Letterbox cheer: best gifts by post
Share the love in lockdown (we’re almost there!) with one of these fun letterbox gift ideas, from book bundles and candles, to beauty boxes and wine.
BEDFORDSHIRE BERKSHIRE BUCKINGHAMSHIRE CAMBRIDGESHIRE CORNWALL DEVON ESSEX DORSET GLOUCESTERSHIRE HAMPSHIRE HERTFORDSHIRE ISLE OF WIGHT KENT LEICESTERSHIRE NORFOLK NORTHAMPTONSHIRE OXFORDSHIRE RUTLAND SUFFOLK SOMERSET SURREY SUSSEX WARWICKSHIRE WILTSHIRE WORCESTERSHIRE
Lots Of Lovely Art
Can’t make it to the Tate? Let the greats inspire your kids’ art and give them the opportunity to let rip with their own masterpiece. Lots Of Lovely Art is a brilliant Berkshire-based biz started by sisters-in-law Alara and Selina (both successful creatives) that introduces children of all ages to art and artists through your letterbox. For instance, ‘Crazy With Collage’ looks at artists who have got busy with scissors, like Picasso and Tracey English, while ‘Friendship Forever’ examines the collaborative relationships of greats like Basquiat and Warhol. You’re sent a booklet about the theme and artists, three projects, and all the quality art materials needed. Simply choose ages 3+ or 6+, and the frequency of the subscription. By the time we’re allowed back into art galleries, they’ll know more about what’s on display than you do. £27 per month.
Literati & Light
If reading a good book by the light of a gorgeous candle sounds like your perfect night in, then Berkshire beauty Literati & Light should be right up your street. Its candles are inspired by the great works of fiction – so, Wuthering Heights smells of heather and rain, and its Narnia-inspired number is scented with Turkish delight, pine and snow. The brand’s Book Club candle subscriptions offer the Classics for three or six months, while the Magical Lands candles are inspired by enchanted tales (above) and Luxury is named after authors such as Proust and settings like lighthouse or garden party. From £12.50 per month.
Grape & Nectar
The subscription box of dreams… one that delivers six bottles of handpicked seriously good wines to your door every month for three or six months. Grape and Nectar, the Berkshire business created by Katherine Dart and Fiona Hayes, offers its subscription service nationwide. These two women are on a mission to demystify wine, to eliminate the guessing game and help you ‘drink better not more’ by ensuring every glass puts a smile on your face. Open minded drinkers can choose ‘The Mix’ – a six bottle subscription that will take you on a monthly vinous adventure, including some of the best sustainable, vegan and limited-production wines. Alternatively, there are red, white and vegan mixes to choose from. Each box comes with wine info, tasting notes and recommended food pairings. Cheers to that. Order the six bottle box for £121.50 if you subscribe or £135 as a one-off purchase.
HERTFORDSHIRE & BEDFORDSHIRE
Herts-based indie Riot Lounge designs and curates gifts for people who love to celebrate their uniqueness – cue their rockin’ Blondie Glam Rock Pop Gift Box With Treats. It contains an official Blondie t-shirt, silky leopard print scarf and Tatty Devine lightning bolt earrings, all beautifully packaged, and posted straight to the door of your glam (rock) mum or punk-loving pal, for £48.
The Jolly Post Co
From coffee lovers to Penguin bookworms, this Beds-based letterbox company knows variety is the spice of life when it comes to curating that perfect gift. Take this The Tits & Cock Teatowel Box – made for the bird watcher in your life or anyone in need of a smutty chuckle and dry plates! £22.99
Ruby & Freddies
Cluckety-cluck! Baby showers are a no-show for now but you can still celebrate the new-born in your life with this super-gorgeous Hello World letterbox set from luxury littlies brand, Ruby & Freddies. Take your pick of adorable vests, and they’ll pop it in a box with a Hello World plaque and send it to your pint-sized recipient for £20.
Know of any bored grown-ups or fidgety littlies? This dinky sewing kit will keep boredom at bay and idle fingers out of trouble. Whistlebrook Kit’s £10 Retro Apple Square cushion comes with everything you need – no sewing experience or a machine required, just the desire for a little therapeutic ‘me’ time.
Find yourself a cosy corner and curl up. Northants brand Bookishly offers a literary subscription service for word nerds. The Classic of the Month package features favourite stories with exclusive, pretty dust jacket designs and a special treat of swanky tea or coffee. You can even add a literary themed mug. Perfect for brightening up lockdown days and giving yourself or a loved one some well-earned me time. £35 a box.
