Village News and Events

Travel & Lifestyle

Europe’s Top Ski Resorts

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.

Recipe

The Friday Fix

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)

Ingredients:

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

Beauty & Well-being

The January Detox

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. 

So get in all the mulled wine and mince pies you can– because come 1 January, you’re totally joining us. 

DRY JAN SWAP ONE: THE NIGHT CLUB FOR THE NIGHT SWEAT

Beauty & Well-being

24 Hours With A Wellness Guru

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.

MORNING

Top 5 winter walks

Walking In A Winter Wonderland

Winter is the perfect time to wrap up warm, go for an invigorating walk and blow away the cobwebs. You’re spoilt for rambling routes in the scenic areas surrounding Bicester Village, made all the more enchanting by the seasonal veil of twinkling frost and wisps of wood smoke in the air. Read on to discover our top five local walking trails, crossing a host of terrain from chalk hills to riverside paths, ancient woods and landscaped gardens.

1. Blenheim Palace Parkland,  Oxfordshire

Distance: 7 miles

Minimum time: 3 hours

Level of difficulty: Easy

Local Guide

48 hours in The Cotswolds

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

The BOSS Edit

BOSS Accessories

The perfect wardrobe needs accessories that fuse form and function, style with substance. With the sophisticated and stylish BOSS accessories collections, practicality is never sacrificed. Fine Italian leather is offered each season in a spectrum of fresh colours, with each piece expertly crafted in Italy. Covering travel, daily life and special occasions, BOSS accessories boast distinctive silhouettes for style and function. 

News

English Country Garden with Nikki Tibbles

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. 

Recipe By Villandry

Poached Plum Pavlova Recipe

Have yourself a merry little Christmas and treat your dinner guests to this mouth-watering pavlova from Villandry Grand Café. Easy to make, and all too easy to eat!

Serves 8 

INGREDIENTS

Pavlova

8 egg whites (you could probably get away with 6, but everyone always has seconds!)

News

British Wool Collective

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.

Trend Report

New Season New Rules

Individualism, expression, street-savvy chic and opulence – fashion is painting a bold and very compelling portrait for the Autumn/Winter season. This is the time to draw on your own impeccable taste and shine through with an artful mash up of stylistic memes and singular, distinctive pieces. The only golden rule is to buy what excites both your heart and your mind.

Menswear for women

We have moved on from the boyfriend jacket to fully plunder the men’s wardrobe. What we love about menswear is the quality of fabric, the uniform appeal and that fine attention to detail. Look out for lean-fitting pieces from brands, zoning in on blazers, city coats, biker and bomber jackets, sweatpants and French cuff fine cotton shirts. These pieces will be companions if not for life, then for the foreseeable future.

Jacquard and flocking

Conjure up images of Renaissance beauties and Pre-Raphaelite muses and that’s the kind of poetic opulence that fashion is indulging in right now. The richness is in the fabrics with silk brocades and floral patterned jacquards looking both noble and decadent. Floor-grazing skirts, high-waisted trousers or tunics and sinuous evening gowns will make you feel utterly ‘dressed.’

Designer Spotlight

Anne Fontaine Designer Q&A

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?

Style Edit

Autumn Investments: The Bag Edit

We know you don't need an excuse to invest in a new handbag – but a statement carryall is a truly effortless way to inject a hit of colour and texture to your autumn wardrobe.

With tartan, snakeskin, faux fur and jewels all back on the scene, it’s time to replace that summer tote and search for a more refined bag to complement those new season staples.

Style Advice

New Season New Wardrobe

The end of summer always feels a little sad. But, in order to deal with the blues, why not concern yourself with a little sartorial refresher for the approaching winter season. Nothing cheers us up like the impending thoughts of a new wardrobe to ponder over.

This winter has a particularly strong thread of dark, gothic-tinged drama to it. If there was one fabric which abounds, it’s velvet – seen on practically every catwalk, in every guise. Whilst velvet trousers may not be for all (I am yet to be convinced of their flattery), velvet accessories are, if not necessarily the most practical in a rain shower, utterly divine. 

