It's Chriiiiiistmas

We’ve had loads of newsletters from people with Christmas gift guides in the last week or so. But we can’t help ourselves. We’re doing it too.

The Petalon Christmas Gift Guide

We’re going to stick to the main 3 categories of presents.

1) Books (that make the giver look clever and well rounded)
2) Household knick-knacks
3) Experiences that look great but you’d never buy yourself

1) Books

The Winner:
Salt Sugar Fat Acid
by Samin Nosrat

Part cookbook, part education. In Salt Sugar Fat Acid you’ll learn about 4 key principles of cooking and how they are aligned with particular cuisines, meals and recipes. It’s a compelling read even without the recipes, as well as something you’d keep in your kitchen and refer back to in future. Nosrat’s book fulfils the two big Christmas present criteria: First off it’s a really beautiful book, something you’d be proud to see someone unwrap. Secondly, it makes you look smart, since it’s not just a straight-up cookbook but something more unique. You can even point the recipient in the direction of the excellent Netflix series of the same name.

Runners up:

America City by Chris Beckett. We mentioned this in the newsletter a month or so ago - it’s a great read with a really interesting central concept (think sexy climate change). The paperback edition also looks really great.

The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli. Another winner in the “beautiful book that makes you look clever” category. Yes it’s about physics, but it’s actually pretty accessible and if nothing else the hardback edition is one of the prettiest books we’ve ever seen.

2) Household knick-knacks

The Winner:
Mini Wooden Forest
by Forge

Lovely little wooden trees. They don’t have a purpose beyond looking nice, and they’re small enough not to get in the way or feel like clutter. Sounds like the perfect Christmas gift! Triangle have some in store and you can also get them on Trouva, but it seems like they’re getting increasingly difficult to get hold of.

london flower delivery.jpg

Runners up:

The Rhino Hammer. Need a small hammer? It doesn’t matter. Yes, technically this is a hammer. But first and foremost it’s a really nice rhino. And who doesn’t want one of those in their kitchen?

Some sexy scissors. Nkuku make all sorts of lovely things. Everyone needs scissors, and in an age where everyone else is buying them from Hay you could be a bit different.

3) Experiences you’d never buy yourself

The Winner:
Book Binding with London Book Arts

A positively therapeutic experience, and it’s a full day for less than £100. There are loads of different types to learn, so if you enjoy yourself you could be a master binder by the end of the year. There are also shorter courses in foil blocking, the process by which that lovely metallic lettering is applied to the front of hard bound books.

Runners up:

Steam Bending. Yeah you heard us. Steam bending is the process of twisting and bending wood in to shapes after heating it with steam. We mentioned this in our workshop newsletter earlier this year. There are a few of them out there but we went to see Charlie Whinney in Cumbria.

Spoon Carving. One more mention for the year for Grain & Knot and their great classes. An accessible price, only a few hours long and you walk away with something beautiful and useful that you made yourself.

Florence Hill