Spatulas at the ready.The Bakers Club from Honeywell Bakes is a fuss free way of kickstarting your baking skills. Every month you’ll receive all the ingredients, pre-weighed, and a recipe card for a new bake. It’s great for newbies or even those with an ounce or two more more culinary know-how, and you’ll get to stretch your skills as well as your dough. Rose and pistachio macarons, anyone? Bagsie me licking the bowl. Kits start at £15.
Cheese on Towcest’
A monthly dose of cheese delivered to your door because, quite honestly, you deserve it. Towcester based cheesemonger Cheese on Towcest’ (do you see what they did there?) have sourced their favourite artisan cheeses from across the UK to create a different cheese board each month and added tasting notes and suggested wine pairings. Pass the merlot. £26.50 a box.
Allotment fashion and accessories
Described as Vitamin C for the soul, the gemstone citrine is said to encourage positive energy and improve self-esteem. Even if you don’t believe in the healing power of crystals, this £30 citrine necklace, from Somerset’s women’s fashion and accessories store Allotment, is so pretty it’s sure to cheer anyone up.
Wild Fig Grazing Box
Foodies will salivate over the Wild Fig Grazing Box with its artisan cheeses and charcuterie, crackers, chutney and fresh fruit. Throw in a bottle of Beckford Bottle Shop wine and some Scout & Sage gin, and the cherry on the cake? You can add a scented candle or fresh flowers too. The Bath company’s Grazing Boxes come in three sizes: small (for two peeps, £40), medium (for four, £60) or large (for six, £70), with the booze and other stuff as extras.
Chococo: ethical chocolates
Chocoholics with a conscience will love these handmade chocs from award-winning, ethical chocolatiers Chococo, AKA the Purbeck Chocolate Company in Dorset. Winners of over 100 national and international fine food awards – which is to say, their chocs are superb – they use chocolate produced from start to finish in the country of origin (adding more value to the local economy), support conservation projects in the UK and abroad, and use compostable/recyclable/recycled packaging. Selection boxes are priced at £12 for a small, £18 for a medium, and £24 for a large.
Lindsay Punch Personal Styling
Help someone rediscover their style mojo by sending them a voucher for a one-to-one session with Dorset personal stylist Linsday Punch. After years of working with designers at Harrods and Ralph Lauren, training personal shoppers, and dressing a long list of women (including celebs who she’s far too discreet to divulge), Lindsay knows how to help women of all ages, shapes and sizes feel fantastic. And who wouldn’t want that? Vouchers cost from £120.
Little Pots, Lots of Love
The gift that keeps on growing. Emily Anderson noticed that the plant bought most often from her shop in north Cornwall were these little pots planted up with a String of Hearts – and so at the start of lockdown 1, realising we all needed to send a little kindness and cheer through the post, Little Pots Lots of Love was born. Each £26 parcel contains a String of Hearts plant in a handmade clay pot (grey or pale pink), presented in an archive style gift box with a handwritten, letter-pressed card, delivered the next working day throughout the UK. In a lovely touch, Emily also sends out one pot every day to someone randomly selected from her followers nominations. And not for a special occasion – just because it’s cool to be kind.
Can Club, Wild Wine School
This quarterly based subscription from Cornwall’s Wild Wine School is a little bit of wine related fun – each box contains two cans of wine plus a snack and tasting note, and the details of the corresponding Instagram live. Founder Debbie Warner is then joined live by the wine maker and other guests for a wine based chat. Crack open your cans and snacks, join in on your own IG and learn a bit about wine / discover something new to drink. Great fun and a chance to discover new vines. The next one is in April, and costs £17.50.
Da Bara Cinnamon Buns
Da Bara’s cinnamon buns have a cult following in Cornwall because of their sumptuous flavour and crisp pastry outer. They make the perfect breakfast or afternoon pick-me-up. And now you don’t have to travel to Cornwall to enjoy these beauties, as they can be delivered by post. Boxes are £15 and contain five buns, which is one for breakfast each day of the week for you, unless you’re willing to share, that is. You can also add bread and other pastries to the order.
Whisky-Me is run from Cornwall but the whisky is definitely Scottish – each month, £7 gets you a different dram straight from the distillery and through your letterbox in a little pouch. Plus, access to an interactive live tasting of whisky (and other spirits) with expert Tristan Stephenson. Find out what really tickles your taste-buds without committing to an entire bottle – average retail price of each bottle is £50-£100, so this is a great introduction. Members get freebies when referring others, including extra pouches and tasting glasses.
