All posts filed under: SHOPPING

The best Christmas gifts for those who like a tipple

Who doesn’t at this time of year?   Absolut Andy Warhol Edition £21.99, Harvey Nichols What a collectable for Andy Warhol fans – and one which will be proudly displayed we’re sure. The latest in Absolut’s art collaborations sees the artist’s original painting of the vodka bottle transferred onto the actual bottle itself. Certainly the exception to your otherwise impeccable recycling habits. – – – – – Belsazar White Vermouth £24.99, Selfridges Newly launched in the UK, this German vermouth will make you see this traditional drink in a new light. Sweet, with full-bodied notes of peach and orange, and delicate herb and spice tones, you can’t help but have this served neat. Plus, it makes for a wonderful alternative to a dessert wine. – – – – – Bowmore Black Rock Gift Pack £44.99, bowmore.com A rich and smoky single malt whisky with notes of burnt orange, cocoa beans and treacle toffee – ideal for rounding off with at the end of a long night. And park your glass on one of the slate …

The best Christmas gifts for foodies

Because everything tastes better with chocolate   Godiva Chef Inspirations £26, godivachocolates.co.uk Now this is a fine showcase of chocolate if there ever was one. Divine flavours such as banana-coconut ganache and Sichuan pepper and black tea mousse are the result of four Godiva chocolatiers taking inspiration from far-flung location to produce a single, exotic collection that will excite even the most well-travelled of chocolate fiends. – – – – – The Marshmallowists Hot Choc Kit £20, themarshmallowists.co.uk If you think any plain old marshmallows with a mug of molten hot chocolate will do, this set will make you think again. There are enough 70% dark chocolate shards for four helpings, a Le Creuset mug and two pairs of gourmet mallows – peppermint and brandy-soaked spiced fruit – to liven the whole thing up. – – – – – PAUL Buche Roulee Chocolat £28.95, paul-uk.com No prizes for guessing who wins the crown for Best Chocolate Log. This one contains almond biscuit, milk chocolate and dark chocolate mousse. Perfect for whipping out to impress dinner …

A Groov-e music companion

All music lovers understand the need to be able to play our tunes whenever and wherever we choose, so our phones are never far away, but we also understand the limitations. There is only so much our phones can blare out on loudspeaker before the sound quality becomes negligible. In these instances, a small, portable wireless speaker may be just what you need. We like the Groov-e Soundbox Splash-Proof Wireless Speaker (£39.99, groov-e.co.uk) for those very reasons, and more. Wireless connection is made via Bluetooth so you can also connect your tablet from up to 10m away, or you can always use the 3.5mm audio output. When fully charged (via a micro USB port), you get up to five hours of music playback which comes out really clear and crisp. The bass is good also, all helped in part by the rubber casing which absorbs excessive vibrations which would otherwise compromise the sound quality. The volume can be adjusted using the buttons along the top or via the volume control on your device. But not …

Origami’s in fashion: create miniature clothing out of paper

Looking for a fun way to while away the time? How about creating your own fashionable, mini paper wardrobe? It’s about time you got an upgrade on your origami skills, especially if your prowess only stretches as far as the ‘chatterbox’ (or ‘fortune teller’) creation that played such an integral part of primary school life. Introducing the Fashion Origami Set which provides all the instructions (and the paper) for producing dozens of essential wardrobe items, from hats, shoes and bags to underwear, shirts and dresses. There are 28 pages of instructions and 120 sheets of paper, so there’s plenty of opportunity to hone your paper-folding skills into something a little more impressive. £6 from blottshop.com

Head Banger: B&O BeoPlay H6 headphones

Talk about a bronzed beauty. This new limited edition model of the BeoPlay H6 headphones by B&O Play is quite the head turner. Featuring soft leathers and sleek, brushed metal touches, it’s a winning combination of effortless style, brilliantly authentic sound quality and clever functionality. B&O BeoPlay H6 headphones in Bronzed Hazel. £329, beoplay.com

Say it with a card

It’s all too easy to just fire off an email but if you want to do things properly, pick up one of these beautifully charming Prantl notecards illustrated by Kera Till. With 20 different designs, you now have 20 different excuses for putting pen to paper. (From £3.30 per card, prantl.com)

Sound it out

For a fully immersive, authentic music experience on the move, try Spaced360. With three high-powered speakers and internal bass radiators, you can rest assured that the sound will remain clear and balanced wherever you decide to take it. (£250, spaced360.com)

Pineapple squeeze

Who doesn’t need a giant pineapple cushion in their lives, especially when Silken Favours have created one this pretty? Printed onto silk and featuring a hand-illustrated design, we can’t think of a better way to rest our weary heads. (£130, silkenfavours.com)

Life’s a beach

Sometimes you just need a little ‘something’ to help you truly relax. Well, achieve that in an instant with this heidi klein Coconut Beach Candle. It contains notes of coconut, jasmine, marine and vanilla to transport your senses to a blissful desert island in a flash. (£36, heidiklein.com)

A design philosophy: Plain Simple Useful by Sir Terence Conran

Plain, simple, useful. It’s a design mantra that has served Sir Terence Conran well. It is also one that we should take heed of when looking for our own interior and design inspiration. Of looking to objects and surroundings that are indeed plain, simple and useful, Sir Terence Conran explains, “They are as much the antidote to pointless complexity and superficial styling as they are to the shoddy and the second-rate. Applied to the house as a whole, this approach results in interiors that are effortlessly stylish, confident and timeless. In such surroundings, colour sings out, pattern adds verve and there is plenty of room for the expression of personal taste.” Conran’s new book serves as a guide to help you make the most of your living space, from cooking and working, to sleeping and bathing, and all at a cost you can afford. It provides insight into the designs and techniques employed for an orderly and functional home and includes his recommendations of items that can help to enhance easy and contemporary living – …