Gift Guide 1

My Gift Guide  Part One

 

I don't know about you but this time of year is a time of great celebration.  In my friendship and family circles I am surrounded by weddings, engagements, new babies, new homes and birthdays.  It's partly due to my age and the point me and my friends are at, and partly due to the time of year.  This has inspired me to put together a gift guide.

I wanted to do something that would be truly helpful for you so as well as suggesting gifts (which will be tomorrow's post), today I've put together my little address book of go to places for gifts plus cards and wrapping.

  All images are linked so just click on the image to take you to the relevant website.  I hope you find this useful and an enjoyable read.  

 
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My Gift Shopping Address Book

 

Department Stores

Liberty is a fantastic option for something a bit different, particularly for stationery lovers, homeware hunters and beauty fans - it's a place to go for all things unique.  Their own label, Liberty of London, is gorgeous for their signature prints on silk scarves, handbags and homewares.  Their website offer is quite limited compared to the ranges in store but I do believe they've picked some of the best pieces for their online ranges based on the popularity of gifting.

Good old John Lewis!  There's  very good reason why they are still the most popular designation for wedding gift lists.  It's a great place for wedding and baby gifts in particular as their ranges are vast and the products fit across multiple taste levels and personalities.  A safe choice!  Their website is good but with their wide range of stores across the country, I'd suggest going in store as it's the customer service support that makes John Lewis special.  They also have a great range of cards and wrapping.

Selfridges is the mecca for lovers of designer products and special items.  What they do so brilliantly is concept and exclusives.  They have a great and unique offer of candles, chocolates, beauty sets, technology and object d'art.   Their website has a wonderful gifting section with lots of choice and inspiration plus a 'personalised' space where you can see all products that you can custom to your recipicant.  The gift wrapping and delivery is also one of the best.

I put Fortnums on here for one reason but one very good reason; their hampers and food gifts.  Sometimes that just works, especially for thank you gifts or for those moving into new homes who probably have all the knick-knacks you'd normally buy already.  Hampers are available in particular categories such as tea, wine and food or you can custom make one yourself.  They also have a lovely offer of gift boxes including the ever popular 'Champagne and Chocolates' option

 

Specialist Stores

I'm a massive fan of Oliver Bonas (see previous post here) and it's a great place to go if you've received a last minute invite to an event that you need to take a gift to.  Not only is their range vast but it's always a bit different and feels special -  I always find soemthing that will really suit the recipicant from cookbooks to ceramics and jewellery.  An added bonus is they have great cards and wrap which they'll then use to wrap for you.  Fab.

The White Company is a truly lovely place for gift buying.  I like it for fragrance, candles and leather gifts for my mum and grandma but also nice new home gifts for my friends.  Their Childrenswear store, The Little White Company is gorgeous for new baby gifts.  They have beautiful accessories for the nursery as well as lots of grey and white layette pieces.  The finish of their signature gift box and black bow gives that extra elegant touch.

British luxury stationery and  leather goods brand, Smythson is a brand I discovered thanks to my stylish parents.  They gave me my first signature blue Smythson notebook when I started at Harrods and had it specially embossed with my initials.  I love brands that are classic, special and can be personalised and have gifted Smythson for both personal and corporate gifts time and time again.  Their website boats a fabulous gifting section with options to personalise your chosen product.

Regular readers will know just how much I love Jo Malone - I even dedicated a blog post to them (see here).  My friends have started to joke that they look forward to Kirsty's gift of a little cream and black bag with the matching box every year!  It's one of those brands where almost every product is gorgeous but it's luxurious and therefore not really the place to  go for a self-gift.  Jo Malone are now offering a bespoke gift offer on their website including engraving on selected items.    

 

For Unique & Special Gifts

 

Luna & Curious is the most adorable little treasure trove of gifts.  Located in London's fashionable and quirky Shoreditch, it's like a mini department store of unique finds of womens' fashion, jewellery, accessories plus childrenswear, toys, stationery and homeware.  As well as curating unusual products from brands around the world the three owners stock their own labels exclusively there too.  I can guarantee you'll find something a little special in here.  They have a great website  too for those not in London. 

I discovered this when trying to find a unique gift for my best friend's 30th.  For my 30th she had given me a photo of us that we both loved made into a Banksy print with a lovely personal message on the back so I had high standards to live up to.  The Book of Everyone is a templated but customisable book on a person's life - ideal for a special birthday.  You can add personalised messages and notes but it comes with great facts about their birth year, star sign and lifetime.  Nat loved it so much I gave one to each of my Uncles and had lots of fun making it special for them too.  They also do special  editions for Mums, Dads and Kids.

The Family Store is the eStore from parenting blogger, Selfish Mother.  Her product is simple but genius.  A range of sweatshirts and t-shirts with family related slogans on them - Mother, Mama, Papa, Sister, Brother - with lots of colours, designs and spins plus powerful slogan prints (I especially loved 'we are all wonder woman').  Great gifts for expectant and new parents, big brothers and sisters of new babies or for mothers and fathers day.  Check out the Selfish Mother platform here - http://www.selfishmother.com.

This is absolutely the go-to for something unique and personal.  I love Not on the High Street and have bought many gifts over the years plus accessories for hen weekend, events and birthday parties.  Their site is a real pleasure to go with great navigation and lots of points of inspiration which means it never takes me lon to find something perfect.  They're also working with great stationery partners so you can order personalied cards and wrap too.

 

Cards

 

Papier is a young & innovative London-based company producing gorgeous cards, invitations and stationery.  I've bought a few cards from here now and I've been delighted with the quality and finish. They work with different designers so each card feels really unique an you can customise some with your photos and images.  

There's few things I hate more than when a birthday or occasion can escaped your mind and it's too late for good old fashioned snail mail.  eCards have been around for a few years now but (in my opinion) most of them are a bit naff and cheesy.  That was until I discovered Paperless Post.  The choice of design is both vast and lovely and you can customise every inch from the colouring and font to the envelope design.