We’re big advocates of shopping smart not hard when it comes to the festive season. So, if you’re going luxe on your gift giving this year, we say combine it, not only, with a spot of travel, but with a discount so good that it would make a Black Friday sale feel ashamed of itself. Case in point The Bicester Village Shopping Collection.
Planning your visit
The collection has steadily grown over the years, and now offers 11 villages spread between Europe and China. And while it’s not limited to shopping – expect five-star hospitality, art, music and theatre – it’s hard to deny that a discount of up to 60 percent is worth jumping on a plane for.
But while you can chart a long summer holiday by visiting these places, we’re thinking you dial down the travel plans for the festive season and focus your efforts. We’ll help you out by throwing down two of our favourites.
First up, if you’re looking for a bit of a show to go with your shopping, then aim for Kildare Village. Just an hour away from Dublin, you’ll find brands including BOSS, Balmain, Lagerfeld, Prada, Ralph Lauren and more, but also a village that has been transformed by a spectacular light show.
There’s a great deal of Christmas spirit going on here, and they have an Enchanted Light show to prove it. The never-before-seen attraction takes you on a journey through the Village, with five illuminated immersive experiences to enjoy.
As the Village is brought to life with seasonal colours and sounds, you can enjoy the ‘Lawn of Light’, where 15 archways illuminated with 10,000 LED lights transform the main walkway. The bespoke animations feature a collection of textures and intricate patterns to celebrate the season. Best part about it? As you make your way through the Village, you can become the ‘master of light’ by moving the installation to create unique patterns of your own. It’s a move that should make you feel powerful enough to do some serious shopping.
Can’t make it before Christmas? Not a problem, it’s set to push past December 25th and New Year and on until the end of January. Enjoy it along with the 100 plus boutiques and food offerings that will run until Chinese New Year.
But say you fancy something a little more, well, European? How about Fidenza Village? Located just 60 minutes away from Milan and only 15 minutes from 2020 Capital of Culture, Parma, you’ll find 121 boutiques featuring Italian and international brands bursting with Christmas deals.
If your Italian’s a little shabby, don’t sweat it, simply call on the Concierge VIPO Lounge, who can set you up with the assistance of Arabic-speaking staff, all on hand to make your shopping trip as easy and fruitful as possible.
But of course, December’s a special month for shopping, so the Village turns into an enchanted forest – yes, another one – featuring gourmet pop-ups, live performances, and a host of elevated eveningwear to help with your festive party planning and lots more.
We know what you’re thinking? The choice is tough, right? Not which village to go to, but whether you’re going to pick up gifts for family and friends or simply go shopping for yourself.
We’ll leave that one to you and your conscience.