Finishing your Christmas shopping this weekend? Here’s my edit of the best presents for all the lovely ladies in your life, starting at £8.96. If you spot something you fancy for yourself, just share it on Facebook or Twitter prefaced with a big ‘Hint, hint’!
1. ‘Dash Dot’ pointy mittens by Donna Wilson, available in three colours
£32.50, from Soma Gallery.
2. Aesop Reverence hand wash, £27 from Cult Beauty.
3. Postie leather envelope, AU$190 from Follow Store.
4. Dinosaur Designs set of three bangles, AU$215 from Dinosaur Designs.
5. Polli woven peacock pendant, AU$79.95 from Polli.
6. India Knight Mutton (hardcover), £8.96 from Amazon.
7. Paul & Joe Kitty Blusher Stick in Minou, £19 from Rose Apothecary.
8. Paris Wakefield Additions Bliss cotton satin cushion, £59.50 from Paris Wakefield Additions.
9. Melinda Young hand cut acrylic flamenco pendant, AU$95 from Collect.
10. Cadiz serving bowl, £34 from Anthropologie.
11. Ceramic band bowl XXL, €70 from Foldoys.
12. Paul and Joe colour powder (081), £19.50 from Rose Apothecary.
13. Eiffel Tower ring dish, £10 from Anthropologie.
Want more lovely present inspiration? Click here for all my Christmas 2012 Gift Guides.
Prefer to buy handmade? Click here for my Etsy 2012 Christmas Gift Guides.
And don’t miss my Top 20 Christmas Crackers and my Top 20 Christmas Stockings!
So what do I want for Christmas? What would be my ultimate dream wishlist? Here are a few of my favourite things right now.
I don’t really need anymore STUFF, but I’d love some really, really special things, like a beautiful vase, a fabulous new fuschia lippie, the ultimate take-anywhere black clutch bag, a classic Liberty silk scarf, a statement necklace, some lovely new shower gel and some good holiday books. Add to that tickets to the Australian ballet and a creative workshop and I’m in heaven. A girl’s gotta dream, right?
1. Dinosaur Designs pink and red spot glass vase, AUD$297 from Dinosaur Designs.
2. Lola Bensky by Lily Brett, AU$23.95 from Booktopia.
3. Everything Changes But You by Maggie Alderson, AU$25.45 from Booktopia.
4. Season tickets to the Australian Ballet, from The Australian Ballet.
5. Lucy Choi London exclusive black glitter Oslo pointed flat shoes, AU$210 from My Wardrobe.
6. Korres fig shower gel, AU$22.95, from Kit Cosmetics.
7. Liberty navy Tree of Life print silk scarf, £135 from Liberty.
8. Jennifer Loiselle mini Clemence woven necklace in pink and orange, £65 from Jennifer Loiselle’s Etsy shop.
9. Karen Walker Anytime black with yellow sunglasses, NZ$349 from Karen Walker.
10. Mulberry Clemmie oversized glossie goat leather clutch, £550 from Selfridges.
11. Tom Ford private blend lipstick in Flamingo, AU$48.60 from Nordstrom.
12. Megan Morton’s Science of Styling Class, AU$450 at The School.
Want more lovely present inspiration? Click here for all my Christmas 2012 Gift Guides.
Prefer handmade? Click here for my Etsy 2012 Christmas Gift Guides.
Over to you. What’s on your ultimate dream wishlist?
If there’s one trend that’s really taken hold this year, it’s neon. From crafty hand-woven baskets to to glossy Comme Des Garçons wallets, fluoro is the way to go. Here are my top picks for the nicest (and most definitely) brightest Christmas presents.
1. Eva straw weave clutch, AU$179 from Gorman.
2. Little leather locket by Jen Booth, AU$78 from Follow Store.
3. ‘Fluro Tower’ acrylic painting, AU$750 from Rachel Castle.
4. Woven Bead Planter (Mexican), AU $120 from Peaches and Keen.
5. Adjustable wood and stoneware vase, EUR145 from Adonde.
6. Crepe chain neon necklace, US$78 from Anthropologie.
1. Knitted collar in neon yellow and grey cotton, EUR €29.90 from The Knit Kid’s Etsy shop.
2. ‘Criss Cross Fluro Sun’ felt on Belgian flax linen artwork, AU$380 from Castle.
