From the ultimate investment piece to a dress to impress this Valentine’s Day, you can find the key outfit to make the perfect statement. You will just love the way you look!
Village News and Events
You can never have too many spring style pieces. Well, maybe you can – but we’re not here to judge.
These are the ‘forever pieces’ we’re giving ourselves permission to invest in this month.
If you're still unsure what to wear to the wedding, Bicester Village Personal Shopper Fiona gives her tips for the perfect wedding outfit, whatever your role.
Warmer days and lighter nights are on the way, and with them come cherry blossoms, picnics in the park and the wedding season. While it's always a joy to celebrate the love of people you care about, finding something suitable to wear can cause a headache or two. Our wedding guide has everything you need to be the best-dressed guest wherever, and whenever, the nuptials.
The Country Wedding
Tumbledown village churches and Pimm’s on the lawn, it doesn't get more traditional than an English country wedding. Take your style cue from the setting and opt for floaty tea dresses, natural hues and floral patterns. If you're looking for colour inspiration, pink of every shade was big on the spring/summer 2017 catwalks and a dusky rose looks great against the warm stone and green fields of the British countryside.
But remember, old churches can be chilly even in summer, so take a pashmina to drape over your arms and shoulders during the ceremony. When it comes to footwear, a wedge heel should be your shoe of choice – they're comfortable to wear and won't sink into the grass during photos.
The Evening Wedding
While you may feel as though you have only just dusted off the best man blunders and champagne headaches of last year’s wedding season, any blushing bride-to-be knows that this year’s spell of marital madness is looming ever closer. With your mind focused on all the planning in the months leading up to tying the knot, it’s easy to forget the final fixes that will make your big day flawless.
Here's a list of our top tips for your seven day countdown, so that you don’t need to worry!
Getting engaged is probably one of the most important and emotional moments in your life which makes choosing the right engagement ring to symbolise your love together key. Your engagement ring journey will present you with many options to consider...
An engagement ring is Worn on the fourth finger of the left hand, which is said to contain the vena armoris (vein of love). Nowadays however, there are many different options to choose from, which cater for a wide variety of tastes.
It might not be easy trying to decide on an engagement ring style. But checking your current jewellery for your preferred metal colour and finding out whether your style is more classic than contemporary is a great way to start.
If you are buying for your partner, it might be worthwhile discreetly searching through their current jewellery. Make a note of which metals they prefer such as white gold, yellow gold or platinum.
"Nothing defines a person like the dress they wore to the Oscars" said... well no one really, but we were all thinking it.
Cate Blanchett's Giorgio Armani Privé gown – as worn to the 2016 ceremony – saw a surge of icy-blue hues make their way onto the high street, and after the love it/hate it debacle of Anne Hathaway's pink satin Dior dress in 2013, rumours flew around that she'd sacked her stylist as a result. Ouch.
So in honour of the star-studded event returning for its 89th year, we’re looking back at the most unforgettable gowns…ALL THAT SPARKLES For an event as glitzy as the Oscars, it’s no surprise that metallic hues feature highly on the red carpet. Reese Witherspoon stunned red carpet revellers for all the right reasons at the 2006 Academy Awards after stepping out in a 1955 gold embellished Dior gown, fit for royalty. And who could forget Felicity Jones’s emotional portrayal of Jane in The Theory of Everything (2015). Jones didn’t go home with the gong that night but she was certainly the people’s choice owing to the stunning Alexander McQueen bodice and floor-length skirt.
Whether it be Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck gallivanting around the Italian capital on a Vespa, or Mathieu Kassovitz gazing into Audrey Tautou's enormous almond eyes at the Gare Du Nord, Europe easily bags the prize for the most romantic continent. With al fresco dining, winding lanes and il vino to be served with every course – your next romantic retreat is just a hop, skip and a quick mosey round the duty-free aisle away.
