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Xmas Lights at Barton Square

SPARKLE: At Barton Square.

Well, I think The Trafford Centre has really excelled itself this year with the brand new Christmas lights. What do you think?

They really are the most stunning I’ve ever seen here!

After a fantastic switch on event with X Factor favourite Ollie Murs, everyone around the Centre has been getting used to the new festive outfit adorning every inch of the place.

With lots of time and effort put into this new lights scheme, the designers have done something very new, with the UK’s first-ever animatronic displays creating a dance of light and movement at every turn.

Xmas Lights on the Malls.

Baubles: Dangling on the Malls.

Huge Christmas baubles hang from the atrium of each mall, gently opening and closing to reveal bright, spinning Christmas trees at their centre.

Wreaths of lights decorate the Orient, with gorgeous Christmas trees twinkling away merrily. Every palm tree and every lamp-post it seems is drenched with thousands of bulbs – which are now greener LED bulbs which use far less energy than the old-fashioned bulbs the Centre used to display.

The old favourite talking Christmas tree is back on Lower Peel Avenue, and last year’s highlight the Ferrero Rocher installation in the Main Dome is back – and looking as amazing as ever.

You really can lose yourself staring upwards at that gravity-defying sculpture.

Over at Barton Square we have the multi-coloured conical Christmas trees which are my favourite, I would dearly love one in my own garden. Then the magical Ice Palace grotto takes pride of place in the Square, alongside the classic Victorian Carousel and festive stalls. It’s Christmas wherever you look!

Xmas Lights in the Orient

SLEIGH: In the Orient sky-ceiling.

I’ve gathered some fun facts about the new lights to delight and amaze you – but there is no comparison for coming down and taking a look yourself. Why not bring your camera, and take some fab photos for friends and family elsewhere in the world, to show them how we do it in style at The Trafford Centre? Remember to look up while you’re in the Orient, to spy Santa and his sleigh streaking through the sky!

Let me know what you think of our Christmas lights – any favourites?

Light Fantastic Facts!

WOW – 30,000 Christmas baubles from Finland have been hung around the Centre

GEMS – More than 6,500 sparkling jewels will be glittering into the New Year

CRYSTAL – 5,000 crystal droplets have been polished for the display

HOLLY – 58,000 holly leaves have been used

LIGHT – 280,000 LED light bulbs will shine, using a third of the electricity of the old tungsten bulbs

HUGE – In all, the Centre has strung up more than 10,000m of lights

GOLD – 300m of gold-plated poles hold the decorations in place

ICE – 3000 icicles sprout from balconies and stairways

GIANT – 1,000m of Christmas garland will be used

CRAFTED – The enormous 10 metre Christmas tree has 1,100 branches, individually applied!

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Ice Palace Grotto

MAGICAL: The stunning Ice Palace in Barton Square.

THE elves have been hard at work in Barton Square building the largest, most splendid grotto The Trafford Centre has ever seen!

Sponsored this year by Christmas hit movie Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the brand new Ice Palace Grotto and 4D Cinema opened at the weekend to a flurry of eager families, keen to get inside and meet Father Christmas himself.

Ice palace Grotto and 4D Cinema

ICE: The Snow Queen welcomes guests.

This year, just like the characters from Narnia, our visitors walk through a magical wardrobe door into a surreal world – quite unlike the outside. A fabulous 4D cinema experience awaits, as the hilarious Rocket the Reindeer movie is shown, complete with wind and bubble effects!

After that, children are guided to Father Christmas in his grotto, where they can pose for photos and chat with the man behind the myth, and also receive a lovely present to help them remember their day.

As you can see from these photos, Father Christmas has spared no expense this year in creating his festive outpost at Barton Square. Magical characters and twinkling light displays really transport you into the world of Christmas, and get everyone at the grotto in the mood for this wonderful time of year.

Ice Palace Grotto and 4D Cinema

BEAST: Magical characters abound!

[With our traditional Victorian carousel just next door, and a host of festive stalls selling such faves as mulled wine and bratwurst, the entire square has transformed into a winter wonderland, cascading with lights and the sounds of the Singing Bears dressed in all their festive finery.

I am taking regular walks to the Square to soak up the lovely atmosphere. The only question to ask is: how many bratwursts can one person eat in a day?

* For grotto prices, and to book online to avoid a queue, just click here.

* HAVE you entered the magical Ice Palace Grotto and 4D Cinema? What did you think?

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HISTORY: A No17 advert from yesteryear.

I had a really interesting meeting yesterday with the archivist from Boots the Chemist, who is planning to open a very special exhibition here at The Trafford Centre.

Our ‘Beauty Theatre’ event starts on February 1st, and to celebrate the festival of beauty and style, we are creating a free exhibition on the Malls – with some fascinating exhibits taken from the store cupboard at Boots!

Boots has been trading for more than 150 years, and in that time they’ve witnessed a lot of changes – not only in drugs, cosmetics and gifts, but also in the way they run a business and treat their staff.