3. Neon yellow pod with Velutina air plant, US$10 from Bird And Feather Co.’s Etsy shop.
4. Modern neon hardwood salad bowl, US$45 from Nicole Porter Design.
5. Lidded blue box EUR €56 from Foldoys.
6. Comme Des Garçons orange fluorescent zip-around wallet, £130 from Liberty.
1. Crayon Chick crochet bowls, small $30; large $32 from Follow Store.
2. K. Jacques for Opening Ceremony patent sandal, US$172 from Opening Ceremony.
3. Marc by Marc Jacobs green and blue heart print iPhone Case, £30 from Liberty.
4. Melting Ice-Cream Tote by Jess Wright, AU $160 from Harvest Workroom by Harvest Textiles.
5. Large neon chevron cushion by Bob Window, AU$90 from Follow Store.
6. Bobbi Brown Neon & Nude Sheer lip gloss, £17 from Selfridges.
It’s back! By popular demand! My Secret London! This is where I pin down prominent London style/design/food insiders and ask them to share their favourite London addresses and secret destinations with Wee Birdy readers. This is London by locals – and knowledgeable, super-stylish locals at that. Here we go…
Sarah Drinkwater (pictured top right) grew up in the countryside with a postcard of London above her desk and moved there to study. After careers as a vintage clothes buyer and a journalist, she turned her favourite hobby – exploring London – into a career and now works as a community manager for Google Plus Local, helping users find great new places to go to through their friends. Sarah also blogs (sometimes, honest) at www.theenchantedhunters.com.
Best shops for vintage homewares?
I love coloured glassware, and Vintage Heaven on Columbia Road is, as the name suggests, rammed full of pastel glass ice cream glasses, deep green vases and piles of mismatching saucers. The Old Cinema in Chiswick is one of those treasure troves where they have everything from red velvet rows of cinema seats to industrial steel lockers and kitsch Seventies porcelain. And I’ve picked up some great midcentury bargains at The Peanut Vendor, a tiny shop on Newington Green.
Best shops in London for clothes?
I feel like high street fashion’s never been better for us early thirty-somethings who are simply not into Topshop’s mesh crop tops anymore. I own lots of Whistles, who balance great quality basics with quirky prints and luxe leather jackets. Cos lets me pretend I’m an extremely trendy architect with their sculptural shapes and great jewellery (I love oversize jewellery) and Hobbs’ NW3 range can be cool, too – I just bought a grey merino wool tight-fit jumper in the sale with an orange paperclip print.
Aubin & Wills also turned up some sale goodies, like a balloon print silk shirt dress, and Liberty has the very best selection of pricey brands including Carven, which I wish I could afford. I’m also pretty excited about Folk‘s new womenswear range…
Best shops in London for accessories?
The only jewellery I wear are necklaces, but I wear one every day, and I’m always looking out for them! Tatty Devine is the classic quirky London jeweller, and I own plenty of their cheerful pop art pieces. Luna and Curious on Calvert Avenue stock some really unusual items by independent designers, and they’re right opposite the queen of enormo jewels, Mawi. My burger locket necklace by Lazy Oaf is my current favourite, and I’d love one of Jessica de Lotz’s wax seal initial pendants.
Best shops in London for buying gifts?
I really like giving books as presents, and both Broadway Bookshop and Daunts in Marylebone have the best recent novels and those gorgeous coffee table books you don’t buy for yourself. I just bought a friend a design-your-own-banner kit from Nook on my local high street, too. They do craft workshops which I think make a great gift.
Best shops in London for perfume, make-up and skincare?
At the risk of sounding poncy, I wear Diptyque’s Vetyverio, which smells like the velvet-lined inside of a wooden box, and their Marylebone shop is a bit of a treat. For most of my beauty and skincare products, I head to Space NK, a micro-chain that stock both unusual brands and big hitters like Laura Mercier and Nars.
Best places in London for food?
