If you haven’t started your Christmas shopping, fear not, The Handbook is here to save the day with gifts for everyone in your life, from the lover of luxury, to the Instagrammer to those who know that adventure is out there! Or if you’ve already done your shopping, have you bought your own Christmas present yet?
The One Who Likes a Drink
The Ivy Kensington Brasserie Hip Flask
Gone are the days (hopefully gone, if not, sort yourself out) when we transported our spirits in plastic bottles on the tube. Now if you’re going to have a tipple on the go, have it from this Aspinal of London hip flask which has been created in partnership with The Ivy Kensington Brasserie and features a bespoke Ivy leaf engraving. Ideal for a Boxing Day walk.
£40 (Available to purchase when dining in the restaurant before Christmas)
HonestBrew’s Christmas Party Box
For the beer aficionado, HonestBrew, has created The Christmas Party Box – 24 especially festive beers handpicked to help you throw the best Christmas party (or just to ensure you have enough to survive the season). You’ll also find an HonestBrew tulip craft beer glass, bar blade and Christmas card illustrated by London-based artist HATCH. The Handbook is currently offering £10 off the box, check out details here. A good enough reason to crack open a beer!
£49.90 (when bought with The Handbook offer)
Now you never have to question when is it Pimms O’Clock, because the answer will be always. No more of that ‘Oh it’s midday somewhere so I can drink’, as the clock says it’s always time.* And that sounds fine by us.
*Although not always, that’d be a bit excessive…
Prosecco Caramel Sauce
Prosecco caramel sauce, it’s brandy butter’s younger, more glamorous sibling. Spread it on toast, pour it on puddings or sit there on Christmas day with a glass of Prosecco and work through the jar with just a teaspoon – it’s your call.
Know When to Give Up Poster
Sometimes we don’t need to push on, we don’t need to get stuck in, we certainly don’t need to ‘man up’ we just need a gin and tonic. Let’s remember that fact. Perhaps give it to your boss as a gentle reminder…
Book burning has a bad-rep, granted, but the public would surely welcome a public bonfire of the cookbooks. Trust us, the last thing a budding Nigela or Jamie wants is another dratted cookery manual. Here’s some alternatives.
The robots are taking over! Professional kitchens now generally use a Thermomix and (if you can afford it) so should your chef-in-residence. It weighs, chops and cooks according to whatever recipe’s been programmed.
Also ideal for the opposite of ‘the chef’, whether the recipient is the next Bake Off star or can’t cook a tin of beans without burning them: cookery lessons. Cordon Bleu might be good for the burgeoning professional, but discover something a far more down-to-earth at The Avenue.
Evening courses from £98
Garlic Slice & Dice
While not advisable if you’re buying for a vampire, everyone else will thank you for this little gadget. Making garlic prep quick and simple and sparing you from smelling like a Frenchman’s bicycle basket for the entire weekend.
The Lover of Luxury
For the discerning ladies and gentleman about town, sometimes only a little luxury will do – they aren’t spoilt, they just appreciate the finer things in life
Cactus de Cartier Ring
We all know that cacti are the plants of the moment, don’t just have them on your window sill though, iconic jewellery brand, Cartier has created the bold Cactus de Cartier ring and it’s gone straight to the top of our wish list. The rose-gold band is adorned with five sparkling cut diamonds and nine ruby hued spinels.
It may not be a white Christmas, but you don’t need it to be with this bracelet as snow and ice are reimagined as diamonds. Much more to our liking. Created by Van Cleef & Arpels, the handmade Snowflake bracelet is crafted from platinum and is covered in 195 diamonds. As you can imagine, with that many diamonds, this is going to be one of those, once in a life time gifts.
Swell Alina Brilliance Bottle
Want to be the envy of the gym and do a good deed? The Alina Brilliance bottle features over 6000 hand-applied Swarovski crystals and 100% of its net profits will go to benefit charitable organisations. Don’t go leaving it on the treadmill.
