A Mad Morning

This morning I attended a press breakfast and walk round at Overgate Shopping Centre, Dundee and I was rather surprised at the variety of things that we were shown. Kimberley and Michelle took great care of the all-female group of journalists and writers by fueling us with a yummy coffee and cake brekkie at Costa before taking us round the shopping centre.  However, they had more than a leisurely stroll in mind.
First stop was soap emporium, Lush, where we were shown how to make our own soap. It was much like preparing a cake mixture with lots of icing sugar, but with the addition of a rose and citrus orange oil to fragrance the soap. Hard work on the arms, excellent for banishing bingo wings. Once the mixture was ready, we moulded our soap into the desired shape (mine was a heart, although I ended up making three because it was such fun) and we finished off the soap by decorating it with a tiny dried rose. After a couple of hours the soap solidifies, and you then break it into a bath of hot water for an enormous froth of bubbles that smell gorgeous. (I have yet to use mine, but am looking forward to it). 
If you fancy having a go at soap making, contact Lush because they arrange soap making (and facial) parties, great for kids and adults alike. What I love about Lush is that they are 100% committed to the environment – no animal testing is used whatsoever and the company are currently promoting an initiative which involves recycling bottles tops and plastic which they then use for their packaging. If you fancy helping out, there’s a beach clean-up at Broughty Ferry tomorrow, or you can take your old bottle tops into Lush stores and they will recycle them for you.
Next stop, the toy store, Hawkin’s Bazaar. The idea behind this store is that you can find retro toys that you used to have as a child. It’s a big kid’s dream shop, filled with everything from paper planes to remote control cars to Morph door stoppers, Russian dolls and edible Playdoh. In the spirit of joining in, I took part in a Space Hopper race with Kimberley and lost by a mile. I blame the five inch platforms.
After my mini work out, I was ready for another refreshment. Luckily, Michelle suggested more coffee, so we had a natter in Starbucks and discussed future possibilities of working together over caramel lattes and creamy hot chocolates. Not great for the waist, but delicious nonetheless. 
Finally, we went to CC (formerly Country Casuals) and Viyella (within the same shop space) and I found a little jacket perfect for any occasion, any time. Thanks to my complimentary Overgate gift card (yes, you can use this anywhere in the shopping centre) and the CC sale, my jacket was a total bargain. CC has always had an older customer market, but with new designers working on the Autumn/Winter collections, this market is getting younger and younger. In these difficult financial times, women are investment buying, so CC really offers up classic pieces of really good quality but with a more modern silhouette than before. As soon as I walked in, four pieces caught my eye; said jacket, a polka dot knit, a black minimalistic dress and a caramel dress with subtle military references. The cherry on the cake was the lovely scarf we were each gifted – mine was ever so slightly quilted and blood red in colour – so I would recommend visiting CC, even if only to look at the accessories. The umbrellas and jewellery were particularly impressive.
A very busy morning indeed, but worth every moment. Overgate really has a lot to offer the people of Dundee, from shopping to eating to picking up essentials and enjoying time with friends. The shopping centre itself is in a lovely location, with the church and green lawns outside making it less industrial and more visually pleasing. What’s important is, the inside is brilliant too, with new stores (Superdry and Stormfront) opening regularly and existing stores maintaining inviting window displays and a good selection of the collections. Today I only saw a small selection of what Overgate has to offer and it took me half a day – imagine what you could find spending a whole day in Overgate shopping, eating and relaxing. Before you know it, you’ll be planning your next trip. 
I’m going at the weekend. 

All my goodies from Overgate, including Country Casuals jacket and scarf, Calvin Klein brolly from Debenhams, toys from Hawkin’s Bazaar, variety of goodies from Lush and a gift card, which I spent on the jacket. Other pics include me mixing up the soap and starting off on the Space Hopper race – below is a video of my pathetic attempt to win! Well done, Kim! 

With many thanks to Overgate and Kim and Michelle at Beattie Communications.


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