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Recently I visited  East Midlands designer outlet – I’d never been there before and wanted to check it out. I went along with Mayumi who needed to get a new case for her Japan adventure. Luggage buying tip – Mayumi traded in her OLD Antler case which was on its last legs (or more literally, wheels!) for a BRAND NEW one because her old one had a five year guarantee – well worth it if you travel quite a bit!

I wanted to share my thoughts on East Midlands designer outlet, and see what you guys think of it. I’m not exactly a ‘designer’ shopper – far from it! I have a lot of clothes from places like Primark, ASOS, Matalan, Dorothy Perkins and Oasis. In terms of  reasonably priced ‘high street’ shops, there is a Next clearance, a Clarks, a Gap outlet, Marks and Spencer outlet. There seemed to be some fairly good value items at the Clarks and Gap stores, but probably not more so than you’d find in a sale of theirs anyway. I did get a lovely green Gap hoodie for £20 (the usual price is £35 I believe) which I love as its keeping me very toasty this autumn/winter!

Next clearance and Marks and Spencer outlet were more disappointing. Both make clothes and products specially for their clearance stores, but the bargains aren’t exactly amazing. I saw a really nice men’s coat in Next but it was £50…. hardly a clearance price!

As well as fashion outlets, there are also some food shops at the EMDP (as I’m now calling it!) – such as a Cadbury factory shop which made me VERY excited. Sadly this was quite disappointing too 😦 With the exception of a couple of things, none of the prices were great – for example brunch bars were £1.50 and cadbury fingers £1.30 – they’re cheaper than that in Home & Bargains!!!! (the best shop ever), not to mention whenever they’re on offer in the supermarket for a £1 (quite a lot). In fact pretty much everything at the factory shop was cheaper at Home & Bargains/Wilko/the supermarket, except for a 1kg block of dairy milk (amazing!) for £8 (I didn’t buy this as I thought it might be TOO MUCH chocolate) but I did get 2 bags of marshmallows for £1!!

So overall, the cadbury outlet shop = very disappointing but Home & Bargains = amazing.

There was also a Thorntons cafe and a Thorntons outlet shop – we didn’t go in the cafe, but the outlet shop had some pretty great value chocolates. I got a medium sized box of thorntons chocolates for Lee for £1.50!

Next we popped into the Julian Graves outlet shop. I don’t normally shop there so I couldn’t tell if the prices were a lot cheaper than normal, but I was very impressed with their baking range, I hadn’t realised it was so extensive.

I picked up some ground almonds and shredded coconut which were very reasonably priced. Overall I enjoyed my visit to the EMDO but a lot of the shops ‘bargains’ are still far out of most peoples price ranges, including mine!

Have you guys ever visited any designer outlets – which ones, and what did you think?