Every morning while I have my breakfast I like to have a little look at the Timehop App so I can see what I was up to on the same day in previous years. And yesterday it came up to tell me that it was a year since I’d cut the ribbon at the opening of the brand new family friendly toilet facilities in Nottingham’s Victoria Centre. And today I thought I would re-publish this post from 29th September 2014 so you guys could relive the memory with me.
Today I thought I would tell you guys a little bit about what Oscar and I got up to last Monday. I hope that’s OK?
Now, you might laugh, but we were invited along to the intu Victoria Centre in Nottingham to cut the ribbon at the opening of their brand new family friendly toilet facilities!
The facilities are part of the £40 million re-modelling of the popular shopping centre and can be found on the upper floor in the central area. As a regular visitor to the centre, I can honestly say that they are a thousand times better than the toilet facilities that were there before, and I thought it would be nice to show you some pictures of them and give you my opinion as I go along. Are you ready? Then let’s go!!
Each of the new toilet blocks are defined by colour, and the ladies are situated in the yellow zone. They are absolutely huge (well, I think so anyway) and I love that they’re really bright and airy. I keep wanting to say how lovely and clean they are, but they’re obviously new so I don’t want to get too carried away. Let’s just say that I hope they still look as pristine as they do now in a years time!
You guys know how much I love my cosmetic products, so imagine how excited I was to learn that the new facilities included a special little makeup station where you can sit comfortably and top up your lippy or re-do your hair. Usually, I would stand and top up my makeup at the sink area and am very often in the way of other people so I think this little area is fab and will get a lot of use.
There are also plenty of sinks and hand driers, and I like that some of them are a little lower to make it easier for children of all ages to wash and dry their hands. And I should also add that the cubicles are wider than usual too. Perfect for when you’re taking the little ones in with you. It really feels as though a lot of thought went in to creating the perfect facilities for the centre.
The mens have plenty of urinals, and as you can just about see from the picture above, some of them are slightly lower with grab rails so that younger children can use them independently. I think this is another great idea.
And again, there are plenty of sinks and hand driers in there, with some being lower than others for the children to use. This definitely screams ‘family friendly’ to me!
The Parent Room
And as well as the new toilet facilities, there is also a parent room, which is situated in the orange zone. I was super impressed with these as I always find it a nightmare to find somewhere clean and welcoming to change Oscar when we’re out and about.
The parent room is brightly coloured and has a lot of space. There are many changing stations and I like that the mats are facing the way that I would have them at home, rather than sideways as I find they are in most parent and baby rooms. I think this is great! There are also cute little mobiles hanging above each changing mat, and sinks dotted around as well. Once again I feel that a lot of thought has been put in to the design of the parent room and it works really well.
I was also surprised (but extremely happy) to find that there’s a microwave and 3 bottle warmers in the parent room so you can heat up any food or milk that you have on you and want to feed baby while you’re there.
In the parent room there is also a little area for older children to sit and watch a little TV or play with some toys while mum changes the younger ones. I think this is a great addition to the room and my eldest will most definitely appreciate using this space when we go on our next family shopping trip to Nottingham!
And last but not least in the parent room is 3 cubicles for mums who are breastfeeding. These are lovely and spacious with a comfy chair and the option of drawing a curtain across for additional privacy. The design team have been thinking about maybe adding something more to these cubicles such as a picture on the wall or some centre information for mums to read while they’re in there.
The Disabled Toilets
There is also a spacious disabled toilet area, which includes a pull-down baby changing unit and an adult changing area – which is one of only two in Nottingham.
Overall, I think the toilet facilities are fantastic, and I honestly can’t think of any others that I’ve been in to that even come close to being this good! They’re absolutely awesome and I think the design team should be really proud with what they’ve achieved here.
I should also point out that the parent area is separate from the toilet block. I noticed that there were a couple of comments on the Nottingham Post website saying that we wouldn’t eat in a toilet, so why should a baby, and I just wanted to make it clear that that’s not the case here.
So, I guess there’s just the ribbon cutting to tell you about now?!
I arrived at the Victoria Centre at around 11:30am on Monday 22nd September with my mum and Oscar and were greeted by the lovely Amy and Annie, who looked after us for the duration of our visit. They gave us a tour of the toilet facilities and were happy that we loved them!
At 12pm there was a little speech about the facilities (I can’t remember what was said – I was beginning to worry about making a fool of myself at this point) and then Oscar and I got to walk the red carpet and have our photograph taken with the lovely Janine Bone (above right), who is the regional intu centre director.
After the photo’s had been taken I cut the ribbon – I think Oscar would have loved to have got that job as his little hands kept reaching for the scissors – and it was all over. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves though and would like to say a massive thank you to Amy and Annie for everything.
Have you visited the new family friendly toilet facilities in the intu Victoria Centre yet?
I’d love to hear what you think of them if you have!
*Photo’s kindly taken by Amy Macdonald from Cartwright Communications