Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Published August 6th 2014
A Village Inside a Shopping Centre
Until now, I thought London's only Westfield shopping centre was in Stratford City, but a trip to Shepherd's Bush soon enlightened me. From the moment I exited the train station, I was face to face with those big red letters staring down from way up high.
Westfield is about three times the size of any other shopping centre I have been to; it has three levels of food, retail, and entertainment, not to mention a shopping village and outside restaurant terrace with dozens of places to eat. If you go on a mad shopping spree, there is also a Concierge service, which takes away the heavy burden of carrying all your purchases. Buy, leave at the store, and collect at the pick up desk before you leave.
The Southern Terrace is a beautiful pedestrian side street that travels the breadth of the shopping centre. It is secluded from the busy main road by an organic wall of plants with a relaxing waterfall fountain that people can sit around.
If the sun is out, you can also enjoy live entertainment as bands and solo performers take the artificial grass stage.
The main feature of the Southern Terrace, however, is its restaurants. No matter what cuisine you like, there will be something for you. Carnivores might want to visit The Meat Co, or you could go Brazilian at Cabana. Wahaca is a very good Mexican restaurant, and after reading the menu at Penang!, I would like to go there some time. It is a Malaysian restaurant fusing Asian cuisine such as Indian, Thai, and Malay.
Apart from the restaurants along the terrace, there are many places to eat inside. These range from pop-up snack stalls for things like smoothies, dried fruits, and cupcakes to a Marks & Spencer's Cafe, Pizza Express and Bryron's gourmet burgers. Names are very important, because despite the fact that I don't even like burgers, the literary part of me makes me want to go here.
When it comes to technology and multi-media, you have all the regulars, such as Apple, Three Store, Bose, and HMV, but there is also a more unique store called Hannspree, which have quirky televisions in the shape of apples and bears.
There are a lot of fashion brands, including All Saints, Calvin Klein, Fat Face, Fred Perry, French Connection, and Gerry Webber.
For a more luxurious experience, enter the Shopping Village, where you can find all sorts of gifts or self-pampering, including health & beauty stores, jeweller's, lingerie, and House of Fraser.
Don't let the kids get bored. Take them to the Disney Store for toys, games, DVDs, costumes, and other memorabilia.
Or perhaps they prefer building things. Just around the corner you can find the LEGO Store. This is not just a place for children and big kids; since the release of their Architecture Studio, now professionals have an excuse to play as well. With over twelve hundred bricks and an in-depth guide, you could be building amazing cities.
There are interactive sections in the shop, where you can build with bricks or create your own customisable characters. This area is very popular, so you might have to wait a bit before you can squeeze in for your turn.
On the top floor there is a large Vue Cinema, where you can catch all the latest films. This is a permanent venue, but there are currently a number of other entertaining events going on as part of We Are LDN Summer.
When I went, there were a group of dancers taking part in a swing dance competition, with the winner chosen by audience applause. After the contest, visitors were then allowed to take to the floor and dance too.
A Kia arena was also being constructed. Kia is a Korean car manufacturer's, and during August, they are setting up an interactive experience where you get to learn all about the cars on a more personal level. It includes an X-Box Kinect Health and Fitness Challenge, Digital Graffiti Pod and Design Studio, and Power to Surprise Dream Chute.