If you’ve been anywhere near Leeds in the past year you won’t have missed the Victoria Gate Shopping centre creeping up on the Leeds skyline. The glam new retail venue promises somewhat of a luxury shopping experience, bringing with it the biggest John Lewis outside of the capital.
In recent days they’ve been lighting up the skies across Leeds with spotlights, so ahead of the opening today I thought I would give a bit of a preview with my thoughts – I’ve scheduled this post to go out just when the centre opens, so as you read this I’m probably in one of these shops…
I couldn’t write this post without getting excited about the new John Lewis. For years the hardy Leeds folk have had to trudge to Sheffield, York or further afield to get our John Lewis fix. In some sense that has probably been a blessing for my bank balance, but I’m really glad that we now have one of our own. There was a long time where we also just had a hole in the centre of Leeds, when the Trinity development stalled.
I’ve heard many rumours about what it will look like or have – a lucky few got to attend a preview event earlier this week but I have deliberately stayed away from anything that might spoil surprise. I only wished that someone loved me enough to take me to their Boxing Day sale!
Offering clothes, homeware and much more Anthropologie is a creative destination for anyone looking for something a little different. Admitted I probably wouldn’t spend too much here until I find a place of my own, but I love a shop where you can go in and be inspired by their designs and products.
The opening of Victoria Gate also sees the welcome return of the heritage brand Joules. I have found that since it left Leeds several months ago I have shopped more at Joules than I did before, buying accessories such as hats and scarves. I also have a pair of the Joules Evedon wellies which I absolutely covet so I am glad to see it return.
Lastly I am quite excited about Harvey Nichols opening up inside Victoria Gate. They already have four floors of luxury in the nearby Victoria Quarter, but this pop-up is dedicated to exquisite seasonal food and drink. Last year I managed to visit a HN Christmas pop-up in Manchester and some of the gifts I picked up, alongside treats for myself, obviously, were absolutely exquisite! Food, pop-ups and Christmas – what’s not to love?! The pop-up is set to run until the end of December – I hope they either keep it as a space for pop-ups or fill the space permanently.
There quite a few stores in the new development that are also new to Leeds which I don’t really know much about so you never know I might find a new favourite today!
Architecturally I’m not yet convinced by the look of Victoria Gate, as I know many people aren’t, I guess visiting over the next few days will be the true test. From what I have seen, and my limited knowledge of style, it looks very glam in an almost art-deco style with large black floor tiles and overstated features. The outside is the aspect I struggle with the most, I feel like the two sections and the car park don’t flow, nor do they complement the buildings nearby such as the Kirkgate Market or Victoria Quarter.
I’m hoping not to spend too much today, but I think when there’s a John Lewis involved that might not be too easy! Look out for a few posts over the next weeks with my opening day purchases!