This week, the much anticipated relaunch of the Darlington House of Fraser store finally happened. 
I say much anticipated as this has been talked about between staff and customers for well over a year now and for the company, it has been even longer in the pipeline.

This is in fact, one of the only House of Fraser stores in the country which is still masquerading as 'Binns', so it's fair to say it was due a revamp! 

When you enter the store, you find yourself in the Beauty Hall; which is the kind of beauty hall the North East has been waiting for for a very long time. For years, the only place with a decent beauty department has been Newcastle, but it's so great to know that there is somewhere to shop for all of my beauty needs so much closer to home. 

All of the favourites are still in store, but with revamped counters; YSL, Estee Lauder, Dior, bareMinerals, Benefit and Lancome to name just a few.
There is now the addition of Urban Decay, Bobbi Brown and Mac, who all have huge spaces with makeover stations so that you can be made over by the MUA's and try before you buy.

Towards the middle of the ground floor you can find the accessories department, with some beautiful handbags from brands including Radley, Guess and Ted Baker and jewellery from Buckley London Thomas Sabo and more. There are also huge selections of designer watches, perfume and gifts and a large selection of menswear, which has also added All Saints into the mix.

The Basement used to be the home of young fashion, with low ceilings and lots of brands in such a small space left it feeling cramped and a bit dingy. 

It is now completely unrecognisable... So much so, that despite working on this floor for almost a year, I couldn't find my bearings or work out where my department used to be!
Everything is so bright and airy, there are floor length mirrors allover and the whole space looks amazing. Ladies shoes take up the majority of the space, with Office dominating with some beautiful styles for AW season. There are also new offerings to the store from Mode A Pelle, Kurt Geiger and Nine West.

Also new to this floor, and the store itself is a beautiful children's wear department with girls and boys clothing in sizes 3-12 years. Although the selection isn't huge for children, I'm assuming it will grow if it proves popular, as there is plenty of space for it. There are some really lovely pieces though, from brands including Billieblush, Timberland, Boss & Little Dickens & Jones, which I found myself eyeing up for Elodie.

A redecorated cafe is also in the basement, replacing the old cappuccino bar.

First Floor is the new home of fast fashion ladies wear with lots of well loved brands, plus the addition of a few new names.
Every department looks so much better than ever before, with French Connection, Ted Baker, Warehouse and Biba really standing out and looking amazing.

For me, it's very sad to see that Mango has left the building, but it has been replaced by All Saints, Barbour, Tommy Hilfiger and it's great to see the return of Mint Velvet!
Well loved brands Wallis, Joules, Label Lab and Precis remain too - making the selection of womenswear second to none and definitely the place to be in Darlington.

There is also a separate section of the floor for young fashion, housing some house brands including Therapy and well known brands Oasis, Miss Selfridge and Jigsaw.

The second and third floors are still home to the Cafe Zest restaurant, sofas, furniture and homeware.
I've never seen the store so busy, and there was a real buzz about the place with a red carpet, prosecco on tap, canap├ęs, live band and beautiful Christmas decorations allover.
The event was really impressive, with mini bars set up all around the store and there was even a toffee apple stall in the basement which kept the children (as us big kids) happy!

I can't think of a better place to do all of your Christmas shopping in one go, there really is something for everyone here.
If you're from the area, you'll have to make sure to visit the store, it's really worth a look.
It's also open until 8pm on Thursdays, so if you work, you still have plenty of time to shop... Let them know I sent you!
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