’Tis the season to be jolly falalalala lalalala! With party after party, the madness of Christmas shopping and the importance of seeing all of your loved ones; Christmas can be over in a flash. If you’re anything like me December tends to be a huge whirlwind. I normally manage to spend quality time with everyone bar my long-suffering other half. Finding a moment alone during the festive period is near on impossible when you’re both busy people. So this year, Hamish and I decided to embrace a spot of early Christmassing at intu Chapelfield. We took a little time out on the last day of November to indulge in a festive Byron Burger, plan the dreaded Christmas shopping and browse for some gifts!
If you’re wondering what on earth Christmassing is; it’s the fuzzy, warm and excited feeling that strikes in the lead up to Christmas day. It’s about making the most of those little moments; whether that’s rituals, traditions or trying something new. Making the most of every moment is something that I love to do. It’s a necessity at this time of year.
I like to think that Christmassing at intu Chapelfield is the smart option. With my diary filling fast with wonderful parties and events, there’s very little time for actually shopping or taking a break! Where better to do that than intu Chapelfield? For one, everything is either indoors or covered, so no rain or snow will stop play. There’s extended opening hours (8pm every day, 5pm on Sundays and 9pm on Thursdays) too. So I can squeeze in lots of post work shopping and the occasional date night on my way home.
Armed with my notebook and pen, Hamish and I decided to head into Byron Burger to sample their Christmas menu and work out what to buy everyone. This year Byron Burger are running Fromagemas – yes you read that right, it’s all about the cheese!
For £16.95 you get a drink, a side and the rather epic Fromagemas burger. I opted for a white wine, the bun-less burger and cheese and bacon fries. We also had some spicy chicken wings with a blue cheese sauce to start. The wings were sweet, spicy, crunchy and creamy – perfect to whet your appetite. The burger was epic to say the least. There was a 6oz hamburger, Barber’s cheddar, Barber’s Red Leicester, Byron cheese, crispy Grana Padano, red onion, smoked tomato ketchup, Grana Padano aioli and a jug of Byron cheese sauce. It was quite the cheese fest and as you can see I was rather happy with my choice of dinner!
With a chilled out atmosphere, trendy decor and an epic Christmas food and drink menu Byron Burger is a great place to head for a bite to eat pre, post or mid shopping. Irrespective of whether you’re with your friends, your other half or alone. In fact it would be a fab place to catch up with friends in between shopping!
For a quick browse for gift inspiration we nipped into five different stores that basically have Christmas covered!
For a little Christmas treat we had a wander around Hotel Chocolat to have a look at their decadent Christmas chocolate range. From stunning Christmas crackers, to giant hampers, dessert selections and boxes of chocolate they have you covered! I was pleased to see that their Christmas Chocolate Wreath Box is back for another year. This was one of my presents from work last year and it was divine. It had a chocolate to please everyone and would make a lovely gift. A box of Hotel Chocolat chocolates is something great to have as an emergency gift too. It looks like you’ve made an effort for that inevitable moment when you forget to buy someone something!
Boots is always my go to place Christmas shopping. The intu Chapelfield store is huge and has everything that you could need under one roof. They have a large range of beauty, food, kids and mens gifts, as well as high-end concessions such as Clinique and Estee Lauder. I had a wander around the perfume section, the gift section and I had a nose at the Clinique gift sets. I could quite easily do all of my shopping here. Lots of the gifts are on 3 for 2, plus you get your Boots points which is always a bonus!
This local brand has a stunning range of accessories, jewellery and homeware. They also have a stand near boots in intu Chapelfield packed full of gorgeous gifts. I’ve been eyeing up their quirky baubles since their Christmas party. Their Christmas sacs are beyond stunning as it their jewellery, which will please your friend, mum, grandma or even your sister! You could probably shop for most of the ladies in your life here and some of the men too.
House of Fraser
With clothes, homeware, beauty and more all under one roof House of Fraser could be your one stop shop for Christmas. I always love wandering around the men’s department to get gift inspiration for the men in my life. It turns out that they’re not really that hard to buy for if you know where to look! I had a quick wander around the beauty hall too, trying not to buy a gift for me.
EACH Christmas Baubles
Finally, we went to have a look at the EACH butterfly cascade and found out about their gorgeous baubles. This year intu Chapelfield have teamed up with local charity EACH (East Anglia Children Hospices) to create 2,017 individual glass baubles with an origami butterfly inside. Each babble costs £30 and comes in a presentation box, for £5 extra you can choose a special number. This would make a lovely gift for someone who loves Christmas or who always has a stunning tree. All of the money raised goes to EACH’s Nook appeal.
Hamish and I had a wonderful evening Christmassing at intu Chapelfield. So If you have a Thursday night free between now and Christmas I’d highly recommend heading there, grabbing some food and tackling your Christmas shopping list. You could even make a day of it at the weekend with the girls. Why not treat them to an early Christmas present of an intu gift card and shop the day away? Just remember to make the most of the Christmassy atmosphere and your time with your shopping partner, as 2018 will be upon us before we know it.
How will you be Christmassing this year? Use the hashtag #GetChristmassing to let me know!