GO BEYOND GAUDI
Known for its impressive architecture, winding market streets and glorious climes, Barcelona isn’t a hard sell. But beyond the tourist trails of Las Ramblas, the sightseeing buses and the (admittedly stunning) Gaudi buildings, is a cosmopolitan metropolis just waiting to be explored.
City strolling doesn’t get more romantic than at the Parc de Montjuïc; comprising of several museums to explore and the glorious Jardins de Laribal tree-laden walkway. Spaniards are night owls by nature, so be sure to save some energy to explore some of the exciting new eateries that the city has on offer. The Michelin-starred Alkimia, just outside the Gothic Quarter, combines industrial interiors with an elegant yet innovative Catalonian menu. Don’t leave the city without sampling their signature salt cod. Barcelona’s hotel collection is an impressive one, meaning that you never have to face a bad night’s sleep after all that exploring. Hotel Omm offers the ultimate in city-centre serenity; ideally located to maximise your time in Barcelona.
BEAUTY IN BAVARIA
Step into the season on the right foot with Ted Baker’s gorgeous collection. Here’s everything we’re coveting for the months ahead…
FOR THE LADIES
It’s all about prints this season, ranging from the big and the bold right through to pared-back pastels. Make a subtle statement in artistic A-line dresses, mixed up with bold reds and pinks, perfect for the warmer evenings ahead. Geometric stripes give a futuristic feel to the range, pairing monochrome base colours with mint, coral and yellow hues. Sorbet shades are also set to be big this season and Ted Baker has it covered; expect floaty, loose-fitting dresses in soft vanilla, creams and powdery blues. Perfection.
FOR THE GENTS
When it comes to the sartorial start over, there’s no one we trust more for the low down than Fashion Editor Harriet Quick. Get ready for trend overload.
The era that delivered power shoulders, Working Girl miniskirts, slinky body-con dressing and a whole lot of lamé is back. A generation of designers who were toddlers at the time are pillaging the stylistic memes of the sex, power and glamour decade and reprising that exuberance for now. What this trend requires is guts and daring. Miniskirts will feel naked after seasons of flowing lines, just as bold shoulders will seem alien. Yet the confidence-boosting benefits are manifold. Look back to the icons of the era for inspiration from the supermodels in Alaïa to Nan Kempner’s taste for boxy tailoring and Paloma Picasso’s flamboyant big earrings and taste for Saint Laurent.
BOSS Menswear ready-to-wear collections present a modern-day wardrobe to fit every occasion. From masterful tailoring to relaxed athleisure – innovation, craftsmanship and design are at the heart of the brand’s collections, which are created with precision quality and its signature attention to detail.
Using state-of-the-art technology in its creation, the BOSS tailoring range leads in its field of business and occasion wear. Crafted from luxury fabrics and featuring precision cuts, BOSS tailoring offers the perfect sartorial armour for the modern man.
BOSS premium, functional athleisure wear brings the weekend feeling into the every day. Combining the brand’s technical expertise and innovative practices, the athleisure line offers enduring performance wear including water-resistant outerwear, breathable polos and sweatshirts, crease-resistant trousers and form-fitting footwear. A dynamic and practical addition to the BOSS Menswear stable.
BOSS accessories exhibit excellence in timeless luxury. Form and function are the at the fore in the design concepts across stealth leather bags, small compactable leather goods and fine finishing touches including cufflinks, tie pins and pocket squares.
If you’ve visited Bicester Village recently you will have experienced the sheer beauty of our very own English Country Garden, created by London based florist Nikki Tibbles. Think mystical sprawling trees, quaint potting sheds, beautiful English orchids, fragrant herbs, wild flowers and vintage bicycles. Throughout 2017, the gardens will continue to evolve with the seasons, creating a fully immersive experience for all our guests…
We caught up with the brains behind the installation to talk creative vision, inspiration and bringing the concepts to life in your own garden.
What was the inspiration behind your transformation of Bicester Village?
The inspiration behind the transformation at Bicester Village was very much looking at the Oxfordshire countryside and bringing the countryside to the Village. We wanted to create a garden – a typically English country garden – within the Village.
