Part I – Bicester Village

There is no denying it, I love a good bargain. Especially good quality, high end designer statement pieces. If you love to shop, you love designer items and you are obsessed with cute places and shops – Bicester Village is the place for you too! For part one of my birthday weekend; Raj and I visited Bicester Village and it’s clear this is definitely going to become a regular occurrence!

It has been so beautifully designed and the shops are to die for! Valentino, Alexander Mcqueen, Moncler, TAG, Dior, D&G, Givenchy, Balenciaga and Saint Laurent are just to name a few.

Bicester is a designer outlet, so the gorgeous items you see there could be last seasons stock, sample and discontinued stock or perhaps there are minor issues with the garments e.g the stitching might not be up to their perfected standard. Nothing noticeable in our eyes at all. This just means they can knock down the prices making it more affordable (which is great for us!). Saying that – my best tip is don’t go there thinking you’ll receive everything reduced from £2000 to £150. Items are still very expensive, but majorly reduced so it is a bargain and it is an investment.

It’s great for just a day out because they’ve made it like a charming little village. It reminded me of the beautiful houses that are on the show Desperate Housewives. The experience feels very personal and luxurious. 

I absolutely fell in love with the Jimmy Choo and Saint Laurent stores. I tried to shop in the beauty store too but it was far too busy and I didn’t have the patience to rummage for my colours. They had Tom Ford, Mac,  Bobbi Brown, Darphin, Estee Lauder etc. Unfortunately they didn’t have a Chanel, Tiffany & Co or Cartier which are some shops I’m hoping they bring in in the future.

My best advice is to have a plan in your head because it is so easy to think of everything as an investment and go all out for your first time there. It is very easy to get overwhelmed, especially if you’re not hunting for something specific. There is a lot to choose from, and a little insider tip is to ask for more styles from the stockroom, if the colour or style you’re after isn’t on display (this is particularly useful when it comes to bags). They keep the display smart and clear which limits them considering what they actually have behind the scenes.I was told some of the shops specifically make their items for the outlet stores. So perhaps there isn’t anything wrong with them as such, but the quality might be slightly different to usual luxury goods in order for them to be offered at a discounted / affordable rate.

I spent the entire day there on Saturday. I would recommend visiting on a week day and definitely not pay day weekend like I did because it was a little too busy for my liking. Sunny days also make it all the more pretty so try to go in the sunny season! For lunch we had a delicious Mediterranean dish and sat in the sun outside eating it.

We decided to drive there and then jump on the park and ride because the car park was full, but the bus was only five minutes away so it was the easiest and quickest way. It’s based in Oxfordshire, but there are trains and coaches available too.

It’s definitely a place to visit, even if you just want to window shop!


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