Most of you in the UK have heard of Bicester Shopping Village which as they describe it, is ‘a chic shopping outlet’. It’s a designer haven of delightful shops all at discount prices near Oxford. During the Summer I went to check out what they had on offer specifically for the kids.
My favourite store was their centrally placed pop up shop area which is changed seasonally. Over the Summer it was home to the beautiful and eclectic ‘I love gorgeous‘ which made it their own with a huge selection of pieces from ditsy prints to sequin party dresses, all colour organised in rails. A true visual treat and even included their own small garden for children and events at the back.
I love gorgeous, started in 2006 by two mums and has gone from strength to strength ever since. The concept of the store at Bicester was a perfect environment to provide inspiration to other mothers looking to dress their girls in whimsical partywear and everyday funky yet feminine pieces at a reduced price to that in the stores and online. The pop up shop therefore giving people the chance to try the brand before making additional purchases when they are hooked!
The Bonpoint store was another favourite space crammed full of heart achingly divine French fashion for the little ones. From embroidered cherry logo pins to linen and cotton mix blouses perfectly chic, displayed on your very own Delphine or Pierre.
Stella McCartney‘s main store offered a beautifully curated collection of on trend designs for the smaller clientèle, including the popular cowboy boot and tiger print knitted rompers.
The village offers a wide selection of brands including Dior, Dolce and Gabbana and Gucci as well as more high street names you may be more familiar with, such as Clarks and Cath Kidston, where you can pick up the latest nappy bag or lunch box in that perfect retro print.
Hackett and Ralph Lauren also offering smaller sized pieces of their classic mens key looks. The Ralph Lauren kids shop being one of the largest and busiest stores I viewed, but with a lot of choice and a wide range of price points.
It is never as fun to shop with the kids as it is without but there are facilities in place for the children, with good toilets and various eating spots including plenty of high chairs and playgrounds for when they really have had enough!
To get the most out of a trip here, I would definitely recommend the ‘Hands Free Shopping’ service which for a small fee, lets you make the most of browsing and purchasing without the need to carry everything you purchase around with you. This is especially helpful if you do have children with you as you can keep your hands free for making sure they don’t make a quick escape!
The village overall is perfectly laid out and just the right size to fully appreciate it in a whole day of shopping. Once parked, (valet parking is optional) everything is within a 5-10 minute stroll through the part cobbled and decorated centre. It is clean, well staffed and really quite pretty. I adored the very British red telephone boxes scattered about and feel they make a special effort to keep the grounds of the village attractive with flowers and being partly covered, it is still a great place to be hopping between the shops when the weather is not so great.
For a full list of stores available here go on to the Bicester Village website to view the map and brands available.