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Christmas gift guide

Christmas, Shopping

Harrods Christmas Carol Hamper

Now that the festive season is in full swing, it’s time to get gifting!  I always find that foodie presents go down a treat and what could be more luxurious than a hamper filled with the finest gourmet treats from Harrods?

The Harrods Christmas Carol Hamper is certainly impressive, arriving in a majestic bright red hat box with a silky ribbon and gold illustrations.  While some hampers can include a few wildcard items, this one is classic with a selection of sweet Christmas essentials done properly.

Harrods Christmas Carol hamper

As a tea lover, I was delighted with the cute red caddy of Spiced Black Tea that literally smells like Christmas.  The loose leaf black tea is studded with pieces of citrus peel and cloves and it tastes just as fragrant and bold as its aroma.  Spiced Coffee is perfect for those cold winter mornings and is full-bodied and richly-roasted.

Harrods Christmas hamper

In this hamper, you’re treated to not one but two packets of delectable biscuits, both topped with golden sparkle sugar for that Christmas party touch.  The delicious Honey and Clementine Biscuits are buttery and crumbly with a subtle orange flavour while the Winter Spiced Biscuits pack more of a punch with potent spices, black treacle and sultanas.

Harrods Christmas biscuits

Harrods biscuits

Harrods Christmas biscuits

Also included is a duo of preserves and they’re so good it’s hard to pick a favourite.  Clementine and Sweet Orange Marmalade has an intense, zesty flavour and is packed with slivers of candied orange peel.  Spiced Plum and Fig Jam is sticky-sweet and bursting with fruit flavours, and also contains a generous amount of mouthwatering dried plum and seeded fig.  I think they go particularly well with scones, brioche and even on top of warming porridge.

Harrods Christmas jam

Harrods Christmas jam

The only part of the hamper that I haven’t yet tried is the Christmas Classic Pudding accompanied by Brandy Butter with Courvoisier VS Cognac, but I’m tempted to crack it open this weekend when it’s officially December and I can hang the Harrods shiny red bauble on my tree.

The Christmas Pudding is matured for nine months before Christmas Day and is made to the signature, time-honoured Harrods recipe.  It’s full of dried fruit, walnuts and almonds and infused with lashings of cider and brandy – the ultimate boozy festive dessert.

Harrods Christmas pudding

The Harrods Christmas Carol Hamper makes a fabulous gift for everyone that loves good food and especially those who are hard to buy for.  It’s also worth noting that the hamper can be sent worldwide, so you can treat overseas loved ones to a taste of London this Christmas.

All photos by Chérie City

Sample

Christmas, Shopping

Christmas Gift Guide: For Him

Buying for the man in your life may seem difficult, but really it’s quite simple.  With your Christmas gift, he will achieve a frangrant air of sophistication with Penhaligon’s No. 33 Eau de Cologne, stay warm under a cosy Ted Baker trapper hat and shake up some superior Christmas libations with the help of Mr Lyan and friends.

Here are some Christmas gifts for him that are sure to inspire this Christmas…

Berlin City Guide, £25, Louis Vuitton
No. 33 Eau de Cologne, £95, Penhaligon’s
Ted Baker Faux Fur Trapper Hat, £45, Selfridges
Slim Bifold Wallet, £170, Shinola
Vintage Weekender Bag, £34, Long Sands
Facial Fuel SPF15, £33, Kiehls
Ultimate Grooming Box, £155, Percy Nobleman
Talisker 10 Gift Set, £38.90, Alexander & James
Good Things to drink with Mr Lyan and Friends by Ryan Chetiyawardana, £16.59, Amazon

 

Christmas, Shopping, Stores

Christmas Gift Guide 2014: Luxury

Christmas has a funny habit of making you splurge on decadent things.  If they’re too gorgeous to resist, or can be justified as ‘useful’, then why not?  Here are some ideas for gifts that are sure to impress…

 

Mulberry Blossom Tote in Hibiscus Calf Nappa, £495, Mulberry
Valentino: At The Emperor’s Table by André Leon Talley, €115 Assouline
Alexander & James Japanese Cocktail Set, £180, Alexander & James
Monica Vinader Baja Mini Bracelet, £495, Monica Vinader
Hermès Minuit au Faubourg Vintage Silk Twill Scarf, £235, Hermès
Shinola Detroit The Women’s Bixby Bicycle, £1,675, Shinola Detroit
Penelope Chilvers Dandy Slipper Velvet, £245, Penelope Chilvers
Heal’s Grey Herringbone Merino & Cashmere Throw, £128, Heal’s

 

Accessories, Christmas, Designers, Fashion, Shopping

Christmas Gift Guide 2013: Accessories

Accessories make perfect Christmas gifts, whether it’s a cosy faux fur snood, a piece of designer jewellery or a fabulous handbag.  Hermès bangles are collectible classics while this season’s KENZO bags are unbelievably cool and covetable.  Of course, no one can resist a butter-soft Mulberry leather purse and the new bright red colour is particularly festive.

