To celebrate the opening of our beautiful new Southampton store, we caught up with manager Sarah Jane Fryer to find out what makes this port city extra special – and what she’s loving from our new Christmas collection.
What makes Southampton different from other cities?
My favourite thing about Southampton is its waterside location and, being a port city, we get so many amazing cruise ships in daily. During the Summer, in particular, there are lots of places to have a nice walk, while if you fancy a trip to the Isle of Wight, the ferry ride is only an hour.
If someone is visiting Southampton for a weekend, what would you recommend they do?
Westquay South is a great place to go. It has really good restaurant choices, a cinema, bowling and arcades. It’s also ideal to take children for a day out – there’s plenty to keep them entertained. There’s also Mayflower Park, just by the city centre, which is perfect for when the weather is nice.
Where would you recommend for a day of shopping?
Westquay is the place to be when it comes to shopping (make sure you come and find our new store, too!). There is a wide variety of retailers in the mall, plus the high street is just on its doorstep, with even more shops to choose from.
Where is the best place for brunch?
My favourite places are Bill’s (which is situated in Westquay South) – there are really good continental options, and I also love Halladay’s Tea Rooms in Bedford Place for the best afternoon tea. Bedford Place is host to some great bars for evening cocktails, too.
What do you love about Christmastime in Southampton?
It has to be the Christmas Market, which is just outside Westquay on the high street. It always ignites the seasonal spirit with lots of festive food and drink, along with craft and gift stalls, too. And don’t miss the ice rink (also at Westquay), and the big Christmas lights switch-on (this year on Thursday, November 14th), which will be fun.
What puts Southampton on the map?
This city is a great shopping and leisure destination but, because it’s a port city, there is also a rich historical past to discover. The SeaCity Museum is well worth a visit, as are the town walls in the old town, which are some of the most complete medieval walls in the country.
What are your hero pieces from our new collection?
Christmas is my favourite time of year and I’m having lots of fun putting together my shopping list, which has been greatly influenced by our collection. My top gifts so far are the Winter Cosy Night Gift Set, as it has my two favourite things: candles and cosy cashmere socks, and our super-cute Jingles pyjamas, which are perfect for little ones of all ages. I’ll be wrapping my presents to the scent of our new Fireside Collection; I love how rich and warm it is – it really is perfect for curling up at home.