Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

Outlet shopping in Kildare Village

I love it when you feel as if you’ve discovered something new, even though it’s not new at all, especially to you. Kildare Village is (now) one such gem. I’d been a few times (20 minutes from Rathcoole on the …

Fri, Sep 3, 2010, 12:30


I love it when you feel as if you’ve discovered something new, even though it’s not new at all, especially to you. Kildare Village is (now) one such gem. I’d been a few times (20 minutes from Rathcoole on the N7; Avoca for breakfast, Kildare Village for shopping) with my mother and sister; my sister lives in New York, so whenever she’s home she has several things on her hit list, including but not limited to a trip to Penneys and a trip to Kildare Village, usually not in the same day, thank God.

Anyway, my trips have always (sorry, ladies) been just that little bit stressy. Sister wants to see everything; mother wants to see nothing. Sister wants to buy things; mother wants to buy nothing (but will break for a coffee in Starbucks so that she can complain about the quality of their croissants). It’s kind of like a tug-of-war where nobody wins, and where I get entirely turned off shopping, which is no mean feat, I’ll tell you.

But on Tuesday afternoon, when I took a trip out west, all was different. First off, I was on my own, so under no pressure to do anything at all. Secondly, it was a weekday, and it wasn’t coming up to Christmas, so the shopping area itself was delightfully chilled. Plus, and yes I’m dead inside, there were no children. Deep, deep breath of satisfaction.

So what do I love about it?

The brands I’d previously focused my attentions on a few choice stores in Kildare Village: the Nike outlet – yes, it seems unlikely, but sometimes I exercise, and I like to look as good as one can possibly look while exercising, while spending as little money as possible – Reiss and Monsoon. But this time, I got to have a good look around, and saw a whole lot more than at first glance.

Firstly, there’s a Wolford outlet. For any of you who wear opaques, you’ll realise how amazing this is. Then there’s Jack Wills (do you know Jack Wills? You should – it’s like the cuter, kookier, better kitted out Abercrombie, and has gorgeous picnic rugs, in fact rugs not unlike the one I’m now sitting on, picked up there for around €59); Molton Brown (yes, I’m a snob and now have Molton Brown handwash in my bathroom, so be warned, if you come to my house I will make you wash your hands); Anya Hindmarch, where I saw the sweetest business card holders – take note, Santa, but I’ll need some business cards first; Aquascutum, which had a huge range of gorgeous macs; a beautiful Bally store where I saw a breathtaking lambskin shearling-lined jacket (swooooon!); not to mention Coast, which, as you’ll know, has some really gorgeous items that aren’t just for weddings.

The place Kildare Village is really, really lovely, in that Edward Scissorhands kind of way. It’s all very picture-perfect buildings, paths and benches, and is a lovely chilled out place (except at Christmas). Bring a coat if it’s chilly, because it is all outdoors, but it is really, unbelievably pretty.

Supporting Irish designers The Style Gallery is a store dedicated to Irish designers – and at the moment they have an amazing range of designs by Joanne Hynes (hello, directional shouldered cropped jackets) as well as some gorgeous wedding (or debs!)-appropriate dresses by Helen McAlinden. The Joanne Hynes stuff, though, honestly, blew me away – and I’m generally really fussy about smaller designers, as, while I support fledgling designers, I often think that the production quality of their garments isn’t quite up to scratch.

Dunne and Crescenzi Hello, pasta. Hello, pizza. Hello, salads. Well, not really salads, who am I kidding? But anyway. DELISH. Plus Starbucks, obvs.

Homewares I just moved into a new place, on my own, for the first time ever, and I felt a little like nesting. Kildare Village was so perfect for it, because it has various homewares stores at huge discounts. I picked up a gorgeous Le Creuset casserole dish (Google has just shown me that they do a HEART-SHAPED CASSEROLE DISH!) and some mugs all at a cut of the original price, plus some knives and a corkscrew in Oneida. A corkscrew! I’m so grown-up . . . Oh AND, to prove that I’m really childish at heart, I bought some adorable tea towels and napkins in Cath Kidston, where they do a huge selection of items, and from which I will be purchasing 99% of my Christmas presents this year. So sweet!

Kenneth Turner Have you smelled the Blue Tangerine candle? ‘Nuff said . . .