You can imagine how annoyed I was to discover this year that Cheshire Oaks designer shopping outlet existed all along just 20 mins away from where the in-laws live and MY HUSBAND NEVER TOLD ME. The rat. He just wanted to save his bank balance from disappearing into a black hole. I can't believe we've been going to Liverpool since 2006 and he never said anything! Not once! Not even when we visited his aunt who lives a mere 10 min away!
The designer outlet is in Cheshire Oaks, South Wirral. For all you Liverpool FC fans out there, I think it's where the Benitez family live. No, I didn't bump into Rafa when we were shopping. Would have been a bit odd seeing him in the Karen Millen store.
The place is designed with the car park in the middle and the outlets all arranged in a circular fashion around it. There are plenty of food places for you to stop and grab a bite. It is also wheelchair- and stroller-friendly.
So who's there? From Burberry, Armani, Fred Perry, Mulberry, Ralph Lauren... down to Ted Baker, Karen Millen, Gap, French Connection, Oasis, Next... you name it, they're there.
It's not just about fashion, there's also Le Creuset (damn! Wish we had more baggage allowance!), Thornton's chocolates where we bought 1 quid bags of factory reject chocs and they were DELICIOUS, home and decor stores, cards and stationery... the whole lot!
We actually didn't buy much in the end. Mostly because we knew we had limited luggage space so we came mainly to browse. We did get what we came for though - Clarks shoes for Connor, costing about 10 pounds each (approx RM50). They cost twice that in a normal store.
I saw a Burberry trench for a mere RM1,500 but I couldn't justify buying one since we live in KL and not UK. Karen Millen had a lot of lovely clothes at good prices (all in three digit RM compared to RM1,000++ per dress in retail) but not in my size. Ditto with Coast, some lovely dresses going for only 50 quid but in size 18. Ecco had a pair of shoes in my size that I liked so we got that, I love Ecco shoes. There were plenty of shoes in my size in the shoes outlet but alas, I had to pass them up because of space. I'm sure I shall regret not buying those lovely fuchsia heels from Kurt Geiger (45 quid, down from 90 quid).
This is an outlet place so don't expect to find all the latest designs and every size and every colour. It's great for bargain hunting and I thought it was wonderful for the Clarks shoes, we spend a fortune on Connor's shoes as little feet grow quickly. Come early, eat a good breakfast, wear comfy shoes and take your time to browse. Don't expect cheap-cheap unless you're buying from the high street brands. For the designer brands, your wallet will still take a hit but it will be much cheaper if you'd bought the same item at retail price. Don't go with a man unless it's your gay best friend because men are useless at browsing, they just want to go in and buy it and get out. Sigh. Next time I'll get Dear Hubby to drop me off in the morning and get me in the evening.
Boy. I can't wait for our next trip back to Liverpool!