Gifting is looking a little different lately. What was once a mooch around Oliver Bonas on your way to a bottomless brunch, or something to be imperfectly wrapped by yours truly in trimmings from Paperchase, is now something that needs to reach your loved one without you handing it over. Gone is the clumsy pulling back of tissue paper to an audience – perhaps music to the ears of the socially awkward – and instead it’s the postman who’ll experience the best of your reactions. There’s no denying the sadness that we all feel to lose these simple pleasures, the things that make birthdays, leaving drinks and engagement parties that bit more special, but thankfully there are some great options for direct-to-door gifting. Allow me to introduce the gifts I’ve either received or personally sent out during the pandemic, each bringing a burst of joy in harder times.
If you’re someone that loves to compile a parcel of treasures for your lucky recipient, then Bookblock is exactly what you need if you’re not up to shopping in person. This website has so many unique gifts that you can pick from and add to your gift box, of which there are lots of pretty choices, and everything is beautifully packaged no matter how big or small your selection. Browse food, pamper products, stationery and homewares among much more and finish off your picture-perfect present with a gift card. It’s such an easy and convenient option, and my friend Amelia loved the miniature cocktails, chocolate bar and hand cream I selected for her birthday.
I’ve had more NIO Cocktails over lockdown than I care to recount, but that means I really know what I’m talking about when I say that these make such a great gift. NIO stands for Needs Ice Only, so that should give you a clue as to how easy these drinks are to prepare. Simply fill your glass with ice (I like to use an ice crusher to make it feel extra fancy) and then you just shake your little parcel of alcoholic goodness and pour it over. Build your own box with three, six or nine individual drinks from the NIO Cocktails collection and they’ll be dropped straight through your friend’s letterbox, ready for their celebrations. My favourites thus far have been the Tommy’s Margarita and the Garden of Russia, and there’s also a Cosmopolitan if you’re feeling very Sarah Jessica Parker.
Bloom & Wild
Months of lockdown have given most of us a renewed appreciation for nature, so I’m pretty sure a bouquet of flowers from Bloom & Wild will go down a treat with absolutely anyone. Somehow they always make arrangements that are just so pretty, no matter what the season, and their prices are so reasonable compared to many other flower sellers. What I really love about receiving these is that they arrive in bud and reach their fully blooming potential after a couple of days, which means they really last in the vase. It’s worth noting that there are two types of bouquets you can order from Bloom & Wild: there are letterbox flowers (which arrive laying flat and not arranged, so they can fit through the door) and hand-tied flowers (proper bouquets that are pre-arranged and tied, and come as a large parcel).
Now I’m not trying to encourage comfort eating, but sometimes a sweet treat really does make everything better – just look at the banana bread craze. Whether someone needs cheering up or it’s their birthday (upon which calories don’t count, obviously) Bad Brownie steps up to the plate with its mouthwatering creations, which are packaged up and sent by post yet still manage to retain that just-baked gooeyness. There are a range of flavour collections to choose from if you fancy a mix (I mean let’s face it, you’re probably going to order these for yourself too) and boxes can vary from 12 to 24 pieces. If the sound of salted caramel, Ferrero Rocher, Maltesers and cookie dough has you salivating, step this way…
Some say gifting vouchers is a cop-out, I say it’s the way to go. The thing is, everyone knows what they want better than whoever is trying to find the perfect present for them, so why not let them do the deciding? I always appreciate a bit of spending money, and something like a Beauty Pie 3-month gift subscription or a Space NK voucher is great because people can either be sensible and stock up their essentials, or treat themselves to something special that they’d never normally splurge on. I received both of these things for my birthday and I must say, my skincare collection is looking better than it has done for a long time.
Do you have any recommendations for direct-to-door gifts that have served you well through the pandemic? I’m always on the lookout for new ideas, so leave them in a comment!