We’re lucky to have lots of lovely areas near us, and one of our favourites is Christchurch. Both sets of parents live there and we looked at moving there ourselves a couple of years ago, but unfortunately it was a little bit out of our price range! We do pop over there fairly often though for a walk, some lunch, and for Little H to play in the splash park in the summer.
As lovely as Christchurch is, it’s probably not the first place you’d think of to go shopping – most people would more than likely head over to Bournemouth. However, if you want to avoid the crowds (and fighting for a parking space!) and have a few bits & pieces to get then I’d recommend checking out Saxon Square Shopping Centre in Christchurch.
Located in the heart of Christchurch, Saxon Square has 28 shops including big brand names, independent retailers and coffee shops.
We were invited to go and check out what’s on offer at Saxon Square so just before we went on holiday Little H and I headed over to look around and have a nice Mummy-Daughter day out.
Our first stop was definitely for Mummy rather than daughter as we went to Harbour Beauty for a manicure. I always get my nails done before I go on holiday as a little treat so I was quite excited to be getting a luxury manicure.
I’ve never used the salon before and would definitely recommend them. Both ladies were very friendly and didn’t mind Little H sprawled on their sofa playing noisy cat games on my phone!
I opted for a Shellac manicure, done by Sarah, and chose a pretty, summery coral colour. After my nails were done I also had a hand & arm massage, including hot mitts which felt lovely. My hands have never been so soft – and apparently smelled like lollipops according to Little H.
After a bit of pampering I thought I’d better let Little H do something she wanted to, so the next stop was Flaming Nora’s Toy Emporium. This is a really unique little toy shop, quite refreshing from all the same old stuff that the big high street toy shops sell.
Little H spent ages browsing but didn’t buy anything as after my manicure she’d decided she wanted to spend her money on some nail varnish so we headed off to Boots, followed by a trip to New Look to buy a couple of essential holiday items and a quick stop in WH Smiths to grab some birthday cards.
Coffee & Cake
After that we needed a bit of a pit stop! In the middle of Saxon Square are both Costa Coffee and Caffe Nero. Little H chose Caffe Nero and we sat in the sun with a drink, a cake and a ginger bread man.
Little H loves museums and galleries so after our refreshments we popped into Atelier, a unique little art gallery and store with some fantastic pieces. We had a chat with one of the resident artists, and spent a while browsing around. Atelier offer art workshops for both adults and kids so we will definitely be popping back soon for Little H to take part in one of those.
Lastly we popped into The Bay Tree Health Store to have a chat with the owner Anna about alternative medicines and vitamins for children. I also took a look at the natural products they sell for eczema and have a few suggestions of what to buy in case mine comes back again this winter. If you’re a parent near Christchurch I’d definitely recommend popping into The Bay Tree if you have any questions at all on natural products for your children, Anna is very knowledgeable and is more than happy to have a chat with customers. I will also be running a giveaway in conjunction with The Bay Tree soon, so watch this space or subscribe to my blog to be kept up to date.
I was surprised at how many shops there are at Saxon Square, and think it’s a great place to have a wander and stop for a coffee. If you’re local, or heading down this way over the summer, make sure you stop by!
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