During May, I was challenged by Kildare Village to see if it was feasible for a group of mums to take a day trip to the Village after the school run....and return the same evening.
So I rounded up a few of my blogging friends who are also mums and we took up the challenge. We met at Sprucefield at 9.30am after all the kids had been safely left to school and the drive south began.
It's 127 miles in total and according to Google Maps, it should take just over 2 hours. I was sceptical as I make this journey regularly with the family but in fact, it did only take that...as we didn't have to take into account multiple toilet stops! So at 11.40, we were at the Village ready to start shopping.
L-R at the giant macaroons...Emma (Adventures of an Unfit Mother), Karen (Raising Mighty Girls), myself & Nic (Strawberry Blonde Beauty Blog)
But not before a spot of lunch at L'Officina, the on-site Italian restaurant where we had a 'healthy' goats cheese salad with a glass of prosecco and a side of bruschetta. Perfect fuel for the shopping which commenced immediately post-lunch.
A group of 4 is tricky when shopping so we agreed to split up and meet again at Starbucks at 3.30pm. We met each other at times but mostly serious shopping ensued. I've taken photos in most of the shops I went into, starting with Ralph Lauren, where the leather bags were fabulous. The tan one is exactly what I've been looking for...
Next up, The Kooples...not really my cup of tea being honest but it was nice for a look around and the footwear was lush.
Again, it was the leather goods that impressed me most in DKNY - adore the quilted bags and leather purses and they were really well priced - 129 euro is equivalent to about £95.
Loved the French Connection store but I was all about the shoes in Tommy Hilfiger, Clarks (OMG - those sandals in every colour!) and Kurt Geiger..
At our afternoon coffee meet-up, we shared the best bargains which then has us all dashing about to shops we'd not considered and back to ones we'd been in and missed bargains in! Including the hit of the day - Hobbs..where there were huge savings on leather items including the tan boots for 47 euro (in my size!) and check the reductions on those bags! When I went back at the end of the day, there were hardly any handbags left and the long leather boots were sold...
Jaeger was another surprise hit - I'd probably not have gone in only for Emma's recommendation. Again, leather goods stole the show here...another gorgeous tan bag:
Then Nic brought me along with her to the Lulu Guinness shop, another one I'd not have gone into if I was there on my own. I'm not a huge fan of her novelty clutches but she's got a much more understated range going on also.
Last few pictures now - Superdry where I almost bought this white sweatshirt, and Joules where I resisted the 'buy 5 items, pay for 4' and just bought the kids some t-shirts....but they had the famous Joules bretons in about 5 colours for just 20 euro!
LK Bennett and Cath Kidson were both lovely too. LKB was a bit dressier than I need right now but it would be the first place I'd go if I had a wedding to attend. Cath Kidson was really well priced and I think everyone bought at least one thing from there. Some great wee bargain baskets - perfect for picking up teacher presents etc.
Finally, a shop I adore...though not one I buy from that often, I will admit. But it's a joy to look around and one day soon, I will buy one of their bright wallets (reduced to about 60 euro in the outlet) - Ted Baker. Check out the neckline detail on that fabulous blush top..
It was no time before it was time to go - cue much shopping panic and last minute purchases!
So what did I buy? Apart from a t-shirt each for the kids from Joules and a Superdry one for hubby, I bought myself a pair of Nike trainers, which I've featured loads already on the blog. Such a great buy. It's not that there wasn't loads to buy - the photos above tell a different story but I'd just received confirmation of a choir trip to Boston in October and needed to pay for my flight this weekend. A great reason to resist another new handbag!
But as for the girls - they did enough shopping for me...so much fun going back up on the car sharing our purchases!
We got back at about 8.40pm - so yes, our partners and families did have to help with the kids for the afternoon & evening but everyone agreed that for a special treat with minimal impact on the family, a mid-week trip to Kildare was definitely better than a weekend one. The shops are quieter and there's not as much childcare to arrange whenever the kids are in school until at least 2pm.
We're already planning the next trip - see you soon KV and maybe on the next trip, I'll buy something else from here....
Disclosure - Our costs of transport and lunch were covered by Kildare village but we were not paid to come to the outlets, nor were we obliged to blog about the day.