Tea at Claridges?
August 30, 2010 8:58 PM   Subscribe

Dear me, I'm from the colonies and have no idea. Elegant, interesting, London-based giftcard (or somesuch) for an online friend's wedding. Suggestions?

A writer, she works a day job at an international publishing house we've all heard of. An Aussie living in London, marrying a Brit. Youngish (younger than me), late 20s I'd say. Don't know her that well (never met IRL), but she followed my blog for a long while and now we're on Twitter, FB, etc.

I've had John Lewis gift vouchers suggested, and I was considering Oddbins for a few bottles of wine, but thought I'd throw it to the hive mind. Let's spend less than £60 ($75Cdn).
posted by Mrs Hilksom to Shopping (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I like Fortnum and Mason.
posted by parmanparman at 9:43 PM on August 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

It depends whether you want to give her something that's going to be of general use, or something that encourages her to get something a little unusual. I'd agree on Fortnum's if you're looking for the "unusual" angle; Liberty might also fit the bill.

(The Londoners won't be awake yet, though.)
posted by holgate at 10:13 PM on August 30, 2010

Selfridge's? They have a really nice selection of stationery - pens etc. - if your friend is into that kind of thing. They also have just about everything else - women's clothes, electronics, the list goes on. I'd say that it's a little on the posh side, but your friend could definitely pick up something nice for £60.
posted by analog at 10:46 PM on August 30, 2010

True 'nuff, posted at the wrong hour for those in Blighty. Have looked at the suggestions, and will also wait it out another 24 to allow our friends in Great Britain to weigh in. Thank you, so far!
posted by Mrs Hilksom at 10:47 PM on August 30, 2010

60 gbp is 98 Canadian dollars ATM, apparently. FYI
posted by man down under at 11:57 PM on August 30, 2010

I live in the UK, and am from Australia, so hope that helps.

John Lewis is practical, but not very special, IYKWIM. Fortnum and Mason is a bit 'swisher' but again, I would respectfully say not all that inspired.

If she is a writer, how about a gift card from: http://www.theliterarygiftcompany.com/index.asp

Or maybe a gift membership to somewhere like the Tate or V&A if they are staying in London rather than moving else where. Yes, these museums are free, but membership has great advantages including special events and offers.

Claridges does do gift cards, BTW, and a gift card for the Vintage Champagne Afternoon tea are 68 pounds, but I guess that is for one, which would be slightly odd for a wedding present, I guess.

Lovely that you are thinking of this!
posted by Megami at 1:19 AM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]

Oddbin's is a downmarket wine chain where you can buy cheap bottles of wine to get drunk on.
Wine is not a bad gift, but if you do so, may I suggest Berry Bros & Rudd.
posted by vacapinta at 5:14 AM on August 31, 2010

Liberty. LOVE LIBERTY!! Not just clothes but adorable stuff for the home, paper goods and sationery and beauty items. MMMMM LIBERTYYYYYY I looove youuu.
posted by like_neon at 6:27 AM on August 31, 2010

£60 won't go far in either F+M or Liberty, so if your friends are not big spenders I'd go with John Lewis or Selfridges. Another option would be to see if the Wolseley do gift vouchers - I took my mum there for afternoon tea and it came to well under £60. IT was a nice treat and not something I'd normally have done.
posted by mippy at 6:44 AM on August 31, 2010

For relatively upmarket I'm seconding Fortum and Mason, Liberty, and Selfridges (although Selfridges basically sells everything, so that's a good gift in itself). As mentioned, £60 won't go too far, but there are plenty of nice luxury gift type items that are affordable. Personally I'd skip John Lewis, it's just a department store, very practical but nothing special.

Heals I'd say is a classier option for kitchenware and stuff like that for the home. Or if you think they like minimal Japanese style, £60 could be well spent in Muji.

Memberships are really nice gifts in my opinion, but will cost more than £60 - Tate is more like £75 for member + friend, Royal Academy is more than that.
posted by iivix at 10:34 AM on August 31, 2010

Thinking about other art type memberships, I'd be jolly happy to be a member of any of these:

South Bank membership (which includes free entry to the Hayward Gallery, which is one of the few London gallery to charge for entry as it doesn't have a permanent exhibition) looks to be the best value, at £75 for full joint membership.

Or, a bit cheaper, Barbican membership seems to only be £20 per person, and gets you discounted entry to things plus members events and stuff like that.

It's broken in my browser, but ICA membership looks to be £60 for dual membership, with similar benefits to the Barbican membership.
posted by iivix at 10:47 AM on August 31, 2010

Thank you all!
posted by Mrs Hilksom at 2:47 PM on August 31, 2010

For the record, a few close-out notes:

I get that £60 doesn't go far, but I don't know her IRL and it would be (from a Cdn pov) inappropriate to give more.

After much thought on your suggestions I kind of realized that if I didn't know enough about both her and London to know what to buy, I should probably go with a Cdn gift. In the end I purchased her a gift subscription to The Walrus.

Thanks again!
posted by Mrs Hilksom at 2:52 PM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]

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