Chocolate Dipped Oranges
Move over Terry, this is the Selfridges’ take on the chocolate orange. Grab a book and a box of these and curl up by the fire for an indulgent afternoon treat or pass round the table after Christmas lunch.
The Gadget Fan
They dream of being Q, they want always looking for the next gizmo and when an upgrade comes out they are first in queue: the gadget fan.
Personalised Memory Stick Cufflinks
Fancy feeling a little James Bond? Don’t we all. The mini USB stick cufflinks, offer sleek lines and a minimalist look, oh and don’t forget the secret GB storage. You can personalise these beauties with some initials, so you don’t have to panic about those documents getting lost…
Let’s turn that small screen into a big screen. Watch movies with up to eight times the magnification. Let every surface become a cinema, a perfect backhander present for a partner, flat mate or family member. You provide the gift and they can buy the popcorn.
For those that like staring and not just at screens. By using magnetic filings instead of sand abstract sculptures are created, and time becomes a game, not a pain.
Mini Massage Cushion
Who doesn’t often wish a masseuse would just pop up and sort us out, well now we can take matters into our own hands? Know anyone a little tense, in need of a little wind down? It even has heat mode you know. Easy to pop into to an over-night bag and perfect for that long train journey.
Instagramming to them isn’t just something fun, it’s an essential part of life. Every follower gained or lost is a celebration or disappointment and they could hashtag you under the table, but don’t just give them a like on their latest photo for Christmas, there is so much more for the instagrammer.
Daily Tearaway Calendar
A custom tearaway calendar, a one of a kind gift, made up the Instagrammers favourite photos. They can reminisce and relive those happy memories while making more every day.
Instagram Glitter Photo Frame
For those that like a little sparkle turn someone’s favourite picture into their very own glitter globe. Keep the memory alive and let happiness sparkle, the perfect little gift for any happy snapper.
A little tongue and cheek and a friendly poke for that friend that spends a little too much time staring through her camera lens, sorry filter. A petite purse for her to snaffle away all that makeup and little bits that keep her life looking marvellous.
Mini Photo Printer
So, they have a pocket sized camera but how about a pocket sized printer. This allows the user to print straight from their phone, able to gift and share picture memories right there and then. For the on the go photographer.
The Coffee Drinker
The thought of coffee is the thing to get them out of bed in the morning, they’re the first one to agree to an espresso post meal and they do a little victory dance every time the news tells us coffee is good for us.
Coffee cravings can come at anytime, anywhere. You don’t want to be caught short. And you won’t be with the Handpresso Pump. The set includes a Handpresso pump, thermos flask, unbreakable cups and doesn’t require any batteries or electricity so as long you remember your coffee and hot water you can have an espresso anywhere. Genius.
Grabbing a coffee is often the only way to make our commute more bearable and ignoring how much we spend on takeaway coffee is the only way to make our bank balances more bearable. With this KeepCup though, you’ll be able to make your own coffee at home, take it on the train and still keep your artisan credentials, even if it is instant coffee inside.
Bialetti Espresso Cups
How could you not be cheerful in the morning if you have your espresso from one of these colourful chaps? Essential for mornings over Christmas when your head is rather foggy.
Coffees of the World
Not only do these coffees look the part (we all know how important packaging is, whether we admit it or not), but they also taste rather good too. Whittard has picked some of their favourite single origin varieties from India, South America, Africa, Indonesia, and the Caribbean, so you can pick a coffee to suit your day or mood.
Greenfingers at the ready, we’re off to the garden now. Let’s assume that our gardening fanatic has more than their fair share of trowels and shedfuls of hoes and hose. Here’s a couple of things they mightn’t have.
If mowing the lawn is the bane of your life, or if it’s simply holding you back from the more adventurous gardening, then this may well be the solution. Welcome to the robotic mower, set it up and it’ll silently mow your lawn without ever having to intervene again. Bet a Darlek couldn’t do that.
In case The Handbook constantly going on about it for the last month or so had passed you by then igloos are this Christmas’s craze. But why book months in advance to eat and drink in an igloo on the Southbank when you could just set one up at home? Al fresco just got a bit more indoorsy.
