A Morning in Magherafelt

I'm sure some of you are going 'Maghera-where'?? Bear with me - it's not a sponsored post or anything like that. It's just that a couple of my choir friends live there and they've told me all about the amazing shops. But Belfast folk reckon Magherafelt is HOURS away so I took up the challenge of proving it's possible to have a morning of shopping in Magherafelt on a school day and be back in Belfast in time for a 2pm pick-up.

For non-local readers, Magherafelt is about 40 miles from Belfast heading north west and it is known for having a great selection of small, locally owned boutiques. I found out on my visit that pretty much any brand you'd pick up in Belfast can be found within a few hundred yards of the main street. But what brought me there this week are the amazing sales running at the moment with tons of 70% off bargains - the benefits of having friends in the know!

I arrived in the town at about 10.15am and my first stop was Sarah Jane Boutique:

SJ Boutique has a great Facebook page that you should follow - it's one of the best boutique pages I have on my radar. They're so pro-active, posting new arrivals and sale bargains daily. I'd seen this dress on Facebook:
and just had to see it in the flesh.
Even more stunning in real life....I'm currently considering crashing a wedding so I have an excuse to wear it! This blue dress also caught my eye.
The shop has some beautiful stock for special occasions. But also some lovely casual pieces, including a great range of Ilse Jacobsen rainwear and casual wear.
But the sale rail was calling me and I wasn't disappointed. This Almost Famous dress is fabulous - the skirt is made from a quite rigid satin material (with pockets) and the top is a looser, slightly stretchy crepe material with diamante detail at the neck. Hugely reduced also and when I was there, there was an 8, 10 and a 12 in stock.
I'm wearing the 10...with my jeans underneath. Lazy blogger!
Staying with Almost Famous, I also liked this black slightly padded/quilted style top:
Would look amazing with skinny jeans. Only a 14 left or I would have tried it on.
Elsewhere in the sale, there were Pieszak jeans down from £130 to £40,
and half price jewellery....
But here's what I tried on. Starting with this Ilse Jacobsen top which is part of the SS16 range. I've seen it in a couple of boutiques and just love it. It's oversized in shape - this is the S/M. The photo doesn't do it justice - the colours and pattern are stunning.
Next, this top appealed as it's got lovely detail on the front with a longer chiffon fishtail detail on the back (just seen). It was reduced to £29. It was a little bit big in the bust on me though so my friend Anne - who had arrived to meet me just then, tried it on and bought it herself!
Next, I'd also seen this jacket on Facebook. It's as lovely in the flesh...not real leather but is soft and quilted, with lots of 'give' so it was really comfortable to wear.
I was so close to buying it but it was a little bit short on me and I preferred this camel coat and reckoned I'd wear it more:
I know I have one already but the shape and colour of this is so much better on me. It's 80% wool and was reduced from £230 to £69. Here's a close up:
Moving onto the next recommended shop - Dice (also on Facebook on this link), where the sale stock had just been marked down to 70% off the day before:
If you are close by, get in there this weekend as there are so many great bargains. Here's what I tried on, starting with a Part Two wool coat - sheer perfection and if I'd not just bought a camel coat, I'd have snapped it up at £75 down from £250.
This cardigan was another hit - perfect with all my cream tops!
Anne has this next jacket already and it's gorgeous - beautifully made and fully lined. The mix of grey and cream makes it very wearable:
Anne also has this padded coat in the black colour way and insisted I try it on. It was so cosy and beautifully made. If it had been black, it may have come home with me:
This black French Connection top is the one that got away - I loved it but common sense told me I didn't need another going-out top. Down to about £22 in the sale and I know I'm going to regret not buying it:
So what did I buy? First up, this Part Two top. Loved the square fit and the scarf style print. It will get plenty of wear this spring/summer:
And this jumper, which Anne also bought #jumpertwins - check her out in the background with shop owner, Lynn!
I also enjoyed looking at the new ranges that had come in - Great Plains and Inwear look amazing for SS16. Love my stripes!
Lastly, we dropped into Sportique as I wanted to look at the trainers...
...but as we had spent so much time trying on in SJ and Dice, I didn't have enough time to have my gait analysed. Well, it just calls for a second visit. Especially as Siobhan in Sportique has an amazing sale going on with 3 for 2 on all sale stock...I saw some great Sorel boots and North Face coats....Anne had to drag me out!
And here we are just before I grabbed a takeaway coffee in Ground and hit the road back to Belfast:
I left Magherafelt at 12.45pm and was back home at 1.36pm. So it can be done in one morning, but I'd have preferred another hour or two....mind you, perhaps it was for the best given all I bought in the time I was there!

And here's what I wore for my trip:
Coat - Gerard Darel via Dejavu
Scarf - an absolute bargain picked up in that source of all home bargains, Wyse Byse, on the Newtownards Road, Belfast! 

So that was my visit to the retail capital of Co Londonderry :) hope you enjoyed reading about it as much as I enjoyed being there. Can it be done between 9 and 2 from Belfast? Absolutely, but if you're a shopping addict like me and like to try on lots of stuff, you might want to arrange to stay for an hour or two more. I know I'll be doing that on my next visit.



  1. How do the F & F jeans fit? I've never thought to try Tesco jeans!

    1. Hi there - I find the fit spot on actually. These are the performance jeans so they are super stretchy and really comfortable to wear. Watch out for clubcard double up promotions - makes them even more bargainous x

    2. Thanks. I'll go and have a look!
      Nicky xx

  2. Thrilled to discover this post, Avril, as I'm a big fan of shopping in Magherafelt, my local town when growing up, especially Dice. I went to school with Lynn - she was in my sister's year at the Rainey - so we always check it out when I'm in NI. She stocks brands which you can't always find in the usual high street and her sales are good. I'm sure she'll be delighted to be featured on your blog. Did you go to McConnell's shoes? It's also very good.

  3. Oh wow those dresses are amazing, all of them. I love stuff like that, I'd have been in heaven!

  4. I never go to magherafelt for clothes despite being only 15 mins away - but will have to rethink after seeing this. Loved that grey coat from Dice, it's exactly what I'm looking for. Love your scarf btw!!


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