I didn’t want this next gift guide to just be a bunch of images pulled off brand websites. I wanted to photograph some of the things I’ve bought, been given, used and loved over the past year that I can honestly recommend from my own experience. (If you want some more ideas, I’m still particularly pleased by this gift guide for tricky women that I wrote back in 2012)
Jewellery is hard to get right as a surprise gift: it’s so personal to both the giver and recipient. But I’ve been wearing this ravishing Spice Trail 18k gold plated sapphire double ring given to me by British contemporary jewellery brand Lolo & Galago for a few months now and it has been commented on favourably every single time I’ve worn it, by everyone from fellow fashion editors to my mama.
Inspired by the architecture found along the old Spice Route across the Middle East, the double-pear shaped ring is micro-set along 3 separate counter-curving surfaces with pink and yellow sapphires, with a beautiful clear white topaz stone in the centre.
Although I love to wear just one big ring on each hand, I have quite square palms, with short fingers, and so large rings can make my fingers even stumpier. Half this statement ring points down to the palm, so it has a wonderful elongating effect on the fingers.
If your gift recipient loves art, galleries and museums, then I don’t think you can do better than the NACF Art Pass, which offer free and discounted entry to museums and art galleries across the UK. It offers:
- 50% off many major exhibitions
- Free entry to over 200 museums, galleries and historic houses
- Art Quarterly, their beautiful magazine
- Exclusive shop, café and catalogue offers
I think these Sophie Conran Christmas Crackers are some of the most stylish on the market. Sure they aren’t inexpensive, but they are beautifully made, contain chic silver crowns and a traditional joke, with gifts including mini steel hip flasks, salt spoons, key rings, and carabiner compasses amongst others.
I like Seasalt. This Cornish company is committed to being a socially responsible business, using local suppliers whenever they can and working with their local community on initiatives to protect the environment. I was sent these Sea Salt Pyjamas in Magpie Stripe (which they kindly monogrammed for my sister who is a PJ aficionado), and the cotton is wonderfully soft, but still washes like a dream. If a cotton pyjama set can be stylish then this is it.
I bought a pair of these really lovely N Peal fingerless cashmere gloves from The Outnet for a girlfriend who lives on a narrow boat, and who needs to grasp things without dropping them in sub zero temperatures. Sadly the fingerless ones have just sold out, but there are still some really fabulous N Peal cashmere accessories available there. (I particularly love these cashmere and silk-blend gloves.)
You’ll already have seen me wearing this lovely Dom Goor Shearling Trimmed Poncho on the blog in the past week. It’s made from silky soft cashmere, and is big enough to cover a multitude of sins. I’m going to take it travelling at Christmas, as it is perfect for plane travelling – I love a poncho as they don’t slip and can pull the most low key outfit together. Handy for smuggling tiny dogs underneath too.
Of course not everyone has £300+ for a sapphire ring – so may I suggest these fab Kate Spade New York Square Stud Earrings in Neon Pink, which are a much easier £25? I wear a lot of grey cashmere sweaters with jeans during the week, so I love a pop of colour on my ears. These are lightweight too, so they don’t drag your earlobes down.