Monday, 25 November 2019

A Shopping Trip to Omagh | AD

Have you ever thought about a shopping day trip to Omagh? Last week I was invited up to the town by 9 local businesses and Fermanagh and Omagh District Council. The task for me on the day was to showcase the town as a venue for a day trip by sharing a selection of the businesses in the town - food, interiors and fashion. And it really is just a selection because there were many businesses and shops I walked past but didn't have time to share.

My host for the day was Lynn from She Boutique. I first visited Lynn's shop last year and we’ve kept in touch since. It was Lynn who got the shops & businesses organised for the day and planned the route. There was a lot to fit into the day so I was grateful that she was there to make sure I stuck to my timings!

For those of you who have never been down in Omagh before, it’s just over an hour from Belfast down the M1 and A5. I arrived at 9:15 am and parked beside the main Primark & SuperValu where the parking is 50p per hour - there are other car parks nearby if this one is full.

Our first stop was The Kitchen for breakfast, situated at the top of the town to the right of the courthouse. I had heard many good reviews from family and friends so I was excited to try Kate’s home made healthy menu. 
But I wasn’t expecting the stunning interior-with an open fire at the back, where I found Kate working away:
Such a cosy setting and the breakfast menu was amazing. 
I opted for The Goddess Bowl - Greek yoghurt,  granola and fresh fruit, so beautifully presented. It was absolutely delicious and there was plenty of it too.
Thumbs up for the coffee also - it was excellent. And I must mention an event they're having on the 11th December with Annette from Little Penny Thoughts. It's called Wellness from Within and will cover confidence, positivity and resilience & you can check for tickets on this link.
My second stop was She Boutique - Lynn's own shop - where I tried on a selection of her autumn winter style. She Boutique has been in Omagh for 30 years and is still going strong under Lynn's management.
It has a lovely range of more casual brands like Joules and Seasalt as well as an impressive range of dressier options for occasions including one of my favourite brands, and one that fits beautifully - Rinoscimento
Another occasion option is this beautiful devore dress - love the shades of red and grey in it:
Moving onto a more casual outfit from Seasalt and Joules:
And finishing with my favourite - the softest, stretchiest faux leather leggings and this cosy sequin sleeve jumper - love the colours and how wearable the jumper is for daytime. The leggings are only £20 and are fleece lined and so comfortable - a great alternative to coated jeans.
This scarf was a perfect match too!
Scarf - £25
Moving away from fashion, my next visit was to Creative Stone & Tile which has been in the town for over a decade and is run by husband and wife team, Paul and Rosie Bryan.
It’s been about five years since I bought tiles and I was genuinely blown away by how things have moved on. Tiles are literally massive now – as big as a standard doorway! I was impressed by the wide range of wood effect tiles too - something that wasn't easily available when we were doing our kitchen in 2012. It has become a really strong trend and looks so good against a plain kitchen, especially if your cupboards are a cooler shade of white or grey.
Rosie and Paul are very particular about where they source their tiles, dealing directly with only a fraction of the Italian manufacturers to ensure that they have the very best product. And another revelation on the day...ceramic panelling?! Mind blown.
And coming down the line next, sanitary wear that matches your tiles and ceramic kitchen cupboards. You heard it here first!
As well as working with house owners all over the province and beyond, Creative Stone & Tile has a commercial arm as well, fitting out bars & restaurants and also working on cruise ships fit out. It means you get the best of both worlds with Rosie and Paul when you're doing your home because you’ve got commercial level project management expertise combined with creative interior design skills.

My third visit of the day was to Bogues Jewellers, a family run business which has been on the go since the 1870's.
Run by Patrick Bogue, the business has a shop in Enniskillen and one in Omagh. As well as a wide range of gorgeous diamonds....
and many well known watch brands,
...the shop (and website) has a lovely selection of branded jewellery, like Hot Diamonds. Loved the moon and star range below - I'm always asked about where to find a nice silver star necklace:
and Chlobo - a brand of co-ordinating stackable pieces that is 100% allergy proof. It was selling strongly while I was there:
There is also a gift shop at the back of the store. Definitely worth popping into if you’re passing - there were some beautiful Belleek pieces for Christmas. I loved this light up nativity scene:
Oh and if you're in the market for a very special ring, there is a gorgeous private room where you can try on in peace and quiet and diamond rings start at £750.

