Life
Xenia Taliotis 13 Dec 2018 05:44pm

Skinted or minted: gift guide

Our favourite things to give (or keep for yourself) whether you want the best on a budget, or just the best of the best.

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Caption: Whether you're flush or fleeced

1. Coffee culture

Beko CEG7425B bean to cup coffee machine
Beko’s much-praised bean-to-cup machine produces coffee many of its much more expensive rivals can only dream of. It’s got a terrific integrated burr grinder (as opposed to a blade) with 19 different settings, a built-in milk frother, and it can handle ground coffee as well as fresh beans. And it self-cleans and descales.
£237, Amazon, amazon.co.uk

Miele CVA6405 built-in bean to cup coffee machine
Miele’s bean-to-cup coffee maker is beautiful to look at and has the brains to match. Expect a perfect coffee every time thanks to its intelligent AromaticSystem, while its One Touch for Two system means you can prepare two drinks simultaneously at the touch of a button.
£3,325, John Lewis, johnlewis.com

2. Bath time

Olverum bath oil
This multi-award winning bath oil filled with 10 pure essential oils, including juniper, geranium, lime, true lavender and rosemary, was first made in 1931 and has been something of a secret among health and beauty aficionadas ever since. The word about its stress-busting, sleep-inducing properties is now out. Stock up – you won’t want to be without it.
£58 for 250ml. Visit olverum.com for stockists

Czech and Speake neroli bath oil
Suffused with bitter orange and heady ylang-ylang, this gorgeous bath oil will leave your skin feeling soft and silky. It’s comes in a stylish frosted bottle, too. Pure class.
£125 for 200ml, Czech and Speake, czechandspeake.com

3. Best face forward

Braun FaceSpa Pro 911
This three-in-one epilator, cleansing and toning device promises to firm up your skin and remove hair and impurities gently and effectively.
£129.99, Argos, argos.co.uk

Ultimate white caviar illuminating facial
Premium skincare company La Praire’s white caviar illuminating facial, available at The Ritz-Carlton in New York, will peel layers of dead skin off your face and years off your apparent age. It works wonders, according to the spectacular reviews.
$1,250 (£964) for 90 minutes. The Ritz-Carlton, New York, ritzcarlton.com

4. Opening time

Le Creuset LM250 lever corkscrew
Herbert Allen’s 1979 classic corkscrew has been refashioned by Le Creuset to create this sophisticated long-levered model that removes corks quickly and efficiently.
£85, John Lewis, johnlewis.com

Coravin model two, Elite
Coravin’s revolutionary device – you can’t really call it a corkscrew – uses a unique needle system to draw out the wine, leaving the cork in place so you can enjoy perfect wine by the glass.
£279, Coravin, coravin.co.uk

5. On key

Yamaha P45 digital piano
This compact, portable piano has an 88-key graded hammer standard keyboard, 64-note polyphony and library of 10 piano and 10 demo songs. There’s also duo function, which means the keyboard can be divided into two zones so that students can follow their teacher’s hands.
£370, Gear4Music, gear4music.com

Yamaha DC3X Disklavier Enspire pro-grand piano
Tradition and technology come together in this beautiful grand that is so smart it can record and stream music – and probably mix your martini. It comes with 500 built-in songs, but you can download thousands more from Yamaha’s online music store.
£41,931, Rimmers Music, rimmersmusic.co.uk

6. A wee dram

Raasay While We Wait whisky
The first-ever distillery on the Isle of Raasay is biding its time and teasing Scotch lovers with its peaty, award-winning While We Wait single malt, blended from two expressions from one distillery and finished in French oak Tuscan wine casks.
£42.40, 70cl, Raasay Distillery, rbdistillers.com

Annandale Man O’Sword first cask, single malt whisky
Released in time for Christmas, this rare whisky is drawn from the first cask to have been produced at Annandale Distillery in a century. Only 162 bottles are available, so you’ll need to be quick to taste its creamy vanilla and honey notes.
£3,200, Annandale Distillery, annandaledistillery.com

7. Licence to thrill

Aston Martin driving thrill + passenger ride
Make like James Bond, all be it fleetingly, when you drive an Aston Martin V8 Vantage for six miles. Then hand over the keys to an experienced driver who’ll show you what the car can really do. Hold on tight.
£69, Buy a Gift, buyagift.co.uk

Aston Martin’s gorgeous flagship Super GT, the DBS Superleggera – launched earlier this year – has a top speed of 211mph, and 900Nm torque. Yes please, Santa!
£225,000, Aston Martin, global.astonmartin.com

8. Fan-tastic

Mitre Delta football
Score a winner with this base-level professional ball made from hi-tech materials that prevent water uptake and ensure perfect shape, accuracy and flight.
£35, Mitre, mitre.com

