A few years ago Queensgate shopping centre in Peterborough invited a handful of bloggers from the area to become #Qbloggers. I always look forward to our catch ups as they tend to involve lots of food, plenty of blog talk and tip sharing, as well as a few surprises.
This season we were invited to a gathering at Carluccio’s Restaurant to participate in a secretive shopping challenge. Before we found out what it was, we tucked into delicious canapes (vegan friendly – yay for me!) and got the low down on what’s coming up at Queensgate over the coming months.
Firstly, The White Company are hosting a pop up in Queensgate until Christmas. YES QUEENSGATE! It’s handy shopping online when you know what you want, but there is a special kind of joy to be had from sniffing every single one of their glorious scents in store.
Secondly, this coming Saturday the 17th November is the centre’s Festive Fiesta. The action starts at 10.30am and promises fun surprises and entertainment for shoppers throughout the day. I couldn’t tease any more details out of them but I’ve been told that they’ve gone big this year. Really big. Check out my Instagram stories on Saturday, I’m heading into the centre to find out for myself.
During the meal we were invited to open personalised envelopes containing our AW18 #Qblogger challenge. Mine revealed three stores handpicked to suit my individual style. The challenge was to visit them all and pick out my five favourite items for the Autumn/Winter season. To help me, I was given a £25 Queensgate gift card* to put towards my top pick which could be used at any retailer at the centre.
When I read out my three stores to visit everyone around the table said “Oh they are SO you Laura!” I’d been given Joules, John Lewis and Oasis. I couldn’t have chosen better myself. Here’s how I got on:
I tend to buy from Joules when I want something that’s high quality that I’ll get a lot of wear out of. They are especially good for cosy scarves, tailored coats and cute as a button wellies.
I fell in love with this plum coloured jacket which I thought would be a perfect addition to my capsule wardrobe.
I really can’t stand being cold and find jackets a good solution as they can be slipped on and off as needed. It would work well with a shift dress for the office and then paired with jeans and a teeshirt for a more casual vibe.
Then I spotted a perfect Christmas present idea: the Wensley Scarf in the ‘Dogs In Leaves’ print.
Since it’s got lots of different breeds on it I could think of several of my dog loving friends that would go gaga over it. That’s at least one present ticked off my Christmas list…
John Lewis is where I head when I need something for party season and they delivered for the AW18 #Qblogger challenge. This shimmering sequinned gold dress from French Collection caught my attention above all others.
Not only does it look fabulous, but owing to its flattering tunic cut it would also allow room for that inevitable festive food baby. SOLD.
Finally, I arrived at Oasis which has fast become one of my favourite clothing brands. I find the cut of their clothes and the patterns and the fabrics used some of the most flattering on the high street.
This season I’m picking up a strong ‘Cher from Clueless’ vibe from their collection, in particular this preppy checked skirt.
I think it would work just as well teamed with a cosy cable knit jumper as it would paired with something more tailored.
I also spotted this navy striped tee.
The fabric keeps it casual and comfortable but the addition of rose gold stars gives it a festive twist. It’s my pick to wear on Christmas day.
So that’s my ‘fab five’ from the retailers at Queensgate shopping centre for AW18. What do you think? And what’s caught your eye recently?
As a side note, sadly the Peterborough Carluccio’s closed down just after our visit. It’s a real shame as they had some delicious vegan friendly dishes. With the benefit of hindsight I wish I had visited more often; sometimes you don’t appreciate these things until they’re gone.
*This post is a collaboration with Queensgate. I received a £25 gift card as thanks for taking part in the AW18 #Qblogger challenge.