You know that person. The one who is always impeccably dressed and really does seem to have it all. Then there’s the person who doesn’t have it all, but insists that they really don’t need a thing. And, of course there’s the husband/boyfriend/brother who is impossible to buy for. Or the sister/mother/girlfriend who is very picky and just that little bit tricky. And that’s before we even get to children – your own/your godchildren/your nieces and nephews – here’s what we suggest for all the above…
For someone in need of some tlc….
I don’t think I know a woman who doesn’t like to be pampered in some way. Yes, bath/beauty gifts can be boring, but only if they’re not very thought through. Bubble bath for someone who always showers – that’s not going to cut it. Neither is a candle (however dreamy) for someone who just doesn’t light them. But, who could say no to a facial, massage or ultimate pedicure from The Cowshed? Or, in fact anything from ila? I love ila. An organic skincare and body line that’s 100% chemical-free and completely holistic, their products are some of the most nourishing and pampering I’ve ever used. I’d be more than happy to find this Seasonal Skin Saviour for Vital Energy gift set under my tree. Or try this gift set of Aromatherapy Associates bath oils – heaven in a series of beautifully-scented small bottles…
Seasonal Skin Saviour for Vital Energy gift set (featuring body oil, body cream, bath soak, bath salts and a rose quartz crystal), £111, ila.
For the fashion-lover in your life
Ok, so hands up. You’ve got to have some serious wedge to buy a pair of Sophia Webster shoes for someone. But, boy, they will love you forever if you do. Alternatively, pick up a Tippi sweater from J.Crew – they come in a rainbow of colours and really are the perfect fit. This pom pom keyring (£19) from Jigsaw is also a crowd-pleaser as is a cross-body Cranleigh bag from the brilliant cult brand Village England (made from leather with a gorgeous brass stirrup detail, it’s an amazing price for the quality).
Riko heel, £525, Sophia Webster
For a magpie…
I love these Charlotte Olympia earrings. They’re just so.darn.cool. Of course, diamonds are a girl’s best friend (you gotta dream) and costume jewellery – such as these earrings from Anthropologie and these ones from Accessorize – always gets a big tick in my book. If your loved one prefers her sparkle to be on her bag, then this amazing star clutch from Aspinal of London fits the bill perfectly. Or for a more affordable option bag a star keyring.
For the man in your life….
Can a man ever have too many grey jumpers? I doubt it. This Acne one would suit anyone from the most discerning gentleman to the most relaxed dresser. Or think a little out of the box with a weekend’s magic course, a niche aftershave or a ‘surprise’ present every month from Not Another Bill. We’re also big fans of the Darling Collective, where you can sign someone up for a whole host of classes ranging from gastro tours to taxidermy, foraging, butchery or cobbling. Equally, The Idler Academy offers some amazingly eclectic online and live courses including song-writing with Cliff Difford (of Squeeze), belt making with Bill Amberg and Ukulele for beginners. ps – all of these gifts would be perfect for a woman as well!
Grey knit sweater, £180, Acne
For the Nippers…
I can’t think of any (youngish) boy or a girl who wouldn’t love this retro Fisher Price record player. Based on the original 1971 design it comes with 5 double-sided ‘records’ that play 10 classic tunes – although, hurry up and buy, it seems to be sold out everywhere except Alex & Alexa….Other perfect presents for boys or girls include this Atlas of Adventures by Lucy Letherland, nesting dolls (robots) or (owls), this gorgeous Persian tiger jumper from Tootsa MacGinty (although this Persian horse one calls out to the equine-loving little girl in me) or this set of suitcases from the always brilliant Bimbily (great for storing cards and keepsakes when they’re bored of playing with them). And, a special stocking-filler mention must go to Love Soap, who make the best organic bath products for children on the market.
Record player, £30, Fisher Price
For just about anyone..
The ultimate gift (I think) is a weekend away at a hotel. With kids, without kids, there’s nothing quite like upping sticks for a couple of nights and being pampered (or just sleeping – I’ll take just sleeping). I think Calcot Manor must be my favourite hotel in the UK. Stylish, luxurious and 100% kid-friendly, you can take the family AND have time-out as they have the most fantastic kids club in which you can leave them for a few hours while you read, sleep, eat, do whatever it is you do with your adult-time. Heaven.