Club Wembley Inner Circle membership
Be at the heart of the action with Club Wembley Inner Circle membership, which gives you great views of the best matches at the stadium, including all England at home games and the Emirates FA Cup semi finals and finals, plus priority access to other sporting events and concerts.
From £2,148; private box also available, from £37,200. Club Wembley, clubwembley.com

9. Pure glass

Pols Potten bubbles and bottles set
Gorgeous, mouth-blown pieces made by master glassmakers at Pols Potten, one of Amsterdam’s leading design studios. Available in other colour combinations.
£212, Heal’s, heals.com


Imax Curran silver glass bottles set
Different shapes, different sizes – three bottles with attractive stoppers to brighten your home.
$43.77 (£33.60), Home Depot, homedepot.com

10. One to watch

Rapport three-watch roll
Rapport has been in the watch business since 1898, so there is very little it doesn’t know about watches, and how best to take care of them. This robust, leather and suede roll does the job perfectly.
£195, Rapport, rapportlondon.com

Bamford carbon fibre four-watch roll
Premium brand Bamford has its roots in customised watches, but has expanded its range to include men’s grooming, accessories and now auto… Whatever it does, it does with style and panache – as this lightweight, carbon fibre watch carrier illustrates.
£1,650, Bamford, bamfordlondon.com

11. A grand day out

Titanic Museum, Belfast
This magnificent museum, on the site where the Titanic was built, is designed to look like four hulls. It’s the largest Titanic exhibition in the world and does a terrific job of telling the story of Belfast, the ship and all those who sailed – and sank – with her.
£18.50 adult, £8 child, titanicbelfast.com

Oceangate Titanic diving expedition
Join this week-long expedition, departing from St John’s Newfoundland in June 2019, to dive 3,800 metres down in a submersible to see the Titanic. Fewer people have seen the wreck than have flown in space or climbed Everest, so you’ll be in very elite company.
$105,129 (£80,145), oceangate.com

12. Wrap it up

Boss floral-print scarf
This long, richly-detailed, floral scarf with a fringed hem is a beautiful accessory. Its silk border lends a touch of luxury.
£89, Hugo Boss, hugoboss.com

Klements Delores scarf
Designer Charlotte Allen draws inspiration from nature, literature and art to create her distinctive clothing. This hand-tasselled, printed, silk twill scarf depicts the magical flora and fauna of Białowieża Forest in Eastern Poland.
£425, Klements, klements.co.uk

13. Lovely bubbly

Fratelli Berlucchi Brut 25
Franciacorta has been producing exceptional, rich and creamy fizz for 100 years, yet the region remains relatively uncelebrated. Thankfully this is beginning to change and many excellent examples – this one included – are now easily available. Fresh and light, it’s perfect served with seafood.
£24.95 for 75cl, Ocado, ocado.com

Dom Pérignon 1973, plénitude P3 vintage Champagne
The third plénitude of Dom Pérignon 1973 brings to the palate powerful layers of preserved plums, vanilla and roasted coffee. It is, according to those lucky enough to have tasted it, absolutely sublime.
£2,500 for 75cl, The Champagne Company, thechampagnecompany.com

14. A drop of luxury

Arabel Lebrusán lace drop earrings
Jewellery designer with a conscience Arabel Lebrusáz uses only ethically sourced precious metals and stones. The inspiration for these elegant drop earrings came from vintage lace patterns. They are 18ct gold plate on sterling silver. She also does bespoke commissions.
£80, Arabel Lebrusán, arabellebrusan.com

Graff diamond snowfall earrings
Breathtaking earrings set with 22.39 carats of diamonds that cascade like falling snowflakes from the lattice body.
POA, Graff, graffdiamonds.com

15. Take the tunes

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom bluetooth waterproof portable speaker, Phantom
A tough little number, designed for outdoor living. Waterproof, dustproof and shockproof, it emits 86 decibels in 360 degrees.
£69.99, Curry’s, currys.co.uk

Devialet Gold Phantom Opéra de Paris wireless speaker
Devialet’s limited edition Phantom Opéra de Paris, with its gold-leaf gills, looks as good as it sounds. It has an incredible 4,500 watts of power and 108 decibels sound pressure, which is equivalent to a rock concert. If you want the best speaker on the market, this is it.
£2,390, Devialet, devialet.com

16. In the swing

PhiGolf mobile and home smart golf simulator
Improve your game with this simulator and swing sensor, which can be used with various devices, including smartphones, tablets and TVs.
£199, Eagle Balls, eagleballs.com

Golf break, Old Course Hotel, St Andrews
Yes, you really can play on one of the world’s most famous courses when you book a golf break at the Old Course Hotel. Your package includes a round of golf on the Old Course, Kingsbarns and The Duke’s, one round on either the New or Jubilee course, three nights B&B in a luxury suite and more.
From 3,300 per person, based on double occupancy. Old Course Hotel, oldcoursehotel.co.uk