Style Notes

Autumn/Winter Trends

It's all about knits, colours, layering, loose-fitting designs and graceful style. Maje leads the way with unique silhouettes. Belts are trimmed with tassels, coats are oversized, waists are clearly defined. Judith Milgrom plays with light and has fun with fabrics. A feast for the eyes every winter.

NEW SILHOUETTES

Maje puts together new silhouettes in different volumes and lengths. High waists are nipped in with belts, whilst coats go oversized.

KNITS

Maje continues with its feel-good quest. Knits are teamed with cashmere for comfort, softness giving a chic feel. Oversized cardigans double up as coats.

City Guide

City Guide: 48 hours in Paris

Experience Paris like a local with our top picks for exploring the city in style…

DINE 

Septime

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.

DRINK

City Guide

City Guide: 48 hours in Milan

Experience Milan like a local this fashion season with our top picks for exploring the city in style…

DINE

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

Editor’s Tips

Finding the perfect timepiece

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.

Top 5 Tips

How to choose the perfect watch

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!

Style Advice

Elena Sandor on 9 to 5 style

From autumn trends and workwear to post-work pick me up, Content Creator Elena Sandor lets us into her secret of a happy work-life balance...

THE CONTENT CREATOR: Elena Sandor of www.eatweartravel.com

On her capsule working wardrobe

Currently coveting… This autumn, I’ll definitely be embracing the capelet trend - it’s such a retro yet elegant look. The pinstripe suit is also highly coveted for next season, lengthening all body shapes as well as adding power and mystery to every look.

Style Advice

Lily Kate on 9 to 5 style

From go-to office look to work-life balance, student and fashionista Lily Kate takes us through her must-have fashion pieces and rituals.

THE STUDENT: Lily Kate of www.jolihouse.com

On her capsule working wardrobe

Currently coveting… Velvet. I’ll be keeping my eye out for a well cut pair of high waisted jeans, and maybe a skirt or two. It’s not overly dressy, but is just that bit different for when denim gets boring. I’m loving the dusky pinks and purples trend too, so lots of plum and raspberry.

Style Advice

Chloe Wilson on 9 to 5 style

We hate to break it to you, but come September you’re tousled hair and sandals just won’t cut it for the office. Time for our annual reinvention. From what to throw on when you’re running late to nailing that Pinterest-worthy desk, fashion insider Chloe shares how they go ‘back-to-school’ in style. You might even make it in for 9am. 

THE POST GRAD: Chloe of www.oh-chlo.com

On her capsule working wardrobe

Currently coveting… I’m really loving the minimal look at the moment, with simple colours and statement sleeves to add a bit of edge. I think that vibe will transition into my AW16 work wardrobe, for sure. I love the classic feel that Sandro offers, and Kurt Geiger shoes are just perfection. Comfort and beauty in one. I always think a bag says a lot about a person though, so I'd head to Coach, Mulberry or Chloé. It’s always been my dream to own a Chloé bag, and I should really get priority since that’s my name. Don’t you think?

Bloggers' Picks

Bloggers' Picks: The Festival Edit

Festival season is just around the corner, and whilst you may start off with the perfect side braid and artfully applied make-up – crowds, camping and crazy weather can really throw your look off point. So to get you ready for the most Instagrammed season of the year, we’ve asked three top bloggers to share their style, beauty and wellness secrets. Selfie sticks at the ready! 

Sophia from theskinnyandthecurvyone.com

Style tribe: Edgy urban.

Where she’s going: Chiemsee Summer Festival.

Top Picks

Nik Thakkar

London based style creative influencer and artist Nik Thakkar shares his top tips from his recent trip to Jordan.

Destination: Dead Sea

Country: Jordan

Where to visit: I recently spent an amazing four days in Jordan travelling across the country from Amman to Aqaba via Wadi Rum and the coast of the Dead Sea. It was an incredible experience in a truly beautiful part of the world that few people have visited. A personal highlight was floating in the Dead Sea at the lowest point on Earth; Dead Sea is 304 m (997 ft) deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world where you literally float.

