Judging by those snowflake-festooned email newsletters in my inbox we are careering towards Christmas at high speed. There are still more than 30 days to go but, I guess, with the temporary distractions of Halloween and Bonfire night out of the way, there is not much to get excited about until The Big Event. And all the socialising ahead of The Big Event, of course.
It’s very possible that The Big Event has influenced some of the choices on this month’s lust list. I’m a sucker for a bit of sparkle and snow. If, like me, you haven’t even got around to thinking about Christmas presents yet, I’ve tried to include the odd bit of inspo for those you count among your nearest and dearest.
Heart shaped umbrella
After the year we’ve had, this implement is not just pretty but bloody practical! And it gets extra marks for being windproof. If pink is not your thing why not plump for a cheerful orange or green? Perfect for adding a splash of colour to our dark, dreary winter wardrobes. £19.45, www.umbrellaheaven.com
Anya Hindmarch ‘Marano’ glitter clutch
Bling! Lust! Must have! I’m a recent convert to ‘the clutch’, generally preferring something that leaves my hands free. But for instant seasonal glamour this is hard to beat. It comes in a range of colours (including sophisticated black) if the gold glitter is just too much. But hey, if you’re spending £450 you want to get noticed, right? www.anyahindmarch.com
If you can’t stretch to the clutch – and let’s face it, unless you’re a fashion type you probably can’t – how about treating yourself to a less guilt-inducing satchel? The humble satchel became this year’s surprise big trend – and this quality, made-in-Britain brand was one of the leaders. Available in styles and colours ranging from classic oxblood to metallic leather and floral prints, there is literally something for everyone. The ‘classic green’ version occupies a space close to the top of my Christmas list. From £75, www.zatchels.com
Cowhides might be cool but sheepskins are cosy (unless you’re a vegetarian, in which case I’m sure there are ‘faux’ options of both). Prices range from about £60 to about £550 (for a huge rug!).
Jamie Oliver’s recipe apps
The bake off, Hugh, Nigel, Nigella – and, of course, the Hairy bikers – it’s fair to say that we Brits are a bit obsessed with cookery programmes. But sales of ready meals suggest we aren’t actually doing that much cooking. Put that to rights with Jamie’s Recipes app, available for the iPad and iPhone (free but additional content packs are about £1.49), or the 20-Minute Meals app for Android (£4.99) www.jamieoliver.com
Gin, once the ruin of poverty stricken Victorians, is fashionable again. Although if you love gin as I do it never really went out of fashion. It’s as perfect an accompaniment to an open fire as it is to a summer tea party – that’s pretty perfect.
Hendricks is the king of gins. A great stocking present for your other half… or something your mother-in-law will be very pleased to unwrap! From £24 www.hendricksgin.com