Prince Charles may speak to plants, but now they can talk back with the Parrot Pot. Connected to your phone, the pot will sense when your plant needs to be watered and make sure they’re given just the right amount. It’ll also let you know if it’s getting enough sun or shade.
The Stocking Filler
Start the day with a stocking stuffed with games, penguins and slippers – alongside the obligatory orange, apple and chocolate coins of course.
Fentimans & Bloom G&T
Christmas day, the only day it’s acceptable to drink first thing in the morning. Prepare yourself for the day ahead with this individual gin and tonic – then whatever family arguments may take place you’ll be in a merry state.
Sing It Back
Every Christmas day needs at least one game and with Sing It Back, there’ll be no cheating the bank out of money, no murdering someone in the library and no dodgy pictures to decipher, just a chance to show how good (or more likely out of tune) your singing is.
FLTZ Shoes, Bodega MATE
Normally stockings fill the shoe, but with these the shoe will fill your stocking. Show your feet a little appreciation with these handcrafted Peruvian shoes which fold into your bag so that you can walk home in comfort.
Monty and Happy Feet have nothing on snuggly Peanut Penguin when it comes to the cute rating. Just imagine his sweet face sticking out of a stocking, ready for your little ones to find.
Fifty Hilarious Jokes and Pranks
Chances are you’ll buy this one thinking it’s a great idea and then four fake spiders, three whoopee cushions and two slippery bananas later and you’ll wish you hadn’t. Your children will thank you for it though.
What happens when you pair something that almost everyone loves, with something that divides the nation? You get a thing of brilliance – chocolate Brussel sprouts with a gin-infused filling. Now all you have to do, if you don’t like the real thing, is somehow sneak them onto your plate at lunch to make it look as if you’re eating your greens.
Is your special someone basically a cold blooded lizard? Here’s a couple ideas that’ll warm the cockles of even the most bobble-hatted of teeth-chatterers.
When they’re not fishing or squirelling away hedgefunders pay packets they’re busy knitting Guernsey jumpers. The channel isle classic is the perfect antidote to cold weather, so much so they named the jumper after the place.
Alexander McQueen Scarf
The skull motif is much copied but Alexander McQueen has very much perfected the design and carries it off better than anyone else could. This jaunty take on the classic is fun and, crucially, warm!
Blue Fishbone Rug
Made from pure wool, this classic fishbone rug is essential for afternoons curled up on the sofa with a box of chocolates and all the Christmas films. In fact, just wrap it wound you and wear it cape style and then you’ll stay warm wherever you are.
Cashmere Cable Warmers
When gloves and jumper don’t cut it these cashmere cable warmers will make sure there is now skin exposed to the freezing air and they look rather pretty too.
The academic likes nothing more than consuming a 1,000 page non-fiction book in their study before breakfast. Jam jar glasses and a brain the size of Derbyshire doesn’t mean they’re impossible to buy for though.
As with about half of journalism, the joke here is mainly burnt out in the title, but it’s such a good gag as to raise a chuckle each time they put on these otherwise hideous slippers.
Information Is Beautiful
Information Is Beautiful is both informative and beautiful. Much more than a coffee-table book, each page includes visualisations of data, stunning infographics and eye-opening takes on the every-day.
If you’ve tried everything from peeling off the stickers to throwing it from a second floor window then accept that the Rubik’s Cube is not for you. But if your beau’s second language is Enigma and they’ve more letters after their name than in it then this one’s probably for them.
Your bookcase may consist of three Jilly Coopers, last year’s phone directory and an unready copy of Shantaram, but the academic will have so many books they’re listed using the Dewey Decimal system. And what better way to keep track of all the books they lend out and a way to make the ones they don’t, look stylish than handmade bookplates for each and everyone?
Whether you’re the next Bear Grylls or just occasionally like to get beyond the M25, these gifts are ideal for your next trip.
Rolfe & Wills Enamel Mug
With its own enamel lid these mugs will keep your drink hot when you’re sat round the campfire or this Christmas when you need five minutes peace to yourself and you find yourself sitting at the bottom of the garden with a mulled wine.
