Bicester (‘Bicester’ as in ‘Mister’) village is the stuff of legends. I’ve heard so much about the place ever since I was a teenager – ‘An outlet store where you can get designer bags for a few quid’.
Because I didn’t have a few quid spare for a train ticket up there, never mind a Mulberry bag – I didn’t go. Well anyway, my friend Bronni had a few days off from work, so we decided to go to see if it really lived up to the hype.
Bicester Village is just outside Oxford. We got a train from Marylebone station right to the village which took 45 minutes and cost £10.
First things first, it’s posh as hell. It’s like you’re not in the UK anymore. It’s like a classy mall in Dubai (not that I’ve been – just imagine they are) and there are a load of tourists. Apparently Bicester Village is the second most popular tourist attraction for Chinese people in the UK – after Buckingham Palace.
Here are the best bargains I could find in Bicester Village:
I’m not apologising for still liking UGGS. I know they’re a bit ‘2004’, but they’re cosy and I don’t mind having damp feet whenever it rains.
And frankly, I’m not alone because UGGs are still seriously pricey and the shops are always packed. Sometimes you have to queue to get into the store in London.
Traditional UGG’s themselves were selling for around £80 – £110 which isn’t too bad, but the best bargains were unsurprisingly not on the boots.
These flats (I do like a flat shoe with glitz) were down to £30.
There were also current items like wellies and slippers which were decently reduced and were current stock which you could buy full price online.
I don’t like Jack Wills. I was too poor and chubby for the clothes when it was really popular (bitter much?) and I think the price of the clothes take the mick.
However, there are still people who love the brand, so I braved the beautiful teenagers who work there and looked for bargains.
Unless you’re going to the sale section, where the was the odd item at 75%+ off, the discounts weren’t amazing.
I don’t get puffa jackets. Apart from the fact their probably warm, why would anyone want to look like they have extra fat rolls?
We spotted some amazing deals in Michael Kors, but a man kept following me around talking to me, so it was irritating (just want to take photos mate – sod off!).
This big black tote, which would work for most occasions was £105 – and there was a promotion on at the store offering extra discount too. I thought that was pretty barginous.
How pretty is this bag? Thing about Michael Kors is that its not leather, which bugs me a bit. But £100ish for a designer bag that will last a good few years isn’t too bad.
I think DKNY had the best bargains. Not only that, there was 20% off everything in the whole store.
There was lots of offer too, but mostly bags and wallets rather than clothing.
I have a soft spot for All Saints, even though it again is pretty overpriced.
There was loads packed into the shop (probably too much), and everything seemed to be at least half price.
This lovely biker jacket below is £98 down from £328, which is a big discount.
Now don’t get me wrong, you can go to Primark and get a jacket for £6 – but that’s not the point of Bicester village, or this blog. High-end stuff calls for a high price (but there’s always a bargain to be had).
I’m just nowhere near fancy enough to wear Missoni, but I love its bright colours and prints.
Literally every outfit in the store was eye-wateringly expensive, but some of the accessories like the umbrellas and flip-flops were ‘do-able’ if you really wanted to own some Missoni.
Though, I really don’t think these towels are worth the £40 even though they are reduced. They just don’t have that Missoni signature look.
Furla was all about the accessories and there was even a bag Bronni seriously considered buying.
I know I should be judgy about a £30 keyring, but I get it. I’ve bought fancy ones before and I will again.
Ugly keyring, but beautiful discount!
Have you ever been to an outlet village and there hasn’t been a Ralph Lauren? They go hand in hand.
As standard, everything seemed to be about half price, but the real bargains were in the sale section at the back of the store.
There were lots of polo shirts of every colour for £25, down from £120.
I don’t know why, but its my dream to own the bag below. I’ve wanted one for years. Ah, the Alexa…
But I can’t fork out for one – not even at the reduced price.
This was the worst store in the village. The staff were overbearing. I must have been giving off shoplifter vibes or something because they were like flies around honey. I couldn’t pick a bag up without someone asking me if they could help.
I decided to leave the store and took a couple of snaps on the way out. The discounts seemed pretty decent – but the experience wasn’t. I was quite angry actually.
Kate Spade is my weakness. I own quite a bit, and although I know its overpriced – I think everything is beautiful (and *just* affordable), which makes it dangerous.
Oh by the way, if you can’t get to Bicester village – you can usually find Kate Spade in TK Maxx stores if you want to find a bargain.
This picture is annoyingly blury, but there was also 20% off everything in-store – which meant you could bag a Kate Spade watch for £75ish.
Pandora is my personal hell. To get into this tiny shop in Bicester, you had to queue. And then you slowly snaked around the shop in line to get to the items. Nah… I tried two minutes and had to leave snapping pictures of whatever I could on the way out.
By far it was the most popular store in the outlet village.
What didn’t help was the wind had changed and there’s a chicken farm close by. Have you ever smelled chicken poo? I have, while being squashed in a queue in Pandora. I don’t recommend it.
That said, there were pretty decent discounts on the jewellery brand which accounts for its popularity.
The White Company
I’ve just moved into a new house so am always looking for bits and bobs to fill it with. I like the idea of The White Company because its what I imagine posh women fill their homes with while their husbands are out trading or whatever rich people do.
It was mostly candles and hand creams which weren’t that cheap and hardly any home-wear.
The best bargains were the sheets I found at 70% off. Even though a load of the stock wasn’t even 50% off, if you’re the kind of person who does fill their home with expensive White Company candles – any discount is better than none I suppose.
I struggled to get excited about paying £8 for these candles – but they were the best bargains in the store.
Another brand rich people adore! Have you really made it until you have a big Le Cresuset orange casserole dish? *eye-roll*
Another brand you can find in TKMaxx, this store was very small, with the stone-wear being around 30%-50%. That’s still pretty pricy, but they do have a lifetime guarantee (so keep the receipt!).
I’ll 100% be going back because I’m a sucker for a discount. The best deals were the sale sections within the outlet store, giving you a double discount. I reckon it would be amazing to go in the January sales or Black Friday where there is likely to be an extra discount code on everything in stock.
A quick thing about the food – there isn’t a lot of choice. If you look online or read a map, it seems like there are a load of restaurants, but really, they are fast food booths. The only real options are right at the beginning and the end of the village.
Oh, and you know what – I think the weather matters. Bicester Village is really beautiful. There are lots of flowers around and its a pleasure to be in. And although the shops are inside, you’re outside quite a bit. When we went, the first half of our day poured down which was a bit miserable. It was so much nicer when the sun came out later. Of course, you can’t control the weather, but don’t think of it as a ‘rainy day’ trip.
Have you been to Bicester Village? What do you think of it? Let me know in the comments!
Love outlets? Check out my Gunwharf Quays review.