The gift of a stylish subscription

From rare teas to fine wines, dress socks to scented candles – gifts that keep giving throughout the year

Nice Laundry offers a Build Your Box choice of six pairs of stylish socks of users’ individual choosing for $59
Nice Laundry offers a Build Your Box choice of six pairs of stylish socks of users’ individual choosing for $59

Supremely suave socks 

An online shrine to stylish socks, Nice Laundry does patterns, plain and personalisation with equal élan. The colourful, easy-to-use site has a Build Your Box option that can be filled with pairs of users’ individual choosing. The designs might include bold, graphic prints bearing chevrons or polka dots, while the styles range from traditional athletic varieties to proper cotton dress socks or no-show numbers for laidback loafers. A small box ($59) contains six pairs, the medium ($99) holds 12 and the large ($119) takes 18. The latest addition to the US-based site (which also ships to the UK, Australia and Canada) is the Personal Edition: Luxe service ($45 for three pairs) that allows users to customise their footgear with monograms, logos or sports symbols. Customers can regularly update their socks appeal too, thanks to Nice Laundry’s subscription service. The Quarterly option ($49) provides six pairs of dress socks plus one special edition, all seasonally appropriate, while the Annual package ($99) sends out a total of 16 pairs of dress socks, two no-show liners and a special edition. nicelaundry.com. CHRISTINA OHLY EVANS

The three-month Love Letters subscription from Dear To Me costs £22 for three different eye-catching cards and envelopes each month
The three-month Love Letters subscription from Dear To Me costs £22 for three different eye-catching cards and envelopes each month
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The makings of lovely letters

Among the letterpress firms making waves in the world of personal stationery is Ramsgate-based Maple Tea, whose embossed work (from £80) on correspondence and business cards is gracefully restrained. Dear To Me on the other hand has eye-catching off-the-shelf stationery with rose-gold foiling and motifs such as palm trees and pineapples, as well as a three-month Love Letters subscription (£22 for three different cards and envelopes each month). deartomestudio.commapletea.co.uk. JEMIMA SISSONS

Roberson Wine delivers a mixed case of six “interesting” wines for £99 per quarter (example from December 2017’s Wine Club selection)
Roberson Wine delivers a mixed case of six “interesting” wines for £99 per quarter (example from December 2017’s Wine Club selection) | Image: Sarah Jones
Elegantly presented works of fiction by women-only authors are available on a 12-month subscription from Persephone Books for £132
Elegantly presented works of fiction by women-only authors are available on a 12-month subscription from Persephone Books for £132

Outstanding and unusual wines

Wandering onto the Roberson Wine e-store, temptation pops up all over the shop: it’s dangerously easy to navigate and buy. You can even purchase a single bottle for delivery to a UK address, though the likelihood of doing so is slim given the choice on offer. “We want every wine we sell to be the best of its type, from a £10 rosé to a £3,000 grand cru burgundy,” says owner Cliff Roberson, who opened a shop in Kensington in 1991 before moving the business online. Shoppers can browse by “collection” – lists such as Wines with Hygge, or Almost Famous, a cache of undiscovered but on-the-up finds – or by region. Those overwhelmed by the choices can opt instead for the Wine Club: a quarterly subscription service (£99 per quarter) that delivers (to residents of England, Wales and southern Scotland) a mixed case of six interesting (“or just plain delicious”) wines, with accompanying notes. And Roberson continues to innovate, operating “London’s first, fully operational urban winery” in Fulham, producing own-label wines with grapes of varying provenance. The London Cru Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 (£9.99), for example, was made from grapes grown in southern France, but the focus is increasingly shifting to English grapesrobersonwine.com. SUE STYLE

Subscribers to Scent receive candles infused by independent perfumers and tailored to personal fragrance preferences for £45 per delivery
Subscribers to Scent receive candles infused by independent perfumers and tailored to personal fragrance preferences for £45 per delivery
The Rare Tea Company’s limited edition Tea Lady’s Personal Collection offers rare teas at £495 for a six-month subscription
The Rare Tea Company’s limited edition Tea Lady’s Personal Collection offers rare teas at £495 for a six-month subscription

Chic forgotten classics by women authors

There is a small shop in London’s Lamb’s Conduit Street that one imagines Virginia Woolf might have considered to be the stuff of emancipated women’s dreams: Persephone Books. “We print neglected fiction and non-fiction by women, for women and about women,” explains founder Nicola Beauman. The shop is a haven of inspiration with books by lesser-known authors. But better-known writers are also published, often exploring other genres of fiction than that for which they are best known. Take Richmal Crompton, for example, of Just William fame, the book that sold over 8m copies during her lifetime, but which, it was believed, she felt compromised her recognition as an author. The titles are elegantly bound in silvery-grey paperback and lined with the most beautiful of patterned papers, each taken from fabric designs from the period that the book was written. They are perfect to slip into a handbag, more stylish than a Kindle and easier to read. A 12-month book subscription (£132, excluding postage) amounts to a natty little collection over the course of the year. persephonebooks.co.uk. BEATRICE AIDIN

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Candles with care

For haute hygge, if you will, Scent’s candle subscription service (£45 per delivery, available every one, two or three months for a 12-month period) provides waxen wonders infused by independent perfumers – including Laboratory Perfumes and New York studio Joya, which handmakes all its candles and works with artists and designers on experimental ceramic vessels – and tailors each subscriber’s candles to their personal fragrance preferences. Note and mood preferences are picked and mixed online – options include masculine, feminine, fruity, floral, spicy, sweet, gourmand, romantic and relaxing – and can be changed between months. scentfrom.us. IAN SHINE

Rare handpicked herbal teas

Henrietta Lovell, founder of the Rare Tea Company, a London-based specialist sourcing “the world’s best tea” and bespoke blends, is rolling out a series of new subscriptions that ship “some of our most popular teas and herbs” (£75 for six months) or “teas from the smallest harvests and the most celebrated gardens” (£210 for six months, every other month). The just-launched Tea Lady’s Personal Collection (£495 for six months) offers the rarest finds of all, sourced by Lovell on her worldwide buying trips. “The Tea Lady Personal Collection is for true tea lovers who want something no one else can get their hands on,” she says. “I can only offer a very limited number of this subscription and once sold, it will be a year before it is open again.” The first shipment includes a ceramic teapot, two tea bowls and a strainer by Devon-based potter Jacob Bodilly, alongside 15g of a herbal infusion created from blossom handpicked across Europe and the Himalayas. “It takes hundreds of fresh flowers, all individually picked, to produce a few grams of dry tea,” says Lovell. “This blend combines peach, plum, almond and cherry blossom to make one of the most ethereally beautiful herbal teas imaginable. It’s both delicate and extraordinarily rich.” rareteacompany.com. BEATRICE AIDIN

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