On Friday I visited Queensgate Shopping Centre in Peterborough for what turned out to be an incredibly fun evening. I met fellow Cambridgeshire bloggers Kat, Emily, Sophie and Fozia and together we headed to a meeting with Perception PR.
(Incidentally the meeting was held in McDonalds which might sound like an unlikely place for a blog event to start, but they’ve just finished a state of the art refurbishment which included the installation of some funky meeting room upstairs complete with flat screen tvs – colour me impressed!)
I was over the moon to get the news that I’ve been approved to be an official Queensgate QBlogger! This means that I’ll get a first hand look at all the latest fashion, beauty, home and food launches coming to brands in store at the centre such as Lush, Benefit and Paperchase, and I’ll be sharing it all with you right here on LovedByLaura. For those of you local to the area, I’ll also be reporting on upcoming store openings and events too.
I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to be a part of it all. As a blogger it often feels like you have to be in London because that’s where all the action happens, so to know that my home town are now recognising the importance of the blogging community is so refreshing.
My first official QBlogger news is that Nyx Cosmetics will be opening a brand new store in the shopping centre on 26th June. I’ve read some great reviews of their products so I can’t wait to finally get a first hand look at the store and hopefully share some key picks on here with you. Queensgate are working incredibly hard to bring other major fashion, beauty and home retailers to the centre as well so I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed that they sign up MAC – wouldn’t that be an amazing addition?
Back to Friday night and once our official QBlogger business was out of the way we got to have some fun. We were each handed our own set of tasks to complete around the shopping centre. Queensgate has late night opening until 8pm on a Thursday and Friday so with just over an hour to go until closing it was mayhem as we rushed from store to store!
I had been matched to Victoria’s Secret goddess Miranda Kerr and my first task was to head to Boots and find a hair masque, red lipstick and lip liner that she’d rock. I pretty much live in Boots (their 3 for 2 offers are too good to resist!) so this was an easy one! I made a beeline for my favourites – Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Mayfair Red Lady, £6.49 which has a lovely rich formula with true staying power and No7 Precision Lips Pencil in Red, £6.75 (both reviewed here). My favourite hair mask has to be the Herbal Essences Deep Hydration Hair Mask, £4.61 (reviewed here).
The second task was to find some chic off duty model style pieces in her style. Miranda tends to go smart casual with sleek tailored cuts and neutral colours. I wanted something that would be comfortable too though and spotted these Peg Trousers , £39 in Warehouse which can be dressed down with a pair of white Stan Smiths or dressed up with some heels.
I found a beautiful pair of tan shoes in Warehouse but can’t find them on the website to link, however I did then come across a beautiful suede pair , £75 from Next as an alternative.
These would go great with a crisp white shirt or tank top and an oversized shopper like this one, which I loved for it’s zip detailing.
…Now I’ll be completely honest, at this point I decided I’d completed my look and completely forgot to actually look for the top – whoops! However I’d become a bit distracted anyway as I’m going to Ascot next month and the drop dead gorgeous dresses and hats were calling my name!
Warehouse really are on fire with their latest collection and I couldn’t resist getting a closer look at this striped prom dress, £63.20. Wouldn’t this be perfect for Ladies Day? Please someone say yes and enable me so that I can go back and buy it!
Then in John Lewis I found this beauty from Ted Baker… which I had to try on even though it was a couple of sizes too big, (my size wasn’t in stock). It’s a £229 dress of dreams… so please DON’T enable me on this one!
It was 8pm before we knew it and so we all met up and headed over to Handmade Burger Company* for a well earned dinner. You might remember from this post that last time I ate here I vowed to return for a Dirty Burger, so that’s just what I did (along with the hugest Butterscotch Milkshake I’ve ever seen!). Order the mapled bacon and cheese version and thank me later.
We were so engrossed in our conversation that the meal lasted well into the night until we realised that we were the last ones there and had probably been for quite some time. Luckily parking is free after 5.30pm on a Thursday and Friday, another bonus to the late night shopping days, so we didn’t have to worry about running up a big bill.
Before we left the centre we each received a huge, beautifully wrapped goodie bag bursting with items from Queensgate stores such as Lush, Paperchase, Tiger, The Body Shop and Boots. I can’t wait to have a proper pamper session to try it all out.
Carluccios and Lakeland also gifted us some beautiful bits which I’m going to create a new recipe around I think, so look out for that!
I have to say a big thanks to Queensgate and Perception PR for welcoming me into the QBlogger fold, and I hope you enjoy sharing in the journey with me! Look out for the hashtag #QBlogger on Twitter / Instagram to keep up to date.
What stores would you love to see in your local shopping centre?