my top 10 gift ideas

what to buy each year becomes a dilemma – here is my list of what usually works for most of the family.

1. everyman  cinema vouchers – i get the older one a ritzy cinema membership as she lives in brixton,  2. tate or v & a membership or any gallery subscription – older kids seem to have preferred the Barbican and now you can get the museums association membership that i wrote about a few days ago , 3. ticket to the theatre, maybe somewhere unusual like Wiltons or Sam Wanamaker theatre, 4. daunts book voucher, 5. anything from aesop, ten or beauty mart for those teenage girls, 6.  anything from the wonderful art shop cornelissen 7.  food gifts from la fromagerie, 8.  jewellery from sweet pea or Peppi Taylor, 9.  ceramics from the new craftsmen or fliff carr, 10. candles from cire trudon and one extra that i would love –  a course in ceramics or mandarin or watercolour – there are so many courses on offer at city lit and the neighbouring adult colleges.

Robert and Alfie’s favourite shop for classic  men’s clothes with style,  visit  J.Simons  shop on chiltern street –  it brings together a handpicked selection of American, Continental and British brands, classic loafers, harrington jackets, jeans and even includes a few vintage pieces – perfect if you want to find your male partner or friend a gift.  i love the pendleton shirts!  you go in there wishing that they did the same things in womens sizes.

struggling to find presents for men, go along to the aesop shop in soho – their products are all plant based, high quality and specially made to benefit the skin and absolutely smell beautiful. last year i bought a foaming shaving balm for my husband with a steel dish for him to whip up the foam with his brush – he is very old fashioned and still likes to wet shave.  a lot of men hate bits and pieces, collective memoirs, so finding something to buy them  can become a bit of a challenge.  a guess this means that you have a limited list;   here are a few places that i know robert will always be pleased to receive from  -any products from  kiehls,  scarves and silk handkerchieves frompeckham rye, vintage books and out of print books  from the numerous antiquarian book shops on cecil court, poetry books from  daunts, I still think that they have the best choice of books, and the re issues of classics such as Agatha Christie and Dickens are so beautifully presented that they can be the start of a collection, travel notebooks from smythsons – you can even have your own initials embossed on the beautiful leather covers, margaret howell for vases and accessories, rapha for absolutely anything cycling, brooks for classic cycling bags,chapmans for classic bags.

alfie has now gone from the great basic uniqulo boxers to the supremely quality cotton boxers from sunspel – their cotton is just lovely.  tidy street store has a selection of sunspel items, as well as lots of lovely other gift ideas, including candles by tom dixon.

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