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A gentleman’s guide to the thank you letter

Many of us find writing thank you letters a rather tedious palaver, especially during a busy summer. However, nearly everyone likes to receive a handwritten letter of thanks – rich, blue ink on smart paper just feels so much more special than a muted email alert on a grey day. As with all forms of etiquette, it comes down to making people feel good about themselves. Keep the letter brief but enjoyable – tick those requisite points, acknowledge the kindness in question, and move on. After all, it is the thought that counts.


It does not have to be long!

Write as soon as possible. It reinforces the sense of gratitude, and things will be fresher in your mind. Hoping people will forget whether you’ve written or not is a rather risky and un-gentlemanly strategy.

Don’t forget to use the words ‘thank you’ – but they’re more effective deployed later on in the letter.

Mention a few things that you particularly liked – observing specific detail conveys appreciation while acknowledging effort.

An interesting anecdote about something you’re doing at the moment will add variety.

For a more formal letter, use headed paper.

Speak from the heart.


If you have taken the trouble to find the headed paper, stamp, envelope, and postbox, you owe it to your own penmanship to write with something rather more luxurious than that ink-spluttering nightmare you used in those godawful lower school Latin classes. We have selected two of the finest pens to help you craft a beautiful letter.



The Meisterstück 149 is one of the most famous fountain pens. Hand-crafted in the best European tradition, this is a most luxurious writing instrument. Churchill, JFK, and the Queen have all used them. Gentlemen, make your mark with a Montblanc.

Buy here.



The next generation in pens, the Parker Ingenuity intuitively adapts to match the natural angles of each user’s unique handwriting style, producing flawless, smooth strokes. An innovative and exceptional writing experience.

Buy here.

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Further reading