I always look forward to my December delivery of Vanity Fair magazine, as it comes with a chunky supplement titled Vanity Fair on Gifts. Now, don’t get me wrong, most of the stuff featured is totally out of reach, but articles tend to be inspirational (rather than preachy) and the photography is first-class.
Well, not this year. I planned an article on it, since it’s a lovely tradition of mine (see last year’s verdict here), but I’m struggling to write anything positive. It feels very “tired” with predictable edit of Valentino shoes and Sisley skincare, plus pages of advertorials on GHD hair straighteners that look really out of place.
But what topped it off for me was a very bizarre article on gifting experiences, with highlights including… and I’m not kidding.. a session with a “spiritual counsellor” at Hotel Café Royal for £360 (a 2-hour consultation) or… *drumroll*…the naming rights to a species of micro orchids, costing up to £20,000. I guess a botanist would know what a “micro orchid” is, but frankly, I didn’t even bother googling it, that’s how absurd this sounds.
Now, I was almost ready to write an angry tweet to this year’s editor, but a small, easy to miss article stopped me. It was a Q&A with Caroline Issa, a talented Fashion Director of Tank magazine, who shared her tips on best gifts found in London.
Some great places that I am already planning to check out myself in the run up to Christmas include Cocomaya bakery & chocolatier (just look at their Instagram page!), Absolute Flowers & Home (with the most stylish Christmas decorations that don’t cost an arm and a leg) and an independent bookseller that looks like it belongs in a Harry Potter movie – Daunt Books.
So, I guess this post is a thank you to Caroline Issa for saving a disastrous magazine supplement with her tasteful take on what it truly means to give great gifts at Christmas 🙂