So there’s just two weeks to the big day and so you’re probably looking at buying your Christmas presents, food and other delights to furnish and indulge yourself with so I’ve put together a little guide as to my best buys that might help you decide what you want to splash the cash on.
If you like minimal decoration and decide against a full Christmas tree with lights and baubles, opting to have something smaller yet still a statement, then why not try branch lights. This year LED Hut have a gorgeous range of Christmas LED lights to rival any of the high end arty kinds. We chose a lovely set of branch lights which we glued into florist oasis, then placed that in a bowl which we had laid some very delicate fairy lights in. I like the sophistication of plain white lights so mixing the brighter branch lights with a warmer white fairy light looks understated and rather beautiful.
For the table:
Crackers – you can’t have Christmas without crackers, and I think I found the best crackers this year for those of us that love making things with our hands both in the kitchen and as a hobby – Foodie Crackers £35.00 & Origami Crackers £24.99 from Culture Vulture (these are also sold in Selfridges but for £39.00). Now these I thought were simply amazing so needed their very own review which you can read here. I loved these to pieces, since they were stylish and unique with some glorious gifts and things to do inside. Well worth splashing out on something of a higher quality to your bog standard crackers as it can make or break the lunch.
There’s quite a few hampers that I’ve reviewed which I think are not only amazing value but encapsulate the whole feeling of Christmas for me.
Lakeland Rydal Hamper £84.99 which I reviewed here (sadly now discontinued). If you want to buy a friend of family member something that will cause a sharp intake of breath when they open it, then this would be one of those presents. It’s filled to the brim with goodies from all over the UK and the majority from smaller companies too so you don’t receive things which appear in mass produced hampers. If you want quality, a gorgeous selection of items, and a fabulous looking presentation, look no further than Lakelands Hampers since they still have an amazing selection.
Green & Blacks: Fabulous quality from one of the very best chocolate manufacturer. Have an amazing range of hampers as well as individual items for you to purchase for the chocolate lover in your life. Their small gift boxes are especially cute and give you a small taster of a variety of bars so you can then find out what you like and purchase larger bars if you want. I recently reviewed the mini Chocolate Lovers Gift and well, you know how much I loved it! Pop on over there and get yourself something special (even if you get it, hide it and eat it secretly).
Cadburys: A British Institution. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Cadburys and their hampers provide not only immense value for money but a glorious mix to tempt any member of the family. Packed full of milk chocolate, different shapes, sizes, fillings, you name it, they have it. One of these beauties will turn any frown on Christmas upside down.
Spicers of Hythe Gift For Him Hamper £28.21. We mustn’t forget our boys at Christmas, and as Andy loved this one, I’d recommend it in the guide as well as reviewing it here. It may only have 5 items in but they are presented so well that any guy 30+ would be over the moon if he received it. Andy mentioned that it’s something his uncle (being a single man in his 70s) would really appreciate, yet he (early 40s) also thought it was a fab little gift for his age range too.
Hotel Chocolat: Another of our top quality confectionery producers. I was lucky enough to try The Christmas Collection which was simply amazing. It’s a selection of their festive goodies: Christmas chocolates, Butterscotch Puddles, the Dasher’s Dream slab, a Hazelnut Bûche and 6 Christmas Eton Mess truffles for £35.00 (although you can grab small discounts if you buy via cashback sites). To make it really special, add a gift bag to the item at checkout for about £2.50 and the recipient will be thrilled. I adored the Butterscotch Puddles (huge chocolate buttons) and the Hazelnut Bûche which originally I thought would be sickly as I’m not a fan of that type of chocolate, however it was totally lush with the whole hazelnuts and so it took on another dimension for me. So much so I had to go back for seconds.
There are loads of guides for her, but what about highlighting some especially for him:
I stumbled across this site when on the hunt for ideas for my Mr and was totally blown away that this product even existed. Willow and Warson have bought hand carved bow ties to the market and WOW, they are absolutely stunning. It’s about time they were brought to the masses and with such a unique selling point, they bring style and class to what can be plain and incredibly uninteresting. Brainchild of 2 family friends yet still in it’s infancy since being launched late 2013, the concept is remarkable. Made in Devon, british craftsmanship with wood from all over the globe – sartorial elegance at it’s best. Why not treat Dad to the Ebony & Maple Henley Stripe for £140 this Christmas, he’ll love you for it!
Don’t fancy that? Then why not buy him Beer For A Year? Best of British Beer.co.uk showcases Britains finest microbreweries and delivers 12 bottle of beer to your loved one 4 times a year. Select the dates and off you go! If it’s anything like the Beer Advent which I bought Andy this year, then your man will love it – beers and ales, hard to find beers that you won’t find on the high street give him a true taste of being a beer gourmet. Andy has found a few spectacular breweries via the advent, so why not give him the best present that he’ll never forget. £145.
For those with a smaller budget, why not splash out on a gift that not only combines his love of football but love of music. BassBudsFC produce some football themed earphones and speakers for fans of Aston Villa, Liverpool, Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham. With matching earphone caps and team colours it’s the must have for the music loving footie fan. £49.95 for the earphones and £49.95 for the speaker.
Another fantastic gift if he has his own tablet, smartphone or just loves personalised items – something from Mr Claireabella at Toxic Fox. I recently received a fantastic iPad 2 cover for Andy which you can read about here and at £39.99 it’s an absolute bargain from Toxic Fox. You can pick the image that you’d like him to look like, he’d like to be or indeed just make one as perfect as he is already.
Have you any items that you’d like to add to the guide??