Thursday, December 22, 2016

Last Minute Christmas Shopping at Myer Warringah

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. This year, I avoided Christmas shopping in the Sydney CBD and ventured up to the new Myer in Westfield Warringah Mall store on the Northern Beaches in collaboration with Myer to shop and stock up on a few items in preparation for family feasts in the festive season. The items I got were for entertaining over the festive season but the chances are, the practical things I would buy for my home, I’m sure others would love too as Christmas gifts.

The Myer Warringah store was designed with ‘one stop shopping’ in mind and if homewares is not your gift recipient’s thing then fear not, as there is also the Giftorium where a curated range of gift ideas for everyone is available all in one spot in the Myer Warringah store. It’s near The Hub which is the place to go if you want gift vouchers - the gift of flexibility, or other customer service inquiries. There is even a barber shop, personal shopping service and a new café, The Break Café, in store.

I had heard, with its opening just over a month ago, that Myer Warringah Mall would set the benchmark for department stores Australia wide with its new contemporary touch and as you walk in Myer Warringah, the first thing you will notice is how the visual merchandise is so well and beautifully layed out on contemporary, minimalist, clean displays and products and departments easy to find, making you glad that you are shopping at that Myer store. On the day my husband and I went, the temperature hit around 36 degrees and we certainly welcomed the air conditioned relief from the extreme heat.

We had an early start as you never know with traffic and parking this time of year and we got to Westfield Warringah Mall around 9am and would you believe the levels below rooftop parking were already full? But there was plenty of parking on the rooftop and we parked near HCF, which had lifts that took you directly to the Myer store. We got off the lifts on the level of homewares and the bathroom departments and walked past a bathroom range that has a feel to it similar to when I go into shopping malls in my travels to Europe or the Middle East. It’s the UK’s John Lewis brand, one of the many new elegant brands to be launched in the Myer Warringah store.

We didn’t have breakfast before we headed off as we wanted to try The Break Café, a beautiful café that is centrally located, modern and comfortable so that you can get a bite to eat before you shop or sit and recuperate with a cup of espresso after you shop. We tried The Break Café’s breakfast menu and of course, my morning coffee. The Break Café in Myer Warringah serves high quality artisan all day breakfast and snacks. Craig is one of three chefs in the café. A lady saw that was snapping away at the food asked me if I thought it was any good. I shortly found out she was the owner of the café, Jimena, who owns few other cafes in Myer in the city too. I also discovered she was Spanish and we naturally started talking in a little Spanish and about Spain, having just come back from there after travelling. It was nice coincidence and so lovely to meet Jimena (pronounced Himena in Spanish - j's are h's in pronunciation). We had the Italian Breakfast Bruschetta with toasted organic artisan bread with San Daniele prosciutto, tomato, avocado, onion, basil, poached egg, balsamic reduction, and the Turkey Avocado Sandwich with roast turkey breast, gruyere cheese, avocado, rocket, cranberry sauce on soy and linseed bread. The food is high quality, fresh and it was a good way to start the day. It's also good way to take a break in the store for a snack and coffee without venturing outside too.

I looked around homewares and picked up beautiful range of items I could use to entertain guests during this festive season. Whether it is for home entertaining or for gifts, here are some ideas of what's available:

#1 Gordon Ramsey Royal Dolton Union St Café Platter, - $79.95

I love this size serving plate for whole fish dishes. It’s large enough to hold a decent size fish. The hue is a beautiful tiffany blue too. Of course, you can put other items on the plate made for sharing. It also comes in cream colour.

#2 Vue Champagne Saucer Set of 4 ($34.95) and Silver and White Napery

I know, I know why isn't there champagne in them? I do have a bottle of Moet champagne but I'm not opening that along with a couple of other goodies I got, until Christmas Day. One festive party food idea is to prepare a simple dessert of fresh fruits and ice cream. I was inspired by La Boqueira Markets on La Rumba in Barcelona, Spain when I was over there so thought this would be a good way to serve fruit. There was loads of 'grab and eat' fruit salads, some dipped with chocolate or sprinkled with nuts. It's a simple fruit salad but they were so beautifully presented in the markets in Spain. So you could present a fruit salad in these champagne glasses with a scoop of your favourite ice cream.

#3 Robert Gordon Earth Collection Dinner Plate – Black ($29.95)

I love the look of these organic shaped black plates as they look like plates you get at a decent restaurant. They are hospitality grade, high-fired porcelain bowl in a natural oatmeal speckle finish. The black colour makes food rich in colours pop. Like this pinxtos plate I prepared, which is like tapas but on steroid. I saw a lot of at pinxtos bars in San Sebastian, Spain a few weeks ago. This is another Christmas dish idea you could do which is simple and easy. You just need bread rolls, prawn, scallop, salami and chorizo, and the mix of meats with seasfood is typically Spanish but the saltiness of the cured meats melds well with shellfish flavours.

 #4 Robert Gordon Organic Swatch Mug - Blue Heaven ($25.95)

This is a hand-made organic shaped mug, in a half-dipped design perfect for that simple hot cup of tea and chocolates with family after everyone has had too much to eat at Christmas lunch.

#5 Vue Modula Pasta Bowl $14.95)

This is a two toned 28.5cm pasta bowl which is perfect for entertaining. Yes it's meant to be for pasta but I prepared honey soy chicken which is better for entertaining as a snack for guests during the festive season.

After homewares I ventured down to see Myer Warringah’s new Personal Shopper department where I met former The Voice and The X Factor television stylist Shannon Mennings … but more about later!

Myer Warringah is an excellent shopping experience because the store is well layed out, the service is personal and the atmosphere is bright airy. Not to mention everything you need is available in the one store.

Thank you for your support for 2016. I wish you the very best in your shopping endeavours, Season Greetings and a safe and happy holiday season to you and your loved ones.

Special thanks to Myer Warringah Mall for this collaboration in this shopping experience.
Old Pittwater Rd, Brookvale NSW 2100

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