The lead up to Christmas is without a doubt my favourite time of the year. I love the sharing of mince pies and mulled wine, watching festive films in front of a roaring fire and the widespread excitement the season brings. Gift giving is also a huge Christmas highlight for me. There’s nothing quite like watching the anticipation on a loved one’s face as they tear open your carefully selected presents and the satisfaction that comes with buying someone the perfect gift.
But, often choosing gifts for friends and family can be a stressful experience, with so many potential gift options and the need to keep to your personal budget. I was particularly struggling with gift ideas for a few members of my family, so I was delighted when McArthur Glen invited me to participate in their Gift Hunter Challenge* at their Bridgend Designer Outlet. The outlet is easy to travel to, being so close to Cardiff and offers free parking. There’s also several other McArthurGlen shopping outlets throughout the UK and you can find the nearest one to you here.
The Bridgend outlet also houses more than 90 designer stores, ranging from Ted Baker and Yankee Candle to Cadbury and an amazing Beauty Outlet. This, for me makes the outlet the perfect place to get all your gifts in one place, without the hassle of never-ending Christmas shopping trips. The brands are also up to 60% off the usual RRP so there’s definitely some bargains to be had! I picked three of my family members to choose Christmas gifts for in the outlet’s stores for The Gift Hunter Challenge. I’m so excited to share what gifts I chose with you. My older sister will be the first lucky recipient of some beautiful presents from McArthurGlen Bridgend on Christmas day. Here’s the gifts I picked for her…
Gifts all from the stores at McArthurGlen Bridgend Designer Outlet | Handbag: Kurt Geiger (£49) | Tablet Case: Ted Baker (£17.50) | Nude Bra: Marks and Spencer (£9.50) | Black Bra: Marks and Spencer (£14) | ‘Queen Bee’ Mug: Whittard (£5.60) |
There’s so many brands to choose from if you’re looking for beautiful luxurious gifts for your mother, sister, friend or any other woman in your life. The Kurt Geiger store has some particularly great discounts on gorgeous bags and shoes. I picked up a stunning leather bag with gold hardware from the Bridgend Outlet store at an amazing £26 off the RRP and I just know my sister will be thrilled when she unwraps it on Christmas Day (hopefully she lets me borrow it too!)
The Ted Baker store is one of my favourites at the outlet as it’s always full to the brim with beautiful clothes and accessories that would make perfect presents. There was an extra 30% off tech accessories when I visited the store, so the rose gold tablet case was a great buy at £17.50. It will be perfect for my sister to protect her iPad in her new handbag!
The Marks and Spencer store has a really wide choice of gifts for whoever you’re buying for and some gorgeous Christmas cards, wrap and ribbon to dress up gifts too. I bought some beautiful bras for my sister to go under the Christmas tree and I was so impressed that the nude bra was half the price it would have been in a non outlet store.
My sister is known as ‘Bea’ so the Whittard mug I bought will be the perfect personal stocking filler and was an extra 30% off the usual outlet price. I’m sure my sister will absolutely love her Christmas gifts and I think the outlet prices mean you can stretch your budget that little bit further and really treat your loved ones. My dad is also going to be unwrapping gifts from McArthurGlen this Christmas…
Gifts all from the stores at McArthurGlen Bridgend Designer Outlet | Christmas Jumper: Blueinc (£20) | Striped Towel: Bedeck Home (£9.60) | Guinness World Records Book: The Works (£10) | Coffee Collection: Whittard (£15) | Onion Keeper: Home and Cook (£2.49) | Oven Gloves: Le Creuset (£13.30) |
As well the many stores for women at the McArthurGlen Bridgend Outlet, there’s plenty of shops to buy gifts for men. There’s several branded sports shops including Adidas and Reebok and lots of designer men’s clothing shops including Timberland and Tommy Hilfiger.
