Tuesday, 19 January 2010

A Shopper's Paradise....

Last week we took a little trip for a spot of bargain shopping to Bicester Village, an exceptional 'outlet' destination at Bicester (just outside Oxford). Yes, last week (you know when the radio announcers were telling everyone not to drive unless their journey was absolutely necessary)....! It didn't look like this of course:

No, there were snow drifts about six feet deep and a narrow pathway in front of all the shops which had been gritted and cleared...Would we let a small thing like snow come between us and bargain hunting at a designer outlet village.....?

When I talk about 'us' in the context of driving through snow drifts with a grey and snowy sky overhead to get to a shopping mall, I do of course mean only myself and my GG....I cannot include the LAB in the percentage of the family who were keen to pursue this foolish activity....
I have to give you the whole picture in the interest of transparency...we had left home with the intention of going to the outlet mall at Swindon (about half an hours drive away)...even then, the LAB wasn't too enthusiastic....even though the main purpose of the visit was to stock up on pants (trousers) for him, a task which had been put off on many previous occasions but became necessary, urgent and immediate that morning when I ironed one of the remaining few pairs and found a large hole in the fabric...
So, having arrived at Swindon and headed straight for the Ralph Lauren shop which stocks the 'perfect pants' in the right size, leg length etc. we were disappointed to find they had very limited stock....I suggested we drive on to Bicester which has a store with two levels and more variety (I omitted to mention at this point that it also has a large White Company store & Jimmy Choo)...
I could see the LAB wasn't exactly what you might call eager but in the spirit of family harmony, he reluctantly agreed, especially after my assurances that it was a mere further half an hour away....Hmmm....I never have been that great at guessing time & distance...

A precarious hour and some minutes later, we were at Ralph Lauren & managed to acquire the necessary stock of pants in...let me think....about seven minutes.....The LAB was then ready to embark on the dodgy journey home as a few snowflakes started to fall from the lead grey sky. All that way and not even get to see the inside of Gucci et al? At this point I luckily remembered that they have a Carluccio's & thoughtfully suggested he might like a strong espresso before the long trek back.....Fortunately there was a REALLY long queue..........s


  1. Aloha,
    sounds and looks like you had an eventful adventure...love the shoes, so glad I stopped in to visit!
    Aloha wishes from across the sea

  2. Ha, a girl after my own heart. Killing several birds with one strong espresso. Creativity!

  3. Before I opened your blog and saw the title come up on my page "A Shoppers Paradise" I thought - wonder if she went to Bicester village?! Love this place and you were extrememly brave to go in the snow....
    Did you buy anything apart from the trousers or were the time restrictions just too severe for proper browsing and decision making?!
    S xx

  4. Hi Susie,
    Our son got married in Oxford and, on our way home a few days later, we popped into Bicester Village. I don't really know how you felt about it but I was rather disappointed.
    I don't know if we went at a bad time but, The White Company hardly had anything that I had seen in their other stores, and many of the other shops were the same.It felt as if they had found all of their lines that hadn't sold and put them all in Bicester !!
    I'm not really a 'label kinda gal', prefering the unusual and one off's so, maybe it's not for me, !!!! XXXX

  5. Jackie - I've had good & bad experiences here! This time I was lucky & managed to find two things I had been looking at for months in a local shop for less than half the price I would have paid if I hadn't been patient! The main attraction for us is R.L where we stock up for the LAB as the pants are such a good fit (and about a quarter of the price that they are in Sydney)...I have only been there a handful of times so I'm still reserving judgment...but I know what you mean...! x

  6. Hi Susie, I was just reading about Bicester Village and recalled you had posted on it. I was thinking of taking my daughter. It is 1 1/2 hours from here so it would be a full day. Do you think it is worth it?
    Having just read yours and Jackie's comments I am not sure....
    Jeanne xx