Luckily, bosses there have had the foresight to squirrel away much of their history – including adverts, products and even staff training manuals.

The archivist brought some amazing old cosmetics to show us, from the famous Number 7 range, as well as postcards and clippings. Incredibly, the famous No7 line was launched in the 1930’s, and although it looks very different today it’s still a staple item on many a mum’s dressing table.

The Boots Exhibition will open for one week only (Feb 1-7) and will show a variety of documents that reveal the evolution of the brands – especially in Manchester, which boasted an enormous Boots long before this Mall Rat was even born.

Why not pop down during Beauty Theatre to see how many of the old products you can recognise? Keep an eye on our website for opening times, and where to find the exhibition.

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HUGE snowfalls around the Northwest have created a winter wonderland at The Trafford Centre – but it is business as usual today as an army of snowploughs, gritters and people with spades managed to get everything moving again.

WONDERLAND: The roads are clear around the Centre.

Bus services are back up and running (though with some warnings of possible delays) and the major roads around the site are snow-free.

Yesterday, I was forced to run the press office from home – which was very easy thanks to my laptop and Blackberry.

And many of the journalists I spoke to were also working from their sofas – which was slightly bizarre, but shows how much less dependant some trades are on a fixed office!

We did manage to open more than half our retailers yesterday – but as the snow continued, we realised that getting our staff and customers home safely was our priority, so for the first ever time since we opened in 1998, we finished early because of poor weather.

Twenty tonnes of grit was a welcome delivery this week – and our teams have been out pushing snow from the car parks, and gritting the roads.

The Salford City Reds Media Day that was planned for tomorrow has been cancelled, as the rugby players have found it impossible to get out of their towns and villages. But you can rest assured that if you can get to The Trafford Centre, we have a warm welcome waiting for you here.

You can keep an eye on Trafford Centre updates on our main website, and I’ll update this blog with any more news.

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I’ve just returned from my first visit as a paying customer to the brand new Kodak Express Print Lounge here at The Trafford Centre – and I have to say I think I’ve fallen in love with it!

FASHION: Easy print out with Kodak.

The concept is simple; the Lounge offers instant printing of your digital images, whilst at the same time serving delicious coffee, cakes and sandwiches.

I had some images from the recent Christmas Party Wear Fashion Shows which were lurking on my Blackberry. What a nice idea to have hard copies, I thought. And you already know how much I like coffee – so why not kill two birds with one stone?

The Lounge itself has been done out very nattily – it’s comfy, but with a reassuring edge of ‘tech’.

There is a terminal at each table, which takes your images in disc format, memory stick, floppy disc – whatever you happen to have. I had none of these, so instead I Bluetoothed my images across, and had them printed in colour, with added funky borders and text, within seconds. How 21st Century, with added cake!

The idea is novel, but it’s the ease of execution which really impressed me about this new retailer.

You could fill you camera’s memory card with great images of your visit to The Trafford Centre – pop in for a last coffee before home time, and be presented with a wallet of your artwork before you head for your car! Price-wise, it costs me only 30p for a colour print, which was less than I expected.

The great thing is that the whole process was really fun – and I’m already taking new images on my phone with a view to printing them out for the lovely staff here to see.

*Check out the World’s First Kodak Express Print Lounge on Upper Peel Avenue at The Trafford Centre. Open NOW.

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Well, we’re all fashioned-out this week after the fantastic success of this year’s VIP Fashion Show, which took place on a catwalk in The Orient area of The Trafford Centre.

DANCER: Dressed by Clavin Klein Jeans.

DANCER: Dressed by Clavin Klein Jeans.

 

The “Denim and Diamonds” event aimed to raise much needed cash for our chosen charity The New Children’s Hospital Appeal – as well as inspiring fashionistas from all over the North to indulge in a little of the denim and sparkles trend that has swept the High Street.

I designed a ‘Diamond’ cocktail for the event – and we even had some dinky little drinks stirrers made with our Denim and Diamonds logo printed on – many of which went missing as people took them for souvenirs of their evening!

There was also music and dance on offer, including some breath-taking urban dance moves from The Dance Art Productions crew.

You can see their nimble footwork on the new video that’s currently top of our playlist on our YouTube channel. The dancers modelled, and the models danced, and it all made for a dramatic and very exciting show. I went back-stage afterwards to pass on my congratulations to our choreographer Cheryl – but the place was so hectic with models and clothes that I didn’t stay too long.

 
Hundreds of people were seated in the VIP seats, the media descended too – and then hundreds more stood on the balconies over-looking the catwalk near The Big Screen. If you missed the show, or the Autumn Winter Fashion Shows which followed at the weekend, catch up on all the looks in our online galleries. And let me know what you think of the dancers. We loved them!
While I’m talking about fashion, I wanted to introduce you to our latest ebook, which showcases looks for the Autumn Winter season. You can read it online here, and even watch style advice videos embedded into the pages.
What will we think of next?
 

 

 

 

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