24 June 2017

Family day out at Highcross Leicester

Living in Leicestershire, it’s super easy for us to head into Leicester City Centre when we want to go out for a meal or a day of shopping. Having lived right in the centre for many years in my childhood, I know the centre quite well and it’s been lovely to see the renovations take place over recent years, transforming the once small Shires Shopping Centre into the magnificent Highcross Shopping Centre we have now; an enourmous shopping centre designed with a modern and fresh look, celebrating the best brands in the UK, all in one place.

Highcross Shopping Centre Leicester Review
Toys R Us Highcross Leicester Review

Toys R Us Highcross Leicester Review
We recently headed there for a family day out, doing a spot of shopping, checking out an exciting new store that’s just perfect for little ones, and enjoying a lovely family meal at a restaurant that welcomes families. Highcross has everything you could possibly need all in one smart location; you can easily spend a day there from morning to night!

Our first stop? The brand new Toys R Us store! Oh yes, you read right - a Toys R Us store in a shopping centre, it’s brilliant, isn’t it? We’ve always had to travel far out of our way to get to retail parks when we’ve wanted to visit Toys R Us, but now we have one that’s super easy to get to, I don’t know who's more excited, Willow or me! Situated on the lower level of the Highcross shopping centre, it’s very easy to find (if you’re a regular Highcross shopper, it’s in the spot that was once the Disney Store!) and has actually been renovated to create a third more floor space than the previous store had; it looks huge in comparison and I think it’s really smart of Toys R Us and Highcross for creating a bigger space for customers.

Toys R Us Highcross Leicester Review

Toys R Us Highcross Leicester Review


The space is nice and open, bright and very well laid out, as soon as you enter, there’s an excited buzz about the place - probably due to all the children of all ages, whizzing over to their favourite toys and leaving the shop with beaming smiles after their visit. A bit like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but in toy form! There’s everything from baby and toddler toys and activities, to toys for older children, crafting materials and all those favourite characters and brands children love to fall in love with. It differs from larger retail park Toys R Us stores in only one way; the bigger items you’d find at the retail park stores aren’t available at the Highcross store, but, they are available to order from the store, where delivery can be arranged. That’s one thing I loved about the team in the store, they were very willing to help and make sure customers were happy.

The store has all the newest releases - including the new Toot Toot Enchanted Castle which Willow was very excited to see, as she loves the Toot Toot range! What appealed to me the most though, was the way everything was laid out - there were no boys aisles and girls aisles, letting children play with whatever toys they fancied, letting children be exactly that; children. I was also seriously excited to see some of my own childhood favourites revamped for kids today, such as the Etch A Sketch and the original Spirograph, it’s amazing that toys I played with almost 29 years ago are still popular now.

Willow had so much fun in the new Toys R Us store, but mama needed to shop too and so we headed out to check out some other shops in Highcross. We were lucky to catch the Cath Kidston sale, so I treated Willow to her very first bag from the stunning kids range Cath Kidston have. Smiggle, a super-fun and colourful store aimed at making stationery more fun for little ones, had the stationery addict in me besotted! I just love how bright and funky everything was, and easily somewhere little ones can spend their pocket money. Of course, I had to do a little bit of beauty shopping, so I headed to Debenhams and John Lewis, which has a huge range of beauty brands covering everything from new makeup releases and cult skincare brands to body care essentials and hair care favourites.

Bill's Restaurant Highcross Leicester Review

Bill's Restaurant Highcross Leicester Review

Shopping done, we headed outside to the dining area. Highcross offers 34 venues covering everything from drinks, snacks and quick bites in the shopping centre itself, with a huge variety of restaurants just outside, with a lovely choice of cuisines and well-known names to choose from. We decided to try out Bill’s Restaurant, which caters for everyone from groups of friends and couples to families with children of all ages.

As soon as we arrived we were catered for perfectly. We were offered a table with enough room to have our stroller with us at the table and a freshly cleaned high-chair was whisked over to us for Willow. I loved the menu, really diverse mix of flavours and cultures in one easy menu, not too many choices but what was their easily provided enough choice for everyone, regardless of individual tastes and preferences.

The children’s menu was fantastic; Willow was able to have a proper meal of freshly cooked food that wasn’t fries and chicken nuggets. She had a healthy starter of cucumber and carrot sticks with hummus, followed by mini Cumberland sausages with creamy mashed potatoes, carrots and gravy for her main.  I can’t tell you how nice it is to go out for a meal as a family and be able to pick a properly cooked meal for your little one! Her food was presented with as much care and attention to detail as ours, not just shoved on a plate like many places we’ve visited; she was just as important as we were as diners, and that’s pretty darn special if I’m honest.

Bill's Restaurant Highcross Leicester Review

Bill's Restaurant Highcross Leicester Review

Bill's Restaurant Highcross Leicester Review

I indulged in Dakko chicken skewers for my start; spicy Korean barbecue glazed with spring onion and lime, with Thai green chicken curry for my main (which was easily the best Thai curry I have ever had, so full of flavour!) and what is possibly the most scrumptious dessert I have ever had the pleasure of devouring in my life; lemon meringue pie cheesecake, it was incredible! I've been craving it ever since. The waiting staff were always smiling, quick to ask if we wanted refills on our drinks and even engaged with Willow, which was lovely. Some venues don’t pay any attention to little ones and focus on the parents, so to see Willow be involved in the ordering and being adored by all the staff was just absolutely lovely for us as a family, I wish more restaurants were so welcoming to little ones!

Everything we tried from the starters through to desserts and even the drinks, were all positively delicious. I also really love the general vibe of Bill’s, it has so much character in the design and look of the restaurant, whilst feeling completely relaxed and somewhere you can wind down after a successful day of shopping.

Next time, we want to try the Showcase Cinema which offers Baby Pictures, where parents and little ones are welcome to enjoy the cinema in special baby-friendly screenings, which I find extremely exciting as I love going to the cinema and hope Willow will catch the movie bug just like I did when I was a little girl. It won’t be long until we’re heading back to Highcross for another family day out, that’s for sure!

Make sure you head to www.highcrossleicester.com, to plan your fun packed family day out.

*This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Highcross - Disclaimer. 
Share:

8 comments

  1. What a packed day out. The thought of hay food from Bills is making me hungry!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a very busy day out but so much fun! I'm still craving all the food we had at Bill's! xo

      Delete
  2. It looks like there are some great shops. I love Cath Kidston!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too! I think I'll have to get Willow a dinner set from there next! xo

      Delete
  3. Oh that sausage and mash looks gorgeous! We have just returned from a weekend in Leicester and I wish I'd seen this before hand. We are returning in September so will definitely keep Highcross shopping centre in mind for the kids spending their pennies and lunch x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you'll enjoy your next visit! xo

      Delete
  4. We like Bill's at Highcross for work do's too :D I love Leicester having lived in the area for 27 years, its fab

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, that sounds fab! Must make work do's super fun xo

      Delete

Thanks for stopping by! If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them here. I try to respond to comments as quickly as possible, but if you have an urgent question feel free to tweet me @TattooedTealady!

Blog Design Created by pipdig