Between my job and my insatiable curiousity, I’m a bit of a tart and always keen to try new places. I’d definitely take any visitor to two places; Bob Bob Ricard, a luxe restaurant dishing up Brit classics that’s decked out like an Edwardian gentleman’s club, and Spuntino, a cool-as diner with bourbon cocktails, bone marrow sliders and peanut butter and jelly icecream for pudding. I’d also nudge them in the direction of Pitt Cue Co’s trailer on the Southbank which is dishing up macaroni cheese and pulled pork patties, and Mark’s Bar below Hix in Soho for some mighty fine cocktails.
You’ve got 24 hours in London. Where do you go? What do you see? What do you buy?
That’s so hard! I’d start with breakfast at Towpath Cafe overlooking the canal and then pick up a Boris bike so I could avoid the crowds. First stop would be the Barbican, a Brutalist arts centre that’s endlessly interesting, whether you want to see their current Bauhaus exhibition or just wander around the grounds. From there, cycle to the Southbank and stroll past The Globe, The Royal Festival Hall and the London Eye.
Grab lunch at Pitt Cue’s Trailer and haul your bike over the bridge to Liberty in Soho, for the best collection of British design in one place. A nice cup of tea at Kaffeine will prepare you for cycling up to Hampstead Heath for a ramble with the best view of the whole city. I’d pick up a beer and a burger at Dach and Sons, then head to the Everyman Cinema there to watch films how they should be watched; on a sofa, with waiters bringing you mojitos!
Where do you go for a good coffee in London?
I’m a coffee fanatic so this changes all the time; my current favourites include Ozone Coffee Roasters right by Silicon Roundabout and arty cafe The Russet. But for the best coffee and breakfast, try the avocado on sourdough (so hard to get in the UK!) at Wilton Way Cafe, where they run London Fields radio in the corner, or the bircher muesli in a jam jar with passionfruit at my beloved local, Mouse and de Lotz.
Your number one London shopping secret?
Never judge a book by its cover; the shop next to Wilton Way cafe looks a little challenging from the outside, but sells an amazing collection of vintage glasses (for not junky prices).
Click here for a Wee Birdy map of Sarah’s Secret London, complete with all the addresses and contact details.
Click here for more Secret London posts.
To celebrate Wee Birdy’s 5th birthday, I’m giving away FIVE fabulous prizes over FIVE days. Each prize is something I truly love and hand-picked especially for you, my dearest and most lovely readers.
Today’s prize is a 100ml bottle of Penhaligon‘s beautiful new fragrance Peoneve, valued at £120, which is most thrilling as peonies are perhaps my most beloved bloom, and Penhaligon’s is one of my favourite heritage British brands. With lush green top notes courtesy of violet leaf, a heady core of peony, Bulgarian rose and hedione with a base of earthy vetiver, musk and warm cashmere wood, Penhaligon’s have succeeded in capturing an English garden in a bottle. It reminds me of the heady summer’s day I spent at Vita Sackville-West’s garden, Sissinghurst, in Kent three years ago. Not a bad fragrance memory at all.
While history is at the heart of Penhaligon’s brand, it’s anything but traditional when it comes to perfume-making. Penhaligon’s master perfumer (love that job title) extracted the dominant peony note using the very latest in fragrance technology – a technique that comes with it’s own registered trademark, and which I won’t attempt to explain because I don’t have a science degree. In addition, both the vetiver and Bulgarian rose were obtained using CO2 extraction; an ecologically-friendly process that captures every last drop of scent from the ingredient.
Peoneve launched exclusively at Harvey Nichols this week, and to celebrate, the Fifth Floor Terrace on Knightsbridge has been transformed into a “multi-sensory garden” with a cocktail and dessert menu inspired by the notes in the fragrance. There will be huge overgrown peonies and laser-cut insects alongside traditional garden furniture and the fragrance of sweet nectar. It’s everything you’d expect from a typical English garden in high summer, and since Britain’s weather refuses to co-operate, you may as well play tea parties at Harvey Nicks.
I love the sound of Penhaligon’s Peony Punch, which blends William’s gin with a bespoke tea blend inspired by the fragrance. It’s served in a five litre Penhaligon’s perfume bottle and will serve six. Impressive. Or there is the The Rose Garden, with Kentish raspberries, fresh white peach, Naked Chase vodka, and pressed apple juice, served over a frozen sphere of ice.
