6 non-physical gift ideas to give this Christmas.

Burberry high tea

It’s that time of year again and the Christmas count down has officially started! The John Lewis advert is on the TV, the Christmas lights are now turned on everywhere and the stores have suddenly transformed into full on festive mode. So now is a good time to start planning your Christmas gifting.

I really love buying gifts for people, but it can sometimes be tricky to know what to get everyone. Usually if we want things we will just buy them for ourselves during the year. So instead of buying actual items for someone this Christmas, another great idea is to get them a ‘non-physical’ gift, or an experience. In a world where everything is focused on consumerism and we are all consistently buying ourselves things, stepping away from that and spending more time with the people we love and having a special day out that you will look back on can be worth so much more.

These are my top 10 non-physical gift ideas:

1 – A Spa or beauty Treatment 

This would be the perfect gift to give to a new mum, or someone that has been stressed with work. A voucher for a lovely massage, facial or a day of getting away from it all in the spa could be just what they need, and not something that a lot of people will often buy for themselves.

2 – Afternoon Tea

An afternoon tea experience is always so much fun! If you’ve followed my blog or Instagram for a while, you’ll know that I love trying out new places for afternoon tea. Often they are held in beautiful hotels and there is something really lovely about tasting all of the delicious cakes and treats, as well as receiving a great service, making it a special way to spend time with family or friends. I will leave a few links below for some of the places that I have tried this year.

Prêt-à-Portea at the Berkeley Hotel, London

My favourite Instagrammable coffee shops

Elan Cafe, London

Peggy Porschen, London

3 – Theatre tickets

Another lovely gift idea is theatre tickets to go and see a musical or a West End show. You can get some really good deals for theatre tickets online these days and there is always something great to go and watch, especially around the Christmas period when they have all of the beautiful ballets and festive shows. You can get tickets to London shows on various websites and I have found some great deals with London Theatre Direct HERE

Ballet

Image @Pinterest

4 – A magazine subscription 

Ok, so I know this is more towards a physical gift but I wanted to include it as it’s a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year. If you know someone that loves fashion or interior design for example, a magazine subscription is a great idea as they will receive a copy of the latest magazine delivered to their home. It’s a little treat to look forward to and means they don’t have to go out and buy it each month themselves. We are all on our phones 24/7 these days so to take half an hour away from that, to sit down with a good magazine and cup of tea is really lovely and relaxing.

Vogue Magazines

Image @Pinterest

5 – A hobby inspired course

If you know someone that has been saying for a while that they would like to do a photography course, learn a new language or has a genuine interest in something like cooking for example, then you could get them a voucher towards a course. It might just be that encouragement that they need to get started on something that they will really enjoy working on and be good at.

Cooking flat lay

Image @Pinterest

6 – A special Train journey

Even though I spend a lot of time travelling on trains during the week, I really want to go for a day out on one of those old steam trains where you are wined and dined in luxurious surroundings, whilst travelling through the English countryside. It looks like such a fun experience and not something that you would get to do every day! This would be a really nice gift idea for mums or grandmas where you can sit together and enjoy being waited on, relaxing. You can pick up tickets for this sort of experience HERE

If actual gifts are more your thing though, I will be putting together some gift ideas in an upcoming blog post so make sure you keep an eye out for that! I really enjoyed putting together some gift ideas last year which you will find HERE and HERE  so I’ve been looking out for new things to recommend for this year too.

What is your favourite non physical gift idea from this blog post?

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?

Prêt-à-Portea: The Dior couture collection

Back in early March, I went to the Christian Dior:Designer of Dreams exhibition at the V&A museum (you can check my blog post about it here). So when I discovered that The Berkeley hotel in London were hosting a special Prêt-à-Portea that was inspired by the exhibition I just had to go and complete the set!

The venue

The Berkeley hotel is based in the heart of Knightsbridge and is the ultimate luxury venue. They are well known for their legendary afternoon tea experiences too. They have 2 collections per year that are inspired by the world of fashion to reflect the latest catwalk trends, colours and designs. Previous collections have seen them teaming up with other designer brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Moschino and Manolo Blahnik.

This special collection focuses on the iconic designs of Christian Dior, transformed into beautifully decorated biscuits and miniature cakes. Each piece is inspired from Diors’s fashion history which I absolutely love!

The afternoon tea is held in the Collins room which is a really peaceful space, decorated in soft lilacs, silvers, marble and mirrors. There is also a garden room section which has a lovely light feel with the surrounding windows.

A high tea to remember..

We arrived at the hotel feeling excited about the afternoon ahead. From the moment we arrived, the service was fabulous. We were shown to our seating area and our server started off explaining to us the idea around the collection, as well as information about what we could expect from our tea experience. We started off with drinks and there are so many varieties of tea that you can choose, from a selection of different white, green, yellow, black, tisane, and oolong tea options.

The savoury selection..

