It might be a cliché, but it can be a real struggle to find the perfect gift – especially for those tricky-to-buy for people we all have in our lives. When I see something I like, I bookmark it to return to in December so that panic buying doesn’t set in and the act of giving can be a pleasure rather than an exhausting chore.
I create my collection in the UK not only to support British manufacturing but because British craftmanship and heritage is world-renowned for its excellence. I also have in mind the ecological impact – the amount of plastic tat that is discarded each year makes me shudder. I want to give gifts that will be cherished.
I’ve put together a range of seasonal gift sets from my collections which I hope might make it onto your list and here are some other gorgeous things which have caught my eye! And, might I also recommend stocking up on note cards for the all-important thank-yous.
- The wonderful thing about a pen is that it is personal and yet not so much so that it feels like an intimate statement to buy for a dear friend. I love the gift sets from Whitlock Wooden Designs. They pair a designer ballpoint pen with a matching perfume pen which you can fill with your choice of fragrance. Such a clever idea and make in Whitlock’s Northampton Workshop.
I’m also very taken by their Oak Whiskey Cask Fountain Pen, made from the old oak whiskey casks so each is different. This is a high-quality pen with a medium-sized nib which takes a cartridge, so easy and neat to refill (sadly, no second barrel for a sneaky tot!).
- Beautiful notebooks are always a welcome gift. Despite an increasing dependence on smart-tech there’s something timeless and classic about keeping a journal – and it will never run out of battery power or suffer endless glitches. Marmor Paperie create original marbled paper which decorates the covers of their hardback journals and also offer a personalisation service so that names or initials can be stamped in elegant gold foil.
- Also available with the option to personalise are Pantherella’s Cashmere socks, made in Leicester factory since 1937. Cashmere socks are – in my opinion – the absolute definition of luxury and these don’t disappoint; hand finished, fine-linked toe seams and reinforced heels and toes to ensure longevity of wear (crucial with cashmere which can be less robust than other wools).
- I stumbled across Beegood on Instagram and was first entranced by their ethos but the products are pretty amazing, too. Their ‘Plant a Bee Meadow’ Gift sets include three sublime lip balms (stuffed with natural humectants which help attract moisture to lips dried out by central heating and chilly winds) and a hand cream but what I love are the wildflower seed balls which are also included. These can be strewn in your garden (or window box!) and each contains 30-150 wildflower seeds which will grow into bee-attracting beautiful flowers.
- Staying with skincare, Organic House Skincare is another fabulous UK brand worth mentioning. Products have all the benefits you could wish for (anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, anti-pollution) whilst being cruelty-free. I have my eye on their luxurious hampers, which offer selections for both men and women.
- A beautiful piece of jewellery makes a memorable present. I love the quirky design of Deakin and Francis’ Bubble Locket Cufflinks. A tiny red dice is enclosed in the dome but this can be removed and replaced with another treasured item. It’s so personal, and so unique. This might be one for the men in your life, so for a woman, I’d recommend a visit to Gabriel’s Wharf in London to visit Jianhui for a browse through his statement pieces jewellery designs His website is due to launch in December, so if London’s a little too far to go, keep an eye on jianhui.co.uk for the opportunity to buy online.
- Finally, time for nice cup of tea. We all have our own preferences when it comes to the ideal cuppa but whether or not you take milk in first or prefer earl grey to mint, I recommend seeking out the exquisite range of English Bone China cups and saucers by Sara Smith. They are original, luxurious, gilded and vibrant. Everything a perfect gift should be!
Finally, I hope you'll allow me to blow my own trumpet and share with you an image of this wonderful editorial coverage on the Ava Tunic Dress. OX is a luxury title covering my home county of Oxfordshire, so I was delighted to be featured in their pages.