|Leather jacket: £295, Jigsaw. Jumper: Gap (old). Jeans: £36, Topshop. Shoes: £19.99, H&M. Bag: £108, J Crew. All photographs: Christopher O'Donnell|
I've been to a lot of designer outlets in my time. But this is one with a difference.
Set amongst the grounds of an early 1900s Lace Mill, there is definitely more to Kilver Court than first meets the eye. When we first arrived, I thought 'this won't take long', and boy was I wrong. We wandered around the gardens first (did I mention there were flamingos?) and then I planned on seeking out a few of my favourite brands that are stocked here - all hand chosen, and on point - M.i.h Jeans, Mulberry, Chinti & Parker are all resident brands, and more to come.
Plant shopping? They have that, too, in the newly constructed Nursery.
In terms of shopping, it's all those mid brands I love - Toast, Bamford and Margaret Howell with more in the pipeline, as well as food brands such as Fortnum and Mason and Daylesford Organic (I got some bits for my American friend we're visiting next week). It's not the biggest designer village compared to others but that's what I liked about it, it's not daunting and makes a lovely place to mooch around - whether it's the gardens, the shopping or the tea rooms.
|This red Toast jumper reduced from £159 to £59|
The great thing about the brands they stock is that they're chic without being too 'fashiony' (much like myself, I like to think!), so the pieces are investments without being 'fads'. The Margaret Howell range was a rail resplendent with bretons and chinos that will last and last.
The Chinti & Parker cashmere was well stocked and 50% off, a cashmere crew-neck (the grey with the stars, for instance) was coming in at £180 instead of the usual £360.
The M.i.h jeans section had loads of sizes in denim as well as ready to wear. A lot of the brands don't have separate stores, so it feels a bit like walking around your favourite department store (but all the product is healthily reduced).
|If I were really on a spending spree....these would definitely be my pics: Margaret Howell 'shacket', M.i.h boyfirends jeans and Chinti & Parker cashmere crew-neck.|
|The Sharpham Pantry specialises in 'spelt', dishes, all locally sourced|
Just when we thought we had finished, we popped into the Farm Shop for a quick look around and realised there were three floors of 'miscellaneous' and homewares we had yet to discover...and then remembered the Mulberry Factory store, too - it's up the Road (like 15 metres up the road) but definitely worth the trip - it's beautifully merchandised and the discounts are worthwhile. Told you there was more than meets the eye.
|This bag reduced to £350|
I was very tempted by the red 'Lily' bag for £485 as a birthday treat but resisted...we need new carpets in our flat!
|Leather jacket: £295, Jigsaw. Jumper: Gap (old). Jeans: £36, Topshop. Shoes: £19.99, H&M. Bag: £108, J Crew.|
As an alternate outlet shopping destination, do try out Kilver Court if you're in the area - it would make a lovely weekend visit if you're staying nearby (The Pig near Bath, or Babington House are close I've heard!), there are the gardens for families and menswear too (Pringle, Rapha bikes etc).
And what did I buy? I bought some Fortnums treats and Rococo chocolates for gifts but clothes-wise I have already asked for too much for my birthday next week! But I will definitely be back...
This post was in collaboration with Kilver Court, but I will return soon for extra curricular shopping.