If you’re sick of scrolling and guessing sizes, here are our picks of one-size-fits all experience presents that anyone would be lucky enough to receive this Christmas.
Gifting the chance to experience something special expresses an affection that knows no bounds of boxes and bows, plus its a great way to sneakily invite yourself along.
The Best ‘Experience Presents’ to Give this Christmas
For the Foodie
Besides taking the foodie who owns your heart out to a slap-up Italian, decadent brunch, game-changing pizza, or trendy new restaurant, you could also get crafty with this one. Consult our guide on 10 of the Best Cookery Courses in the UK & Ireland and give the gift of foraging with The Fat Hen in Cornwall or mastering the doughnut recipe at Bread Ahead Bakery or drip cake making with Peggy Porschen.
For the Hedonist
It’s a pretty reasonable estimation that just about anyone would be pumped to get the chance to indulge and let go at a spa. Our pick of The Best Day Spas in London will steer you to the best spots worth the splurge. Choose from Bulgari Hotel where a mecca of subterranean calm offers the full Italian job: seamless, sleek furniture, marble-just-about-everything and a post-treatment power shower that will never leave you. Or go for The Spa at Four Seasons Trinity Square, where the changing rooms are made to dwindle away the hours, with single-sex saunas and all the ‘extras’ you always forget to bring, from hairdryers to deodorant. Every wall and corner of this spa is smooth and ‘round’ so you don’t feel ‘boxed in’ but are instead curious see what lies around the corner.
For the Fun Seeker
For a real experience, experience present, look no further than these Immersive London Experiences. There’s the popular immersive dining experiences by Funicular, where guests board a luxury train to be served multiple-course meals by award-winning chefs, all while a plot develops around them. Take your cultural maven of choice to the new Rose McGowan immersive art film or your TV fanatic mate to the Black Mirror themed bar, The Grid.
For the Trendy One
These blink-and-you’ll miss it experiences are perfect for people with their finger on the pulse of the city. Weird and wild Food & Drink Pop-Ups that would make perfect gifts include a special date to try Michelin star chef Pierre Koffman’s collaboration with bubbedogs, a gourmet Champagne and hotdog bar in Fitzrovia. Take a vegan close to your heart to The Meet, a definitively delicious vegan haven with the industrial backdrop of railway arches in Clapham North. Fancy a pairing menu? Every year globally-renowed Champagne house Krug picks an ingredient to pair with their champagne, and this year it’s fish – hence their new collaboration with Mayfair hotspot Sexy Fish.
For the Tea Taker
Not many things scream special occasion like scones and finger sandwiches. Even the biggest grinch can hardly resist the joy of a cute pastry. We’re in an ideal position to advise on London’s best with our guide to The Best Afternoon Teas in London and London’s Best Christmas Afternoon Teas. The most irresistible? Sushi may not scream festive, but Nobu have pulled out all the stops to create a unique seasonal afternoon tea. Served in Nobu Cafe in the hotel’s elegant Lobby Lounge, diners can begin with a range of savoury bites including snow crab tempura, tofu buns with truffle tofu cream and pickled tomato and a beef tenderloin on multigrain, doused in shichimi miso mustard.
For the Health Fiend
Everyone says being healthy isn’t hard. But come on, it’s a little hard. It requires that extra bit of thought, strategy and prep, which may become second-hand, but still isn’t as easy as a takeaway. To let your special healthy someone thrive, but also relax, why not treat them to the ultimate luxury of their favourite kind of food on tap. These Food Delivery Services give you health in a heartbeat, which feels pretty decadent actually. Try Potage for dishes such as hot-smoked salmon, avocado and brown rice salad with sweet chilli dressing which can be delivered to your desk or your door. Meanwhile, beautiful food that tastes great is at the heart of Spring Green London‘s philosophy, a food delivery service which aims to challenge perceptions of healthy eating by creating dishes that people want rather than feel they should have.
For the Green Thumbed
Flower Arranging Classes are the perfect, unexpected gift for the interior decorating addict or plant person. Give the gift of getting stuck in at schools like McQueens warehouse in Bethnal Green, where you are greeted by the enchanting aroma of fresh flowers accompanied by the buzz of animated florists from the ground floor workroom, where the McQueens team work around the clock to ensure London is sufficiently bedecked in flowers, whatever the season.
For the Musically Inclined
From The Best Jazz Bars in London to The Best Music Events in London to Book Now you won’t miss a trick. For a grand ol’ time, head to one of The Sky Garden’s Live Music Nights- packed with seasonal favourites from the wonderful team at ALR Music. Go there on December 17th, for a live gospel night, whilst sipping on mulled wine and taking in panoramic views of London town. Nightjar and Ronnie Scott’s are a gold mine for the jazz lover, and the Pizza Express Live jazz bar is exactly as great as it sounds.
For the City Lover
If you want to expedite that ‘holiday’ feeling for someone feeling stuck in a city-rut, a great view (paired with a great drink or even meal) is a good method. Our London Restaurants with the Best Views will raise holiday spirits even higher at gorgeous vantage points like the new Garden Room and, of course, the spectacle of the iconic SUSHISAMBA Liverpool Street, where the fun begins with panoramic glass lifts, whisking you up to the 38th and 39th floors of the Heron Tower.
For the Lit-Lover
There are still a few festivals yet despite the height and heat of festival season having passed. It is, however, always fun to gift an experience that the recipient can look forward to over the coming months, too. The Best Literary Festivals will steer you toward a slew of upcoming interesting festivals like LSE- New World (Dis)Orders and Words by the Water. Stalwarts like Cheltenham Literature Festival and Hay Festival Wales are worth the wait.