Friday, 2 August 2013

Bicester Designer Shopping Outlet Village - A Review and Guide

Today the Hosie gals went bargain hunting. Mum, Holly and I pootled off to Oxfordshire with high hopes and wallets at the ready. And readers, we had a successful day (keep your eyes peeled for a post about our exciting finds later eeeeep!)

Bicester Village is a big outlet shopping area in Oxfordshire with tons of designer shops (Burberry, Calvin Klein, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, D&G, Dior, Mulberry to name but a few) as well as high street brands like Joules, Cath Kidston, Jack Wills, Clarks and Ted Baker.

Bicester is generally a lovely shopping environment. The shops are really well laid out, interspersed with plenty of eateries - Pret (the main attraction from mum), Carluccios, Starbucks, ice cream stands and more. Before we left, the sister and I shared a chocolate and banana crepe, freshly, um, creped(?) in front of our eyes. Mmmm it was delicious.

Bicester is clean, there are lots of lovely hanging baskets and outdoor benches, and a good deal of loos. I find loos are always a good indicator of how nice a place is. The loos at Bicester are BIIIIG, there's hand lotion as well as soap (this pleases me), and two hand-drying options: paper towels and air dryers. Luxury eh? That said, we had to queue every time. Boo. Loo queues is probably the only thing that makes me wish I was a man.

As Bicester is so pleasant, a trip there is a really nice day out even if you don't buy anything. And to be honest, you may very well not. Unless you have a lot of money, you might be a little disappointed - I often am. Maybe not. I'm just saying don't go with super high expectations.

Today it was veeery busy, but we were there from around 11.30am-4.30pm which is probably prime time. Unless you live nearby and can get there early, I'd recommend perhaps going a bit later in the day, as everything stays open until 9pm for the summer at least.

The really expensive designers are still really expensive despite their discounts, and the high-street brands tend not to have particularly great discounts. Of course, there are some fab finds, but I think it all comes down to luck on the day.

Personally, I don't tend to go to Bicester for the big designers or to look for clothes - unsurprisingly, I'm all about the handbags. As I'm obviously not a kajillionaire, I prefer to spend my hard-earned money on designer accessories which will (hopefully) last. Handbags just do it for me. I can't explain why. So today I spent most of my time in Kate Spade (OK, the majority of my time was there), Mulberry (obviously I'm a huge fan but the Bicester discounts always disappoint me a bit), Anya Hindmarch and Michael Kors.

Pretty little bags (and well reduced) in Anya Hindmarch
Until today, I hadn't been to Bicester for over a year - as you all probably know, I bought myself my first Mulberry from their Shepton Mallet Outlet Store last August (best purchase of my life), so I figured it was about time for another dip into my savings.

That said, I originally wanted to go to Bicester today to look for an iPad case, not a handbag. Oops. God, I've really been treating myself of late, haven't I? But generally I never buy anything, am super thrifty and have all my work savings from the year so YO-flippin-LO.

Over the years, I've found a few really good bargains in Bicester, including a beautiful Vivienne Westwood wallet (which I love and have used every day since) and my Leavers' Ball dress from Coast. It's worth checking the Bicester Village website before you go though, as the shops tend to change rather frequently. Today I was excited to discover both an Emma Bridgewater and a Kate Spade which weren't there the last time I went.

I adore this.
Oooh ooh and I LOVE these too.
And d'you know what? I love Kate Spade so much that I'm going to devote a separate blog post to it. Get excited!



  1. Hello!
    I found you through the cosmo awards and wanted to come say hey!
    I love your blog and good luck with the award!

    I also LOVE Bicester village- but my purse wouldnt agree!!!

    Ive recently started a lifestyle blog too so i would love it if you could check mine out too! i've followed you on blog lovin'

    :) Mollie xoxo

    1. Hi Mollie,
      Thanks so much for having a read and for your lovely comment. That's really kind :)
      Aww well maybe suggest a birthday trip to Bicester? It'll always be there, I'm sure, and you never know what bargains you might find...
      Thanks for following me. Your blog is lovely - sounds like you had fun at the festival!
      Rachel :) X

  2. great article! just wondering how discounted the purses were in Kate Spade? hoping to get one wednesday!xx

    1. Thank you! Really sorry but I don't know how much they'd be. Hope you have a great trip though and get a good bargain! X

  3. Hellooo
    Your blog is sooo cute! I've added it to my "reading list".
    Great post! The first time I went to Bicester Village, I didn't even know which shops to go to. I only went to Starbucks, Accesorize and Cath Kidston. Can you recommend some stores? :)
    Ps I luurrvvee your nail polish colour :D

    1. Thanks Sugar, that's really sweet of you (ha!)
      Well those are certainly good shops :) but I really like Kate Spade - I did a whole separate post about their Bicester shop - Mulberry, Emma Bridgewater, Ted Baker and Coast, but there's lots to choose from. Hope that helps! X
      PS thanks, I think the nail varnish is Essie :)

  4. Great blog! Just had a quick question, how were the sales on Kate Spade handbags?

    1. I see you've already got your answer in your comment on my Kate Spade post :)


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