In our exclusive interview with presenter, model and fashion journalist Louise Roe, we find out all about Brides do Good, the Oscars, wardrobe must-haves and her beautiful Pronovias wedding dress.
You are donating your own beautiful Pronovias wedding dress to the boutique; how important is it for you to be involved with Brides do Good?
For me this was amazing timing as I only got married in October and soon after I was approached about donating my dress. For me it was a no brainer! I had no idea there was such a problem with underage marriage and the juxtaposition of having such a beautiful dress created with personal fittings in Spain that was only to be worn once, next to having the opportunity to let someone else enjoy it all for a such a great cause, made perfect sense to me.
As a recent bride, what tips would you give to someone planning their wedding this year?
First, do your research: arm yourself with pictures but keep an open mind. Don’t take an entourage of people, as it can be quite an emotional moment – maybe just ask your mum and best friend. Make sure you present yourself well; put on make-up and don’t try on dresses wearing ankle socks! Also, take a video as it’s good to see how the dress moves rather than just looking back at still photographs. Take a keen interest in the back detail of the dress (as this is what most of the congregation will be looking at!)
The second part to our wedding edit for men, Daniel Johnson, stylist and expert on British tailoring and its history, offers his advice on men’s style and accessories for every kind of wedding.
White, fitted and ironed.
A white shirt provides a neutral palette to go with any suit or tie colour. Find one that fits perfectly and allow plenty of time to alter; the sleeve should show around 1.5cm outside the jacket sleeve for customary English sartorial style.
Brands: Reiss or Paul Smith
Daniel Johnson is a personal stylist and expert on British tailoring and its history. Back in January 2016, Daniel appeared on BBC2's Millionaires Gift Guide as a supplier of bespoke luxury to wearers of exclusive fabrics. Starting his journey on Savile Row, he now stands alongside the likes of David Gandy as an ambassador for a true 'Made in Great Britain' brands, which include Ross Barr – one of those featured in the British Wool Collective at Bicester Village last year. In our new two part wedding edit for men, Daniel offers his advice on men’s suiting for every kind of wedding.
Let’s get the golden rules out of the way;
1. Never ever, ever outshine the bride.
2. Get your suit tailored to fit beautifully.
3. Do not leave buying your suit until the last minute.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro, keen to hit the slopes, or more excited by a log fire and glass of vin chaud, discover your perfect winter getaway with our edit of Europe’s top resorts…
FOR THOSE WITH A COMPETITIVE STREAK
The resort: Chamonix, France
The crowd: With steep chutes, free riding areas and unprepared runs, this is one resort that’s best left to the pros. Advanced and adventurous skiers from all over the world gather here each year, braving the challenging slopes and boasting (join in if you dare) post-ski in one of the many mountain-top bars. In other words, leave grandma at home.
The vibe: Packed with thrill-seekers, Chamonix has an electric atmosphere that’s perfect for serious skiers wanting to put their skills to the test. Although the slopes are far from peaceful, nestled beneath the tumbling glaciers is a charming town full of quirky boutiques, bookshops and galleries. Perfect for the less athletically gifted to browse for hours on end.
Kick-start January with this delicious recipe from Madeline Shaw’s new book, READY, STEADY, GLOW Fast, Fresh Food Designed for Real Life.
Pan-fried trout with cucumber, apple and dill salad (serves two)
1 cucumber, peeled, halved and cut into ½ cm semicircles1 tbsp Dijon mustard1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped (or 1tsp dried)1/4 tbsp apple cider vinegar2 tbsp olive oil1 large avocado, peeled and stoned1 apple, peeled and cored1 shallot, finely minced1 tbsp coconut oil or butter2 tbsp capers, plus extra to serve2 trout filletssalt, to taste
If you’re already regretting the decision to jump on the health bandwagon this season, then you’re not alone. Facing the Christmas comedown with nothing but green tea and a sad bag of kale chips may seem unappealing – but once you’ve sobered up a little, checked your bank balance and tried to squeeze into your jeans – you may feel different.
