Monday, 9 January 2017

Bargains, burgers and blockbusters at London Designer Outlet

The name "London Designer Outlet" is misleading. (And for the sake of this post it shall henceforth be known as LDO.)

You'd be forgiven for thinking LDO was like Bicester - namely a shopping centre of designer shops full of discounted stock.

But you'd be wrong.
 Whilst it is indeed a shopping centre full of outlet shops, it's hardly designer. The fanciest shop there is probably Kurt Geiger, and the majority are high street stalwarts - there's H&M and Claire's Accessories, for example. You getting the level I'm talking about?

I went along to LDO for the first time last weekend to find out what it's all about.

I travelled all the way up to Wembley - zone four, people! FOUR! - for a fun day with my glorious old pal, Jess.
Sure, it's slightly in the middle of nowhere and a somewhat random thing to have right by Wembley Arena, but we had a lovely time.

About ten minutes' walk from Wembley Park tube - and well sign-posted, which I appreciated - LDO isn't like most other shopping centres in that it's largely open-air - lovely when dry, a bit crap if raining.

Fortunately, however, it wasn't. It's a rather nicely-done shopping centre and looked particularly pretty when lit-up at night.

We had a peruse in several shops, but were disheartened to find - as is often the way with outlets - the stock that's there is mostly the rubbish stuff that hasn't been sold for a reason.
However we had a few very successful purchases: I bought some gorgeous chunky black leather heels in Clarks that were £20 down from £60, and Jess got a super cute flask from Joy.

There's also a Lindt shop, which is a rare find in the UK - oh my days, I wanted all the obscure Lindors.

We resisted, however, as we were off for a feast of a lunch.

There are tons of restaurants at LDO - largely the usual chains. However they also have a branch of the Handmade Burger Co, which is not a restaurant one stumbles upon too frequently. Naturally it was my lunch spot of choice.

We sat ourselves down and struggled to choose from the 40+ burgers on the menu - I exaggerate not.

The staff were delightful. After I popped my new Russell & Bromley bag (OMG I am in LOVE with it!) down next to me, the waiter came over with an extra chair, because "a bag that beautiful shouldn't be on the floor." That's my kinda man.

We placed our orders and hit the Diet Coke hard - free refills, people! Man, I go to town on free refills. Must've had at least five.

And soon our food arrived:
*hears hallelujah chorus in head*
For me, the Italian: a beef burger with Mediterranean sausage, mozzarella, red pesto, garlic mayo, rocket, tomato and red onion, except I asked for mine sans tomato and plus grilled peppers.

Amazingly, they got it right - I always ask for no tomato and nine times out of ten end up picking it out myself. The struggles.

It turns out I wasn't a huge fan of the sausage but the rest of the burger was diviiiiiine!
Jess had a bacon and avocado chicken burger, which she assures me was equally scrumptious.
Alongside our burgers we shared a portion of sweet potato fries because hello, sweet potato fries. And we were also a tad on the adventurous side with the Mexican chips.
Handmade Burger Co's chips are simply incredible and a bit legendary, and the Mexican ones are topped with melted cheese, chipotle sauce, hand crushed avocado, handmade Mexican salsa and jalapeños.

It was a tad on the spicy side for me (because I'm feeble) but delicious all the same.

After a smidge more shopping, Jess and I headed to the cinema on the top floor of LDO - I was so ready for a digestive recline.

Did we also get popcorn and chocolate though? Oops.

It's a Cineworld cinema and I was so amazed by the legroom. We went to see Passengers which I absolutely loved and totally recommend. J-Law and Christ Pratt tho.

I thought it really fun to combine cinema and shopping, which may sound like an obvious thing to do but I haven't done so in a while tbhqh. And I suppose the fact that there's so much at LDO - cinema, shops and eateries - makes it more worth going all the way up there.

It was also a lot quieter than central London, which is always good.

Outlet shopping is usually a bit hit and miss in my experience, but I'm super pleased with my shoes and had a great day.

Our lunch and cinema tickets were complimentary but all opinions are my own.
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2 comments

  1. This sounds like such a great day! I feel like outlets are either Bicester level or super cheap, there's no in between! But I'm not complaining about the cheap ones on my student budget :p love that waiter, he's right though, you really shouldn't be putting such a lovely bag on the floor :) xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Life, Travel, Italy

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    1. Yeah you're so right Lucy. Thanks :) X

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