World Scratch Map
The ideal downstairs loo wall picture, show off to your friends about all the far-flung places you have been. Also makes a good reason for booking your next holiday, because you need to start scratching off the gold.
Personalised Camping Firestick Firesteel
For all you twisted firestarters, channel your inner Ray Mears on your next camping trip and forgo your matches for a firestick, strike the blade down the stick to create a shower of sparks and get your marshmallows at the ready.
Running off just a handful of sticks, twigs or kindling, The Horizon Stove is a portable, eco-friendly alternative to a BBQ and more importantly it boils a kettle in under ten minutes, for when you’re in dire need of a cup of tea.
You’ve put a padlock on the fridge and they just gnawed through the chains, the ‘no thirds’ diet was not a success and they eat their way through about an aisle of Asda a day. Maybe now’s the time to turn enabler and purchase one of these ideas?
Advanced Butter Knife
It’s incredible that CERN has been up-and-running for a decade, that they’ve split the atom and sent man into space before they addressed the problem of cold butter totally ruining soft bread. Thankfully the egg heads have been on the case and never again, this knife conducts your own body heat to melt the butter onto the slice of bread.
Anti Theft Lunch Bags
There’s nothing worse than lovingly assembling the perfect sarnie, putting it in the office fridge and discovering, come one o’clock, that someone else has half-inched it and is right now savouring the your BLT. Step forward the Anti-Theft Lunch Bag, which is designed to make it look like there’s mould on your butty. Genius.
The very word ‘hamper’ evokes a sense of excess, the exitement of opening the wicker lid and sifting through the straw. It’s the perfect gift. And for the person who eats everything then Harrods have the perfect hamper, the £5,000 ‘Ultimate’ hamper. It’s quite literally ‘all you can eat’ and should keep even the most gluttonous soul busy until at least Boxing Day…
The Constantly Busy
If your friend or relative is chronically over-worked, busier than Clapham Junction or always double-booked then perhaps they could do with some help.
Smythson Panama Diary
It might seem like a step back, like going back to landlines or dial-up internet, but it really is time to ditch electronic diaries. They’re fiddly, confusing and, most of all, they’re not beautiful. Which is the complete opposite of a Smythson diary.
Traditional Alarm Clock
Let’s face it, the key to timekeeping starts with an early night and promptly getting out of bed in the morning (full disclosure, the author may or may not be writing this at 2am with a pending deadline). Rather than relying on the phone you’ve probably forgotten to put on charge to wake you, a traditional alarm clock is not only more effective, it’s also lovely to behold.
A Virtual Personal Assistant
Nobody likes being bossed around, unless you’re the boss and you’re so hectically busy that you absolutely do need someone to tell you where to be and when. If you can’t fork out for a full time secretary then Quayle & Co are a reliable virtual PA service who will organise your diary but also allow you to outsource your hassle so you can focus on the important stuff.
For Her Skin
The Christmas party season, London and life in general takes a toll on our skin, fight the damage and feel like your best self with these gifts.
If you know someone who needs a little winter TLC, introduce them to the Frangipani Treasures –The Ultimate Exotics Collection. It has everything they’ll need for a pampering session: shower cream, body cream, body oil, hand and nail cream and an exclusive frangipani Monoi candle.
We get enough chemicals and pollutants to the face just walking down the street, but you won’t find any in Beuti’s range, they are free of all irritants and unnecessary chemicals. They’ve recently launched their Pomegranate Glow Enzyme Cleanser which is an exfoliator, cleanser and treatment mask. Really then you’re giving them three gifts in one – aren’t you kind?
The Lip Balm
Know someone who is always suffering with cracked lips? You’re going to be their saviour this Christmas when you give them this, the crème de la crème of lip balms. With its concentration of Miracle Broth ™ inside, their lips will be as soft as a blanket of snow…but hopefully not as cold.