Luckily, detoxing needn’t be dull, we promise. And while we’ve previously given up on day three, this year we have a solid backup plan so we can finally reach that elusive post-January glow. Hand clapping emojis all around.
DRY JAN SWAP ONE: THE NIGHT CLUB FOR THE NIGHT SWEAT
It’s the first Saturday of the month and if you’re anything like us, you might be starting to get a little restless by now. Hang on in there, only 24 days to – oh wait, never mind. Anyway, no better way to release some of that FOMO than a good work out. But forget slogging it out on the treadmill, the latest trend making waves in the fitness world mashes up exercise with live DJs, strobe lighting and neon accents. From nightclub boxing to hip-hop yoga – it’s never been easier to get that natural high.
Mince pies, mulled wine and one too many chocolates from the tree… all sounding a little too familiar? Come January, enough is enough and after two weeks of pure indulgence, it’s time to get it together.
So, to help kick-start our new year reboot, we’ve called upon the help of holistic health coach, blogger, chef and all round wellness guru, Madeleine Shaw.
Here’s a play-by-play of how she gets back on track. So much goodness.
DINE AND DRINK
The Wild Rabbit
Set in the heart of the Cotswolds, discover this beautiful and traditional, eighteenth-century English stone-built inn, adorned with simple handcrafted furniture and wonderfully exposed beams. Relax by an open fireplace and enjoy home-grown, locally supplied ingredients from either their seasonal menu – incorporating freshly picked and organic ingredients from their own garden – or à la carte dishes, such as Wooten organic lamb, steaks cooked over charcoal, Cornish monkfish or veal with a truffle purée for a touch of indulgence.
Church Street, Kingham, Oxfordshire, OX7 6YA
In collaboration with the Campaign for Wool and the British Fashion Council, Bicester Village opened the British Wool Collective pop-up boutique in winter 2017 to showcase the very best of British and merino wool. The boutique is now closed.
The opening was enjoyed by members of the press, brand representatives, the Campaign for Wool, The Woolmark Company and The British Fashion Council, and we welcomed musician, cheese maker and documentary presenter Alex James to the Village, in order to support the campaign, in line with the release of his new film, Slowing Down Fast Fashion.
Talking exclusively to French designer Anne Fontaine, we discover the craftsmanship behind the iconic white shirt, re-embroidered lace and the foundations of the feminine universal design encompassing their Maison de Couture.
What inspired the classic white shirt that is a staple of your brand?
I wanted this piece, which usually belongs to the masculine wardrobe, to become an essential for women! White shirts have a timeless elegance; it’s an item that every woman can play with to create her own identity and express her own creativity. “Nothing is more sexy than a woman in a white shirt.”
You have created a unique range of designs with ample amounts of versatility in every piece. What is your favourite from the Fall/Winter 2015 collection?
Experience Paris like a local with our top picks for exploring the city in style…
Nestled amongst the picturesque bookshops and artistic boutiques of Rue Charonne lies charming restaurant Septime. Created by French cooking sensation Chef Bertrand Grébaut, each dish is pure, seasonal and delicious. Designed by a former student of Penninghen design school, the mirrored walls, industrial accents and antique furniture set the scene for the perfect meal. What’s more, the menu changes by the day so prepare to be happily surprised on each and every visit.
Experience Milan like a local this fashion season with our top picks for exploring the city in style…
Carlo e Camilla in Segheria
This unique dining concept opened in 2014, but its unexpected offering and pioneering aesthetic continues to make waves across the city years later. Created by Michelin-starred chef Carlo Cracco and art director Tanja Solci and set in a former sawmill, take in the restaurant's soaring structure as you savour exquisite dishes. The graphic, monochromatic space is part of a new wave of creative dining – and it’s worth noting that this is as much a social experience as any, with visitors dining side by side on the elegant, elongated tables.
