Travel

Heading to London soon? Here’s a shopping spot you need to visit

It has everything we love - designer shops, deep discounts, and good grub
 

Image: Bicester Village

 

Christmas may already be over, but the shopping doesn’t have to stop. If you are visiting London over the New Year’s weekend, or planning a trip to the city soon, here’s a shopping spot to visit: Bicester Village.

 

Image: Bicester Village

 

Located a 46 minutes train ride away from Marylebone station in Central London, Bicester Village is an outlet shopping destination with over 160 designer outlet stores. It is open every day of the year except for Christmas Day (yes, it’s open on New Year’s day too), and offers year-round tax-free shopping with savings of up to 60 per cent off the recommended retail price.

Here are four reasons why we think it deserves a spot in your itinerary:

 

  1. New boutiques and pop-ups

 

 

The Village underwent an expansion in mid October, welcoming 30 new boutiques and bringing the total number of brands to more than 160. The exciting new additions include Acne, Joseph, Under Armour, Dsquared2, The Cambridge Satchel Company, Zadig & Voltaire, Rapha (along with the signature Rapha Cycle Club), Bamford, Villeroy & Boch, Orlebar Brown, and more.

 

 

How adorable is this @charlotteolympia kitty bag

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There are also new pop-up stores that will be around till early next year, of brands like Brit footwear labels Charlotte Olympia and Harrys of London, and cosmetics brand Charlotte Tilbury.

 

  1. Free personal shopping services

 

 

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Outlet shopping can get overwhelming for even the most seasoned shopaholics, so Bicester Village has thoughtfully offered complimentary personal shopping services that are available every day of the week.

Whether you need help with putting together a new outfit for a special occasion, giving your wardrobe a complete overhaul, or finding the right accessories to complete a look, personal shoppers with insider knowledge of the boutiques can guide you around the Village for up to six hours (depending on your needs) and offer expert advice on the shapes, colours, and styles that best suit your lifestyle, body and budget.

Do note that this service is by appointment only. To make an appointment, call +44 (0) 1869 366 277 or email PersonalShopper@BicesterVillage.com.

 

  1. Affordable British fare

 

 

As part of its October expansion, a quaint new restaurant has also opened at Bicester Village.

Inspired by the 1930s children’s book, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden Cafe is designed to resemble a storybook world set in 1930s Britain. Walk through an old-fashioned shop, a hallway decorated with hats, a sitting room from a quirky British house, and into a hidden garden complete with a wrought-iron chair overgrown with moss, and a quirky gardener in the potting shed.

The cafe serves a variety of affordable British fare prepared with locally sourced fresh ingredients. Warm breakfast options are available before 11.30 am, and includes croissants, wraps, and hot brioche buns served with either bacon, cheese omelette, or sausage. All are priced below £5 (S$9). On the menu after 11.30 am are seasonal salads, hotpot dishes (including a lamb shank and a fish and tomato stew), pies, and sausage rolls, all at £7.50 (S$13.50) and below.

 

  1. A fuss-free experience

 

 

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For an extra enjoyable and truly fuss-free way to spend a day at Bicester Village, visitors can also opt to purchase a one-day Shopping Day Experience package.

The £99.00 (S$178) for adults and £38.00 (S$68.35) for children package includes return tickets on a luxury coach service from Central London to the Village, a VIP card offering a further 10 per cent discount on your purchases, a hands-free shopping experience (pay first and collect all your buys only when you need to leave), lunch or dinner at selected restaurants, and a £50 (S$90) Gift Card to be used in the boutiques of your choice in Bicester Village (only available for adult packages). Buy it here.