Hi everyone, I hope you’re all well!
Today I’ve got a big chatty post for you all, about one of my favourite places; Gunwharf Quays.
For any of you that aren’t familiar with it, it’s a big retail shopping outlet in Portsmouth…and by outlet, I mean DISCOUNTS. It’s home to everything from Michael Kors, to Gap, to Calvin Klein, to Nike to basically every other bloody shop worth caring about.
I’ve been once before, and had a whale of a time (obvs) being let loose in a shopping centre full of discounts, and so myself and my boyfriend decided to go on Good Friday. We got the train, which is a good way of getting there because then you can have a drink if you so wish and then not get stuck in traffic; it’s about an hour and ten minutes from Brighton on the train with no changes. Woohoo, we all love no changes.
We did nearly miss it though, as I obviously insisted on marching to Tesco Express to get chocolate croissants with 7 minutes to go.
You get the train to Portsmouth Harbour and then it is literally a 2 minute walk to Gunwharf Quays.
Where To Shop
Gunwharf Quays is home to Adidas, All Saints, Animal, Antler, Armani, Asics, Aspex, Bedeck, Bench, Boots, Bose, Boss, Cadbury, Calvin Klein, Cath Kidston, Christy, Clarks, Coach, Coast, Crabtree & Evelyn, Crew Clothing Company, Denby, Diesel, Dr Martens, Ernest Jones, Fossil, Fraser Hart, Fred Perry, French Connection, Gant, Gap, Guess, Hackett, HMV, Hobbs, Jack Wills, Jaeger, Jigsaw, Joules, Karen Millen, Kipling, Kurt Geiger, L’Occitane, Lacoste, Levi’s, Lindtt, Links of London, Lulu Guiness, M&S, Michael Kors, Mint Velvet, Molton Brown, Moss Bros, Musto, Nike, O’Neill, Oakley, Oliver Sweeney, Osprey London, Paul Smith, Phase Eight, Polo Ralph Lauren, Radley London, Reiss, Sunglass Hut, Supedry, Swarovski, Ted Baker, The Body Shop, The Cosmetics Company Store, The North Face, The Perfume Shop, The White Company, Timberland, Tommy Hilfiger, Ugg, Vans, Watch Station, White Stuff and Wonderbra, plus a whole host of cafes, restaurants and bars. It even has a cinema and bowling alley and a club! Aaaaaaand breathe. Bloody hell that was a mouthful.
Everywhere has up to 60% off as a set discount, but a load of them had extra discounts for Easter weekend with around 20-30% off extra at most places.
Before I chat about all the discounts and where’s best to go, I want to share my absolute favourite of all the shops with you; The Cosmetics Company Store.
In short, it sells all your top brands; MAC Cosmetics, Estee Lauder, Bobbi Brown, Smashbox, Origins, Clinique and so many more, but for a discounted price. They have so much good beauty stuff; fully stocked in all the ranges, with huge colour choices in everything. It’s honestly such an impressive little shop, and it’s worth going up to Gunwharf Quays just for The Cosmetics Company Store, to stock up on all your makeup and skincare bits.
I was so impressed with the stock at Gunwharf Quays on Friday; because it’s outlet shopping, the stock differs each time you go, and I’ve done outlet shopping before which has been shocking, however there was so many beautiful things this weekend.
Tips & Tricks
When you see something you absolutely love, obviously buy it. They don’t have the same amount of stock out back as they do when you’re shopping in town, and things get snapped up quickly. However if you’re investing in an expensive item, like a pair of designer shoes or a bag, do a quick circuit of the other designers to make sure you’re not missing out on anything else, and then decide what you want to invest in. A lot of the places don’t offer refunds, only exchanges, and some don’t offer exchanges either, so be sure on what you want when you’re buying it!
Go from start to finish; go in chronological order, stopping for food or drinks along the harbour or at one of the coffee shops scattered in between shops on your way round, and then pick up where you left off. There’s so many shops you can forget where you’ve been, so try and do it in some kind of order.
Make stops! Don’t commit to going all the way round then stopping for food, or your feet will get tired and you’ll feel sluggish and not want to carry on. Set a time for lunch and stick to it, but be aware that especially on a weekend, places to heat get very busy especially on a nice day, so you may need to be prepared for a bit of a wait.
Decide on what you want to get before you go so that you have something in mind. I knew I wanted some new black heels, a white dress and some Calvin Klein underwear. I managed to get all of those and then some; when I’m shopping, especially somewhere like Gunwharf Quays, I want to have a plan. There’s so much to choose from, you will end up completely mind boggled and not know what to get, so try and have an idea before you go, and check out the shops available so you know what to expect and where you want to look!
Food & Drink
You’ve got a huge choice of where to eat and drink at Gunwharf Quays; All Bar One, Azzuro, Bar 38, Bella Italia, Brasserie Blanc, Burger King, Café Rouge, Caffe Nero, Carluccio’s, Chiquito, Coast To Coast, Costa Coffee, Frankie & Benny’s, Giraffe, Jamie’s Italian, Krispy Kreme, Las Iguanas, Lily & Lime, Loch Fyne, Nando’s, Patisserie Valerie, Pizza Express, Pret, Roosters Piri Piri, Strada, Subway, The Cornish Bakery, The Old Customs House, The Waterfront Café, Slug & Lettuce, Tiger Tiger, Wagamama and Zizzi.
As you can see, there is literally something for everyone, whether you eat everything, are the fussiest eater in the world, vegan, whatever, there’s a huge choice.
We ended up going to Strada; everywhere was packed, although Strada was the least busy from what we could see which is good, as I like to relax when I eat and have a glass or three of prosecco.
My boyfriend had risotto, I had the house burger, and we had garlic bread and something to drink (peroni and prosecco, our usual combo). It was really nice, filling food for midway through a shopping trip and a nice place to rest your feet, because I don’t know about anyone else but mine get seriously swollen after walking around all day buying stuff. Plus, the prosecco was ON POINT.
We got some amazing bits at Gunwharf Quays; I got a French Connection dress and heels that should have cost about £160 altogether and I got them for £65. The most gorgeous Body Shop argan oil body butter, and a hemp facial moisturiser for my boyfriend. I grabbed a MAC red lipstick and red lip liner for £21 altogether, and some last minute Easter bits in Lindtt. My boyfriend got a smart shirt from Reiss, another one from French Connection, and two pairs of smart shoes for £85 altogether which should have come to nearly £200!
I’m going to do a haul on Snapchat for you all to show you everything, but honestly, if you want to fully find out the discounts you can get for yourself, you need to go…I’d seriously recommend going this time of year so you can get some holiday bits, or new summer clothes, or if you’ve got a wedding coming up, you can get your outfit for some serious money off.
Out of everywhere, I’d really recommend paying a visit to The Cosmetics Company, Hugo Boss, Polo Ralph Lauren, Armani and Michael Kors for some really amazing discounts and great choice. Also, Coach, French Connection, Dr Marten, The Body Shop, All Saints, Ted Baker, Lulu Guiness, Under Armour, Calvin Klein, The White Company and REISS are worth making a trip to if you weren’t planning on it.
Let me know if you’re going to head to Gunwharf Quays by tweeting me @btongirlprobs, and if you do go, I want to see what you bought, so tweet me photos too!
I hope you enjoyed this post and that it’s given you some shopping inspiration!
All my love BGP xx