Via Giuseppe Meda 24, 20141 Milan, Italy
It’s a watch minefield out there, or a timepiece smorgasbord, or an overwhelming, overcrowded horological marketplace. Whichever way you look at it, we’ve broken it down to a few of the basics and some.
Quartz or mechanical
The issue of how your watch is powered is probably the biggest pre-purchase decision you will need to make. Quartz timepieces are more accurate, invariably cheaper and more convenient – you should only need to get the battery replaced every couple of years. If you love the inner workings of a watch and you have the budget, you should invest in a mechanical one – your choice is hand-wound (exactly that) or automatic – which relies on the movement of your wrist to store kinetic energy to power the watch.
Get with the lingo
The face of the watch is called the dial. The numbers are called indexes. The button that you wind and adjust the time with is the crown. The ring around the dial that protects the glass is the bezel. The parts of the case that join to the strap are the lugs. The amount of time your mechanical watch will last without being wound is the power-reserve. Any functionality that measures time, such as a race, is a chronograph. This is enough to get you through most ‘watchy’ chats with ease.
It's all in the detail this autumn with so many elegant watches to choose from. To help you navigate the timepiece minefield, we spoke to Ryan Ould, head of product design at Rotary, to discover his top tips for choosing the perfect style...
Quartz or automaticDo you want the easy life with a quartz watch, which offers incredible accuracy that only requires you to change the date a few times a year, or do you want the romance and craftsmanship of a Swiss automatic with its unmistakable sweeping second hand and visible parts through its see-through case back?
Case sizeThis applies to both men’s and ladies’ watches, make sure it fits and sits on your wrist perfectly! Whether on a metal bracelet or leather strap, the timepiece should feel moulded to your wrist, never too heavy and always matching what you are wearing.
Plating colourThis is a very individual choice, most men tend to go with stainless steel as this is the safe option, however an emerging women’s trend is two-tone metal, which often consists of either rose gold and stainless steel or classic gold and stainless steel, and this works with all types of jewellery. If you are looking for the vintage vibe you can never beat gold plate.
Bracelet or strapThis comes down to what the watch will be used for and who is wearing it. If the individual making the purchase is very active then a bracelet makes much more sense; on the other hand, if the timepiece is for a person working in the city, working long hours and wearing business attire, a strap will complement a suit perfectly!
A Royal Warrant is perhaps the most defining accolade a company can attain. In an age of spurious paid-for celebrity endorsement, the Royal Warrant exists in a vacuum, decided not by expensive contracts and numbers of followers, but by discerning, methodical judgement through tried and tested use.
Only three members of the Royal Family are entitled to bestow warrants: HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Prince of Wales. Companies can only be awarded the honour after their goods or services have been bought consistently by one of these members of the Royal Family for five years out of seven. It’s a dedicated and thorough policing of companies – currently there are around 800 registered as holding a Royal Warrant – ranging from plumbing services to the more glamorous worlds of fashion and beauty.
The challenge of producing goods and services fine enough for Royalty has been around since the Middle Ages; in 1155 Henry II granted a Royal Charter to the Weavers’ Guild as a reflection of goods used by the Royal Household. Workmen and craftspeople continued to seek favour from, and impress, the Court with competition throughout the decades being fiercely fought for royal recognition. By the eighteenth century tradespeople began displaying the Royal Coat of arms on their stationery and premises, and by 1840 the Royal Warrant Holders Association was formed to oversee companies holding Royal Warrants.
Today’s Royal Warrant holders are varied but perhaps it is no wonder that, at the luxury and fancy goods end, they are all companies with a rich British heritage and craftsmanship.
Tatler magazine claims that there is a set of Molton Brown (awarded a Royal Warrant by the Queen in 2013) Orange & Bergamot in every bathroom at Balmoral. In competition for ‘Supplier of Toiletries’ is the historic perfumer Penhaligon’s, which was first awarded a Royal Warrant by Queen Alexandra in 1903. In 1956 HRH The Duke of Edinburgh followed suit, as did HRH Prince Charles in 1988, with Molton Brown supplying the palaces from their Mayfair boutique. It’s certainly an insight into how fragrant The Royal Household and its members must be.
