Tag Archive - Shoptalk

25.09.14 Shop: Bicester for Kids

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.

i i love gorgeous pop up shop

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 pop up shop

i love gorgeous pop up shop

i love gorgeous pop up shop

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.

Bonpoint store at Bicester

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.

Stella McCartney Bicester

Stella McCartney Bicester

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.

Cath Kidston Bicester

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.

Bicester

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!

Bicester

Bicester playground

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.

 

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21.10.13 My Weekend: Kelly Sparkes

The lovely Kelly is the co founder of Phoenix and Fox, a new online interiors site full of  stylish, quirky and cool wonders. She lives in England with her husband and baby daughter Aria.

kelly sparkes phoenix fox

Weekends have changed so much since I had my little girl twelve weeks ago, long lazy mornings in bed have been replaced by her smiling gurgling face at 6am, but I’m not complaining. I love ‘chatting’ to her first thing in the morning.

I make the most of having my husband at home on a Saturday to look after Aria between feeds so I can get some work done.  This week I caught up with my business partner Sam to discuss the design of our new home page. I then spent the rest of the afternoon implementing  it, as I do all the web development for our online home accessories shop Phoenix & Fox.

Kelly Sparkes Phoenix and fox

A day working and looking after a little one goes so quickly.

Saturday evening, I got a chance to relax with a magazine whilst hubby made dinner. I’m very lucky as he’s an excellent cook.

Kelly Sparkes Phoenix and fox

Sunday morning we went for a family walk. The Autumnal colours of the trees were beautiful.

autunmal-walk-5

I’m always changing my home, although things take a lot longer than they used to these days! My current project is the hallway which has been painted a deep inky blue and I spent some time playing with different layouts for the salon-style gallery of art going up the stairs.

Kelly Sparkes Phoenix and fox

Kelly Sparkes Phoenix and fox

Before I knew it the weekend was over and it was time to bathe and massage Aria and get her to bed, before dinner and a date with Downton Abbey.

Kelly Sparkes Phoenix and Fox

Thank you for sharing your weekend with us Kelly.

You can find Phoenix and Fox‘s range of cool and quirky products here. Including that amazing mirror and the gorgeous fox and hare cushions.

Our first ever house tour was with Kelly’s business partner Sam. You can check out her amazing house tour here!

 

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17.12.12 Shoptalk: House of Allegra

Yuen Li decided she couldn’t go back to the Corporate world in London after having her daughter Allegra. After searching for individual clothes to suit her daughter and finding them not so freely available she started House of Allegra to offer a small but alternative collection of brands to offer an individual approach for children. Meeting Yuen in her home was an inspiration.  The daily balance of the working mum.

Yuen: House of Allegra is ever evolving. Keeping the website current is a full time job in itself and I often have items that are not available on the website which people contact me direct for. It was hard in the beginning. I had to do lots of research. It was basically a year of learning – taking photos, learning about all the legal stuff, copyright, photoshop, everything. I wanted to find premium brands but not too high end. I want to see items on trend, but not so much that it goes out of fashion easily. I started small but looked for the details that made a difference. It is what I see when I look for clothes. The little tiny something that makes an item special.

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