Theatre gift voucher, £50*
The National Theatre’s programme bills Shakespeare alongside classic drama and
contemporary playwrights such as Alan Bennett. Gift vouchers can be
purchased online or via the Box Office and can be exchanged for a variety of
theatrical experiences. *Available in the denomination of your choice
Trust membership, £41.62*
The National Trust annual gift membership offers a fantastic range of deals.
The NT have more than three-hundred historic houses, gardens, castles,
countryside and coastline spaces and their wildlife. Members enjoy free
entry and parking to all sites, a members’ handbook, three editions of the
annual magazine, three months free membership and a free gift when you pay
by Direct Debit. A variety of annual, life and gift membership packages are
available for individuals, families and children. (*£41.62 direct debit for
V&A Members enjoy free and unlimited priority entry to exhibitions,
previews and offers which include 10% off in the V&A shops and cafe,
access to the Members’ Room – complete with wi-fi, refreshments and a
library – and the V&A Magazine delivered three times a year. There
are a variety of gift memberships ranging from Under-26 (£35), Standard
(£64) and Contributing Member (£300). Members also receive invitations to
special events, external visits and talks by high profile speakers. (*£57
membership, from £62
Unlimited free access to all Tate exhibitions with access to members’ rooms at
both the Tate Britain and Tate Modern, and a year’s subscription to the TATE
ETC magazine. There is also an option whereby they can take a guest, so that
exhibition-viewing is a less lonely experience.
Film Institute membership, from £40
BFI Members enjoy front-of-the-queue priority and exclusive access to the
latest updates from the film industry. The BFI offers a special educational
programme in 2014 and has a three-tiered membership. This ranges from the
£45 (*£40 with Direct Debit) BFI Member who receives priority bookings, free
tickets to exclusive events, discounts and no booking fees to the £255 (£250
with Direct Debit) BFI Champion who receives free tickets to exclusive
monthly members events, 20% Filmstore discount and extra priority for
Wolseley dining gift voucher, from £15
020 7499 6996
Classic dining served up in the heart of London and a regular and loyal stream
of celebrity clientele make the Wolseley hard to beat as a gift experience.
The voucher can be redeemed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and can be
personalised for as high or low an amount as you choose, starting at £15.
Valid for a year, the voucher will be emailed to you upon purchase, so there
are no worries about it not arriving on time.
afternoon tea for Two, £97
Ritz London; 020 7493 8181
If you’re going to do afternoon tea, you may as well do it at The Ritz. They
have a wide range of different options available on their site, including a
Champagne version. Tea needs to be booked at least 12 weeks in advance
thanks to its huge popularity and there is a bit of a dress code. Who do
they think they are? The Ritz?
020 7447 4683
Giftcards to one of the flashest restaurants in London are available in
whatever increment you choose – but don’t hold your breath that a little
will go a very long way. The balance can be checked online as well, so no
awkward questions at the restaurant.
wine workshop, £49.99
A half-day course teaching which wines go with which foods, including
chocolate, smoked salmon, citrus and blue cheese. Come away with refined
taste buds and a richer appreciation of food and wine flavours.
and wine making for two, £169
Learn how cheese and wine are made, get hands-on in the process, and
intersperse your day with delicious food included in the price.
Premium E-Card, from £9.99 for one month
Spotify Premium allows users unlimited access to music without any irritating
adverts spoiling the experience, along with a whole host of other features.
E-cards are available for one month, three months (£29.97), six months
(59.94), and 12 months (£119.88) so you can decide which is appropriate
dependent on how much the lucky recipient loves music. Or indeed, how much
you love the recipient.
subscription, from £5.99 for one month
Unlimited access to films and television shows for the person so addicted to
their laptop, they’ve forgotten what a television actually is (though of
course there is the option of hooking up your laptop to your TV). Available
in increments of one month, two months (£11.98), three months (£17.97), six
months (£35.94), and 12 months (£71.88), you may be kissing goodbye to the
idea of spending any time with whomever it is you should choose to give this
Give the gift of DVDs from two per month for £4.89 or three for £7.99.
Alternatively there is the unlimited service for £9.99 per month.
There’s no shortage of magazines available, catering for all tastes. From Elle
Decor (£24.99 for 12 issues) for the design conscious to Monocle
(£90 for 10 issues plus two newspapers) for the everything conscious, they
can go into 2013 newly informed or entertained. Just search online for your
Review of Books (12 issues for £19.99 or 24 for £33.97) is
another good option, and Stack
Magazines offers a unique service in bringing together some of the
best independent magazines from around the world and delivering them
straight to whomever you choose.
Books do a book subscription for a year (£148), sending a new book
to your recipient’s door each month, matched to their personal tastes.
Enjoy a year’s subscription to The
Telegraph on your iPad and mobile for only £99 and get two months
To accompany any of the above, Kopi’s
Coffee Explorer Club (from £27.00 for three months) sends out a 250g
bag of a different variety of coffee every month.
Deep tissue massage, £69
Give a gift voucher for a deep tissue massage from Dove Spa (there are 21
nationwide). The therapist will analyse specific problems and work to
relieve tension. For those with sports fatigued muscles, Elmis’s Muscle Ease
oil, a warming oil with rosemary and thyme extracts, soothes muscles while
the therapist digs in deep with her forearms to pop knots of tension. She
then applies Instant Refreshing Gel, which is sugar-based and has menthol
and arnica – great for bruises. It’s an intense massage, but one that
beauty fix voucher, £55
The party girl’s dream ticket, this little voucher wraps all her party
prepping in one. It includes brow-shaping at Blink (who are brilliant), a
manicure at The Paint Shop, a dry-shampoo blow-dry at Daniel Hersheson (who
are invariably speedy but stylish) and best of all it’s all under one roof.
Monthly arts and crafts supplies
delivery box, £12.95
Little Puggle is a clever subscription service which delivers a box full of
exciting, carefully chosen art and craft materials for your resident artist
to work through every month. (3-5 years).
Another way to go if you want to give something beyond your allocated budget
is to investigate the group discount sites sprouting across the internet.
For the uninitiated, these gather ordinary people’s purchasing power
together to act as a kind of online wholesaler, and so offer products and
experiences at hugely discounted prices. In the case of experiences –
current possibilities include a comprehensive private medical check-up for
£79, or 90 minutes clay pigeon shooting for £39 – these can usually be
redeemed over the next six months to a year, so make an ideal Christmas
Wowcher is a group
discount site that harnesses the power of the world wide web to offer huge
reductions. Each day something is featured on the site for a very low cost,
which everyone who buys it gets – so long as enough people sign up for the
deal. Its website says, “Part of what makes this fun for us is trying to
expose people to things they wouldn’t have done otherwise, like shows,
skydiving, cooking classes, architectural tours, salon services or even
GroupOn is the original and most
well-known of the group discount sites. It also has the wackiest and most
unpredictable range of goodies on offer. Like Wowcher, new offers appear
each day, and are neatly and enticingly presented on its homepage with 80
per cent savings splashed colourfully across the site.
Livingsocial, which rocketed
in value through 2011, works in a similar manner to gain enormous discounts.
As its name suggests, however, it focuses entirely on experiences, and is
quite city-orientated in the deals it offers.
For more Christmas gift ideas, visit our interactive
Christmas gift guide