With summer around the corner, we are sharing some of our favourite Karen Millen pieces and styling tips to help you prepare for the upcoming social season.
Donna: 'The social season provides so many opportunities to dress up! For daytime gatherings, such as garden parties or sporting occasions, I might choose a floral dress or a jumpsuit with a jacket thrown over in case the weather turns. Flats are a must, lawns and heels don’t mix. For evening, I might opt for a more tailored dress and lace is perfect for summer. I tend to avoid black and opt for bright, fresh colours. Transition from day to night with a gorgeous pair of heels. Rules have relaxed, although in some cases – for example, Royal Ascot – a strict code still applies; check before choosing your outfit.'Gemma:Dresses are key for the summer season. You’ll find a beautiful selection in our collection to suit every occasion, from floor length and floaty to elegantly tailored styles. My advice for dressing for summer events is have fun with it. Choose bright colours or floral prints and wear with a simple clutch to let your dress shine. Above all, wear something which will make you feel confident and comfortable!
Your collections resonate with people around the world - is there a particular woman that you design for or does this vary from pair to pair?
The wonderful thing about shoes is that they can tell a million stories, and I suppose women will have a million moods and so it’s very hard to just design for a specific woman. A woman that’s comfortable with making decisions and wearing brands that speak about her, who is confident in her choices and knows what works for her, is the sort of woman who wears my shoes.
Where did your passion for footwear first originate?
Deep down in my soul. It seems to have found me and it works perfectly for me. It encapsulates pretty much all the things I like doing – making lots of things and working with beautiful materials. The transformative power of shoes is second to almost nothing.
Are there any practices you have that keep you creatively engaged and inspired?
1. BLENHEIM PALACE
With over 300 years of rich history to discover, Blenheim Palace offers visitors an immersive and fascinating experience. Built in the early 18th Century, the iconic palace provides a romantic, whimsical setting that’s simply perfect for a wedding celebration. Historically used to store orange trees for the palace gardens, the elegant Orangery room can host up to 250 guests for your ceremony. Features include a glass panelled roof and stunning views over the Duke’s Italian Garden. Alternatively, choose the Marlborough room for smaller ceremonies - its double vaulted ceiling and fireplace provide a magical, intimate setting.
What first attracted you to jewellery design- have you always been creatively minded?I almost came in to jewellery design by accident. Although I always had an eye for aesthetics, it wasn’t until my mother who supplied fish to restaurants in London asked me to come up with an idea for a gift for 60 of the top chefs. I designed my first piece of jewellery - a pair of humorous fish cufflinks!
Many might be surprised to hear you’re not trained as a traditional jeweller - how did you learn your craft and what advice do you have for others starting out in the industry?I spent long summers in the studio of our great sculptor friend in Tuscany where I must have absorbed the subliminal understanding of the making process of casting and of the way that pieces are formed and how they feel to the hand. Other than this, I had had no formal jewellery design training. I built on what was an instinctive sensibility to a more conscious, decision-making design process, often driven, for me, by the practicalities of wearing jewellery. Over the years, I have learnt to rely on my ability to describe the visions in my head in detail to my craftsman. So my advice - everything is possible.
The organic materials featured in your pieces give a unique, energised feel to luxury - can you describe the kind of woman you design for?I think I really design pieces that I would really like to wear, so that is my starting point – but my clients are self-assured; the vast majority are independent and well travelled, with a confident sophistication. There is no doubt that jewellery that is designed for women, by women feels and looks very different to jewellery designed by men and I think this is why so many of our clients are women buying for themselves. I think most of our clients are women that are more interested in style than fashion.
You began creating in Hong Kong - what was it about the city that inspired you?My travels have always been a key source for my inspiration in designing fine jewellery. Intoxicating cities and magical landscapes, along with my love of art and interest in foreign cultures definitely influence my collections. Hong Kong specifically is a city so full of multicultural diversity, history and beauty, that you can’t help but be inspired.
