Kate hadn't been before so when we arrived I gave her a bit of a tour. It was such a beautiful day that walking around the Quays and seeing all the yachts and boats bobbing around in the harbour was a real treat. Sometimes shopping trips and particularly retail parks and villages can feel a bit soulless but I love that Gunwharf has the quayside, getting a blast of sea air is always nice when you're moving from shop to shop!
Before we got stuck into some serious shopping, Kate and I always take time to have a pre-shop cup of tea to browse through the shopping guide, select our key shopping destinations and have a bit of a natter. It was about 10.30, which Kate thought was too early for cake and opted for a muffin, but I couldn't resist the delicious looking Red Velvet Cake they had at Caffe Nero (I have been dreaming of it ever since).
Gunwharf Quays had kindly giften me a voucher to pick up some Spring-themed goodies, so along with hunting around for some general bargains, we were also looking out for some key Spring trends like florals, pinks, lace, pleats and embroidery. Gunwharf has a real mix of shops, from high street favourites like Gap, M&S and Next, to more niche brands like Joules, Vans, Jack Wills and Fred Perry, and then premium brands like French Connection, Hobbs, Jaeger, LK Bennett and Kurt Geiger. They also have homeware brands like Cath Kidston and Le Creuset.
We had a good mooch around for a couple of hours - we must have gone in almost every shop, eyeing up some pretty dresses and knitwear in Jack Wills, some shirts in Superdry and picking up a lovely lace panelled t-shirt in Gap. After all that shopping we needed to stop and refuel, so we headed to Italian restaurant Carluccio's. I'm sure by then we had walked the equivalent of several miles, so we rewarded ourselves with a glass of wine (Kate) and a bellini (me).
Please excuse my rather messy hair - Carluccio's is right on the Quayside and it was a really windy day, it looked better than that before I left the house, promise!
We had Arancini Di Riso to start - crispy rice balls, one with pesto and one with ragu sauce. They were absolutely divine.
I then had Gnocchi Al Gorgonzola - gnocci with gorgonzola and spinach, and Kate had Penne Giardiniera, penne pasta with courgette, chili and fried spinach balls with parmesan and garlic.
Again they were both absolutely delicious, and cooked to perfection. The staff at Carluccio's were very attentive and helpful, I was really impressed with the service as well as the food.
We did cast an eye over the dessert menu but we were both much too stuffed. We then cast another, longing eye over the amazing cakes and desserts in the shop. Don't those meringues look incredible?
We then did a little bit more shopping and I kept my eye out for some more Spring trends. Knowing that the running shoes/sports luxe trend isn't showing any signs of disappearing any time soon, that neon colour splashes seem to be making an appearance again, and ticking off the 'pink' trend, I couldn't resist these trainers from the Nike outlet.
They'll definitely be popping up in an outfit post soon, I can't wait to wear them!
All in all we had an amazing day at Gunwharf Quays, it was the perfect girls' day out. If you're within a couple of hours' of Portsmouth I'd hugely recommend checking it out. They're also holding an exclusive 'Treat Yourself' event on March 27th which I'll be attending, I can't wait!
Have you been to Gunwharf Quays before?