In the first of this season’s gift guides, Candid presents the Lifestyle Christmas Gift Guide. Featuring luxurious treats for you friends, family or better yet, yourself. Lifestyle Editor, Vicky Ilankovan talks us through her picks.
The Kingdom Revealed by Rob Ryan
Internationally-acclaimed visual artist, Rob Ryan, best known for his intricate papercut works and collaboration with Paul Smith, Liberty of London, Fortnum and Mason, Tatty Devine and Vogue, has released this beautifully illustrated fair-tale for all ages. The Kingdom Revealed tells of a young king who has run away from his life of luxury to wander dreamily around his realm, only to be confronted by the reality that now he is alone and must fend and forage for himself. This stunning book is the perfect gift for creative, young, old, or somewhere in between this Christmas and can be purchased for £16.99 from the Rob Ryan webshop.
Waterford’s The Mixology Collection – Mad Men
The first image that pops into most people’s heads when you mention the trailblazing television series sensation Mad Men is a group of suited and booted, coiffed and liquored individuals, glass in hand, standing or sitting next to a table of drinks. Waterford has created this signature Mad Men barware set which would have been right at home in the hands of Don, Peggy, Joan or Roger. The traditional deep cut heftiness of each piece of crystal, coupled with the rich bands of gold and platinum are perfect for the dapper gentleman or chic female who think that they could hold their own next to the Ad crowd. Prices start from £125 for a pair and items can be purchased from the Waterford website.
The Wuyi Collection
Enjoyed in over 50 Michelin starred restaurants worldwide and served in an array of simple yet elegant hand-blown glass teapots and cups, JING Tea oozes luxury and refinement. This Christmas, JING has partnered up with London chocolatier, Willia Curley, to present the ultimate tea and chocolate pairing. What more could you want? The Wuyi Collection plays with the naturally firm and silky noted of Wuyi Oolong to create a set of tea and chocolate that is guaranteed to delight the lucky recipient. It is comprised of 30g Wuyi Oolong loose tea, Wuyi Caramel chocolates, Muscovado Caramel chocolates, and Piedmonth Hazelnut chocolates. The complexity of the chocolate compliments the roasted and nutty flavours of the tea and makes you want to squirrel away for the winter, hiding your treat from the world amidst layers and layers of blankets. Decadence can be yours (or make a loved one love you that much more) for £25.00 from the JING website.
Paul A. Young
For those of you who haven’t yet been lured into Paul A. Young’s shop on Wardour Street, Soho, by the sight of hunks of moist, brownie goodness, or labels advertising Wonka-esque delights such as Garlic Chocolate, we are here to tempt you into doing so. The leading UK chocolatier has created a Christmas collection that combines sophisticated, refined flavours with festive fun and good humour. With his Christmas 2014 collection, Paul continues his tradition of collaborating with UK brands to produce unusual and scrumptious delights such as Brewdog porter and ginger molasses cake; Sweet Potato Pie truffles; and Port and cheese (Churchill’s white port caramel and Wensleydale cheese with 40% Valrhona milk chocolate), to name a few. Sound odd? They are, but they are also fantastic! Collections range from 4 piece (£7.00) to 42 pieces (£65.00) boxes and can be purchased at one of the Paul A. Young stores.
Ron Zacapa 23 & Rococo Chocolates
We can’t think of many things more luxurious than ultra-premium sipping rum and Bespoke Couture Chocolate, and why would we want to when Ron Zacapa has teamed up with Rococo Chocolates to launch the ultimate luxury festive adult gift set. This sophisticated offering features six gorgeously designed Rococo chocolate baubles filled with a smooth mixture of chocolate and cream which has been infused with the uniquely rich, smooth and complex Zacapa rum. We cannot overstate the sheer joy and perfection of this pairing, nor the quality of the rum and the chocolate individually. Each bauble comes individually wrapped, finished with a red and gold ribbon, while the 70cl bottle is accompanied by a pair of Ron Zacapa serving glasses. The flavours are wonderfully festive making this set a must-give this Christmas. It is available for purchase exclusively at luxury online shopping platform, Alexander & James for £120.
Staritsky & Levitsky
Have you heard about the world’s first Ukranian super-premium vodka? No? It’s okay, we hadn’t either until London Cocktail Week, but now it’s become a firm staple in the Candid office – you know, for those late nights we spend toiling away at our desks, forcing ourselves to sample spirits to recommend to you, our lovely readers. Presented in stunning handcrafted bottles and boasting a liquid which has benefitted from over 100 years of traditional artisan techniques, Staritsky & Levistsky is known for its seat in exclusive and high-end drinking destinations such Galvin at Windows, Red Bar at Grosvenor House and Sketch. The gift box is available this Christmas from Nicolas Wine Stores & Spirited Wines, we well as at Harvey Nichols and Harrods from £33.99.
Mancino Vermouth – Vecchio
Created by world-renowned Italian bartender, Giancarlo Mancino, Mancino Vermouth is like Christmas cake in a bottle. It is the world’s first ever barrel aged sweet vermouth and is simultaneously rich, nutty and fruit, with essences of cherry, honey, raisin, dark chocolate and vanilla hitting the palate and throwing you into the festive deep end. Only 800 bottles have been released making it not only a truly Christmas-y drink but also a rare and special one to be savoured nd enjoyed after dinner. Bottles are available at £150 from Harvey Nichols.
Smith & Sinclair Alcoholic Pastilles
Not sure whether to get a friend or family member something sweet or something boozy? Have no fear, Smith & Sinclair are here. The London confectioners have unveiled the world’s first alcoholic pastille. These naturally coloured and cocktail inspired handmade confections are gluten, dairy and preservative free as well as using high quality spirits, fresh fruit and real spices. Flavours include Gin & Tonic (violet infused gin and a lemon sherbert coating), Mixed Berry Daiquiri (with summer berries, dark rum and a pink peppercorn infused coating) and Whiskey Sour (with a sour grapefruit coating). Prices start from £8.95 for a box of six, purchasable at Harvey Nichols and NotOnTheHighStreet.com.
All items have been hand selected by Lifestyle Editor – Vicky Ilankovan