Olympic fever has hit London, so this week, I headed to Bicester Village in the Oxfordshire countryside in pursuit of another sport – shopping.
Bicester Village shopping outlet offers big discounts at over 130 boutiques including designer clothing and accessories, beauty and homeware. I always try to visit at least once a year to pick up some bargains and just have a fun day out away from the city.
Travelling to Bicester Village by train really couldn’t be easier, as there are plenty of trains every hour and the flexible return ticket means you don’t have to rush back. I hopped on a Chiltern Railways train at London Marylebone Station at 11:07 and was at Bicester North in a speedy 44 minutes. Then it was a 5 minute shuttle bus to Bicester Village with fellow bargain hunters, which felt like a rather jolly school trip.
First stop was Fendi, where I lusted after the stylish leather handbags, silk scarves and beautifully-crafted shoes. Then on to Marni for statement jewellery, Bally for classic investment shoes, DVF for wrap dresses and vibrant knitwear at Missoni.
Bicester Village also houses a great selection of British designers and brands. The colourful Matthew Williamson store is perfect for finding something a little bit special such as a neon feather-trimmed cocktail dress, bejeweled clutch or Ibiza-worthy beachwear.
The boudoir-style Temperley London boutique is the place for exquisite bridal wear, evening dresses and home accessories, while Rupert Sanderson is great for finding the ‘shoes that got away’ from previous seasons and classics made specially for the outlet store.
Vivienne Westwood is also worth a look for classic leather orb bags, Anglomania cotton dresses and jewellery.
I always look forward to lunch at Villandry on trips to Bicester Village and I was pleased to enjoy another delicious meal there. I had a scrumptious Grilled Chicken and Pancetta Sandwich with Frites followed by a refreshing Mandarin and Lemon Sorbet – a perfect summer lunch.
If you can tear yourself away from the shops, there are a number of interesting nearby sights to visit. See the Medieval Warwick Castle, the stunning 18th century Blenheim Palace or Shakespeare’s birth place in Stratford-Upon-Avon. You could even make it a weekend break with an overnight stay in nearby Oxford and explore the historic city.
Bicester Village is the perfect summer escape from the city and a great day out, whether you’re replenishing your wardrobe or just looking for one special treat.
For more information, visit: www.bicestervillage.com