmas Gift Guide

Last week Rob and I had the pleasure of spending the day at Gretna Gateway Outlet Village doing a spot of Christmas shopping. It's somewhere I only discovered last year when me and some amigos were driving past, spotted the word 'outlet' and, with a whoop of excitement, pulled in to have a browse. In case you haven't been there before, I'll give you a wee bit of background before I launch into the gift guide! It's an hour and a half's drive from Glasgow - which gives you a good amount of time to write your list, plan which shops you want to visit and to get the Christmas songs blasting - and is just a one minute drive from the M6/M74 motorway. There are a whopping 50+ outlet stores with new ones opening up all of the time; I was excited to spot that Levis, The Cosmetics Company Store and Adidas have all opened up since my last visit. Now, the 'o' word that brings a shiver to all of our spines...outlet. Discount. Heaven. There is 60% off offered throughout the centre, so when it comes to brands like Polo Ralph Lauren, BOSS and The Cosmetics Company Store (which stocks so many incredible brands, from Tom Ford to Bobbi Brown to MAC to Origins) you end up getting some verrry thrilling bargains. I'll go into those in a little more depth throughout the gift guide as we go along! On top of all of this, they really have went out of their way to make it feel like the perfect Christmas shopping destination; there are Christmas toy parades every Wednesday, festive wreath making workshops as well as late night shopping till 9pm on a Wednesday. I should also mention that it's dog friendly, so our visit was punctuated with us taking turns to shout 'look at that wee face!' as unsuspecting dogs walked by... whether you have a dog and would like to bring them shopping with you, or simply just like dog-spotting then it's a wonderful added bonus. 


The Little Magpie Christmas 2019 Gift Guide
I LOVE shopping for the ladies in my life (if only it were possible to say that without sounding like a lothario) and Gretna’s a fantastic place to get everyone ticked off in one. If it's clothing you're after then one of my favourites is Polo Ralph Lauren, where there were beautiful two-pieces, chunky knit jumpers and the fluffiest slippers you’ve ever laid eyes on, all with amazing reductions. Another stop I'd highly recommend is Levis; I ended up finding a wee denim jacket I've been after for a while now as well - which you can bet there was a high-pitched squeak over - as well as some slim-fit black jeans. For the sporty ladies in your life (or for the ladies who simply enjoy we wearing sportswear) there’s a great big Nike outlet as well as Adidas, which I'll touch on more in the 'for him' section, and it has a fantastic range of sizes and stock. Most of my sports bras are very boring and black, so I was drawn instantly to the brightly coloured one above like a moth to a flame. Branching out from clothing, there's the Le Creuset shop, with all its colourful crockery, and just along from that is Christy, which is one of my long-term favourite stops for towels and bedding where you can find a set of two hand towels and two bath towels reduced from over £100 to £35. The Booja Booja truffles are up there with one of my top finds of the day - I often buy them for my vegan pals (if you’re vegan and haven’t tried them, I'd recommend immediately) but they normally come in at an eye-watering £10 for 9 truffles. Thanks to the Holland & Barrett outlet I got this huge box of 16 for £7.50. A whoop-worthy bargain. There’s also a Next outlet, where I picked up those adorable little Christmas decorations above, and Neon Sheep, which I’d never been to before bit oh my goodness is it gift heaven. The plant pot, pink bowl and plate set (I got three of each) and colourful water bottle are all from there and came to under £30. If you’re looking for secret Santa gifts, stocking fillers or some smaller gifts in general then this is the stop for you! Now that we've successfully ticked off her, lets move onto him...

The Little Magpie Christmas 2019 Gift Guide
Buying for him is often a bit of tricky one, so I took Rob along with me to pick a selection of things that would make him do a genuine woop to open up on Christmas Day. He came away with two top picks for the day; the first of which was the Adidas outlet, which he whizzed around like a kid in a candy store. It’s quite a big outlet store and is filled to the brim with reduced trainers, football boots, running gear, tracksuits, socks and more. He left with a new jumper, two pair of trackies for skiing and a very big grin on his face. I touched on it very quickly earlier, but the women’s section of the store is also absolutely worth a visit! I have a love me some gymwear - generally just for wearing around the house and pretending I’m sporty but it still counts - so I left with two pairs of really lovely gym leggings, which were reduced to £11.95 each, and an incredible 70s style zip-up with bell sleeves that I’d never seen online or in store before and looks like it came straight from a roller disco (blow dry optional). There’s some incredible reductions on trainers - both fashion and sport - and if you have a good browse through the rails you’ll stumble across some Stella McCartney gems reduced from £100+ to just over a £10, which never stops being exciting. Rob’s next favourite stop was the La Creuset shop, where he picked up three mini casserole pots - which I felt very maternal towards they were so cute - and stood deliberating over a fondue set for a good seven minutes. They’ve got a huge selection of La Creuset products, from the large pots right through to espresso mugs, so it’s the perfect stop if you’re buying for a cooking lover/budding chef or someone who's really into their homeware. Make sure not to miss the Levi’s men's section for reduced jeans, jackets and accessories (as you can see above, Rob picked up some very snazzy stonewash jeans), as well BOSS, where there’s some excellent bargains to be had on men’s suits, smart coats and -  stocking filler alert - boxers and socks. For aftershaves and perfumes, the Perfume Shop is ready and waiting, and another outlet that Rob really loved was the Holland and Barrett one. There’s buy one get one half price on everything all year round so you end up saving quite a bit if you’re buying things like protein powders, toiletries or vitamins and supplements... not that I’m suggesting cod liver oil as a present but if you did want to stock up for yourself whilst you’re buying the gym buff in your life some Creatine Monohydrate powder (I don’t know either) the option’s there. Last but not least, there's a Cadbury's outlet (I know) where you can build your own pick n mix style box of Cadbury's chocolates, buy bags of broken chocolate and stock up on stocking fillers/chocolate for you to see you through present wrapping.

The Little Magpie Christmas 2019 Gift Guide
Originally I was going to include this in my ‘for her’ section of the gift guide but it’s so good that it deserves a section of its own: The Cosmetics Company Store. It’s relatively new to Gretna Gateway and is the kind of place you’ll go into and do a 'one with you, one for me' with every gift you buy. There are so many exciting brands in there starting with Estée Lauder, where you’ll find some hero products like double wear foundation reduced from £34 to £23 and advanced night repair reduced from £78 to £58.50. There’s Clinique, Bobbi Brown, Aveda, Bumble and Bumble, MAC, Origins and - the one that made me do the biggest happy gasp - Tom Ford. I picked up the incredible mermaid-esque palette you see above and also spotted the Glow Foundation which I’ve been desperate to try ever since I spotted Sam Chapman rave about it. There’s a men’s section as well, which you might have spotted in the ‘for him’ section of this post, where we got a really lovely Origins kit with four products in it reduced down to £26. If you visit before the 24th December you’re also receiving an extra 10% off if you buy three things or more, so you end up making enough of a saving that you can justify buying another lipstick (just kidding*)

So there we have it! Somewhere you can visit and, in a single day, not only make huge savings that you'll want to sing giddily about but also tick off your entire Christmas gift list in one. I should also add that there’s a Costa and a Pizza Express on site if you shop till you drop and need a mid afternoon pick me up! Last but not least, if you're overwhelmed and would rather give someone the option of choosing their own present, you can pick up Gretna Gateway gift card (either online or directly from the management suite at Gretna Gateaway) which the lucky gift receiver can spend in whichever of the outlets that tickle their pickle. 

Happy Christmas shopping!


*I’m not kidding