First to be presented to the table was a plate of beautifully cut finger sandwiches, each with individual flavours, fillings and breads. Alongside this, there was a selection of beautiful canapes. They almost looked too good to eat! I loved the presentation of these and it was fun to try all of the different options.

The sweet selection..

But let’s be honest, we all know the best part of a high tea is the sweet section! Following the savoury section, out came the stunning three tiered display of the Christian Dior sweet treats. Christian Dior cakes – isn’t this just every fashionistas dream combination?!

On the top tier we had a rose pink Miss Dior perfume bottle shaped cake. This was lychee and raspberry flavour and was topped with a gorgeous silver bow. Also on the top tier were 2 iced biscuits – a single J’adior slingback heel and the iconic bar jacket. I have been lusting after these heels for a while now and am thinking that I have to add them to my collection! Well they do say things come in threes after all…

On the middle tier, we had a pavlova and raspberry jam cake that was inspired by a dress design. We also had the Junon gown fromage blanc and cassis jelly encased with scallops of white chocolate and it was sprinkled with edible glitter. They were like little works of art – just stunning!

The bottom tier had the classic Lady Dior handbag which was so delicious. It was red chocolate sponge inside with an iced outer casing and it looked just like the real thing! Also on this lower tier was a pretty little coconut marshmallow cake which was decorated with a white sugar bow.

Overall verdict..

I love spending an afternoon having a high tea and this is one of my favourite experiences. I have wanted to try the Berkeley afternoon tea for a long time as always love to see the latest fashion inspired collection that they come up with. Their collections always look so fabulous and so being able to attend this special Dior inspired one, after visiting the exhibition was like the cherry on the cake..see what I did there 😉

Jokes aside, it was such a lovely afternoon and I highly recommend it. I’m never a huge fan of the sandwiches but these were nice and not so much that you couldn’t then enjoy the sweets section which you can sometimes find with afternoon teas. The sweet selection was just perfect and I enjoyed every item from this selection.

If you want to make a reservation for the Dior Prêt-à-Portea collection, head over to the Berkeley hotel website here 

Prices start from £60 per person.

A fun evening spent with Fizzbox events!

Recently I was invited by the fabulous Fizzbox team to try out two of their events in my home town in Brighton. If you haven’t already heard of Fizzbox, they are an online company where you can book fun activities and experiences in loads of locations around the UK as well as in Europe. I wish I had known about this service sooner. I have been on weekend trips away this year and this would have been the perfect way to find out about local events available nearby.

Whether you are a foodie, someone who likes a day at the spa, or even someone who is a thrill seeker that enjoys adventure – there is literally an event for everyone.

Afternoon Tea with a retro Twist

The first part of the evening was a beautiful afternoon tea on a traditional London Routemaster bus. I have seen this tour around town before so I was so excited to get to try this out. The upstairs of the bus was arranged into groups of tables to fit 4 people and the windows were all decorated with velvet curtains which really added to the luxury styling of the bus. We were greeted with a glass of prosecco and given a menu to have a look at the treats that were about to be served!

There was a lovely selection of sandwiches with fillings ranging from cream cheese to smoked salmon, as well as a huge selection of sweet treats including macaroons, a gorgeous mousse and slice of carrot cake. There were several teas to try and I went for a classic breakfast tea which came in a spill proof mug so there is no risk of burning yourself!

After the first setting, we were served gorgeous scones with pots of cream and jam – perfection!

All aboard! We were all given these cute tickets as we got onto the bus!

The tour lasted for around an hour and a half and was a fab way to view the City, covering all of the sites including the Palace Pier, Royal Pavilion, Brighton Marina and shopping heaven, the Lanes. The service was fantastic and I absolutely loved this tour. This afternoon tea would be the perfect girlie trip with friends for a hen weekend, or just as a lovely day out with your mum, sister, or nan. I really recommend it!

 A cocktail making master class

The next part of the evening was spent at  Las Iguanas in Brighton which is a restaurant with a cocktail bar area. We were greeted by our bartender for the evening and she taught us how to make a selection of cocktails. It was so much fun and it has made me want to host my own little cocktail party at home now! We covered all kinds of drinks from Pina coladas to mojitos – all of the cult classic favourites. We were also served a selection of tasty Tapas food which was a lovely little extra treat along with the drinks.

This event would be so much fun as part of a hen night again, or a girlie trip into Brighton for the weekend. We tried so many different drinks that t would be a good way to start the evening off!

Overall experience

I had such a fun night and really enjoyed both experiences. I highly recommend checking out the Fizzbox website HERE at all of the fab events that you can book through them. If you are looking for a last minute Christmas present why not book a day out that someone can look forward to in the new year. That would make such a lovely gift.

Thank you to the Fizzbox team for inviting me, I had an amazing evening and I will definitely be booking more events with you in the future. There are so many that I cannot wait to try!

Have you ever tried a cocktail making class before? What is the best afternoon tea you have ever had? Leave me a comment below! x

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