Bargains at Bicester, Baby!

BY Anum Bashir

Last week on a whirlwind trip to London, I was invited to explore Bicester Village - London’s premiere luxury outlet retail destination. To be honest, my expectation levels were somewhat curtailed, as traditionally in the past, discount shopping hasn’t always been my friend. I have often struggled with finding styles and sizes that work for me, etc. Something or the other just happens to go wrong. Outlet shopping, generally speaking, never really got my heart racing…. until the train stopped at Bicester Village.

Credit cards, be ware!

I was greeted by their incredibly warm and knowledgeable team who had arranged a delicious lunch at their Farmshop restaurant - a charming lodge-like setup that’s run by Soho House. Sold! 

I have to admit, I was rather hooked from the get-go. The food was EXCELLENT, albeit no one really wants to pig out before trying on silky dresses at Prada, but heck, I couldn’t resist. 

I’ve only ever outlet hopped and shopped in NY, at the Woodbury Commons, where you’re lucky if you can score a slice of hot pizza, so this was luxurious in every sense of the word, by comparison. 

An hour later, it was time to hit the stores hard. Every brand imaginable was in sight from my cozy restaurant perch. My journey started at Gucci. I browsed through Chloe, Marni, Fendi, Valentino, Prada, and ended at Celine. Did I shop? YES, yes, I did. It was fantastic. Prices were great, sizes were available, and the sales staff super. 

The weather too was on its best behavior. With the sun beaming down, I found myself energized for more. 3 hours went by in a flash, and trust when I say, I could have walked away with far more things than I had in hand. 

Here I am sporting my Prada purchase literally hours after buying it. I’m still 10 on the inside. New stuff needs to be worn right away! Am I right? Not a bad score for $500 right marked down 60%.

Bicester, I’ll be back for sure!

But it didn’t end there. As part of their 360 luxury shopping experience, Bicester Village had arranged for the loveliest hotel for me to stay at during my time in London. On a bright Sunday afternoon, I checked into the cozy Dorset Square Hotel - part of the Firmdale Hotels Group (so you can only imagine how charming it was). The interiors were rich with all kinds of inspiration, and it truly felt like home away from home. 

Convenience is truly something the group have thought about. They’ve left no stoned unturned in terms of what they offer, and how they offer it. Due to the hotel being located in the heart of Marylebone, I was precisely a 3 minute walk away from the train station which took me directly to the entrance of the Village. 

Bicester Village “Shop and Stay” packages come in all shapes and sizes when choosing to experience it with your friends and family, and depending on the season. Check ‘em out here.

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