Dream To Sleep
Being a Londoner pretty much guarantees you’re not going to be getting enough sleep, it’s just a fact. So, you want to make the most of the sleep you do actually get. After covering yourself in sleep night oil, spritzing your pillow with spray and donning your fleece lined eye mask, you’ll be sleeping like a baby.
For His Skin
Whether you’re clean shaven or sporting a beard, every gentlemen about town needs these gifts.
FOREO LUNA 2 Facial Cleansing Brush
How can we turn looking after your skin into a manly pursuit? Give them a black whizzy gadget. This little baby takes care of all his skin care needs. A deep but gentle cleansing machine that preps the skin for a perfect shave.
Kiehls Facial Fuel
Rich with vitamins the energising non-oily facial moisturiser for men. For the reawakened man fighting the fatigued skin and dull complexion. Loved by many and has received rave reviews.
The BK 8 KENT Silver Tipped Badger Brush
The traditional shaving brush company creates beautiful handmade brushes. Give someone the luxury treatment this Christmas with this silver tipped Badger Brush. If you want to go all out you can thrown in the soap too, which comes in a beautiful wooden pot.
Known as the “shaving company that’s fixing shaving”. An American brand creating awesome razors, by real men for real men. The razors come in three cool colours, and there are also sets available.
The Time Keeper
The rise of mobile and smart phones means that pretty much everyone has a very effective clock on them at all times, normally in-sync to the second with GMT. What’s interesting is that watch wearing hasn’t disappeared, in fact luxury watch makers have never been doing better. So here’s some ideas for the man or woman always glancing at their wrist, or hoping that other people are…
Everyone who’s graduated past the Mickey Mouse’s arm is touching Goofy’s knee level of keeping the time, needs to consider a grown up timepiece, and they don’t come any more grown up than an Oris watch. Swiss watchmakers Oris haS been making their stunning creations for over 100 years, and they are exquisite.
Pictured above: £1,400
Of course, if they’ve got a number of beautiful self-winding or automatic watches then they’re going to need a winder, which will keep the watch going and accurate for all the time it’s not getting wrist action.
Everyone likes to travel in style, so make sure that if the horologist in your life likes to upgrade when travelling, make sure their watch gets an upgrade too with a lovely leather watch roll, ideal for storing multiple watches and watch paraphernalia.
Of course the person who really runs the household is the dog. Imagine how he’d feel if you all celebrated Christmas without throwing him a bone. Better than a bone, here’s some suggestions…
Let your dog battle the elements in style and warmth with a knitted dog jumper. Whatever the size of your dog, these can’t help looking adorable, we’re sure you’d agree.
With the possible exception of vicars and dominatrix (there’s a combo you don’t see that often) the collar market is dominated by our four legged friends. A collar serves a practical purpose in retraining your dog from running into six lanes of traffic, but let’s not forget the sartorial aspect, and with this collar you certainly won’t!
There may be a good reason that dogs are always trying to sneak into our beds, they know how comfy it is! We’ve all, at some point, walked around the bed section of a department store or specialist shop trying out mattresses. Is it too hard? Too soft? But when it comes to where your dog lies his head, it’s not such a priority. End that today!
Large Labrador bed: £15
If they see more of Terminal Five than their own kids then these are some gifts that might come in useful. Perfect for the person who is always hopping on a flight.
Good Quality ‘Sweatpants’
Eleven hours sat in one seat, watching telly, drinking wine; if you were having a Netflix binge then you wouldn’t be wearing a suit, would you? If you’re going to make the most out of a a flight then you absolutely have to be comfy and these are ideal for relaxing and getting in the mood.
To sleep perchance to dream – fat chance with an airline issued sleeping mask where the elastic’s too tight and light comes from all the edges. Masters Of Mayfair have come up with the Rolls Royce of sleeping masks, large, luxurious, it’s even infused with lavender.
Anyone who’s ever arrived at check-in to find that their bag is 15lbs too heavy will sympathise. Until now the only option was to pay an extortionate penalty or wear every single item of clothing in the suitcase like a Michelin man en-route to the Canaries. The Bagket changes that, do away with hold baggage altogether or simply bring double the allowance with enough storage for basically everything.