Beauty Tips

Summer Beauty

When it comes to summer beauty, mastering that effortless post-beach glow isn’t always easy. Sun, salt and chlorine can all interfere, wreaking havoc on our hair and skincare regimes. From textured waves to beautifully bronzed skin, the perfect sun-kissed finish calls for a touch of beauty prep – so we’ve asked three top bloggers to share their rituals for the season ahead…

MONICA OF mesvoyagesaparis.com

Beauty muse: I adore a chic daytime vibe – Olivia Palermo and Chiara Ferragni are my make-up muses.

In the summer make-up bag: Lip balm, face cream, lip-gloss and bronzing pearls.

Travel & Style

The Style Traveller

Bonnie Rakhit, editor and founder of award-winning, luxury fashion and travel blog TheStyleTraveller.com takes us to Marrakech to discover some of the hidden gems of the magical Moroccan city.

Destination? Marrakech

Country? Morocco 

Where to visit? Marrakech is an enchanting, ancient city filled with exotic treasures. From the labyrinth of rose and terracotta hued alleyways in the old town, bustling bazaars and colourful crowds in the souks, to the hectic cacophony of sights, sounds and smells, you can’t help but fall in love with this enthralling city. Visit the world heritage site, the famous square of the DJemaa El Fna, filled with street food shops, snake charmers, acrobats and dancers. Be hypnotised by the scenes reminiscent of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves or retreat into one of the many traditional hammans or spas in the old town and have an indulgent massage.

 

News

The Royal Warrant

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.

Style Advice

Holiday Packing

This season, pack beautifully with statement pieces that combine bold design with delicate detail. Here are our top picks for your favourite destinations…

BEACH BREAK  

For long days by the water, rich hues will lend a refined aesthetic when layered under free-flowing silhouettes. Think luxe separates with bold undertones for subtle summer vibrancy.

CITY BREAK

Top Tips

Karen Millen: The Occasion Wear Edit

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! 

News

Jimmy Choo anniversary

This year Jimmy Choo celebrates it’s 20th anniversary, a huge milestone for the eponymous shoe brand that has consistently dressed the most fashionable and famous women over the last two decades. From the formative days when Jimmy Choo was favoured by the Princess of Wales, the brand has blazed a trail from Kensington Palace to the red carpet.

Famed for its innovative design, exceptional craftsmanship and enticing cut – a pair of Jimmy Choos have become a symbol of sophistication, attracting celebrities and royalty alike.

The brand has evolved over the years, from its routes as an East End atelier in the late 1990’s.  The brand quickly caught the eye of the fashion cognoscenti and by 2008 Jimmy Choo was awarded Designer Brand of the Year by the British Fashion Council and ‘ACE Brand of the Year’ by the Accessory Council.

Designer Spotlight

Rupert Sanderson Q&A

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?

Style Advice

New Season Style

By Victoria MossVictoria Moss is Senior Fashion News and Features Editor at The Telegraph

Having successfully got this far into the year, it’s probably about time to start thinking of a few wardrobe refreshers. They’ll be new season trends coming at you from all angles, but we’re going to hold on those for now: no one needs to debate the pros and cons of a shoulder baring ruffled top in April (or, perhaps ever). Instead we’re going to look at those essential, key pieces which will help elevate tired wardrobe favourites as well as put a little spring in your step – all the better to help you get through to actual Spring.

Without wanting to veer into too much fashion-speak territory, the serious style shift is happening in terms of silhouette – it’s loosened up. What does this mean? Wide trousers! Or, even more ideally, what is being touted in certain circles as a troulotte, i.e. something half way between a culotte and a trouser – think cropped and wide. Not only are these eminently flattering, but they are entirely comfortable and a serious no brainer: hence, sold. If you’re brave, wear with your ankles out (or not, add a jaunty sock – coloured and printed designs are currently a thing – embrace it). Which brings us to the next addition: loafers, if you’re showing off – a pair from Gucci. The Italian stallion, with a little help from Alessandro Michele (just celebrating his first year as creative director) has made the classic horse bit style a super-charged staple. Also look to reassuringly chunky pairs from Marni – which season after season offers something for all ugly-but fabulous shoe lovers to lust over.