Your love of colour is evident in your designs - what are some of your favourite shades and why?I prefer to work with yellow gold and warm coloured gemstones as they reflect my personal style and the character of the stones gives life to the jewellery. Colours that can be worn together yet can equally be worn alone as a stand out piece to complete an outfit are the most attractive to me.
Swedish personal trainer and fashion-focused fitness blogger Faya Nillson launched her blog Fitness on Toast back in 2013. With a passion for living an authentic and healthy lifestyle, the blog's beautiful content covers everything from delicious recipes and nutritional tips to powerful workouts and the latest fashion trends.
Throughout her professional life, Faya has found that tackling your health goals in an organised, realistic and structured way can successfully boost your success. We sat down with the blogger to discuss her tips for living a healthier, happier and more energised life...
THINK LONG TERM To me, the word ‘diet’ conjures up tired thoughts of bland and boring foods alongside abstinence. I think that diets are ultimately self-defeating and unsustainable, often unhealthy and seem to universally fail those who invest so much emotional energy into them. Instead eating healthily should and can be colourful, exciting and full of exciting flavours - it’s very much a long term solution. You can find plenty of nutritious recipes on FitnessOnToast.com if you're looking for some inspiration.
Always remember that a ‘slip up’ isn’t the end of the world. I would argue that it's only human and to expect perfect adherence is unrealistic. Instead, I simply accept it and move on. That doesn't mean there should be four solid days of gorging because of one indulgent episode - just train a bit harder the next day and consider it extra fuel for your efforts! Maintaining a mindset that makes room for long term healthy eating will make it much easier to get back on track.
AVOID FIXATIONS ON ‘WEIGHT LOSS’ For many people, weight loss seems to take centre stage; in fact it becomes the stage. Whilst fitting into that pair of jeans may be the goal, avoid making that the priority. Instead, focus on realistic, specific targets that involve healthy eating and regular exercise - the 'excess fat' reduction will come as an extra bonus! By focusing less on aesthetics and more on the life goal of feeling genuinely healthy and energised, both your confidence and body will change as a result.
IT’S NOT 'ALL OR NOTHING' A balanced middle ground is so important! If you love sweet things and have a social life, the likelihood that you’ll wake up one morning and successfully cut out chocolate and wine is unlikely. Instead, be realistic and absolutely enjoy the things that make you tick as a human being, whilst sticking to a mostly healthy eating plan. Avoid having an entire bottle of claret each night, but rather opt for a glass of red on the weekend - quantity control which allows for a perfectly acceptable target of enjoyment. Similarly, why not switch to 80% organic dark chocolate as a healthier alternative to a bar of artificial milk chocolate – plenty of antioxidants and full of flavour so one or two small squares should suffice! My Avocado Chocolate Mousse dessert draws upon this healthier dynamic, plays to portion control, and represents a 'balanced middle ground' that still tastes exquisite.
On her recent visit to Bicester Village, we sat down with talented designer Annoushka Ducas to discuss the inspiration behind her collections…
What first attracted you to jewellery design- have you always been creatively minded?
I almost came in to jewellery design by accident. Although I always had an eye for aesthetics, it wasn’t until my mother who supplied fish to restaurants in London asked me to come up with an idea for a gift for 60 of the top chefs. I designed my first piece of jewellery - a pair of humorous fish cufflinks! Many might be surprised to hear you’re not trained as a traditional jeweller - how did you learn your craft and what advice do you have for others starting out in the industry?
I spent long summers in the studio of our great sculptor friend in Tuscany where I must have absorbed the subliminal understanding of the making process of casting and of the way that pieces are formed and how they feel to the hand. Other than this, I had had no formal jewellery design training. I built on what was an instinctive sensibility to a more conscious, decision-making design process, often driven, for me, by the practicalities of wearing jewellery. Over the years, I have learnt to rely on my ability to describe the visions in my head in detail to my craftsman. So my advice - everything is possible. The organic materials featured in your pieces give a unique, energised feel to luxury - can you describe the kind of woman you design for?
