I've held off as long as I could, but yesterday I finally succumbed to the media hype (not to mention my daughter's pleas!) and made the short trip down the road to London's brand new Mecca; 'Westfield' (hailed as the largest indoor shopping mall in the whole of Europe!).

It certainly is VAST and although I'm one of the minority (I'm sure) group of WWHW's ('women who hate shopping) I have to admit it is pretty spectacular. While everyone else seemed focused on a frenzied shopping spree, ferreting out the final 'sale' bargains (despite the credit crunch!) I only had eyes for the amazing architecture:

From every angle it is simply a visual delight; a fabulous combination of cutting edge, innovative art and design. Using a combination of materials such as wood, steel, glass and stone and employing the latest technology and lighting systems, every surface is truly a work of art in it's own right.

I marvel at how any project on such a massive scale - that could so easily have felt cold, impersonal and intimidating (and, with so many levels and walkways, confusing!) provides instead a sleek, ultra contemporary and totally user-friendly environment. It feeds all the senses and is so well planned (and beautifully executed!) that it lifts the whole shopping experience to an altogether higher level, one that is more exciting, totally unique and (yes, I'll even concede) pleasurable!

My photos certainly don't do it justice so if ever you find yourself this way, believe me, this is not one to miss! Besides:

"Westfield London and Getty Images Gallery are currently presenting 'London through a lens'

This highly acclaimed exhibition features a selection of rare, beautiful images capturing the unique cultural, social and political history of our famous Capital. Due to overwhelming popularity, this stirring photographic collection has opened its doors at Westfield London, in The Village.

"This exhibition really is as exhilaratingly diverse as the Capital itself" says Getty Images Gallery Director, Louise Garczewska. "What does unify the images is the prevailing 'feel' of London, the buzz that is hard to put into words, but would account for why 7.5 million Londoners call it the best city in the world!"

Just some of the famous faces featured in the collection, selected from Getty Images' Hulton archive, include the Kray brothers, Reggie and Ronnie as amateur boxers posing with their mother Violet, before they went on to become notorious London gangsters. Other striking images include Daleks invading a London street outside Wyndams Theatre in 1965, Blitz searchlights over St Paul's Cathedral on New Year's Eve 1943 and men rescuing residents in Rotherhithe from flood when the Thames broke its banks in 1928."........... to read on, visit:


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