Sunshine, shopping and Stratford
Bank holiday weekend has arrived in England and with it some sunshine has appeared (I use the words some sunshine optimistically.) This meant hopping on the bus and heading down to Stratford-upon-Avon for the day and enjoying the long weekend, and a bit too much shopping, while I could.
First things first
10 seconds off the bus and that means going to all the old favourites, and in my family that means sweets and Christmas in summer. The year round Christmas shop in Stratford is a must every time we visit and will definitely get you in the spirit, even if Christmas is over 200 sleeps away.
After that we find our way to the Old fashioned sweet shop, which is a bit of a vice in our household, and although Mr Sims has the best peanut brittle and cinder toffee, the Stratford sweet shop is still worth a visit, if only to pick up their ridiculously sour sweets or a souvenirs stick of rock.
After a little potter around the town and the usual high street stores, where perhaps a few too many items were purchased on my part, it’s time for lunch. After working up an appetite we headed to Benson’s restaurant and tea room, where I’ve actually never been before, but was pleased to find an extensive gluten-free menu. I ended up having a tuna melt with homemade slaw and would definitely recommend it to any fellow gluten-free readers. They also offer a gluten free cream tea which I might have to try soon.
Promenade the park
Time to walk of lunch and that means heading down to the canal. Stratford is full of shops and tea rooms to potter in and out of but the park and canal are a lovely walk especially when the sun is out, just watch out for the geese and swans, there’s a few hundred of them.
The park is also a wonderful place to have a picnic, or you could hop on the ferris wheel that is currently running, which would offer you a great view of the town. The park also offers much entertainment, the area around the park is often occupied by street performers or busker’s and is a nice way to pass sometime in the nice weather, however the sun didn’t appear until late afternoon so the prospect wasn’t so appealing in the cold. So I ultimately ended back in the shops and the bookstore (the weather a perfect excuse.)
Stratford is a wonderful day out and is one of my go to day trips when the weather is nice, just to sit by the canal or head to the races. But if you have more time on you hands I recommend taking in a show at the RSC or heading to the butterfly farm, if you can deal with them landing on you that is, unlike my friends who tend to squeal the minute something flutters near them.
What I picked up
The bank Holiday was the perfect opportunity to do a bit of shopping, especially since there were a few sales. I picked up a few items on my trip to Stratford and my local shopping centre. The first shop I purchased from was New look, which is having some really good deals at the moment, I picked up two items both pictured below.
Baby Blue ribbed Knotted vest reduced to £4.89
Grey Mini Backpack reduced to £7.99
I’ve already used the backpack, which I love as it can be used as both a backpack or crossbody bag, and is like a Tardis, much bigger on the inside, where you can fit all the shopping necessities. I thought the top would be perfect for summer (well the one I’m hopping we get) and would pair nicely with a pair of white shorts or jeans.
The next shop I popped into was Lush, who were having a really good deal on in support of FFlag, a charity who supports family and friends of those in the LGBT community as they come out or any other issues they face. So for me it was an excuse to buy more from Lush while supporting a fantastic organisation.
I actually had the opportunity to make my own bath bomb in store, and got to make the Sex Bomb, which is currently setting, so I have to wait two days until I can use it. So to tide me over I picked up the ‘you’ve been mangoed’ bath oil which smells like sherbet lemons and is going to be used later. Also when I purchased the sex bomb bath bomb I got a free pot of the charity face and body lotion, which has a wonderful floral sent and will be used on a daily basis.
My next purchase was from Accessorize, who were, fortunately for me, having a deal on their sunglasses, which were all £10. As it had been raining in the morning I didn’t bring sunglasses with me, like a genius, so my luck the sun came out. I brought a pair of leopard print frames with reflective lenses, and actually love them so it was a win win really.
After Accessorize I headed in to Paperchase, a must for me on any shopping trip, to fulfill my stationary addiction. I picked up three items, including a Birthday card and silly present for a friend, and a pack of pastel highlighters to make my university notes slightly more interesting. Paperchase were also handing out scratchcards to celebrate their Birthday, so I ended up getting 20% off my purchase.
My next stop was Crystal Chain, I’ve never been in this shop before but they had some really cute reasonably priced jewelry items and I picked up two Items including a square-cut ’emerald’ coloured ring surrounded by smaller crystal and a pair of matching earrings. I love both items and would definitely recommend you check it out, especially for presents or for yourself. As a student the jewelry is really affordable but still looks special, so is great for gifts, especially with all the 21st Birthdays I have coming up.
The final shop I went to was Aspire style, one of my personal favourites. There aren’t many of these stores around but they do have a website which I recommend, especially if you like vintage (50s – 60s) clothes. The store is full of vintage clothes, occasion wear, jewellery and loads of little knickknacks. I brough two items, which I thought would be perfect for summer. These items are both really versatile and can be worn together or with several staple items I already have in my wardrobe. The both have really nice fits and are light, which is perfect in the warmer weather.
Slogan tee which is slightly oversized – £28
High waisted shorts – similar to mom style Louche £35
Overall I’d say the shopping trips and trip were a success, I picked up several summer staples and enjoyed the limited sunshine. I hope you’ve all had a wonderful Bank Holiday weekend, until next time.