A tour around my local Marks and Spencer store, and a big shopping list!

Although Marks and Spencer has a special place in my heart all year round, it is during the Christmas period that I just can’t stay away.  They just tick all the boxes for me at Christmas – their food is incredible, their gift range is always brilliant and their decorations and homes range is all I want to fill my house with at Christmas.

I keep in touch with the PR company who look after Marks and Spencer in the South West as they always have so many brilliant things going on (and they are lovely!). If you sign up to their mailings, a couple of weeks ago you might have seen their Friends and Family event where they had vouchers for 20% off everything in store for a week. I didn’t get a chance to pop along to my local store (Bournemouth Castlepoint) during that promotion, but I jumped at the chance a week later to pop along and get a tour of the store and all their current ranges.

So, last Tuesday I met with the Womenswear and Homes and Gifts Managers to see all the lovely things they had in the store.  Even though I am a huge fan of Marks and Spencer, I still was not prepared for just how many nice things they had in.  I was supposed to be going round and getting an insight into the different ranges and promotions but as well as that I ended up developing a huge shopping list! I just ended up wanting everything!

We started in the Christmas decorations section.  Their Christmas range really is amazing this year – they have several different themes, ranging from Christmas characters and kids’ decorations like those below to the more traditional monochrome range.  I am completely in love with their ‘Crimbleberry’ range which has characters like Penny the Polar Bear and Jangle the Mouse.  I love all the woodland themed things (of course!) with the foxes and deer, it’s just so beautifully illustrated and designed.

As always their Christmas homes range is stunning and also follows through with the woodland/heritage theme – you can probably spot some of the beautiful reindeer cushions in the background and I love the snowy furcones and hanging hearts.

After the homes section we looked in the Christmas gifts section.  At the moment all of the Christmas decorations, gift wrap, gifts and kids’ toys and books are all on 3 for 2 mix and match which is amazing, you can do some serious saving in there! Tom and I went and picked up a lot of Christmas presents on Monday as they have such a great and varied gift range.  They have themes like Great British Bake Off gifts, gardening gifts, traditional men’s gifts and so on.  They have some beautiful notebooks and photo albums too with illustrations of old cameras and butterflies and birds.  A lot of the things look like they have come from expensive, independent shops rather than a big store like M&S, they’ve clearly put a lot of thought into their gifts range this year.

One of my favourites was this Musical Christmas Tree Tin! You twist the base and the Christmas tree spins and plays music! Is there anything more you could want at Christmas?   

As you’d imagine, the Christmas food range is also amazing.  There are some very yummy looking party foods like mini hot dogs, mini burgers, canapés and even a turkey and stuffing pizza! As usual they have tons of foodie gifts too like hampers, hot chocolate sets, collections of ales and so on (all also on 3  for 2).

I must admit to do a little ‘n’awww’ sound at all the children’s Christmas jumpers and Christmas nightwear.  I love that fair isle jumper with the penguins and Santas!

We then had a nose at the gift wrap and tags, which, as every year, is brilliant.  Again they have some gift wraps that are so beautifully illustrated and look a lot more expensive than they are! I loved this gift wrap section with all the ribbons and ric-rac, you really could make some beautifully packaged presents with these.

I must admit that I couldn’t wait to see the womenswear range, particularly the Limited Edition section.  It’s no secret that M&S has got seriously fashionable this year, with many of their coats selling out immediately and some stunning dresses and knitwear.  I couldn’t help but buy this Limited Edition checked top, I just couldn’t walk on by, it’s so lovely! I adore this asymmetric skirt in the photo too.  There are lots of asymmetric cuts in the latest M&S womenswear range, and the ankle boots and shoes are just to die for.

Of course no visit to M&S would be complete without a trip to their lingerie section.  I have stayed loyal to M&S underwear since I was about 16, their bras are so well made and fit like a dream.  Tom has been rather swooning at Rosie in the latest M&S advert so I had to have a look at her range, it really is stunning.

The menswear range is actually one of the things that surprised me the most.  It is so fashion forward, with checked shirts, chinos and chunky knitwear.  Their North Coast range is very Fat Face/Jack Wills style and I could see Tom wearing a lot of it.

I also loved this penguin Christmas jumper! The M&S clothing range is so well-priced at the moment and really competitive – this retails at £25.

There were also a lot of men’s stocking fillers and gifts hiding in the menswear section – I love their Harris Tweed range, these washbags are absolutely lovely.

After the tour was over I may have swooped back to the gifts and home range and picked up a few treats, I couldn’t resist a little something in this photo, the whole Christmas kitchen range is just so good!

If you’ve still got presents to buy, Christmas food to eat or fancy treating yourself to something beautiful for your house I urge you to pop down to M&S (or have a nose online).  And if you haven’t been in for a while then you must pay your local store a visit, you may be surprised (and so might your bank balance!)

A huge thankyou to Nicky at M&S Castlepoint for hosting me and giving me such a wonderful tour.

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