Someone asked me last week what I miss most about living in England. I didn’t have to think long or hard. “T K Maxx,” I replied.
Yes, the discount fashion store comes out top of my not-very-homesick-at-all list.
It’s not that shopping there is always a delight – often it has all the charm of a jumble sale of the end of a long, wet afternoon. It’s more that I like to wear designer brands that I have paid high-street prices for.
Fortunately, I need miss T K Maxx and its interiors sister company Homesense no more. We have discovered our local outlet village.
McArthurGlen is a pan-European chain of outlet shopping centres and they have one in Roubaix, just a few kilometres from Lille. There are around 80 shops offering discounted prices all year round.
Given its location, it’s become a destination for the people of northern France and Belgium in search of some retail therapy on a budget.
We headed over to it last Saturday, as we needed some bedding for our new apartment. With Anne de Solène, Yves Delorne and Tradition des Vosges all represented there, we were spoilt for choice. We came away with 2 sets of pillow cases and fitted sheets to go with the duvet sets we had bought earlier that week.
“Often T K Maxx has all the charm of a jumble sale of the end of a long, wet afternoon”
But leaving with only what we had gone there for in the first place seemed a waste. So – rather gamely – we had a look around the rest of the shops, particularly those selling menswear.
Pierre Cardin, Jaqk and Izac all proved worthy of our attentions, and I succeeded in buying a shirt – oh OK, 3 shirts – and a cardigan. Damon also came away with 2 jumpers and 2 shirts.
Of course, that’s only part of our autumn wardrobe sorted.
We’re back in Brighton next month to see Alison Moyet in concert, so we may be able to squeeze in a visit to T K Maxx while we’re in town. Well, it would be rude not to.
Photo © McArthurGlen