All posts tagged: luxury

Becoming a gift card convert… Well, almost!

Gift cards… We all buy them often enough to justify their existence, but I have to admit, it rarely feels like you’ve done a good job: a baby shower in the office, a birthday party of a distant cousin, or when the closest shopping centre closes in ten minutes and you just “have to get something”. Convenient – absolutely,  satisfying – not quite. I doubt I could put it any better than my favourite “freakonomists” Dubner and Levitt: “For the giver, a gift card could hardly be easier. But most economists would argue that if a gift card is so transparently good for the giver, it is necessarily bad for the recipient: the fact that it can be bought so easily signals to the recipient that the giver didn’t put much effort into the gift.” In short: something that screams “lazy” will always be perceived as having less value. However, thinking about it again, I’ve pinpointed where this dissatisfaction lies and, in the process, discovered how gift cards can regain their value again. It’s simple, really …

The biggest bottle of wine I’ve ever seen and our Enomatic machine adventure

Hedonism Wines emporium in Mayfair, London is considered something of an anomaly…it’s seriously big (two spacious floors…hence the ‘emporium’ title), it is owned by a rebellious Russian millionaire Yevgeny Chichvarkin, and it stocks bottles worth up to £130,000/ $200,000. Every visitor can touch all bottles without special permission – the store is allegedly insured against “clumsy” customers (I didn’t dare holding any expensive bottles myself…just in case!). I am not a big wine expert myself, so I will not bore you with pretentious reviews of wines we purchased, but instead I’ll tell you more about a pretty unique service they offer – Enomatic wine tasting. Why unique, you asking? Unlike the rest of the popular wine places in London (think Vinopolis and the likes), Hedonism allows customers to taste exclusive, hard-to-find wines which we, normal mortals, would never be able to purchase (we are talking £1,000/$1,500 here). Wines are grouped by five categories: premium reds, premium whites, seasonal, team selection and new discoveries. Customers can either choose to browse on their own or ask Hedonism …

The ‘I can’t justify spending so much on myself’ gifts

I’m sure a lot of women out there will relate to this. There are certain things which are always at the bottom of our list of things to buy; however, they always make the very top spot every time we create Pinterest dream boards and Xmas wish lists. Yes, I’m talking about expensive lipsticks, evening bags, cute accessories and the likes. So, if you really-really love your girlfriends, don’t make them wait till December to get those dream goodies, and become a spontaneous Santa for them (no need to rock the beard and a red jumper!). Here is one of my latest presents from this category – a compact mirror from Aspinal of London. Realistically, no one needs such a fancy mirror in red leather to re-touch make up on-the-go. But, at the same time, it makes a woman feel special, and that’s worth a lot more to me.  Aspinal is the perfect shop for a treat of this kind, as they do amazing leather goods (both for men and women), which you can personalise …