I have never heard of Arndale shopping centre in my life before but after speaking with some of the Mancunians, I discovered that there isn’t just one shopping centre called Arndale in the UK but as many as 23 all over the country. Arndale shopping centres were the first ‘American style’ malls built in the United Kingdom with the first opening in 1961.
However the reason why I wanted to speak about Arndale is because of its particularity, you see coming from France, you can find small shops to high streets shops but in the UK no matter what city you go they all seems to hold the same shops ! From Zara, primark, mango, next to boots and that is true whether you travel from Manchester to Liverpool !
Please don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that it is boring to have the main high streets all over the place but if I compare it to what I know, I would say that French people shop for dinner in the open air by vendor and not by supermarket aisle is simply the norm. Whether you are a producers or a vendors they would arrive early in the morning to set up their stalls in markets around their respective cities. It is not strange to see French people getting to special stalls if they have family dinner or a party to organise. They will look for that specific cheese for a specific region or go to a specific meat shop to get that specific meat. In England it seems that people will go to Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury or Lidl, and this is why most of the supermarkets are always crowded in the UK.
However I like the convenience of finding everything in one place in the UK, within Tesco you can find clothing, pharmacy, butcher and somewhat ‘patisserie aisle’ and more. However if you dare to look further that these big high streets chains, you will find places where you can get free coffee like bookstore just because you bought a book to games you can play in coffee shop you have it all! Take Ziberflat for instance, this is a very original concept where you do not pay in regards to the quantity you have consumed but in regards to the time you spend within that coffee. Surprised? Tell me about it!
When you enter you first have a sort of buffet with a variety of cake, hot drink, drink and cereals the design of the place is made so you feel at home. You can play ping pong in a private room, play piano read books and for everything you consume you will be charge by the time. So guess what after eating lovely cakes, drinking coffee and enjoying playing ping pong we only paid £2. How is it in regards to their profits? I don’t know! But one thing I can tell you is that I enjoyed playing ping pon!
So there you have it ! Yes in the UK you will find Zara, boots, H&M everywhere but if you do love adventuring outside the high streets then you will find a lot of hidden treasures in the UK and I know you will love them ! #see for yourself #travel #becurious and I guarantee you will become more open-minded ! ;-)
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