Glass drops into Bicester Village, Oxfordshire

GUGA Filho knows his stuff. The effervescent, suave and immaculately attired head of the personal shopping team welcomes me to Bicester Village.

Bicester Village is a part of the Bicester Collection which includes 11 luxury shopping experiences located close to major cities across Europe and China, with each destination offering remarkable value to the discerning shopper. Bicester Village is located in the heart of the Oxfordshire countryside, only a 45-minute train ride from central London.

Bicester Village

Bicester Village is home to over 160 boutiques offering an evolving curation of fashion and lifestyle, accompanied by renowned restaurants, designer pop-ups and eclectic art instillations. Designer brands include Prada, Gucci, Moncler, Gina, Jimmy Choo, Lalique, Versace, Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, The White Company, and Celine, to name just a few.

And this summer Smiley® lands at Bicester Village, encouraging visitors to take time to smile. The collaboration will include a pop-up of huts selling limited edition products that will raise funds for charities supported by The Bicester Collection’s ‘Do Good’ programme.

Smiley Bicester VillageSmiley® Do Good T-Shirt

I have parked in a reserved space by The Apartment at Bicester Village, where a member of the VIP concierge team plugs my car into an electric charge point. It feels like I have entered an interior designed show – home of a private residence.

I am led by Guga into a Personal Shopping styling suite filled with plush furnishings, cosy sofas and a tray of drinks and snacks, before my day of designer-labelled shopping commences. Bicester Village VIP shopping experience is a complimentary service with no minimum spend.

Personal Shopping Suite No 2Bicester Village – Personal Shopping Suite

It includes a 10% discount card and a hands-free shopping service, which delivers all purchases made during the day to the VIP lounge for pick up before departure. For those who prefer a remote shopping experience, a virtual personal shopper is available over a video call for a consultation and to make purchases, after which postage can be arranged to any address in the UK.

The Apartment at BicesterThe Apartment at Bicester

This designer alfresco shopping village is laid out as a pedestrianised boulevard, lined with candy coloured boutiques, perfectly co-ordinating awnings, and comfortable benches on every corner. Sales assistants I’m greeted by in each boutique are well-informed about their ever-evolving stock and are on hand to advise customers without being pushy. I notice that some prices are discounted up to 60% and some are even slashed with higher mark-downs during the seasonal sales periods.

The Farmshop BV 1Farm Shop Café at Bicester Village

While there are numerous fast-food outlets, I opt to enjoy a sit-down relaxing lunch at Soho House’s Farm Shop Café, with its cobblestoned floor and barn doors. This laid-back eatery is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers an all-day dining menu.

I enjoy a colossal avocado salad, brimming with freshness, followed by pan-fried sea-bass, a heap of samphire and a side of chips, all washed down with a potent glass of espresso martini. The perfect ending to the most superlative shopping experience all under one sunny summer sky.

by Amanda Bernstein

Address: 50 Pringle Dr, Bicester OX26 6WD
Phone: 01869 366266