They say an Englishman’s home is his castle. But, while your common-or-garden fortress can easily be jollied up with a shiny new portcullis, a little spruce of the battlements, or, let’s face it, a better class of jester, the average abode, these days, requires a more nuanced approach to its fittings and fixtures.
Fortunately, Gentleman’s Journal has taken some time out from producing the Must-Have Halberds for the Modern Crenellation Owner to put together an indispensable guide to natty homewares for this season and beyond. You may decide to give these things to other people. You may decide to put them on a list of your own. You may decide to put them on a list of your own and then give them to other people, too. They’re simply that compelling. See you in the Great Hall.
For the living room
Is a living room even a living room these days without a backgammon board? It doesn’t feel like it. The scene-iest sport of the moment (and, the way I play, it is a sport) does its very best work at Christmas and in the winter months beyond, huddled around a fire and knee deep in the egg-nog. (Vegan options are available.) Alexandra Llewelyn has long been the gold standard here, and this handsome geometric turquoise backgammon set pairs beautifully with your name-drop about coming sixth in the recent Hertford Street U-50s contest. Its intricate – almost psychedelic – marquetry is a joy.
On the wall, you can scarcely go wrong with a little something-or-other from friend of Gentleman’s Journal David Yarrow, who certainly knows a thing or three about Christmas carousing. His playful ‘James?’, shot near St Moritz with a DB5 in the frame, pushes the kitschy Bond glamour to almost parodic levels. Maddox Gallery, as ever, is the provider here.
Once you’ve dealt with how the living room looks, it’s time to think about how the living room sounds. To that end, Ruark Audio, very much the thinking-man's stereo-maker, has a beautiful, mid-century-style Integrated Music System that's created with the sort of crystal-grade clarity audiophiles get weak-kneed over. I like it in the ‘fused walnut’ colourway.
Alexandra Llewelyn Backgammon Set
David Yarrow ‘James?’ Print
Ruark Audio R410 Integrated Music System
For the bedroom
Waking up is mostly horrendous these days – but, it's slightly less horrendous with this Paul Smith x Braun alarm clock, joyous in its analogue simplicity, almost minty-fresh brightness and, as ever, that perky splash of PS's palette. A better class of snoozing, surely.
Talking of which, one hasn't actually really slept, I'm reliably told, until one has slept on a Savoir pillowcase. This one, aptly named a Dream Cotton Sateen Pillowcase, features a 300-thread-count fabric with lustrous, silk-like strands. The Oxford style, meanwhile, is rather handy for that classic, hotel-grade look and feel. A dream, if you'll forgive me.
Finally, do take a look at these Mu7 wireless headphones from KEF. They're made in collaboration with visionary designer Ross Lovegrove, with a lovely sort of futuro-minimalist appeal. Buttery-soft on the padding and utterly intuitive to control, they have mind-blowingly pristine, high-resolution sonics. (Girls Aloud have never sounded so good.) Oh, and their active noise-cancelling ability is second to none – a happy boon for the snorer-adjacent.
Paul Smith + Braun White Travel Analogue Alarm Clock
Savoir The Dream Cotton Sateen Pillowcase
Mu7 Wireless Headphones
For the bathroom
I rather like the name of this company, Current Body. It implies we might well have another one – that our existing physicality is simply an early-draft version on the ever-upward iterative process towards human-aesthetic excellence. And, with the brand's ingenious tech, in fact, we might just get there. Take its Skin LED Light Therapy Face Mask, the world’s most powerful anti-ageing LED face mask, which has a certain Patrick Bateman appeal on the outside and an established clinical brilliance on the inside. Red light is used to stimulate the production of new collagen in the skin; calm redness; and create an even tone.
Nice to offset all that futuristic jigger-pokery with something more timeless, though, like this candle from Floris, the gorgeous family-owned perfumer, going since 1730. In this case, lively, fresh notes of grapefruit combine with the more earthy, herbal and – dare I say it – italianate tones of rosemary over a floral heart of jasmine and melon. Swoon-making stuff, and beautifully packaged, as ever, too.
It may encourage you, in fact, to kick back in a pillowy-thick bathrobe – one, say, crafted from beautiful 100 per cent cotton by some lovely Swedes. This Håstens number, in a signature jumbo navy check, should certainly tick those boxes.
CurrentBody Skin LED Light Therapy Face Mask
Floris Grapefruit and Rosemary Candle
For the kitchen
Le Creuset doesn’t so much produce pans as future family heirlooms – the sort of things your unborn grandchildren will squabble over in the will-reading alongside the Tuscany farmhouse. The reason is that these exquisitely hardy and superbly made objects just get better with age – more beautiful with the patina of a thousand casseroles; more flavour-imparting with each trip to the Aga. This Cast Iron Roaster pan is absolutely best in class. The traditionalist in me says you should get one in the iconic ‘volcanic’ colourway of sun-blushed orange and red.
The Coravin is an ingenious invention – a system that uses very thin needles and clever air-pressure so you can access your most delicious wines without ever having to actually pull the cork. Essentially, the gadget makes a tiny passage through the cork and draws the wine out (aerating it beautifully as it does so), and then re-inserts the cork and pumps argon, an inert gas, into the bottle so that the wine isn’t exposed to oxygen and is effectively re-sealed for days, months, or even years. No longer do you have to wait for company to sip your finest Barolo! They wouldn’t appreciate it, anyway. Plump for the Timeless Three+ here.
Finally, this Large Always Pan from Our Place is a one-stop-shop for all your sautéing, frying, roasting, boiling, baking, braising, searing and straining needs – very much the Inspector Gadget of the kitchen cupboard. The thing looks great, for one thing – Scandi minimalist, with some very fine colourways – but it also features lots of clever tech, such as Thermakind™, the company’s exclusive non-stick coating made without potentially toxic materials, such as lead and cadmium – and quite right, too.
Le Creuset Cast Iron Roaster
Coravin Timeless Three+
Our Place Large Always Pan
Need more ideas for presents? For him, her and the home, Mulberry’s Christmas gifts cover many bases…
Become a Gentleman’s Journal Member?
Like the Gentleman’s Journal? Why not join the Clubhouse, a special kind of private club where members receive offers and experiences from hand-picked, premium brands. You will also receive invites to exclusive events, the quarterly print magazine delivered directly to your door and your own membership card.