A Festive Gift Guide

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We don’t do things by halves. Not only has Jonesy provided you with the ultimate gift guide for a gentleman, and Girl Thursday has imparted her expert knowledge about the very best presents for a lady, we hereby share with you a range of items that would suit both men and women, and a few joint gifts for an epicurean couple. Armed with all this inside information, who needs Father Christmas? Sorry old chap, your days are numbered…

RAF Tea and Teapot Christmas Collection from The Rare Tea Co.

For those who seriously love their tea, an exclusive Christmas gift set from The Rare Tea Company, purveyors of the finest tea in Blighty. Calming in times of national peril, fortifying when courage is required, Henrietta Lovell has recreated the iconic British afternoon loose leaf tea in collaboration with the RAF. A bespoke blend, this is a traditional loose leaf black tea of the very finest variety, now available in a gift set that includes: 50g tin of RAF tea , 50g Re-fuel box of tea, 2 cup classic Brown Betty teapot, framed original and iconic “De-bag Britain poster” for the kitchen (A3 size 29.7 X 42cm ), tea strainer with stand.

Price at £77, available to order online.

2005 Paleo Bolgheri Rosso Le Macchiole

A marvellous plonk worthy of any wine cellar, this remarkable Paleo (Cabernet Franc) has a deep, aromatic nose which is followed by intense fruits and a prolonged, herbal finish. Like an expensive perfume, its fragrant and spicy notes linger on the tongue in the most tantalising manner. A true epicurean should never be without a bottle of this remarkable juice. It would be well suited to a Christmas dinner or a Boxing Day gazeboing.

Priced at £577.50 for a case of 12. Available from Vintage Seekers.

Chocolate Selection from Demarquette

Award-winning British chocolatier Marc Demarquette hand-makes each chocolate using traditional artisan techniques in his West London chocolaterie. Marc is passionate about using the very best ingredients sourced to the highest standards in order to make the finest chocolates. Every step of the chocolate making process is completed by hand as he ardently believes that no machine can replace the art of a master craftsman. Here he offers the Victorian Christmas Ganache Selection, his interpretation of traditional festive flavours enrobed in a thin layer of smooth 71.1% house couverture chocolate. Flavours include: Mulled Wine, Mince Pie, Traditional Christmas Tea, Christmas Spices. The limited edition ganache chocolate selection is presented in a festive selection box of 16 chocolates.

Priced at £20. Available from his chocolaterie at 285 Fulham Road, Chelsea, London SW10 9PZ and online.

Vintage 1930s Weekend Bag by H. Greaves

Forget Louis Vuitton and Bottega Veneta, if you want something truly unique, dashing and eye-catching – high-quality vintage is the way to go, in this instance with a 1930s weekend travel bag by H. Greaves, luggage maker to the Royal family. The bag has 2 main canvas-lined compartments with a canvas and leather divider. This divider contains a leather pouch for smalls with the royal seal embossed in gold on the front, all in superb condition.

Priced at £750 exclusively from Vintage Seekers.

Bespoke Umbrella by James Smith & Sons

James Smith & Sons have been supplying the finest English umbrellas to ladies and gentlemen since 1830. For the chap; a tailored, handmade umbrella, cut to a perfect fit for your height from a single stick of solid wood (Ash or Maplewood). The umbrella is finished with a metal or rubber ferrule, and is available with either a black or dark green nylon cover. A perfect accessory for the man about town, ideal for fending off assailants, assassins and charity clipboard workers. Also good against the rain. For the lady, a bespoke fabric umbrella, chosen uniquely from a wide range of patterns, colours and embellishments with a selection of handles to choose from. Available in-store only.

Prices start at £185, from James Smith & Sons, 53 New Oxford Street, London WC1A 1BL.

Ancient Art from Collector Antiquities

For a truly memorable and unique gift this festive season, how about a 3,000-year-old piece of Egyptian jewellery? A Roman gladiator’s ring? An alabaster bowl or some stunning glassware for the mantel piece? All this is available from Collector Antiquities, one of the UK’s most respected dealers in ancient art and artifacts, with a wide range of items available to suit all price ranges from a mere £50 and upwards to the stars.

Available online, with advice and support, from Collector Antiquities.

Too Busy to Shop? Contact The Organisers

If you hate the Christmas crowds and sink into a murderous rage whenever a tourist stops immediately in front of you mid-walk, or if you simply don’t have time to shop (or can’t be bothered), help is at hand. The Organisers are a lifestyle concierge service, offering just about anything you can dream of tasking someone to do (within reason). They have even been asked to source an elephant for a wedding, which they achieved admirably. They will happily do all of your Christmas shopping, wrap the presents, purchase the turkey, hire a caterer for the Christmas feast, arrange a holiday for the New Year’s getaway, and place a security team at your home for the period that you’re away. Oh, and they’ll look after your children too. They have a direct line to Mary Poppins. Give your PA some time off this festive season and hire The Organisers instead.

For more information, visit their website.

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