I didn't snap up many Black Friday discounts this weekend, but am I sad about it? Not a jot, as instead I took myself off to Kildare Village, where I let myself run wild. And do I feel sad about that? On the contrary: there are serious savings to be made at this luxury outlet shopping centre, with savings of between 30 and 70% off all brands (and often, even further discounts applied in store).
|Mulberry heels, LR: €190 from €550; €221 from €450; €325 from €850.|
There's even more to love about the place since our last trip (check out what I bought then) with Mulberry, Kurt Geiger and Kate Spade offering enough gorgeous bags, shoes and accessories to cover even the pickiest-slash-most discerning women on your Christmas list (or to make sure you outshine the Christmas lights at your work 'do).
|Kate Spade at Kildare Village; glitter bag €213 from €355|
|Kate Spade Ear-rings; €60 from €100|
For the jewellery lovers in your life, Links of London and Pandora offer some lovely gift options; the Links friendship bracelets are priced from €75 which is about half what you'd pay elsewhere, and I picked up a trinket or two from the huge range of charms, rings and bracelets on offer at Pandora.
We made a day of it, starting with coffee at Starbucks and stopping for lunch and some festive fizz at L'Officina, interspersed with lots of excited squealing and equal parts agony (like when the leopard print Mulberry heels didn't come in my size) and ecstasy (finding the Pandora ring I came *this* close to buying in Amsterdam, for eighty bucks cheaper).
There's lots to choose from for the menfolk on your list, too, whatever your budget, including Calvin Klein underwear, Ted Baker accessories, Nike sportsgear and great gadgets at Home and Cook from coffee machines to cookwear. You'll also be able to seriously spoil the little ones on your list with savings on designer kids brands; we found Burberry, Timberland, DKNY and more at K.I.D.S (Kids International Designer Store).
I'd go so far as to say Kildare Village is a new Christmas shopping tradition - like a well-earned cocktail in The Westbury after a hard day's spending on Grafton Street - and we might even squeeze in one more trip before the big day; himself is still mourning the €40 Ted Baker wallet he left behind. So my advice? Get it while you can; as my friends Pat and Tony always told me, "better looking at it than looking for it". (Ok, they were usually talking about beer, but the principle applies.)
If you can, I'd go on a weekday - the weekends will be jammers as we get closer to Christmas - and be sure to check the website for news of special events and offers. Happy shopping!