Here are some more ideas for amazing accessories this Christmas…

 

KENZO Lightning Dix-Huit Leather Satchel, £540, Selfridges
Anton Heunis Spike Opulent Necklace, £239, Cadenzza
Lux Velvet Ear Muffs, £12, Topshop
Colliers de Chiens Enamel Bracelet, £310, Hermès
Shinola ‘The Birdy 34mm’ Watch, €525, Colette
Tree French Purse in Bright Red Shiny Goat, £275, Mulberry
Lily and Lionel for Mr & Mrs Smith See You In Santorini Scarf, £100, Mr & Mrs Smith
Faux Fur Snood, £25, Oliver Bonas
Quilted Gloves, £49 Hobbs

Beauty, Christmas, Shopping

Christmas Gift Guide 2013: Beauty

Christmas is the ideal time to pamper friends and family with a luxurious beauty treat.  The Aerin Winter Color Palette from the Holiday Collection is perfect for creating party season looks, while ila spa Body Cream for Glowing Radiance brings a touch of spa indulgence at home.

A limited edition Diptyque seasonal candle under the tree is a tried and tested way to bring a smile on Christmas morning and Chloé Roses de Chloé is a stunning modern floral scent that is sure to delight.  Here are some more ideas for fabulous beauty gifts…

Aerin Winter Color Palette, £45, John Lewis
ila spa Body Cream for Glowing Radiance, £63, ila spa
Diptyque Indian Incense Scented Candle, £45, Liberty
Penhaligon’s Vanities Collection, £50, Penhaligon’s
Chloé Roses de Chloé eau de toilette, £44.20-£54.40, John Lewis
Superdry Bento Beauty Box, £25, Superdry
Errol Douglas Infra-red Pro Dryer, £49.99, Boots
DOSE Nail Polish Trio, £15, Selfridges
Bourjois Poudre de Riz de Java, £9.99, Boots
LAQA Lip Pencil Bossy Boots, £13, Austique
Chanel Rouge Coco Hydrating Crème Lip Colour in Mademoiselle, £24, House of Fraser
Mandara Spa Tropical Blooms Body Oil, £7.50, Time to Spa

Christmas, Shopping

Christmas Gift Guide 2013: Foodies

The holiday season is already a dream for foodies, but you can never have too much festive indulgence!  Whether it’s a set of the finest Kusmi Teas, an ice cream maker to concoct gourmet flavours or a quirky gold burger necklace, these gifts are sure to delight bon viveurs this Christmas….

Pizza Pilgrims: Recipes from the Backstreets of Italy, £12, Amazon
12 Hole Cake Pop Maker, £26.99, Lakeland
Assortment ‘Brunch Teas’, €22, Kusmi Tea
Wahaca Pestle and Mortar, £18.50, Boots
Glenda Lopez Burger Necklace, £69, MyFlashTrash
Maille Supreme Condiment Collection, £29.99, Selfridges
Ice Cream Deluxe, £75, Cuisinart
Cake Ispahan, €20, Pierre Hermé
Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve, £42.50, Alexander & James

Christmas, Shopping

Christmas Gifts For Foodies 2012

Foodies are spoilt for choice at Christmas, whether it’s gourmet hampers, cool kitchenware or beautifully-packaged delights.

Here are a few of my favourite Christmas foodie treats…

My Cointreau Evening Bag, £559, Selfridges
Cointreau ambassadress Dita Von Teese designed this chic vintage-style handbag, containing everything you need for a classic Cointreau cocktail and a decadent evening.

Book of Tea – Classic Edition, £25, Tea Palace
Keep warm in style over the festive period with Tea Palace’s adorable book of tea.

Captains Favourite Gift Set, £45, Paxton & Whitfield
This indulgent gift set from Paxton & Whitfield, London’s oldest cheese shop includes a bottle of Tawny Port, Stilton and malted crackers in a traditional wooden box – perfect for the Christmas dinner cheese course or entertaining over the festive period.

Le Tre Marie Panettone, £24, NifeisLife.com/Lina Stores
Le Tre Marie is often named the best panettone and for me, Christmas Morning breakfast wouldn’t be the same without a slice.

Rococo: Master the Art of Chocolate, £17.50, Amazon
The inspiring founder of Rococo Chocolates Chantal Coady shares her chocolate-making tips, so we can make delectable sweets at home.

Cantucci & Vin Santo, £23.95, Carluccio’s
No one does Christmas quite like Carluccio’s.  What a treat it would be to find this beautifully-packaged Cantucci & Vin Santo gift set under the tree.

Maille Casserole Set with Mustard and Spoon, £25, John Lewis
Cook up a post-Christmas Bourgignon or Cassoulet, when you can no longer tolerate the sight of turkey and sprouts.

Have you found any fab gifts for foodies?  Which foodie gift would you love to find under the tree this Christmas?

 

Christmas, Designers, Fashion, Shopping, Stores

Chic Christmas Gifts 2012

From Giles stationery and Bella Freud home accessories to the memoirs of renowned fashion insider Grace Coddington, these stylish Christmas gifts will be a hit with fashion gals…

Yigal Azrouël Lattice Knit Cotton Jumper, £370, Avenue 32
Athena Procopiou The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Scarf, £280, Salt Resort
Giles Illustration Tiger Notebook, £45, Matches
Sonia By Sonia Rykiel Crystal-embellished Cotton Collar, £35, Net-a-Porter
India Leopard Ponyhair Red Trim Ballet Flats, £95, French Sole
Canisa L Gold Sequin Clutch, £525, Jimmy Choo
Crystal Colour Necklace, £73.16, J. Crew
Grace by Grace Coddington, £21.25, Amazon
Bella Freud Candles, £38 each, Space.NK