Best of British Gifts For Christmas 2018

The season of goodwill is upon us. If, like me, you have a tendency to overthink gift-buying to the point where every drop of festive joy is sapped from the experience, then this one is for you. A selection of beautifully unique & thoughtful gifts, made by independent British brands.


By Mala

A collection of concentrated pure perfume oils, handmade by Mala. A perfect gift for the scent-obsessor, these luxurious unisex fragrances contain the finest natural ingredients, from oud to jasmine to saffron. Vegan, cruelty free & long lasting, there is no need to re-apply Mala’s perfumes throughout the day as the scent will keep working with your body heat.


Beautifully made, stylish & functional a PedalShed saddle cover is a winning gift for the biking pro, Sunday cyclist or city commuter. Based in London, Katherine Pedersen perfectly unites thoughtful Scandi design with gorgeous fabrics, from tweeds to leather to upcycled textiles. There’s little wonder this collection is the work of a Dane! Created to fit many different saddle shapes, treat the cyclist in your life to a dry, comfortable & stylish ride this Christmas.


Sara Tiara

A Sara Tiara headpiece is a gift for the ethereal soul in your life, who brings a little magic with them wherever they go. Sara & her team of milliners create each masterpiece from feathers, beads, shells & vintage fabrics in their Poole atelier. Visit Sara’s beautiful store in the beating heart of Portobello’s antique market & find ‘The One’ among her collection of one-of-a-kind designs.


Casa de L’Oil

Your resident foodie will love the work of Simone & Tim from Casa de L’Oil. Based in Suffolk & Southern Catalonia the couple produce outstanding olive oils from their Catalonia olive grove.

The ideal habitat for olive trees is said to require sun, stone, drought, silence and solitude.

It’s clear from the taste that Casa de L’Oil have found this habitat for their olives. Flavoured with a beautiful selection of fresh ingredients, including Spanish oranges & wild herbs, their Gift Selection will make a welcomed addition to any food-lover’s kitchen.


And From Us…

If you can’t add a touch of sparkle to proceedings at Christmas, when can you? If someone you know lives by this mantra then our 1834 Evening Bag is for them. Custom made, the all-chain strap and tassels are threaded by hand with studded suede ribbon. Exclusively online & by order only, email me for details.

Made With Love.


5 Reasons Why Autumn Is The UK's Best Season

A wise friend summed it up:

Autumn never disappoints

A moment with Maple in Christ Church College Gardens, Oxford

A moment with Maple in Christ Church College Gardens, Oxford

Summer’s sun is inconsistent, Winter’s snow is inconvenient & Spring’s showers are inevitable. Autumn however, carries no expectation & then out of nowhere those halcyon days return, where the sun is low & the leaves burn bright.

Reason 1. A Fresh Start

The British school system instils the sense that Autumn is the start of something new. A new pencil case may no longer be on the cards (although a new pair of shoes definitely should be!) but a shiny new feeling can still be raked out from beneath those fallen leaves. 

With My 1834, in Oxford Botanic Garden & Arboretum

With My 1834, in Oxford Botanic Garden & Arboretum

Reason 2. Wardrobe Champions

Hands up if your summer wardrobe is packed away before the first conker hits the ground? Us British girls know that when it comes to fashion & this time of year, we’ve got it nailed. The Italians can keep the Summer with their effortless Milano style: structured yet soft silhouettes in muted colours, set against skin the colour of a Toffee Crisp.  We’ll take Autumn thanks, all the best things we’ve invested in get to come out & play in Autumn – the trench you dreamt of for a decade, that trusty jumper dress, THE boots, that timeless bag that reinvents itself time & again, finding a place on your arm every year.  See our Autumn Essentials for our loves this season. 

Reason 3. Holidays Are Coming

You may be more Oscar the Grouch “Christmas is a bummer” than “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day”, but there is something reassuring in the predictable & even Oscar can admit that Christmas is nothing if not predictable.  The loaded “who’s spending Christmas where” conversations are in full swing, Sky’s Christmas channel is running & is anyone else imagining the smell of mulled wine as they walk past anything resembling a market, like the local greengrocer’s stall? It’s happening, Christmas is in the offing. 

Winter approaches Oxford Botanic Garden

Winter approaches Oxford Botanic Garden

Reason 4. A Cosy Corner

Kings Arms, Oxford

Kings Arms, Oxford

Following on from the mulled wine chat, the great pubs of the British Isles come into their own at this time of year.  Currently & sadly we are seeing 3 pubs a day close for good in this country.  Get down your local & support our wonderful pub culture.  Sign the @LongLiveTheLocal petition to protect these pillars in our modern communities.  

Reason 5. Seasonal Produce

Harvest’s abundance brings out the best in Britain’s rich pantry.  Duck for that Sunday Roast with a twist; squashes, parsnips, celeriac for those Autumn slow-cook dishes; apples & blackberries for the crumble, damsons for the gin.  For a well constructed seasonal menu, check out The Magdalen Arms in Oxford, if you’re in the area. 

Catch while you can…

  • Some of our beautiful architecture is set ablaze at this time of year, check out Oxford’s Christ Church college.

  • Visit a botanical garden & see the last hurrah of the flowering annuals & the delicate fading of the perennials, preferably shrouded in an Autumn mist if the weather plays ball. 

Christ Church College, Oxford

Christ Church College, Oxford

Oxford Botanic Garden

Oxford Botanic Garden