CHRISTMAS – IT’S BEGINNING TO FEEL A LOT (MORE) LIKE IT…
While I can spend hours trawling the net and scouring niche bricks & mortar stores for the perfect gift – the list for which seems to grow by the year… why? – there’s tons of sundry stuff to buy at Christmas. Some for others, some for me. Suddenly my drinks cupboard looks bleakly unwelcoming, the fridge’s fizz rack is unladen and the chocolate stash has dwindled to a solitary Terry’s Chocolate Orange from last Christmas.
I’m no stranger to any and every supermarket – I’m very free with my favours – but come December there are three that really lure me: Aldi, Lidl and Waitrose. And none of them disappoint when it comes to festive retail therapy.
And it’s not all about chocolate – they’re perfect places for picking presents, stocking fillers in particular.
Waitrose is especially good for beauty and grooming bits and pieces. In my book you can never go wrong with something from Korres. It’s one of those quiet, under-the-radar type of brands that never fails to please the recipient, who then, in my experience, goes on to be a fan for life. So, as I’m idling along the aisles I always linger at the shelves that house these Greek botanical toiletries (www.lookfantastic.com is another major stockist). I’m thinking ‘gift’, and a trio of shower gels – Kings of Korres gift set (£20) has attracted my attention. Fig, Santorini Vine and Japanese Rose – all with the usual Korres moisturising benefits and great natural smell. Glittery gold packaging, all ready for wrapping. Or for giving to me… we’ll see.
Also in the trolley goes a cute ‘Little Gems’ set of six nail varnishes by the hip Butter London (£15), sparkly, wintery, Christmassy and perfect for any number of people in my life. Then, where to begin with chocolate gifting?! I’m kicking off with Waitrose Christmas Belgian chocolate ginger taster box (£5), for no other reason than I like ginger and I plan to be around for the tasting…
German Christmas markets? Why stand on a cold, wet, draughty street corner with a mug of glühwein when you can rustle up the experience in the comfort of your own front room, courtesy of either of the value-meets-continental glamour emporiums?! From wines and spirits, to stollen, panattone and mince pies, both stores regularly pick up prestigious drinks/foodie awards.
Hard to choose between them, but I have continental Christmas cake stuffs sewn up in Lidl – Panettone Classico, Deluxe Stollen and Deluxe Golden Topped Christmas Pudding. At Aldi I’ve found the perfect thing for any hard-to-buy-for oenophile (or just those fond of an after dinner tipple) – Maynards 100 Years of Port Wine – four little bottles of vintage tawny port, 10,20,30 and 40 years old. And because you can’t do Christmas without fizz – there’s Veuve Monsigny Brut Rosé Champagne (£15.99).