Where I live – Bluewater shopping centre

bluewater thames walkDo you like where you live?

I don’t.

I mean I used to as a 15 year old, I can remember shopping in the town centre, walking through the market square, spending my hard earned cash on the clothes stalls and a trip to OK records to get myself the latest vinyl disc. It seemed a safer, more vibrant town centre back then. Now I walk through a run down town where 75% of the shops are charity shops, betting shops or cafes, our BHS looks as if it’s on it’s last legs and the pedestrian central main road is full of groups of young men speaking foreign languages. It doesn’t feel safe anymore and I no longer visit unless I am absolutely forced to.

Why do I still live here?

Because it’s handy for London where Paul works, it’s handy for beach trips at the weekends and because I wouldn’t know where to move to in the UK in all honesty.

What used to be the ‘Brighton resort’ of the 1800’s is now a dump in my opinion. Having said that it does have a few things worth noting, the pier reaching out into the Thames is the world’s oldest surviving cast iron pier, built in 1834. The statue of Pocahontas as it is said this is where she first stepped onto British soil but today I am going to focus on the fabulous shopping mall Bluewater that is just up the road.

Funnily enough this epic work of architecture was probably the last nail in the coffin for Gravesend as the local shoppers moved their spending power from the town to the fancy new shopping mall but it is a one stop heaven for the material girl.

Europe’s largest and most innovative retail and leisure destination opened in March 1999 and a walk round last week proved that it is still in tip top condition and looking fantastic.

It’s the architecture that takes my breath away and makes it a pleasure for me to visit every time, open spaces built on a triangle and each side dedicated to appeal to different customers, in all honesty my most walked side is The Thames Walk which has the river Thames depicted in the marble floor from Marks and Spencers at one end to House of Fraser at the other

bluewater thames river

across the top of the mall there are huge letters depicting the verse of Peter Dawson’t famous song ‘Old Father Thames

bluewater old father thames

I even found a copy of Dawson’s song on You Tube for you in case you haven’t heard it before :)

The centre has a recently opened exhibition area called Glow. I have been to a Hobby and Craft fair and the BBC Good Food show too, both were really interesting.

There are loads of different eateries to choose from; husbands favourite is La Tasca. I love the Loch Fyne, Brown’s and Carluccio’s but when I organised to meet up with Michelle I wanted to try the new ASK restaurant I reviewed their fab recipe book – remember a percentage of the sales of the book goes towards GOSH. We weren’t let down, we both ordered risotto and it was delicious. Look I even took a photo of her!

When I have people over to stay from out of town – especially my daughter and my daughter in law, we always make a trip to Bluewater and enjoy the beautiful shops, restaurants. In future Where I live posts I’ll focus on other beauties around my area.

Now nip over to see who else has linked up on her Where I live – click on the badge below.

MIchelle Garrett - The American Resident

The American Resident


  1. Kirsty Hornblow
    May 7, 2013 / 8:59 AM

    One Christmas my husband had a big knee operation and couldn’t walk for a while so I drove him to Bluewater, hired a wheelchair and pushed him round as it was the only place I could think of that would be easy to navigate lots of shops with a wheelchair. He was mortified to begin with but by the end of the day he was bossing me about. Bluewater makes me think of that Christmas!

    • Mari
      May 9, 2013 / 2:16 PM

      That’s a nice story Kirsty apart from the bossy bit :) I know a lot of people who go there just for a walk and to look at the windows, my nan for one

  2. Becky Goddard-Hill
    May 7, 2013 / 9:04 AM

    have never been to Bluewater but it looks pretty fab!

    • Mari
      May 9, 2013 / 2:17 PM

      It was the first of it’s kind in Europe and set the benchmark but I bet there’s an equally good one in your parts now too? They’ve sprung up all over

  3. Kelly Innes
    May 7, 2013 / 12:46 PM

    LOVE Bluewater: get to have coffee with one of my most favourite people- and bloggers- there. Though not enough!!

    • Mari
      May 9, 2013 / 2:17 PM

      We need to fix a date, it’s been far too long and before we know it the summer will have passed us by. Catch up on FB – get your diary out xx

    • May 13, 2013 / 11:12 AM

      What? You’re near there too, Kelly? I see a meet up at Bluewater for several of us in the future…! :)

  4. IotaM
    May 7, 2013 / 12:56 PM

    I didn’t know the Bluewater Shopping Centre was as beautiful as that. A lot of thought and imagination has gone into it.

    • Mari
      May 9, 2013 / 2:18 PM

      The more you look, the more you discover and personally I love the little things they did that make it so interesting – I’m going to have to go back and take more shots

  5. IotaM
    May 7, 2013 / 12:57 PM

    PS Lovely pic of Michelle!

    • Mari
      May 9, 2013 / 2:18 PM

      She made me take two as the first didn’t get her approval :D

      • May 13, 2013 / 11:11 AM

        Oi. They were hideous! Actually, probably far too accurate for my liking ;)

  6. nappyvalleygirl
    May 9, 2013 / 2:54 PM

    I haven’t been to Bluewater for years but I remember going to the launch, before it was opened (I am a business journalist) and thinking it was just amazing!
    It’s a pity North Kent can’t reinvigorate some of its resorts. In many ways it’s similar to where I live – near the big city but on the sea – so it should have a lot going for it.

  7. Asturian Diary
    May 9, 2013 / 3:11 PM

    I’ve never been to Bluewater but it does look amazing. Living in the middle of the country I have to say that I do miss having something like that on my doorstep. Although it’s probably safer for my wallet!

  8. May 13, 2013 / 11:12 AM

    Lovely post, Mari, thanks for joining the Linky–and thanks for using the better of the two photos!! ;)

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