13 inspired gift ideas – personally recommended

Style insiders reveal the best presents they’ve given – from backgammon boards and punchy pyjamas to ceramic ghosts

Olivia von Halle silk Lila Cosimo pyjamas, £‌420
Olivia von Halle silk Lila Cosimo pyjamas, £‌420

Jessica McCormack, jeweller

“The best gift I’ve given recently was a diamond-print Olivia von Halle pyjama set. I’ve known Olivia for years and her designs feel amazing. These were such fun and tongue-in-cheek – the idea of sleeping in diamonds.” Similar styles about £420; oliviavonhalle.com.

Studio Arhoj Ghost figurines, from €20
Studio Arhoj Ghost figurines, from €20

Adam Nathaniel Furman, artist-designer

“Studio Arhoj, a Danish handmade ceramics company, makes these adorable Ghost toys with beautiful glazes and two little eyes. I bought them for my nieces.” From €20; arhoj.com.

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Sally Greene, theatre impresario

“Connolly is my go-to for all sorts of gifts; I love everything in there. You can’t go wrong with a Connolly leather notebook.” From £155; connollyengland.com.

Connolly leather notebook, from £155
Connolly leather notebook, from £155

Joseph Walsh, furniture maker

“For a friend, I bought a set of Cuttings V wine glasses by Martino Gamper for J Hill’s Standard. Anike Tyrrell established the company to regenerate the image of Waterford glass and invited international designers like Gamper to collaborate with master glasscutters from the area. The results are stunning.” €130 per glass; jhillsstandard.com.

The personalised backgammon board that Olivia von Halle gave her husband Hugo
The personalised backgammon board that Olivia von Halle gave her husband Hugo | Image: Tina Hillier

Ben Evans, director of the London Design Festival

“I bought my wife Amanda a photograph of a bowl of red cherries on a newspaper by Italian photographer Guido Guidi. We live near the Large Glass gallery and Amanda saw it in the window and said she liked it – Guidi has a fantastic eye and tone.” largeglass.co.uk.

Tumblers from the Cuttings series by Martino Gamper for J Hill’s Standard, from €120
Tumblers from the Cuttings series by Martino Gamper for J Hill’s Standard, from €120 | Image: Tom Brown

Linda Pinto, interior designer

“I gave my assistant Nicolas a stone and diamond lucky charm bracelet from M Selçuk Ipek in Istanbul. My brother Alberto gave him a similar one years ago that had worn out, so I was delighted to be able to give him a new one as a token of affection.” mselcukipek.com.

Ballerina Lauren Cuthbertson likes to give her family monogrammed Aspinal wallets for Christmas
Ballerina Lauren Cuthbertson likes to give her family monogrammed Aspinal wallets for Christmas

Olivia von Halle, nightwear designer

“For Christmas I gave my husband, Hugo, a handpainted backgammon board by Alexandra Llewellyn. It’s personalised with motifs that symbolise his life.” POA; alexandrallewellyn.com.

Room of the Greek Cross at the Vatican by Massimo Listri
Room of the Greek Cross at the Vatican by Massimo Listri | Image: Kensington Leverne

Tim Little, creative director of Grenson

“I gave my dad a football programme from the day I was born: May 18, 1963. On that day, my dad had tickets for Nottingham Forest vs Spurs. He went to the match and hurried back to the hospital, but I’d already been born. I trawled the internet to find the programme from the match: he was delighted.” football-programmes.net.

Panerai creative director Alvaro Maggini gave a friend a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classic Duetto watch as a birthday present
Panerai creative director Alvaro Maggini gave a friend a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classic Duetto watch as a birthday present

Alvaro Maggini, creative director of Panerai

“For a beloved friend’s birthday present, I recently bought a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classic Duetto watch. It has two distinct faces so the wearer can change styles whenever they like.” Similar styles, from £3,750; jaeger-lecoultre.com.

Jean Nouvel gave his father 96 bottles of Château d’Yquem for his 96th birthday
Jean Nouvel gave his father 96 bottles of Château d’Yquem for his 96th birthday

Lauren Cuthbertson, ballerina

“For Christmas, I gave monogrammed Aspinal wallets to all my family. I quite like matching things. I pride myself on present-giving, and always try to pick things that will remind us of each other.” aspinaloflondon.com. 

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Philip Hewat-Jaboor, art adviser and collector

“I recently gave a colour photograph of the Room of the Greek Cross at the Vatican, to my partner [the milliner] Rod Keenan, for his study. It’s by Massimo Listri, who takes these precise, unbelievably clear photographs.” massimolistri.com.

Alvaro Maggini, creative director of Panerai

“For a beloved friend’s birthday present, I recently bought a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classic Duetto. It has two distinct faces so the wearer can change styles whenever they like.” Similar styles, from £8,300; jaeger-lecoultre.com.

Jean Nouvel, architect

“I always gift my father wine. And this year it was Château d’Yquem – one of his favourites. I gave him 96 bottles for his 96th birthday.” yquem.fr.

Paul de Zwart, furniture designer

“My mother-in-law was telling me all about a vintage cushion with Ottoman motifs that she’d seen at textile dealer Susan Deliss’s showroom, and as it was her birthday the next day, I called Deliss and bought it for her. I collected it on my bicycle on my way to the celebration dinner.” susandeliss.com.

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