Monday, 3 December 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: For The Londoner

Welcome to the third instalment of this years holiday gift guides! As some of my older readers will know, each year I do them by themes, depending on what sort of person you're buying the gifts for. This year I have already put together a gift guide for The Total Foodie and the Total Bookworm in your life, and today we have a guide that I had the most fun thinking about and putting together: the guide for The Londoner in your life. All of the things here are either as chic as the city itself, or unique to London residents - so it is a little something extra that only they can enjoy! Be sure to stay tuned for my final guide for The Globetrotter in your life. Also, over at The Glossy Guide I've put together a round up of this years best beauty gift sets!
Smythson 2013 Diary: £230 / $305, Ottolenghi Gift Voucher, Marni Gold & Resin Rose Ring: £90, Alphabet Oyster Card Holder: £12 / $19, L'Occitane Marvellous Flowers Festive Hand Cream: £8 / $10, Zatchels Classic Brown Leather Saddle Bag: £55

I think the most London specific item on this list, which is the item I was so glad I found and I would be totally happy to receive myself, is the gift certificate to spend at any of Ottolenghi's locations in Notting Hill, Islington, Kensington or Belgravia. They have the most amazing pies, salads and pastries, and the Notting Hill branch just off of Westbourne Grove which I visited for the first time back in February is one of the things I miss the most about living in London. You can give a £50, £75, £100 or £125 voucher, and you can also give a voucher to spend at Nopi, Ottolenghi's sister restaurant in SoHo I hope to vist on my return. 

Albiet unintentionally  I seem to have packed a bag for a trip to Ottolenghi's; I love this classic saddle bag style from Zatchels, so practical to go on the tube with and so much more reasonably priced than a regular satchel. Speaking of the tube, I'm a little bit obsessed with anything that comes from Alphabet Bags, and I think when my Kurt Geiger Oyster Card holder finally gives up the ghost I might replace it with one of these initial Oyster Card holders they have in their store. They do also make great personalised gifts. Two things every woman living in London should have in their bags at all time, in my oppinion, is a diary to keep track of her appointments (hello beautiful Smythson leatherwear) and a good tube of hand cream. I swear by L'Occitane's little handbag sized tubes, and luckily they have brought out a festive one! 

What are you planning on buying for your London dwelling friends this holiday season? 


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  3. I've been wanting a Smythson notebook for ages. They have a fashion week one on Net-A-Porter that I'm dying for! I still love writing things down with a pen and paper.


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  10. Hi Rachel, I need some advice! My sister is turning 21 in May and I'd really like to get her a very special present - ideally something that can last forever. Jewellery is my first thought but she's not very keen on blingy, flashy things. Do you have any suggestions? Would really appreciate your help!
    Lots of love from Cape Town xx

  11. Hi Juliet,

    Jewellery is still a great idea especially as it is her 21st and you'd like to get her something with longevity; you just need to make it seem a bit more personal to her. Yes I have loads of flashy 'costume' jewellery pieces, but some of my favourites are actually basic and understated pieces that were given to me as gifts on special occasions from family members which are really simple, everyday sorts of things. Lockets are a good idea, because you can get them of all styles to suit the person, and the picture inside can be something special to the two of you. Or, maybe find a simple pendant where the charm represents something to do with your sister, like one of her hobbies or a special memory for the two of you as sisters. For example, I have a necklace with a charm of a classical ionic pediment (column top). It seems strange and it is really tiny, but I got it in Olympia in Greece where I took my first ever serious photo I can remember as a photographer of a similar pediment.

    Moving away from jewellery, other ideas could be putting together a photo album or scrapbook of family pictures and things for her, or if there is a skill she has always wanted to learn sign her up for some classes so she can learn?

    I hope all this helps, and happy birthday in advance to your sister!

  12. Hi Rachel,

    Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to my comment - I really appreciate it! I think that you are so right about jewellery, especially because it can/will last forever. And I'd love to get a piece engraved to make it even more special. I will have a look around and see if I can find anything that suits her. Do you know of any cool jewellery companies in London? I can always get in brought over to SA with a friend but don't know where to look. Had a quick browse on the Tiffany website but I didn't see anything that's really her style.
    I'm also planning to take her to afternoon tea at a fancy hotel in Cape Town and I'm going to get one of her favourite photographs printed and framed nicely for her.
    Thanks again for all your suggestions. Much appreciated.

    Love, Juliet

  13. That sounds lovely. Off the top of my head, as I tend to look in independent jewellers for more unique pieces, or Tiffany's as their pieces suit me, you could try Links of London?

  14. Thanks! Found some cool stuff on the Astley Clarke :) Thanks for all your help! x