The Royal Exchange and I'm talking gifts for her. This is the guide for the man or woman who quite literally has a lunchtime to buy, wrap and deliver for the lady in their life. Without further ado, here are my top five easy peasy gift giving ideas that will have you in and out, gift in hand, in a jiffy:
I'll start with the store I'm not so secretly head over heels in love with. Halcyon Days is my enamel bracelet heaven. The first time I spotted the store, I went in thinking I was going to be put into bankruptcy as I wanted everything and was pretty sure I was going to have to sell my soul to be able to afford it all. Alas, I was oh so wrong. The enamel bracelets in Halcyon Days are one fifth the expense of their competitors and twice the value. These are beautifully crafted pieces of jewelry, and if you question my judgement, I'll just tell you that they have three Royal Warrants (basically seals of approval and usage from the Royal Family in the UK) supporting their handiwork. They are the best and they are a surefire winner for an under-the-christmas-tree surprise. For the love of your life, purchase the wide and beautiful bangle. I'm dying for the tiger to enter my life! For the lady who you'd like to surprise, but not invest a fortune for the privilege, find a slimmer bangle to add to her arm party. The ladies and gents working in the Halcyon Days store at The Royal Exchange are on hand to help you with any difficult decisions and they truly are present whisperers. Give it a go.
Get ready for a fairytale when you walk into Georg Jensen, and I'm not just talking about the decor. Sure, you will be seduced by the Christmas wonderland they have created in their windows and around the store, but the beautiful jewelry is really the swoon worthy stuff this brand is known for. There are two gifts, however, that I'm focusing in on here for the holiday season. The first, and one that will literally work for any woman in your life, is the holiday ornament. Georg Jenson bring out a new collection every year to mark the return of Christmas, and this season the offering is a golden delight. However, if you are looking to truly take your loved one's breath away this Christmas, turn your eyes to the rings available to purchase in store. I was particularly struck by the trio of rings that fit together like a puzzle, and are often bought to be gifted across three special occasions. So you're more or less investing in Christmas, Birthday and Valentine's Day all in one go. That's one stop shopping, people. It doesn't get any easier. While you're in, also check out the Zaha Hadid collection to see if that could work for the woman in your life!
Here's another luxury surprise, folks. Aspinal has been my guilty shopping pleasure for a few years now and it's always a pleasant surprise to walk in and see what's new on the shelves every season. Their selection is always classic and the colour choice is, quite simply put, insane! From leather passport covers to deluxe oversized weekend bags, this is a brand that has a present to fit every size and price requirement. If you're shopping for a fashionable woman, the handbags on offer are plentiful and satisfy every need from an evening clutch to a day to day work case. For the constant traveller, there are jewelry rolls, travel wallets and leather valets. Basically, the possibilities are endless. Again, there are lovely ladies on staff here that can help you sort out the perfect gift, should you find yourself at a loose end for ideas.
Links is one of my favorites for gifting because of it's most classic offering - the charm bracelet. The charms on offer are perfect for gifting throughout the year. For Christmas, however, there are special charms to commemorate the occasion, or charms to reflect on events that have taken place over the course of the year. I have always thought one the best gifts you can give is actually the starting of a charm bracelet. It's a magical and memorable way of saying "I'm thinking about you." But, that could just be the super sentimentalist in me. Links also have a variety of simple bracelets to suit every Christmas gift giving need. Their friendship bracelet is always a hit, and a rather sophisticated improvement on what we used to present to friends in our youth!
I kept one of my favorites for last. Theo Fennell is the ultimate in luxury gift giving and you can stop in and buy everything from an engagement ring to a diamond encrusted heart necklace. Basically, this is your one stop shop for supreme luxury. It's a space to indulge and spoil. My favourite things include diamond rings, exotic earrings and anything with a skull focus. Yes, Theo Fennell is known for his incredible pieces that feature skulls, but these are the most glam skulls you'll ever encounter. Just saying!
Stocking Stuffer: Leica Instant Film Camera
We all know Leicas are a serious camera investment. It's no joke. They require time, money and serious effort to find the perfect match for the gift giver, and it's worth it. However, if you are looking to give a camera enthusiast a gift this season, and you don't have time to do the full work up on what they need, I have the solution - the new Leica Instant Film Camera. At £230, it's one of Leica's most affordable cameras of all time and it's the perfect Christmas morning gift for creating memories straight away. I would be the happiest woman alive if I found this in my Christmas stocking come the wee hours.
Visit the Royal Exchange:
Nearest Tube: Bank, Central Line
The Royal Exchange
Royal Court, London
Royal Court, London
Fashion Foie Gras worked in collaboration with The Royal Exchange.