Given that the new fashion mood is all about ease, comfort and making your clothes work for you, it follows that your accessories (note the flat shoe of choice offered above) including your bag should fit into this. Which is why we’re advocating a cross body handbag – look for interesting quirks – be it a drawstring bucket bag, tasselled messenger, a kitsch shape, or strikingly sculptural. Worn across you, it will help draw your outfit together (literally – they’re great for keeping a flighty jacket in check) and let you keep your hands free for important things like, shopping!

Inject a hint of the coming summer-romance with a pretty silk blouse: layering is fashion’s current buzz word du jour, but when the weather is hot one day, cold the next, looking for chic items that can be worn on their own, over a vest or under a cardigan and jacket come into their own. If you find one with ruffles – then you’re really winning. Again it’s all in the details – pyjama-esque style (even an actual pyjama top – seriously), pussy-bows (very Saint Laurent), sweet ditzy prints or bold stripes, look out for pieces with a little va-va-voom to them.

Top 5 Tips

Top 5 Regional Wedding Venues

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. 

blenheimpalace.com

 

Q&A

Interview with Amanda Wakeley

Amanda Wakeley launched in 1990, how has the label developed since then?From a small studio on the Fulham Road, Amanda Wakeley now offers a variety of lifestyle luxury products from bridal gowns, to ready to wear, to fine jewellery and a gorgeous range of handbags. We dress our woman for any of her special occasions; be it her wedding, her work meetings or brunch with friends.

Your collections often reflect your personal style, how would you define your signature aesthetic?My aesthetic vision reflects sleek lines with an impeccable cut, exceptional quality and accessibly luxurious and cocooning fabrics.

When designing a new collection, what ignites your creativity?I’m constantly working across a few collections and my design inspiration never stops. I find inspiration in people I meet, my travels, nature but most of all from architecture.

What does a typical working day entail for you as a designer?At my studio, there’s always plenty of work to be done and fun to be had! From sketching with my design team, board meetings with my equity partners, fittings with the technical team or discussing strategy with my communications team; no day is ever the same.

What should brides keep in mind when deciding on the silhouette of their dress?You’ll be spending up to 12 hours in your dress. It should move with your body, not against you. By the end of the night, it will be one of the most precious memories of your special day!

Q&A

Interview with Annoushka Ducas

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.

Top 5 Tips

5 tips for beautiful bouquets



1. Be sure to consider your venue when choosing floral displays. For example, huge arrangements on the tables won’t work if it means your guests can’t talk to each other or if they obstruct the view of the bride and groom.

2. As well as flowers, why not use also use trees to add a sense of scale and grandeur to your wedding? A placement tree is a creative way to display your table plan for instance and looks beautiful lit up as day turns to night. While outdoor weddings with an avenue of beautiful blossom trees looks breath-taking.

3. Of course, it’s not all about big statement pieces. Personalised place settings are simple but add a lovely touch. Try a single rose or a knot of herbs tied together with a pretty piece of ribbon, or spray napkins with a favourite scent, so that when they’re opened your guests are treated to something fragrant.

4. Candles create instant ambience and lend an intimate and romantic feel to your venue. Try mixed-height storm lanterns, or large glass bottles filled with stylish white or grey candles for an eclectic, informal feel.

Q&A

Nikki Tibbles Q&A



What led you into the world of floristry? I used to work in advertising but got involved in arranging the flowers for a close friend’s wedding, and loved it. Floristry seemed like the perfect way to express my creativity as I can’t paint or draw and I knew it was the career for me, so I got a job with a small florist and then the opportunity for the turquoise island became available.

