Westfield opened it’s doors in October 2008 and claims to be Europe’s largest shopping centre, so are we privileged to have it on our doorstep? A work in progress for several years, Westfield is indeed vast. Covering 43 acres with over 265 shops, 4500 parking spaces and a handful of restaurants it has its appeal.

Naturally as someone who likes to buy the odd thing or two I was excited at the prospect of this place, so much so I even went to the opening ceremony fresh from a 13 hour night shift in A&E! The place was a little less polished than it is now but you could see the potential.  Leona Lewis and Boris Johnson lead the celebrations, talking much of the regeneration it has brought and will bring the area. Being in White City I deemed the increased traffic and exterior ugliness too far away to have any negative effect on the area we live in.

Supposedly catering for all ends of the market, it famously has a Prada store along with some other high end boutiques in “The Village”. To be honest I’m not sure if it works… If I regularly bought this kind of stuff from the horses mouth (which I don’t), I’d much rather go to Sloane or Bond Street and at least get the glamour of the occasion.

Having been to Westfield several times over the last few months I can’t say I’m a massive fan. Once you enter the doors from the car park it’s like you’ve been transported to Milton Keynes. You’re surrounded by people who look different and by buggies and push chairs with screaming children. The selection of shops is resonable but nothing more than High Street Kensington, Kings Road and Knightsbridge have to offer. If you go at peak times you’ll be looking at queues a mile long to eat at Nando’s or PizzaExpress which is almost unheard of a few minutes down the road and quite frankly insulting!

So what are it’s saving graces? Well for starters it has an Apple store which offers a fantastic alternative to the tourist filled Regent Street branch. The car park works well with green lights for each available space, and seem to have enough capacity. They’ve recently started offering 2 hours of free parking (a sign of tough times?) which beats the 2 pounds per hour they were initially charging. I hear they have a cinema on the way which will be an intersting prospect, although I’m pretty happy with Vue at Fulham Broadway.

So in summary, well worth checking out and I can guarantee you I’ll be going back, but don’t go there to eat unless you want to queue. I’ll be keeping most of my spending on the high street and I suggest you do too!

White City
W12 7GF