I think I really design pieces that I would really like to wear, so that is my starting point – but my clients are self-assured; the vast majority are independent and well travelled, with a confident sophistication. There is no doubt that jewellery that is designed for women, by women feels and looks very different to jewellery designed by men and I think this is why so many of our clients are women buying for themselves. I think most of our clients are women that are more interested in style than fashion. You began creating in Hong Kong - what was it about the city that inspired you?
We’re kickstarting the new season with one of the mood-boosting juices from Le Pain Quotidien...
From organic tartines to homemade soups, the seasonal dishes are guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed, revitalised and uplifted. To celebrate the restaurants arrival, we’re kickstarting the new year with one of their energising green juices...
One a Day Green Juice (serves 2)
Ingredients800 grams seasonal apple150 grams celery75 grams Swiss chard25 grams ginger150 ml orange juice20 ml lime juice
MethodMeasure all ingredients (keep the stalks on Swiss chard)
Ray Kelvin of Ted Baker talks exclusively to Bicester Village about the brand’s humble beginnings and the style secrets he swears by…
Renowned for stylish and sophisticated menswear, womenswear and accessories, Ted Baker London is a household name, loved for quality design, high-end fabric and a distinct British attitude.
Launching in 1988 with a collection of classic yet edgy menswear, Ted Baker soon expanded to include womenswear collections – a seamless blend of old-fashioned glamour and contemporary femininity – and accessories including socks, scarves, hats and cufflinks.
Now a global success story, we spoke to founder Ray Kelvin about his style inspiration, entering the fashion world at the age of 11, and naming the business Ted, not Ray.
'When I started the company in 1988, its success was far from certain. I christened the business ‘Ted Baker’ as it was a good, friendly moniker that people seemed to like. And while Ted is now a global success, I still prefer to remain in the background. I’m a big believer in team effort, not glorifying the individual.
The newly opened Bicester Village Station means you can now travel straight to the boutiques from London Marylebone or Oxford Parkway. The service to Bicester North station will continue to run as usual. For trains coming into Bicester North a shuttle service is available to Bicester Village.
There are two trains running every hour, with the journey from London Marylebone taking from 46 minutes. The new Bicester Village Information Hub, located adjacent to the station, welcomes you with a suite of luxury shopping services including Hands-free Shopping, Tourist Information, Luggage Drop service and more. See all Shopping Services here >
These services are available to book at the Bicester Visitor Centre in the Village or the Information Hub at Bicester Village Station.
Itsu founder Julian Metcalfe on healthy eating, creative cooking and his passion for Japanese cuisine…
We’re all really excited about the opening of itsu, why did you decide to open a restaurant within the Village?
Bicester Village fits perfectly with our brand, packed with high-end retailers! And with over 6 million visitors a year, itsu will provide customers with a healthy option and keep them fuelled while they shop. There has also been a huge customer demand from international customers which we’re excited about.
One of itsu’s core missions is to provide light and healthy food that tastes delicious - why was the health factor so important to you?
I’ve always believed busy lives shouldn’t stop people eating delicious, healthy food which is light and good for you. There are so many people saying different things about health, so I wanted to make it easy and simple for everyone but ensure it tastes great too!
Soho house founder Nick Jones talks exclusively to Bicester Village about the opening of his new restaurant, farmshop restaurant and cafe.
What makes Farmshop unique? Can you describe it in three words?
Farmshop in three words would be 'tasty, simple, quick’. We have created somewhere to get great quality food, fast.
How will its culinary mission differ from your other Soho House restaurants?
Farmshop is, quite simply, about serving a great all-day menu of British food to the table within around five minutes of ordering. We know visitors to Bicester Village are mostly there to shop, but we don’t think being short of time should mean compromising on what you eat. So we’ve created a menu using the best local ingredients, which can be served fast, so guests can get back to what they came for.