London Living with an Alternative Twist!

A Gift Guide for the Classic Gentleman in Your Life *

The man in my life is a very classic gentleman, he likes the finer things in life but hares it when people, especially myself, go overboard on gifts! I do like to treat him though as I think he thoroughly deserves it; he works mega hard, he follows me around with a camera and lets me live in his flat. I didn’t wanna get him a generic present as I like him to be surprised when he unwraps whatever I buy him to show I’ve put in that bit of effort thinking outside of the box! I’ve worked up a list of a few ideas that I like to think are a little out of the box…

The Summerton Club Subscription

The Summerton Club is a premium spirits subscription service where you can choose from a monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly subscription, dependant on your budget, where you will receive a beautifully-aged bottle of whisky, brandy or rum of up to at least 50cl delivered directly to your doorstep. But the best bit is that this isn’t a bottle you could just grab whilst doing your weekly shop down to your local supermarket. Some bottles aren’t actually available to purchase in the UK yet and it’s guaranteed that all subscription boxes that are sent out are worth more than the membership fee which makes it totally worthwhile!

The Louis Pearl Ocean Island Cognac XO that I was lucky enough to be sent to try out is one of The Summerton Club’s future Bottles of the Month. I was super excited to try as I’ve never had a Cognac before and as it’s not available here in the UK!

“On the Eastern edge of the Cognac region, an Island juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. Oléron Island has been producing wine since the third century. Now vineyards cover 5% of the island and there is evidence of their traditional craft around everywhere. Today 49 vineyards have combined to share the labours of their love, acting together as a cooperative. Their wine is combined within their shared distillery, which creates 2,000 hectolitres of pure alcohol of Cognac every year. In the Saint-Georges d’Oléronsite, the cooperative’s freshly distilled alcohol begins its ageing process in barre Island oak casks. Cognac is a living product, during this stage in oak, the Cognac is in permanent contact with air and wood. Flavour, aroma and colour matures over time with this contact, helping to create a well-rounded and delicious final product, whose characteristics are unique to this Island cooperative and 1’800 in the making.”

It tasted amazing and I can’t wait to share the rest of the bottle with my family at Christmas.

A Case of Wine from Hacienda Zorita

So I may be a little biased when it comes to where I buy my ‘occasions’ wine as I’m a member of the Haciendas Wine Club, but their wine is just so good! My personal favourite is the Natural Reserve Syrah as it goes so well with everything I’ve drunk it with! It’s also won the Gold Berliner Wein Trophy and Silver Sommelier Wine Awards this year too!

The Hacienda Zorita Natural Reserve is a seventy-two hectare Unamuno Vineyard is located in the heart of the Arribes del Duero Natural Reserve which is Europe’s largest protected area of old vines and olives. The vineyard sits at 750 meters above sea level which means the location is ideal for producing well-balanced wines with great personality.

Or if you’re feeling really generous and want to get a case of wine, cheese, jamon, rum, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar complete with a trip to the vineyard and so much more, you could join The Hacienda Wine Club.

A Sentimental Vinyl Clock

You all know that I’m a lover of Vinyl Clocks. We own three and we’ve even mucked in and made a few ourselves on a trip down to their office, that has views that make me want to quit my day job and work there full time!

In short, they can source pretty much ANY vinyl (album or single) that means something to you and turn it into a clock, without damaging the vinyl.  They even spent 3 months helping me to source a certain, very rare vinyl Funeral for a Friend for Mike and they found it, made it and he loved it! It’s still working three years later too.

They have an extensive list on the site of vinyl’s they already have, but if they don’t have the one you’re after, just drop Tim a line; he has the best customer service I know!

A Beer Subscription Box

There are so many beer subscriptions boxes on the market for all tastes. There’s one for stout lovers, there’s one for lager lovers and there’s even one where you can tailor the box to what you like if it’s a bit of everything. There are also so many options for the number of times a year they are delivered such as monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly and dependant on how much you want to spend too.

I’ve recently subscribed to Beer52 which is 8 beers for £24 per month. Your beers are also served up with a snack and copy of Ferment magazine, which is rumoured to be one of the better beer publications around. You are also encouraged to rate and review the booze to earn “taster points” and you’re rewarded with gifts and discounts. You can also add two more beers to your monthly supply for an extra fiver if you want to top it up to ten bottles a month.

A Go Karting Voucher

Last December we went to the opening of the new Team Sport Go Karting indoor arena in Basildon and we had the best time (you can read about that here).

TeamSport Basildon is a £1.2 million indoor track and it’s open long hours for anyone hunting for a dose of racing thrills, great fun and as is a great way to let out their competitive streak. With the track being built over two levels it means there are a couple of ramps, drift-worthy cornering and long straights that let you really get your pedal to the metal! The course is the racing venue that TeamSport own and it can hold up to 16 karters who are ready to see who races best!

Between races, there are some great facilities like a licenced bar for fueling yourself up on drinks and tasty food. There’s also a large spectator area where you can watch the racers speed around the top level if you don’t fancy racing with your partner! We loved it there and buying gift vouchers gives us a good excuse to go back!

I'm Squibb Vicious, better known as Haydy!
Happiest with a craft beer in hand, eating til my heart is content or exploring somewhere new.
Here you can read about my adventures!