#No1Mum With Castlegate Shopping Centre*

16 Mar 2018

I know that a lot of people say this, but my mum is the best mum in the world. Sure, she can be a bit of a nag and we haven't always seen eye to eye, but she's provided for me and been the backbone of the family for years. So when a little email about Mother's Day popped into my inbox from Castlegate Shopping Centre, I was very interested in what they had to say. To my surprise, they invited me, my mum and my sister along to an event at The Stottie Company that included afternoon tea, fizz, goodies and a makeup masterclass with Amanda Bell. When my mum isn't roughing it on a dog walk with her springer spaniel or joking with the lads at the rugby club she manages, she loves getting a bit glammed up and learning about makeup, so I just had to say yes!

Luckily, the Castlegate Shopping Centre is only a short drive from her house, so once we were ready to go, we hopped in the car and were one of the first few people there. It had been such a long time since I'd been to the shopping centre. Growing up in Stockton, it was somewhere that I had spent a lot of my weekends as a child and teenager, so it was lovely to come back and see how much it had changed. There's such a fab mix of shops, so you'd be able to find exactly what you need under one roof - from Boots to Thorntons, from CeX to Card Factory! There's also the indoor marketplace which has a huge facelift over the past few years and there, you'd be able to find fresh fruits, veg, meat and even a yummy bakery. It really is the heart of the town centre and it was wonderful to see that it's still so popular to this day.
I think that The Stottie Company is also a very recent addition to the centre. J had said that it was a really lovely cafe as he works in the shop opposite and it's always pretty full. My sister, Ellie, had said that she'd also tried it and thought that the food was great, so I couldn't wait to go along to find out what it was like for myself. Before I went though, I had to have a quick Google about stotties. I know that it's something a lot of us Northerners say, but I really wanted to know about it's origins and what a stottie actually was. Turns out, it's a type of flat, round loaf that comes from the North East and to "stott" means "to bounce", so if you dropped a stottie, it's meant to bounce back! And there's your random fact for the day.

When we walked up to The Stottie Company, there were balloons and a velvet rope outside with a tiny queue forming. As I mentioned, we were some of the first there, so we got inside pretty quickly and sat down in some comfy, Union Jack-emblazoned armchairs around a coffee table. We had a bit of time to soak in the atmosphere of the shop and enjoy our drinks that we received on the door. The whole place has a sort of vintage vibe to it, with lots of wooden furniture pieces, leather sofas and Union Jacks. It's the sort of place you'd go for coffee and a catch up - very relaxed and chilled.

We were given a run down of what the event was going to hold for us, and then our scrumptious afternoon tea was brought to the tables.
There were a selection of mini stottie sandwiches including a particularly yummy chicken and stuffing one and a tuna and cucumber, a large scone with jam and tea or coffee. I'll be honest, I'd hyped myself up for cake a little bit, so it was a bit sad when I found out we weren't having cake, but I definitely didn't complain about what we had to eat. I even found out that I actually like pease pudding! Once we had eaten up our food, it was time for the first masterclass with Amanda Bell. I'd been along to her studio in Norton before, so I knew that we were in for a treat.
She started with a session about complexion, so we learned all about how to achieve that flawless base without looking like you've tried too hard. I don't know about you, but this was a session I definitely needed to pay attention to! She gave her recommendations on concealers and how best to use them, as well as how to get a more natural-looking contour and highlight. Using her lovely mum as a model, she demonstrated each process and giving loads of detail about how she was achieving each result. It was brilliant and I learned so much! We had a quick coffee, tea and goodie bag break before she launched into her second session of the day.
This one was all about eyes, so she chatted a little bit about which eyeshadow shades work best for which eye colour and how to get the perfect smokey eye. Again, her mum was the model and her eye makeup looked absolutely fab by the end of the masterclass. Even though I wasn't sat very close to the front, I could see how defined and pretty her eyes looked, and that's exactly what every makeup lover wants! Amanda took questions and answered them with her endless knowledge of the makeup world, so I feel like everyone in the room took something away from her sessions.

We also got to take a goodie bag each and what I loved about them was that no two were the same. Each item was from No7, one of my favourite brands, and in my bag, I received a mascara, liquid lipstick and a nail polish, whereas my sister got two brushes and a single eyeshadow. My mum got lucky and received four items! We also got a little discount at No7, so as soon as the event finished, we headed over to Boots so that my mum could treat herself a little.
Overall, it was an absolutely gorgeous way to spend Mother's Day. My mum is a busy person, so it's not often that we get to go to things like this together, but I managed to get a slot in her diary quite early! She said that she had a lovely time and, to quote her, it was "very pleasant." I'll definitely be heading back to The Stottie Company next time I'm in the town and trying some more of their delicious sandwiches, as well as some of those scrummy-looking cakes.

Thank you to Castlegate Shopping Centre for inviting us McHale girls along to this event. We all had a great time and took away some valuable makeup tips!

Whould you like to comment?

  1. Sounds like such a perfect way to spend mothers day!

    Han x