Don’t get me started on the dessert menu. There is white chocolate and peony mousse as well as gooseberry fool with elderflower and English custard. Oh god. And then there are a selection of ‘Boozy Pops’, a grown-up version of ice-lollies. See? You really can have your sunny English summer – you just have to get it on a stick.
Peoneve will be available exclusively at Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge from 16th July 2012 and then in Penhaligon’s boutiques, concessions and online from 13th August 2012.
London SW1X 7RJ
Nearest tube: Knightsbridge
HOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:
Follow these two steps to win:
1. To qualify to win, you must follow or ‘like’ Wee Birdy on either Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter – or all three if you like! If you’re already following me on one of these platforms, you are automatically qualified to win.
2. Leave a comment in the comments section of this post and ensure you enter your email address in the space provided (your email address will not be published).
The competition closes on Saturday 21 July, 2012 at 5pm AEST. Winners will be drawn at random on Sunday 22 July. Winners will be announced and contacted by email on Monday 23 July, 2012.
Winners have one week to respond to the initial email from Wee Birdy confirming that they have won. If Wee Birdy doesn’t hear from the winner of each prize within a week, the winner/s will forfeit their prize and Wee Birdy will randomly draw another winner/s.
Have you entered the other competitions this week?
Click here to win a fine bone china mug and birch tray set from Howkapow.
Click here to win an Alex Monroe ‘All the Best’ crown necklace.
Click here to win classic Tatty Devine Name Necklace.
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Ruffles, feathers and bows in delicate hues and Liberty prints make the prettiest last-minute presents. The good news? Some of this stuff is already on sale! Dig in, my pretties…
1. La Cerise Sur Le Gateau Alice Liberty print cushion cover, £62 from Selfridges. Order by midday Friday 23rd December for UK delivery on Saturday 24th December.
2. Penhaligons Artemisia Bath Oil, £35 from Go British. UK delivery by next working day if order placed by 3pm on Friday 23rd December. Or get same-day delivery Mon-Fri for £15.
3. Eugenia Kim Claudia feather-embellished silk-satin headband, £55.42 from Net-a-porter. London Premier shipping only for Christmas delivery – order by 10am Saturday December 24.
4. Claire-Aude Liberty Print Miniature Suitcase, £65 from Liberty. Purchase in-store as the date for guaranteed Christmas delivery from Liberty has now passed.
5. Bourjois Pretty Paris Liberty Chic Eyeshadow Cream, £5.99 from Asos. UK customers, order by midnight Friday 23rd December for next evening delivery (£7.95).
6. Marc by Marc Jacobs Heart brass and crystal stud earrings, £41.67 from Net-a-porter. London Premier shipping only for Christmas delivery- order by 10am Saturday December 24.
7. Aurélie Bidermann Mother-of-pearl charm bracelet, £47.83 from Net-a-porter. London Premier shipping only for Christmas delivery – order by 10am Saturday December 24.
8. Rifle Paper Company Just Picked Recipe Cards, £12 from Anthropologie. UK delivery by Christmas is no longer guaranteed – so buy in-store.
9. Cutler and Gross D-frame acetate sunglasses, £233.33 from Net-a-porter. London Premier shipping only for Christmas delivery – order by 10am Saturday December 24.
10. Stella McCartney Christmas cotton and silk-blend briefs, reduced to £14.89 from Net-a-porter. London Premier shipping only for Christmas delivery – order by 10am Saturday December 24.
11. NARS Holiday 2011 highlighting blush, £20.50, from Asos. UK customers, order by midnight Friday 23rd December for next evening delivery (£7.95).
12. Aurélie Bidermann set of two silver-plated Liberty-print bracelets
£91.67, from Net-a-porter. London Premier shipping only for Christmas delivery – order by 10am Saturday December 24.
13. Rodarte for Opening Ceremony High Neck Blouse, reduced to US$270 from Opening Ceremony. Delivery by Christmas is no longer available – so buy in-store.
14. J.Crew knotted Liberty-print cotton belt, reduced to £26.25 from Net-a-porter. London Premier shipping only for Christmas delivery – order by 10am Saturday December 24.
Want more present ideas? Have a look at last year’s Christmas gift guides.
I’ve also hand-picked the best books and presents in my UK Amazon shop and US Amazon shops.