A new season means a whole host of new reasons to upgrade your wardrobe. After all, aren’t last autumn’s chinos looking a little worn now? And those trainers you wore day-in, day-out during lockdown could certainly do with replacing.
This is where Bicester Village steps in. The luxury destination in Oxfordshire offers an unrivalled open air shopping experience, with more than 160 luxury brands stocked with the new season collections. And the even better news? They’ll be up to 60% off RRP.
Plus, once you’ve had your fill of hopping from boutique to boutique – and enjoying plenty of glorious fresh air in between – there’s plenty of outdoor dining options to choose from, so you can refill with peace of mind. How does the classic spit-roast chicken from Soho House & Co’s farmshop restaurant and cafe sound? Or perhaps you’d prefer slow-cooked vegetable curry from Shan Shui or to tuck into a mozzarella, tomato and basil pizza on Café Wolseley’s outdoor terrace?
Of course, as well as offering plenty of outdoor space, Bicester Village has also taken all the necessary precautions to allow you to shop in complete safety. In accordance with government guidelines, social distancing measures are in place while face coverings must be worn in boutiques and are strongly recommended throughout the Village. There is also a digital queuing system in place to reduce waiting times to enter boutiques – simply book a space and you’ll receive a text when it’s your time to shop.
Shopping is made easy at Bicester Village with extended opening hours, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday throughout October until 9pm. However, if you’re unable to visit the Village in person, you can still find something special from the comfort of your own home thanks to its virtual personal shopping service. They’ll help you discover that perfect piece and deliver it to you, wherever you are.
Sounds good, right? In fact, the Gentleman’s Journal team is so keen to get stuck in that we’ve been perusing the digital shelves at Bicester Village and picked out a few choice items for our first shopping trip. Here’s what the team will be buying this season…
Le Creuset don’t just make kitchenware — they make family heirlooms. Their brilliant pots and pans last for decades and get better and better with age (in fact, there are a couple in my parents’ possession that I’m keeping a very close eye on…) They’re also things of beauty — the famous burnt orange ‘cocottes’ are classics of modern design but I’m rather taken with this ocean blue which is exclusive to Bicester Village.
Hackett, like many great British brands, started life as a stall on London’s Portobello Road. It’s hard to imagine those early days today, as you step into its Regent Street flagship or its gorgeous new Savile Row Townhouse. The brand is now a true pillar of English good taste and gentlemanly style, and can outfit the modern man from first steps to last rites like few others.
British brand dunhill may have made its name on fine leather goods but now offers a full complement of accessories, shoes, clothes, tailoring and fragrances. In other words it’s a one-stop shop if you’re looking to give your wardrobe a complete new season overhaul. If you need me I’ll be in dunhill stocking up on autumn jackets, tailored trousers and T-shirts.
We’re heading into the colder months and that means just one thing: I’m going to need some new knitwear. Founded in London in 1936, N.Peal has been outfitting England’s best dressed gents for decades – and its cashmere remains fit for kings to this day. And, well, if it’s good enough for them…
Offering collections for both men and women, few brands encapsulate nonchalant Parisian style quite like Sandro. Refined and versatile, its offering runs the gamut from impeccable tailoring and minimalist essentials to statement pieces that will instantly freshen up your look.
And when it comes to quality staples, a denim jacket is an absolute must-have. Sandro’s light-wash faded denim jacket has a great eighties vibe that will pair perfectly with shorts, dark trousers or – dare I say it – double denim. I’ll officially be buying it for my partner – but it won’t stay in his wardrobe long.
Sir Paul’s irreverent style needs no introduction. Over the past 50 years, the British brand – and its namesake designer – have become famous for seamlessly blending quality construction, fine fabrics and design know-how with flashes of colour and quirky motifs to create clothing that is immediately recognisable and instantly classic.
This is particularly well demonstrated in Paul Smith’s tailoring. Beautifully cut and rendered in almost every colour and pattern under the rainbow, I’ve got my eye on a navy check number. Having been unable to find a suit for our (now postponed) wedding before lockdown, this is an investment I’d happily see my partner at the end of the aisle in.
Fragrances are easily one of the most expensive parts of any good grooming routine so the opportunity to pick up fine scents at a discount should never be passed over. British brand Penhaligon’s is a firm favourite in the Gentleman’s Journal offices thanks to its wide range of fragrance families as well as its luxurious grooming selection.
The brand’s The Duke scent – peppery, floral and beloved by everyone in my household – has been slowly dwindling in volume during lockdown so I’ll definitely be picking up another bottle. I’m also tempted by the Bayolea travel set – if only for the optimistic hope it brings that holidays are on the horizon.
Because no-one does rugged refinement like Barbour. Everyone from offshore fishermen to the Royal Family rely on the brand to keep them warm and dry during dull spells. Even James Bond shrugged one on at the end of Skyfall — and if that isn’t a stamp of approval, we don’t know what is. In fact, the brand’s inimitable waxed cotton jackets are so well-regarded that ‘Barbour’ has become a byword for the garment as a whole.
We all know what the Great British weather is like so it’ll pay to have a tip-top, zip-up Barbour jacket hanging in the hall just in case. My particular favourite is the Barbour Icons International Wax Jacket, an authentic take on the original A7 jacket, with distinctive diagonal chest pockets and pivot sleeves.
Another Royal Warrant holder, Smythson of Bond Street produces leather goods fit for a king. And there’s nothing we like more than a good travel accessory in the Gentleman’s Journal offices (except perhaps a top shelf single malt…). From the Panama Wallet to the Mara Passport Cover, Smythson sells the best travel companions around — we’re talking crossgrain, gold-stamped, handcrafted leather. They’re so handsome, you’ll want to leave them snug and safe at home.
But you’ll still take them on your travels. And I’ve got one particular product that accompanies me on every trot of the globe. The navy Panama luggage tag, handcrafted in England, is elegant, adjustable, tonally topstitched — and features separate windows for your home and destination addresses. Your luggage will never be lost again.
There’s a reason Soho House has become a household name the world over. Yes, it’s partly because of the great food and hospitality its locations offer up – but it’s also because of the easy, elegant style in which each of its clubs and hotels is rendered.
After months spent staring at the same four walls, my flat is in definite need of a refresh and, with Soho House’s eponymous homeware line offering everything from furniture to dinnerware and accessories, there’s only one brand I’ll be turning to on my trip to Bicester Village.
Plus, shop newly-arrived seasonal staples during the Private Sale at Bicester Village. From now until the 1 November unlock additional savings, with 30% off the Village price with a minimum purchase in participating boutiques.
Want more Bicester Village? We took the B-Roads to Bicester in a Range Rover Velar…