• Where to go

    The thing about the Bicester Village team is that they're so very clever at making the experience stress free, fun and satisfying - that it's incredibly hard for even the most curmudgeonly shopper to have a grumpy time.

    Only an hour from London, with new discounted outlets including hottest of labels Marc by Marc Jacobs and Kenzo, it's also about taking advantage of the Bicester extras on offer; the valet parking, the personal stylist who knows exactly what you're after and shadows you throughout your trip and the brilliant hands-free assistant who stores your shopping bags in the VIP room, so you're not weighed down as you go. These are the kind of perks that punters tackling the metropolis can only dream of.

    And this winter there's extra magic, including a children's storytelling collaboration with Oxford's The Story Museum, seasonal food pop-ups including mulled wine and festive treats on Black Friday (28th November), and live entertainment on Thursdays. Just some of the many reasons why Bicester Village continues to be a smart way to shop.


  • What to wear

    On one of last summer's crisp sunny days I headed to the Chiltern Fire House to see the Cruise 2015 collection by LA-based designer Rosetta Getty.

    Former-model, wife of actor/musician Balthazar and mother of four children, Rosetta has previously designed childrenswear and a range of couture evening wear worn by Rachel Bilson and Kirsten Dunst.  But this new eponymous line is, she explained to me, about bringing a casual elegance to every day living.

    There are immaculate, good-girl collared shirts, swishy wide trousers and deep pocketed jackets. The detail in the cut is exciting, showing-off unexpected body parts, an antidote to LA's obvious push 'em up approach. So there's a dress with straps cut to highlight the shoulder blades, cuffs with double turns to enhance the elbow, or tunics sliced at the side to show a hint of waist. 

    And then there's the brilliant way Rosetta has combined daywear fabric with evening wear cut - a skirt with a sweeping train made from pinwheel cotton - means you never look too dressed up, or dressed down. 

    I've had to wait patiently since that crisp summer's day. But finally the collection will be available at Harvey Nichols and onnet-a-porter.com from 21st November. Clever Rosetta.


  • What to know

    Tis the season to… experience a different way of shopping, by heading to one of London's many pop-up fairs and discover all those non-high street designers, new businesses and inspiring creatives.

    Next week (Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th November) in Kensington Town Hall is the Boutique de Noel fair organized by the Junior League of London. Highlights include Doodle Nest, who'll turn those endless piles of your children's artwork into collages or books, Cotton and Olive who make pretty Turkish peshtemal towels and robes or Four Fairies and a Prince, a new brand of Scandinavian inspired childrenswear and toys.

    Then there's the City Christmas Fair at Drapers' Hall (Monday 1st December) in aid of Wellbeing of Women. There you'll find intriguing small brands including Head4Lights who create LED flashing beanie hats, Alexski gloves in chic kid leather with possum fur lining or Seaton Gifts who've created the Power Wallet, which as well as carrying money has a secret battery to give thirsty iPhones a charge while on the go.

    Boutique de Noel, Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, London W8 7NX
    Wednesday 12th November 6pm-10pm
    Thursday 13th November 10am-5pm
    For tickets go to jll.org.uk/bdn

    City Christmas Fair, Drapers' Hall, Throgmorton Street, London EC2N 2DG
    Monday 1st December 11am-8pm
    For tickets go to wellbeingofwomen.org.uk