In the spirit of the season, our weekly gifting guides will give you inspiration and insight into the wish-lists of top names in the interior design industry as well as the personal gifting guides of the people behind H&G.
As much as Leigh covets a good portion of the decor and design pieces that make their way onto the pages of the magazine every month (and has a wish-list as long as 2016 has felt), when it comes to Christmas gifting, she tends to favour simpler pleasures and thoughtful gestures over extravagance, although she’ll make an exception when it comes to the odd sparkly bauble or two. The tradition in her family has always been lots of small presents, but all lavishly wrapped. ‘Like most things in life, presentation is everything,’ she says. ‘It’s always been about abundance over expense. And it’s so much fun to open gifts you can also share with visiting friends and family, from a case of fantastic Cape Wine and bottles of good gin, to edible presents. The more the merrier.’
1. Aesop Products
From the Geranium Body Scrub to the Rose Hair & Scalp Moisturising Masque and all the other heavenly products in between, I know I can’t go wrong with Aesop when it comes to easy unisex gifting. Loading Bay in Cape Town has the full range plus sells online.
Stating the obvious here, but I can’t get enough of the real thing. I’ve never owned a Kindle and can’t think of anything worse than reading off yet another glowing screen while lying in or relaxing on the beach over the summer holidays. Included on my reading list are Zadie Smith’s Swing Time, Alain de Botton’s The Course of Love and Get A Life: the Diaries of Vivienne Westwood.
3. Scarf by Lalela
I love these silky soft, outsized scarves featuring artwork by the children on this not-for-profit organisation’s arts education programme. As much as I would enjoy heaping these on friends and family (they fold into tiny feather-light packages, so are excellent for travelling with or posting), I’d also be a most grateful recipient. Another feel-good factor is that every sale goes towards helping these at-risk kids.
4. Hendrick’s Gin
Yes, there are many great, locally distilled gins to choose from, but I’m afraid to say that my all-time favourite remains Hendrick’s. It’s a classic, as is its bottle – a summer holiday staple in my household that requires regular replenishing.
5. Jewellery by Black Betty
If anyone really wants to spoil me, I’ve had my eye on a few pieces by Cape Town-based jewellery designers Black Betty, specifically this black rhodium-plated sterling silver chained bracelet. I also adore the simple but very striking pearl ring, with its ethically sourced white sea pearl in a 14k claw setting. Both are made to order, so be sure to snoop some of my own jewellery to get the sizing right!
6. A Terrarium
There’s nothing quite like giving (or receiving) a living gift, especially when encased in a beautiful terrarium. Angles and Earth has a wonderful selection of geometric terrariums in different sizes and finished in copper or silver. Choose from Woodland, Desert or Tropical plantings.
7. Babylonstoren Christmas Hampers
I know I’m not alone in being quite besotted with Babylonstoren and absolutely everything produced on the farm, from the wine and olive oil, to the natural hand-made soaps and scented candles, the Delft-patterned tablecloths and linen napkins. Any of their hampers would make for an indulgent gift, to give as well as receive.