After football last night (crappy game - not enough people on my side could be bothered to run, so no one was tracking back, closing players down etc. I mean, come on, if you're gonna turn up and play, put the f****** effort in please!) I found myself going to the new Westfield shopping centre in Shepherds Bush. (Why? Long story).
Anyway, normally I would rather slice off the tips of my fingers and sink my hands into hot vinegar (think about that for a second... PAIN!) than go to a massive shopping center, especially this close to Xmas - but you know what? I actually enjoyed it! There were some really cool shops there (Vans store for example... I love Vans trainers... drool..) and it was surprisingly relaxed - not as manic or rushed or stressed as I thought it might be.
I also tried to work out why it felt different to the shopping centers (or malls) that I've been to in the U.S - and I think its because a) there's more packed into a smaller space and b) there aren't as many people in the malls in the U.S (well, not the one's I've been to anyway) as there were up at Westfield last night - bearing in mind it was like 20.30 - 21.00 I was up there.
So - another recommendation. If you live close enough then I strongly suggest you pay it a visit (maybe during the January sales?). Nearest tube is Shepherds Bush (better than driving) and it's open 'til 22.00 during the week (not sure about weekends - check the website, I can't do everything for you!)