When I was contacted by the Dutch retail giant, HEMA, asking me if I’d like to come along to the opening of their new store in Bromley and shop, I’m not going to lie- I had never heard of the chain that is uber-popular in the rest of Europe (where have I been hiding?!). A quick Google post-weekend trip away had me dashing for my keyboard and saying “Yes, please!”.
You see, if you love Ikea, or Danish shop ‘Tiger’, you will LOVE HEMA. Brimming with all sorts of items in a mostly quirky, yet streamlined style, there is something for everyone here. Put it this way: FC will be stopping by here this Christmas to fill my little cherub’s stockings. So with Freddie in tow (I had abandoned the grumpy two year old at home with my Mum), we hit HEMA to see what we could find…
First stop for F was the kids section (natch). His eye was immediately caught by some wooden vehicles, and I was impressed by the current choice of outdoor/splash toys. As well as the usual paddling pools and buckets and spades, they had a few unusual items, like ‘sea treasure’, which I would definitely have bought for the kids if they had been a bit older.
What’s nice about HEMA is despite being crammed so full of ‘stuff’, the layout is surprisingly spacious, with room in the middle of the store to actual breathe and look for the clearly labelled sections. This is important to me, as for someone who doesn’t like going shopping that much (yes, really!), I don’t like being cooped up in a shop and overwhelmed. Being able to find what I’m looking for quickly and easily is pretty crucial, otherwise I get the hell out of there!
Whilst Fred was checking out the small peoples section with Katrina and Alison (oh hi! – there are loads of us bloggers from this neck of the woods!), I investigated the craft and stationery section. When is comes to these sort of shops, the selection and price of this sort of stuff cuts the wheat from the chaff as far as i’m concerned. And I wasn’t disappointed. Out of everything they sell in HEMA, I feel this is where you get great choice and value for money, and where frankly, I could have shopped like a lunatic. Restraining myself, I carefully chose some stickers for Sasha (obsessed is not the word for her), some ink stamps for F and S to share, and some wooden stamps for me. I am also eyeing up some more stickers, pom pom kits, pretty postcards, gift wrap, party gear, plus more wooden stamps for another visit.
Other shop highlights include the great selection of nail varnishes colour-wise (yet to be chip-tested mind!), and make up brushes. If you’re not going the whole hog and investing in some MAC ones, then these here are very competitively priced, and cheaper than most other places.
On another visit, I will also be back to shop the baking section, as I’m always a sucker for some nice looking cake-friendly bumph (to add to my already rammed baking cupboard!).
So, after spending a good hour filling our basket
and trying to avoid Freddie taking out peoples ankles with it here is what we trotted on home with…
1 lemonade dispenser – £4:
Some wooden play scales – £8.50:
1 wooden police car -£6:
1 acrylic vehicle glass – £2:
3D stickers – £1:
Ink stamps – £2.50 (bargain!):
Wooden stamp set – £2.50 (another bargain!):
8 small rubber cars – £1.25:
and finally… a comb for Freddie as embarrassingly he doesn’t have his own one, we have been using our fingers for ages! £2:
Total cost – £29.75.
Which I think is pretty good value for money for all these items.
Would I go back? More than likely, especially for the stationery and baking gear. HEMA is a very welcome addition to Bromley indeed!
Thank you so much to HEMA for letting F and I shop with them! I was given a gift card to spend for the purpose of my visit.