One New Change shopping mall in City of London - nothing more than a collection of high street stores
There was a spot of good weather over the weekend so we got a bit ambitious and decided to push the buggy all the way to One New Change. For the uninitiated, One New Change is heralded as the next big thing in the City. A shopping mall right next to St. Paul's Cathedral, it promises to change the retail scene in the City forever.
Well, for starters, it's open 7 days a week. That itself is a venture for a place where everything shuts down as soon as the office crowds leaves. With an array of lunchtime crowd pleasers like Nando's, Zizzi, Byron, Wasabi and even Sumo Salad coupled with heavyweights Jamie Oliver's Barbecao and Gordan Ramsay, City workers in the Square Mile are in for a treat. And yes, there is an E.A.T., fans of Pret will be disappointed though but I'm sure you'll find one just round the corner of the street.
High Street stores like Mango, Gap, H&M, Office, TM Lewin and Next can be found there as well. Also, no longer will one have to travel all the way to the West End for Banana Republic and there's even Folyes thrown into the mix for good measure.
One New Change is really a smaller Westfield, isn't it?
But is One New Change really worth all the hype? As we were pushing the buggy around the building, we couldn't help feel that One New Change is little more than a collection of all the familiar names that can be on every other high street. It didn't help a bit that the floor space actually felt much smaller - we managed to cover two floors under half an hour.
Other than the stamps of approval from Jamie Oliver and Gordan Ramsay, whom no doubt were given huge incentives to open up restaurants in One New Change, the only other thing One New Change can boast of is that it's a stone's throw from St Paul's Cathedral, one of the defining landmark of London (hurray for the tourists). Oh, there's a rooftop terrace (which has yet to open when we were there) as well but again, that's only to get a good view of the Cathedral.
Yes, One New Change will make a difference to the lunch crowds, no doubt about that. Woe betide the sandwich cafes that have been operating for years in the vicinity. But it is little beyond that and in my opinion hardly warranties a visit by those who are based outside the Square Mile.