The first present I picked for my dad was a Christmas jumper from the men’s clothes shop, Blue Inc. I’m cooking Christmas dinner this year (I’m slightly scared) and I thought it would be a nice touch if we all wore Christmas jumpers. My dad isn’t one for anything too over the top and as he doesn’t own a Christmas themed jumper yet, I bought him this stylish but festive one to wear on Christmas day.
I also bought him a striped towel for the gym, which had an amazing discount of 70%. The Guinness World Records 2015 was from The Works and we buy my dad this every year as a bit of a family tradition!
Whittard is heaven for the hot drink lover and they have some amazing Christmas themed teas and delicious sounding hot chocolate powders in the store. I think this is the ideal shop to pick up some little bits as stocking fillers and as my dad is a coffee lover, I chose a coffee collection for him. I love the packaging of the set and it’s great value for £15. You could even use it for after dinner coffees on Christmas day.
My dad loves cooking and there’s some lovely kitchen stores at the Bridgend Outlet. The onion keeper I chose is a quirky gift he can use to keep leftovers fresh in the fridge. The Le Crueset oven gloves look very classic and stylish and I know my dad will love using these in the kitchen.
Gifts all from the stores at McArthurGlen Bridgend Designer Outlet | Hat, Scarf and Gloves Set: Marks and Spencer (£8.50) | Green Chinos: Mamas & Papas (£7) | Red Striped Cardigan: Mamas & Papas (£9) | Bee Backpack: Mamas & Papas (£18) | Peppa Pig Bath Gels: Beauty Outlet (£7.99) | Hulk Shower Gel and Marvel Shampoo: Beauty Outlet (£1.99 each) | Peppa Pig Placemat and Coaster Set and Plastic Tray: Portmeirion (£5.60 each) | Santa Colouring Book: The Works (£2.99) | Bubbles: The Works (£1 for 2) | The Snowman Chocolate Set: Thorntons (£10) |
The last lucky recipient of gifts under the Christmas tree from the McArthurGlen stores will be my lovely little nephew, who’s nearly 2. The Bridgend Outlet actually has a new children’s play area so it’s very family friendly and I picked up lots of cute Christmas gifts.
The hat, scarf and gloves set were a great bargain at £8.50 from Marks and Spencer and will help to keep my nephew warm over winter. Mamas and Papas had a lovely selection of Christmas gifts for babies and young children, with mini Christmas outfits and some cute jumpers that would make lovely presents. There was a great deal on in the store, where if you bought two selected items, you got them both for half price so I picked up a colourful cardigan and bright trousers for less than £10 each.
My favourite thing I bought for my nephew was an adorable bee themed backpack that he can use when he goes to nursery to carry a few of his things in. It even has a rein on it so my sister can use it with him on walks and the bee design with a little stinger is so cute!
The Beauty Outlet had some great stocking fillers for children, including lots of themed bath products. My nephew loves Peppa Pig and action characters so the bath gels and shampoo were all great little gifts for him. I also bought him the Peppa pig placemat set and plastic tray from Portmeirion. These will be perfect for him when he begins to learn to sit at the table and were such a good price at £5.60 each.
The ‘Santa is coming to Wales’ Colouring book is a lovely Welsh themed stocking filler from The Works, who also had a great selection of Welsh language children’s books. The bubbles were also from The Works on a 2 for £1 deal and my nephew will get so much enjoyment from seeing these in the air. Lastly, The Snowman and The Snowdog set from Thorntons includes chocolate and a teddy which my nephew will definitely love! Thorntons had a wide range of Christmas gifts for children and also had some beautiful chocolate selections that I’m sure any adult would love to see under the tree. Cadbury’s is also a great store to pick up some chocolate gifts.
I can’t wait to see my family open the lovely gifts I chose from McArthurGlen Bridgend Designer Outlet on Christmas day. I would definitely recommend the outlet as the perfect Christmas shopping destination because there’s so much choice for all your friends and family and there’s great discounts in all the stores.
What do you think of the gifts I chose from McArthurGlen Bridgend Designer Outlet? Will you be visiting the centre to pick up some gifts?
*McArthurGlen provided me with gift cards to shop for the gifts mentioned in this post.