It’s that time of year again… the time where sunshine and flowers creep slowly back into our lives…. well, in February, the month of love, it’s all about those special red flowers, of course! I love walking through London on the 14th and seeing people strolling through the station with a bunch of red roses, seeing them all dressed up ready for their date. It always reminds me of that first scene in Love Actually, at Heathrow Terminal as people run to hug each other.. you feel love all around you!! And what better potion to fill your mugs with this month, than the potion of love!
Now, I know that love should be celebrated every day but do have to say I’m personally a big fan of St Valentine. What could be more wonderful than a Saint who was dedicated to love, the most beautiful thing in the world? And why not celebrate love, whether it’s with your partner, best friend, or even mum? I always love to treat my mister to a little something on Valentine’s Day – I know every day together should be special but it’s also sweet to have an occasion to treat them on the most romantic day of the year…
I recently took a trip down to my favourite little shopping haven, Bicester Village, to hunt for some special pieces for my special Mister. One thing I love most about Bicester is that feeling you get when you’ve had chance to buy a beautiful designer piece, without the hefty full-price tag. We all have those dream bags or shoes we would love to own, but just are not able to pay the full whack… Bicester Village gives you the chance to add timeless collectibles to your wardrobe whilst saving a few pennies for your piggy bank.
The second thing I love most is precisely how it feels shopping there, just like shopping in a little ‘village’. Having grown up in Dubai, I’ve done my fair share of shopping malls… I appreciate their efficiency and being able to tick off your entire list in no time, but I’m not a fan of often how stale and fake they can feel. Cue Bicester Village, their open air shopping experience is just so much more enjoyable. You can while away an afternoon visiting the 160 shops and stop for a bite or coffee in one of their many restaurants along the way, all in time to hop back down to London on the 45 minute train journey.
F O R H I M
So, lets get down to the real business, what did I find? Well, let’s be honest, I couldn’t go to Bicester without finding a few bits for myself (cheeky I know, but come on ladies, we all do it haha) but what I really went for was to find some little bits and bobs for my Valentine. My mind was set on spring and the upcoming holidays we have this year (or maybe I had warmer weather on the brain) but regardless I was adamant on picking out some more summery pieces to add to his wardrobe.
Tods: I’m a lover of colour, as you probably already know from my Instagram account, so I couldn’t resist these bold Tods loafers. The Tod’s shop in Bicester always has a rainbow of tods to choose from, and while the classic gommino loafers might not be your cup of tea, they have an array of different loafer styles to choose from. These paired with a white shirt and some jeans will make for an elegant summer look…
Ralph Lauren: This choice was a bit more of a sensible purchase. Ralph Lauren do the very best classic pieces, perfect for office or formal attire. I thought the camel and grey jumpers would be perfect little additions to his work wear and in England can be worn all year round.
Orlebar Brown: The minute I saw this Cote D’Azur inspired pair of trunks I knew I had to get them. I actually photographed this exact spot outside Nice when I visited last year, so loved that the photo on the trunks would remind me of Nice’s Promenade!
Tom Ford: Fragrances by Tom Ford, to me, scream luxury. Their elegant bottles, gold branding finish and divine scents make for the perfect romantic gift. What I love most about Tom Ford, aside from the delicious fragrances is how long they last. You can spritz yourself in the morning and still smell the perfume on your skin in the evening, taking you from that breakfast meeting to post-work drinks…
Gucci: Last but not least was this elegant Gucci bowtie. Not for everyday, this stylish addition I thought would be perfect accessory to keep tucked away for those black tie events. A bowtie is something you never think about till the last minute, so now I know he is all set for when those red carpet invitations come rolling in (haha, yeah right!)
Once I was happy with my Valentine’s Day purchases, I couldn’t resist having a quick perusal at the newest additions to my favourite boutiques at Bicester Village. I have a handful of stores that I personally love and find myself always coming back to. I don’t tend to shop “safe” at Bicester, but opt for more eye-catching, statement pieces I think will be beautiful and bold accessories to my everyday outfits.
Furla: This pink beauty I have had my eye on for a while. I fell in love with the classic, almost 50’s shaped bag that can be worn both as a clutch or cross body. Furla do elegant, leather handbags in timeless styles which come all a number of different shades…next on my list might have to be powder blue just in time for summer!
Gucci: This Gucci “Bloom” was a recent addition to my collection of perfumes. At the Cosmetics Company Stores in Bicester, you can find some of your favourite fragrances a fraction of the price… and who wouldn’t want to smell like a bouquet of fresh blooms?!
Dolce e Gabbana: One thing that’s amazing about Bicester Village is if you have a favourite designer, fall in love with a specific collection of theirs but miss out on a purchase, you have chance to find old season’s lines you can get your hands on. Both the lemon scarf and Sicily heels were collections I adored by Dolce e Gabbana, so couldn’t believe my luck when I found these two pieces in their Bicester boutique…
Prada: I always tell people that the David Clulow boutique at Bicester have the best, best sunglasses collections. I have at least three pairs from their shop as they always seem to bring in the most elegant shades from each designer. I fell in love with this tortoiseshell Prada pair and have had so many compliments on how chic they look!
Nikki Tibbles: Last but not least is this beautiful bouquet from Nikki Tibbles, Wild at Heart. I picked this Valentine’s bouquet up from one of their London’s as I wanted to share how stunning their creations are for your Valentine. Nikki Tibbles actually creates the main floral display in Bicester which changes each season and adds a stunning photo backdrop in the heart of the village.. I was so chuffed to be able to bring home one of their sweet bouquets. You too can order one online for your Valentine right here 🙂
Whether you’re treating yourself, you’re loved one or a friend, I hope your Valentine’s Day is filled with love and laughter. We need to spread as much love as we can in the world, so I’m sending out lots of love to all of you from my heart to yours this February!
Dress: Closette London
Flowers: Nikki Tibbles
Mirror: Exclusive Mirrors UK