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December 9, 2011

Our Top Ten SIMPLY SUPER Christmas Gifts

by Val Reynolds

In the space of a year we see a fair number of items we rather like. Here are our top ten we think would make fabulous, interesting and thoughtful gifts for Christmas 2011. They are of course equally appropriate at other times of the year.

Jean Christophe Novelli - Connoisseur Knives

Jean Christophe Novelli - Connoisseur Knives

1. Novelli Cooking Knives

These knives will last a lifetime, in fact they are designed to last for more than one generation. Beautifully balanced, made from the best of materials they are a joy to work with. We love using them. More …

Wolsztyn Steam Train Centre © Trevor Jones

Wolsztyn Steam Train Centre © Trevor Jones

2. A Footplate Holiday in Poland – The Steam Engine Enthusiast’s Dream More …

3. However this beautiful book  Great Railway Maps of the World may be a less generous gift than a trip to Poland but just as acceptable we’re sure. More …

4. Forever Rumpole

The loveable legal rough diamond Horace Rumpole who refers to his wife as She who must be obeyed, conjures up an appropriate bon mot whatever the occasion. Forever Rumpole is a fine choice for bedtime reading. More …

5. A History of the World in 100 Objects

Oh yes, this is bedtime reading for at least a year!  This is a great dip into book, with 100 historical objects to read about, from the earliest surviving object made by human hands to the 100th object – a solar powered lamp and charger. It would fascinate anyone interested in man’s history. Wonderful book. More …

6. Garden tools Investing in garden tools can be a hit and miss affair but here are three we have tried and liked for their utility. We loved the Fiskar trowel, patio broom and axes – our choice for 2012. More

Fiskar Trowel

Fiskar Trowel

7. Growing plants from seeds is one of our passions. We usually go for Thompson & Morgan seeds but sometimes when we can’t find what we are looking for, we look at the Sow Seeds website. A small independent seed business based in Cheshire offering the home gardener, allotment holder and commercial growers the finest quality seeds at great prices it is worthy of support. They provide Gift Vouchers and Seed Boxes, ideal gifts for beginner gardeners and old timers alike.

And for those you know who suffered in the drought this year we highly recommend having some Supa Drippas to hand just in case it happens again next year. More

8. Our kitchen waste is now being collected in the kitchen itself, saves us going down the garden in all weathers. This is achieved because we are now using a Bokashi composter – the micro organic process with no smell. Believe us when we say it is so good we keep telling everyone about it! And it is our favourite gift to our gardening friends. More

9. For every harassed Mum or Dad – the answer to  replacing damaged playthings! Saves a fortune – a lifeline especially to anyone not handy with broken stuff. A great stocking filler/tree gift. More

Getting ready to taste eight different wines to match with Festive food

10. Our final suggestion is a course at the Wine Academy in Queen Anne St, Marylebone, for anyone you know  interested in knowing much more about wine. We recently attended a wine and food matching course, absolutely excellent, led by Suzy Atkins, wine writer for The Times. We can’t rate this highly enough. Fantastic gift. We will be writing about our experience in the near future.

Val Reynolds Brown, Editor

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