What are your favourite wedding flowers?It’s so hard to choose an overall favourite as it very much depends on the season, venue, location etc… However, in general my favourite flowers are garden roses or anything English, like peonies or sweet peas. They are classic and luxurious with amazing colours and textures. They also always smell so fragrant.

Which flower do you think is the most romantic? Well, it has to be the rose. Not only are they beautiful and scented, but they also have such a wonderful meaning. In Victorian times, a yellow rose defined everlasting love while a red rose signified passion. Every colour had a meaning which is very romantic. I think they make the perfect wedding flower as they typify love and sensuality and luxury and opulence, plus the fragrance is so provocative.

What’s a good starting point for a couple to plan their flowers? Think about how you want to feel on your wedding day and create a mood board as your starting point. Use Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration and to find images of your favourite flowers, as well as ideas you have gathered from other weddings. Your florist can then use this to make suggestions and recommend flowers that are in season and suit your theme and the venue – which really sets the tone.

Recipe

Wedding Cake Recipe

This wedding cake is for approximately 30 people and uses 2 x 8” and 2 x 6” pans. You can scale the recipe up or down to suit your needs and use different pans – just be sure to adjust the amount of batter accordingly.

If adapting the tins you will need to split the batter accordingly - always fill your cake tin no more less than ½ full and no more than 2/3 full, depending on how deep you want the layer to be, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, but not longer.

SIMPLE DECADENT CHOCOLATE CAKE

Preparation time: 25 minutesCooking time: 35 minutesServes: 30

690g unsalted butter, room temperature1650g caster sugar12 eggs6 tsp vanilla extract1260g plain flour, sifted270g cocoa powder, sifted3 tsp salt3 tsp bicarbonate of soda1140ml soured cream750ml strong brewed coffee, cooledTwo 8” round cake tins, greased and linedTwo 6” cake tins, greased and lined

Q&A

Lily Vanilli Q&A

Tell us the the story behind Lily Vanilli - how did you first break into the industry?I was a self taught baker and I started selling a few cakes to make ends meet in 2008, it was before the cupcake/baking revival had happened and the press picked up on it quite quickly. Soon after I sold my first cake I was stocked in Harrods and baking for the likes of Elton John.

What makes Lily Vanilli wedding cakes so unique?I have always had a really natural and fresh aesthetic, using things that look like they're going to taste good as well. I use a colour palette and sense of playfulness that keeps it young and modern, while designing very grand, stunning cakes, I think it's a nice mix.

What does the process entail - how do you ensure both the bride and groom’s personalities/tastes are incorporated in the finished creation?I always work with the bride and groom from the flavour through to the design, my theory is that it's probably the most lavish cake you will ever buy, it should be exactly as you like it. Also, there are often enough tiers for everyone's tastes to be incorporated into the finished cake.

Can you share with us the story behind your most memorable wedding cake?I made a wedding cake that was exhibited as a sculpture in the V&A Museum the weekend of the Royal Wedding (and inspired by it) - it was exhibited as a sculpture during the day, and then cut up and eaten in the evening. It was enormous, gold, (candy) jewel encrusted and flavoured with made of chocolate cake, grapefruit mousse & bucks fizz curd.

Your cakes really are works of art - have you always been a creative person?To an extent, but it was really when I discovered cakes and baking that my creativity came through, I had just never felt as passionate about anything else before.

Health & Fitness

Fitness on Toast

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.

Q&A

Annoushka Ducas

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?

Health & Fitness

Le Pain Quotidien Energising juices

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)

Q&A

Ray Kelvin founder of Ted Baker

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.

News & Events

Bicester Village Station

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 will be 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, will welcome you with a suite of luxury shopping services including Hands-free Shopping, Tourist Information, Luggage Drop service and more.

These services are available to book at the Bicester Visitor Centre in the Village or the Information Hub at Bicester Village Station.

Q&A

Julian Metcalfe founder of itsu

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!

Q&A

Nick Jones founder of farmshop

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.

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