I swing like a pendulum when it comes to Christmas shopping. Some years, I have everything organised by November. Others, I’m rushing around last minute trying to decide what to get…
This year has been a bit of both, some things falling into place, others I know I’m scheduling for last minute! Wherever you are in your Christmas shopping journey (and let’s face it, these days it really is, what with the first sniffs of yuletide season appearing oh, say end of October these days!) here’s some pieces that I’m loving right now that will hopefully give you some inspiration for getting it all nailed – only a week to go now!
And failing that, can I recommend a mad dash into Covent Garden’s Stanfords bookshop full of the most wonderful array of maps, books relating to maps, curiosities, things of interest with fantastic section for kids books too… I got a whole load ticked off my list here last week!
Parcel London is one of those brilliant gift box services that kind of does the hard work for you. Curating lovely boxes of goodies – the pieces pictured here (the lovely jar of candles and luxe chocolates) are from this selection of boxes. Candles, notebooks, plants, accessories, you can choose the one that suits your giftee best or make up a bespoke one! From £65.
Every year for nearly a decade now, I’ve thought that one of the most perfect Christmas presents would be a Wedgwood fine bone china teacup. So delicately beautiful, with achingly pretty patterns – I’m obsessed with the Daisy Tea Story – they really are something to be cherished. And they come in the most beautiful boxes too.
Or something for the kitchen that will make you look twice! I love this Mexican Molinillo whisk (traditionally used for hot chocolate) from Nido Collective who work with artisans in remote communities. Do check out their site, as there are lots of other beautiful gift ideas too, like the salt & pepper saucers, beautiful rugs & runners, baskets and accessories – I bought this woven net bag!
Teacup | Wedgwood
Whisk | Nido Collective
Scarves are always a winner. But how about something exquisitely beautiful but with a unique sustainability story? Recently launched in the UK, TREBENE scarves are made from Changthangi goats bred in Kashmir which, due to the climate, produce finer and longer coats, resulting in a softer and stronger yarn. Each TREBENE scarf is woven and screen printed by hand and features a GI (Geographical Identification) mark which is regulated by the Kashmir government. With patterns inspired by Asian flora and African tribal prints, the quality is beautifully silk like.
The bottom line is that these days, we should be trying to move away from buying lower grade cashmere – the high demand for it means more goats are needed; and more goats (grazing the same areas), as well as as impacting on the local environment, lead to a strain on resources resulting in undernourished goats which in turn leads to coarser quality of hair ultimately resulting in a decrease in the overall quality of cashmere. Worth mulling over at least. I certainly am!
Scarf | TREBENE
Bag | The Conran Shop (can’t find online but bought in store)
Things that smell nice, ahhhhh. A lot of that goes on at Christmas, and quite rightly so. Gifts for the senses is a lovely way to go about things. There are a million candles I could share with you (and have in the past – Evermore London, SOH Melbourne, PF Candle Co to name a few!) but this one here is from Muji, with its delicious and simple sandalwood scent is a brilliant one you can chuck in the virtual or IRL basket…
Perfume is a bit more of a difficult one to buy for people as worn scents can be very personal. But cased in an exquisite bottle? You’re on safer territory and I must say, Charlotte Tilbury’s Scent of a Dream is quite dreamy – light and floral but settles in a soft and musky way on your skin.
A more recent discovery of mine is a lovely range of therapy balms via Scentered. I’m quite hooked on the Sleep balm – which I rub on my wrists and neck las thing at night – but they are all so soothing and calming, with uplighting notes of in the award-winning grapefruit & spearmint Be Happy balm. Brilliant for stockings too!
The delight of jewellery can be heightened with something a little showy and fun. I love Nocturne Studio for their statement going ‘out’ out pieces. Quite a simple outfit can be accented with something beaded and tassly to great effect – shellseed beads, pearl and dyed jade stone. Forget about buying wear-everyday pieces (also because that can be insanely hard to get right!) but go for the head-turning piece that also embodies fun and festivity!
Bracelet | Nocturne Studio
A cool pair of sunglasses – interpret; tortoiseshell in classic round but not too round frames! – are always a well addiction to most adult wardrobes. I love this pair – with monogrammed case – by Monc London (designed in London, handmade in Italy) from Studio B.
And also, to touch upon it lightly, but a whole avenue of present ideas opens up when you start checking out stationery supplies. Here I’ve got a handprinted 2018 diary (paintflecked with beautifully printed entry pages by Amaretti Design – inspired by the Italian biscuits!) ticking all the boxes and a set of drawing pens in a range of widths. Think watercolours, notebooks for writing, illustrating and painting… always happily welcomed in my world!
Sunglasses | Monc London at Studio B
Pen set | Derwent Line Maker Pens
Diary | Amaretti Design
Is it silly that makeup is for making us look (‘so-called’) pretty, when often it’s its prettiness that draws us to it? Some makeup is just ridiculously desirable (the ‘creation of desire’ being the name of the game, so maybe not so silly really!) and the browny tones of these particular pieces make me just want to stare at them all day…
I absolutely adore the nude application and design of the Marc Jacobs nudes range of lipsticks. The colour is not strong and one I’m happy to slide on as it just makes your lips look a little fuller; plus I have never smelt a lipstick so good – this one is called ‘Eat Cake’ which is kind of what it smells like! Also free from parabens, sulphates and phthalates.
The lip pencil and mini lipstick are from Charlotte Tilbury’s Beauty Icons box (£55), which for makeup lovers is a brilliant idea – minis, so always useful, but just exceptionally pretty as well as being beauty peeps’ faves.
Nude lipstick | Marc Jacobs
Pencil & mini lipstick | Charlotte Tilbury