Two of my favourite friends live in Sawbridgeworth and I love going down to visit them. Often I stop by their place when I'm going to London for events but this month I had some rare time off so I took the opportunity to drive down and spend some quality time with my friends indulging in a little wild partying in the capital and treating myself to some new items, including a repurchase of one of my favourite perfumes, Molecule 01.
The girls live really close to some of the locations where The Only Way Is Essex is filmed, so for a giggle, I asked one of the girls to take me on "The TOWIE Experience" style day. We went out for lunch and drinks and had a look around some of the cast members shops. I took some snaps while we were out to today I'm going to show you those as well as the things that I bought.
Whilst I'm not a die hard fan, I do enjoy watching TOWIE- I started watching it last year after meeting Gemma Collins at a Simply Be store opening, and I love seeing how familiar TV locations look in real life, it's a bit of a novelty. I think Essex girls are quite similar to Geordie girls in some ways- we like to be glam, made up and girlie so I wanted to see how that transpired into a completely real life setting.
The first stop was Amy Childs Salon where her white Range Rover with the 'well jel' number plate was parked outside. I wanted to have a look at some of the lashes but they didn't have the style that I wanted in stock. They did however have the Must Be Mist Spray Tan Mist and the Strawberries & Cream on the label really drew me to this wondering whether it was the scent or simply the name of the tan.
The staff in the salon were really helpful and knowledgeable and if I was going to get any experience of the stereotypical Essex life then this would be it as there was a lady sat in the window with a ridiculously cute chihuahua wearing an even more ridiculously cute pink hoodie!
We wandered up to Lucy's Boutique which was full of the most gorgeous clothes and accessories.
I bought a gorgeous bat wing sleeved, light weight jumper in a peachy coral shade. The detailing on this jumper is so pretty as it has thick silver edging on the sleeves and cut out panels on the back. It fits really well and really looks great whether you're wearing it during the day with some blue denim jeans or for casual drinks out early evening with some black skinnys, heels and a silver clutch.
They also sold this in turquoise which I really wish I'd bought as well because I love this one and now can't find the other colour online! It was in the sale when I took it to the till so it ended up being reduced from £27 down to £21 which I thought was a great deal.
Owner, Lucy Mecklenburgh, was there working both behind the till and on the shop floor with her sister and was more than happy to take pictures with those in the boutique. Her and her sister look SO alike and they're both really beautiful. I didn't speak to them for long but Lucy was really chatty, naturally pretty, wearing very minimal make up and casually dressed as you would expect for a Saturday afternoon. She signed the carrier bag that my top came in and my friend snapped a photo of us.
Across the road to Lucy's Boutique is Harry's World, owned by Amy Childs cousin, Harry Derbidge.
Harry's World is quite literally, wall to wall bling with sparkly dresses, accessories and jewellery galore. I bought this gorgeous silver diamante clutch bag. I've been wanting a silver box clutch for ages as the only other silver bag that I have that is just as blingy is so difficult to fit everything in whereas this one holds my essentials for a night out- phone, Chanel Allure perfume, MAC lippy and purse, without any squishing problems. At £35 I thought this was a great buy!
Harry was working in his shop at the time and snapped a picture with me. He was telling me that he's opening a new, bigger shop soon so I'm looking forward to that, I'll definitely be checking it out when I'm in the area after the store opening!
A couple of shops down from Harry's World is the Amy Childs Boutique. This store was rammed full of young giggly girls wanting to get pictures with Amy Childs who was there making an appearance in her shop.
I went in to buy her perfume gift set which I'd smelt on my friend and was surprised to find that I loved it. The 50ml perfume came with the shimmer body lotion and shower gel for £23- cheap and cheerful but the scent doesn't smell cheap at all and its pretty long lasting too. I'll do a separate review of this but basically I love to layer scents and this gift set is perfect for doing that and because they're all under 100ml they will be perfect to take on holiday with me this summer.
Amy Childs signed the perfume box and carrier and snapped a photograph with me.
Before we left Brentwood, we had a look in Fusey, the store owned by Joey Essex and Minnies owned by Sam and Billie Faiers.
The last boutique we went to was Bella Sorella in Loughton, owned by Lydia Bright who was in there working with her sister. Lydia was really sweet, such a genuinely lovely girl and SO naturally pretty.
Bella Sorella sells the most gorgeous dresses and accessories and this store, along with Lucy's Boutique was probably my favourite. I bought some beautiful earrings in a light pink shade with diamantes for less that £8 to go with the top that I bought in Lucy's Boutique and intended to wear for dinner that night. I also bought one of the tin candles for £8.99 to go in my new purple bedroom. I'm not sure if I've used the same brand in the past but I love the tin style candles as they are so pretty as they burn and smell great- this one is Parma Violet and takes my back to my sweetie nibbling days as a child!
We didn't get a chance to stop by With Love Jessica xx, Jess Wrights boutique, as it was getting pretty late but I'll definitely pop in next time.
The one thing that really stood out to me was the complete mix of people who were in the TOWIE stars shops. There were girls there on hen parties, eager TOWIE fans shopping as though what they were buying was souvenirs as well as serving their intended purpose, people looking to get a photo with their favourite TOWIE members and locals who were there purely for the shopping. I think I was a mix of the latter three and whilst a little different to our usual weekend past times, we had a good giggle, a fun shopping trip and a lovely walk in the sunshine. If you're a fan of TOWIE then I'd definitely recommend going to visit the cast members stores as they've got some lovely bits in and you may end up spotting some of them too. There are organised trips that you can go on but to be honest its easy enough to just find out where the shops are and go yourself.
After an afternoon of shopping we were ready to refuel, so my friend took me to the King William in Chigwell for lunch and Pimms in the sunshine. I had the Scallops special to start, followed by the Pork Belly main and it was delicious. We sat outside on a lovely table in the sun in an attempt to catch a bit of a tan. Billi Mucklow and Cara Kilbey from the show came and sat on the table next to us before Frankie Essex joined them for drinks. I'd really recommend the King William if you're in the area and looking for good food and drinks in gorgeous surroundings. I'll definitely go back.
Have you visited the TOWIE boutiques? Which was your favourite?