Footwear next and Scarpa Omagh is just across the road from the jewellers and here I was greeted by a row of shoes all in my size, ready for me to try on. Great customer service!
And all the animal print that a girl could need in her life....
Shoe shops are a dangerous one for me and Scarpa provided all the temptation. I'm a massive fan of Moda in Pelle and the girls have a great selection including these incredible heels that I'd already spotted on their Instagram:
They're high but so stunning - and there's a shoe-boot version too!
I also love Marco Tozzi which is at a lower price point as they're mostly faux leather but they're always on-trend and comfortable. 
And it was here I spotted the perfect leopard leather cross body - by Moda in Pelle also.
My 5th stop of the day was House of Vixen, another shop that I visited when I was in Omagh last year but what a difference this visit! Brenda, the owner, has moved up the town, beside Scarpa and has amalgamated her women's and children's clothing in the once premises together along with a new Communion Dress department. She has a gorgeous edit of brands like My Sisters Closet and Philip Hog as well as some I’ve never seen before. She also has as lovely range of casual, dressy and occasion wear - I particularly liked this easy to wear midi dress that can be dressed up or down:
And ditto this green option - perfect for Christmas Day!
But this gold blazer stole my heart...I've spent the days since trying to plan outfits around it! It didn't come home with me but I feel that it should have...and could still...
 I particularly liked the selection of coats - this grey one was my favourite.
The children’s clothing is at the rear of the shop and includes a play point where the kids can watch TV or play on a tablet while you shop – genius idea. On the mezzanine floor, you'll find the communion Dress section, which is a miniature version of a bridal shop. What a treat for any little girl celebrating her special day next spring. You can book appointments directly with the shop and now is a good time to get in while it’s quieter!
Beside the shop, there is access to the upstairs space, called House of Vixen Beauty & Wellness, which is currently rented out by a number of local therapists. You'll find Pamper & Relax, Niamh Gallogly Podiatry, Inside Beauty (which stocks Epionce!!) and YouthFill, making House of Vixen a real one stop shop for looking & feeling your best.
Owner of Vixen, Brenda...her own jacket has sold out but she's re-ordering it next week so phone if you want to pre-order. It's just £65!

It was time for food now so Lynn drove me out to the Silverbirch Hotel for Stop 6 of our Day out - afternoon tea.
This family run hotel has been open for over 40 years and is famous for its Sunday buffet. I helped run an event here as part of my day job last year and they were so lovely to deal with. There's a real warm and helpful feel in the place and nothing I asked for was a problem. Fellow hotel event organisers will appreciate this I know.
Lynn and I had the loveliest half an hour, much needed to recover from all of the running round the town and trying on! The hotel has a gorgeous menu priced at £21, which includes a glass of Prosecco, an amuse-bouche, sandwiches and sweet treats. The food quality was fantastic and there was plenty of it - I brought home quite a few of the buns and the kids gave them the thumbs up as well!! 
Our penultimate stop was to try on some amazing dresses at Dress Connection with Sinead and Heather.
This is definitely THEEE place to go for formal wear and in fact they can cater for pretty much any occasion with their extensive range of dresses and separates. 
The most exciting dress they have at the moment is the one that Shirley Ballas wore on Strictly a couple of weeks ago.
It was definitely my favourite piece - it has that gorgeous vintage glamour that I think would look amazing for a winter bride. I know I would have it on my list if I was getting married again (haha!).  
I also tried on some race day and wedding appropriate pieces. The girls have a number of headpieces in store that can be hired to match your outfit. 

And I finished with some party looks using coated jeans, also stocked in-store and available in navy as well as black. Really unusual to see good navy coated jeans - they fitted perfectly and had a good high waist. 

And then as darkness fell in Omagh, Lynn and I headed to Dollybird Interiors for the final shop visit.
 Emma and Joanne in Dollybird have been on my radar for a while as I follow them on Instagram. They have a beautiful premises up near the courthouse and it is filled with all of the interior inspo you could ever want.
The girls specialise in bespoke residential and commercial interior design, right across the province and further afield. What I loved is that they can come and do a 90 minute session with you in your home and schedule a budgeted program of work to run over a period of 18 months, allowing you to spread the cost. 
I asked for their top tips for autumn winter interiors & they gave me 3. Green is the colour of the season, Texture is all important and if you’re looking to easily update any room in the house, Change your Cushions!
And just like that, I was back in my car at 5pm after a full day of warm welcomes and friendliness in a town that surpassed all my expectations for a shopping day out. My cousin lives just outside Omagh and has always said that there is nothing you can’t get in the town and I believe her 100% now! 

I hope you enjoyed finding out more about the town and that if you're local, you’ll make a trip to support one or more of the businesses there. Each business I visited chipped in a small amount to cover my costs & time for which I am very grateful. This is why my post is marked AD.

 In the case of all these businesses, where there is no website to purchase product from, simply drop them an email or make a phone call to purchase. They will happily take payment by PayPal or bank transfer and post out.

Many thanks Omagh - I'll be back soon!

Ax
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