First to take me up on my Christmas gift buying challenge (see Monday 3rd December’s blog) is Jill from London, who emailed to say:
“Can you give me some ideas for my auntie? She likes luxury! But I don’t have a huge budget this year – I can spend £30 on her. She enjoys gardening, films, food and pampering. Help!”
Jill, your wish is my command. Here are my suggestions for luxury-loving aunties, below.
PS: Don’t forget, if you have someone you need gift ideas for, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Silver Plated Champagne cork salt and pepper shakers by Culinary Concepts, £27.50 http://www.johnlewis.com
Nothing says luxury like Champagne and these stylish shakers will look great on your auntie’s table for years. They come in a posh presentation box, making them easy to post. Culinary Concepts make several other fancy silver plated table items such as watering can-shaped shakers, mouse detail cheese knives, and a sweet silver honey pot and spoon, all for around £30 too. Check out the full range at John Lewis.
Make mine a mojito set, £32, http://www.plants4presents.co.uk
This fun set includes a good-sized lime tree and mint plant, each in your choice of pot; a mini bottle of Havana club rum; a muddle and instructions on how to make mojitos. All delivered anywhere in the UK. If your auntie doesn’t like booze, Plants4Presents sell all kinds of other lovely plants in fancy pots, such as a Calamondin dwarf orange tree for £25, which looks great in a conservatory.
Cheese baker, £14.59 http://www.amazon.co.uk
This good quality china covered dish is decorated just like a traditional camembert box. Simply place a whole camembert or brie cheese inside, and pop it in the oven for an amazing melty treat. It comes in a matching box, so makes a great gift, and if you want to make it look even more special, you could always buy a decent camembert or brie cheese to go with it.
Sophie Conran for Portmeirion jug and sugar bowl, £14 each, http://www.portmeirion.co.uk
Designer – tick. Classy and timeless – tick. Posh mint green presentation box – tick. Decent price – tick! This stylish range of tableware from Sophie Conran looks uber expensive but is actually pretty reasonable. A matching jug and sugar bowl would make a great gift for an auntie, or you can also browse the range for pitchers, serving bowls, espresso cups and even candles.
The Sanctuary Winter Spa in a Box, £20, Boots http://www.boots.com
Your auntie can turn her bathroom into one of London’s top spas with this handy kit that contains everything she’ll need to recreate The Sanctuary’s famous facial at home.
Dusky pink stud bowling bag, £32.50, Next http://www.next.co.uk
Ok, so it’s £2.50 over budget, but this roomy, versatile bag looks far more expensive than it actually is, and works as a classy day bag, work bag or travel bag.
Black + Blum Candelabra loop, £19.95, http://www.handpickedcollection.com
Elegant and expensive-looking, this chrome candle holder should look fab on your auntie’s table, mantlepiece or shelf and comes in a presentation box. You can buy just one, or get a second one for your auntie’s birthday so she can link them together!
Carluccio’s Lui E Lei balsamic vinegar and olive oil set, £22.95, http://www.carluccios.com
One of the best balsamic vinegar and olive oil sets that money can buy, in elegant bottles and packaged in a Christmassy box. They not only taste amazing, but they’d also look swanky on display in your auntie’s kitchen. Check out Carluccio’s website for other great foodie gifts too.
Le Creuset Bloom Espresso Mug Set, £30, http://www.lecreuset.co.uk
If your auntie loves coffee as well as labels, she’ll love this chi-chi set of four petal-coloured stoneware espresso mugs from cuisine experts Le Creuset. They’re almost too pretty to drink from!
Celia Birtwell Garden Trowel and Fork Set, £19.99, from uk_gifts_and_cards at http://www.ebay.co.uk (search under ‘Birtwell Trowel’)
The classiest way to do the gardening, this good quality fork and trowel have a flower print created by iconic designer Celia Birtwell.
Gone With The Wind quotation art, £21.75 by wall envy art at http://www.notonthehighstreet.com
Wall Envy Art take vintage novel pages (this one is from Gone With the Wind – you can also get a page from the book of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) and overprint them with famous quotations from the same book. They then mount the whole lot in a handmade wooden frame. Cute.