Olive & Oak gift boxes
During lockdown three friends from Kent made it their mission to support their local artisans and creative folk. Their ready-made gift boxes and bags come pre-packaged or you can mix and match from items as diverse as candles, jewellery making kits, lip balm and herbal tea. Prices start at £3 for a bag or £6 for a box, plus the price of the items you select. An affordable gift option that supports local businesses – it’s a win win.
Baboo Box pregnancy subscription and gift boxes
Baboo Box makes the journey through pregnancy a little more indulgent with boxes curated specifically for each trimester. Start with the First Trimester box, Morning Wellness (above), which has goodies for combatting nausea and tiredness, and along the way there is stretch mark cream, a pregnancy bingo game and even trouser extenders… they’ve thought of everything. Boxes cost £38 with a 15% discount if you subscribe to all four. And don’t forget the Dads – Dadoo Box is a survival kit for new fathers including shower gel, coffee and wipes… what more do they need?
From The Post House
Give the Insta-worthy interiors look with this sumptuous seasonal subscription box delivered to their door. It’s all carefully curated to be effortlessly on-trend and, most importantly, each box comes with its own styling guide. (To save your recipient staring into the depths, wondering what the heck they’re meant to do with it all). From The Post House was set up by fashion buyer and PR duo Hannah and Anne, inspired by their own adventures renovating and styling their Sussex cottages. The Awaken box for spring 2021 is packed with inspiration to gear up for balmier days, lazy brunches and of course, the obligatory spring declutter all in sunny lemon yellow, pastel pink and grassy green shades. £95 for a one-off purchase, or £85 for a repeat subscription.
Self Care Sundays Box
Wish you could gift a spa trip? Don’t we all! Fortunately you can gift the experience with Self Care Sundays Box, created and curated by skincare expert Sandra. Buy a one-off box (from £74) as the perfect pampering gift for somebody who deserves a little TLC, or sign ’em up for a subscription. If you go for the latter then every other month they’ll receive a gorgeously curated box of products, designed to be used together with no waste, to give them that spa glow at home. Better book that bathroom slot once a week!
Books That Matter
Entice them to put that bodice-ripper DOWN with a box from Books That Matter, filled with female-authored books. These come with a range of gifts from independent female creatives. They’ll be empowered, informed and educated faster than you can say ‘oooh, Mr Darcy!’. Brighton-based founder Molly is the first ever female winner of the Start Up Sussex entrepreneurship project, and Books That Matter has just been crowned the UK’s Female Start Up of the Year. £17 a month, with deals for repeat subscriptions.
These beautiful and tactile notebooks make the perfect gift for a stationery lover. Inspire your loved one to sketch a beautiful local landscape, craft a poem or write that novel! Handmade by artist and illustrator Suzanne Reed in her New Brewery Arts Studio in the heart of Cirencester. These gorgeous notepads cost £12, feature 40 pages, and are designed and printed on Suzanne’s very own vintage printing press. Each includes a first page of printed vellum which gives a little bit about the story and inspiration of the book. They can be sent anywhere in the UK or internationally.
Graze and Glory Letterbox Treat Box
Graze & Glory is Gloucestershire’s first grazing caterer, created after founder Lesley Merrick wanted to change the snacking habits of her children. You can order a rainbow range of grazing treat boxes and send them with a personalised note. Choose from the mouth-watering sounding Chocolate Box (£20), Sweet or Savoury Breakfast Platter (£40) or the Classic Graze Box (above, £25). Each is filled with artisan goodies to make someone feel super-loved. There’s free delivery if you spend more than £50, and you can order the size bespoke to however many people you fancy treating (from 1 to 8!).
Wanderflower Sleep Well Set
Send some serious happiness through the post with the restorative self-care set from essential oil gurus Wanderflower. This Lavender and Fig Sleep-Nurturing package costs £25 and is infused with natural aromas and comes with a lavender pillow spray, fig-scented roller-ball Sleep Well oil and a silky eye mask to block out the whole WFH/homeschool situation. Containing no parabens, it’s also vegan friendly and cruelty-free and comes in a lovely keepsake wooden box they can use afterwards for trinkets.
Cotswold Box Company
They’ll get a huge happiness spike when they receive a box of delights from the Cotswold Box Company, beautifully packaged with pretty tissue paper. Choose from Pamper and Self Care boxes or create a bespoke one, popping in handpicked goodies from local businesses in the Cotswolds, from gorgeous skin creams to candles and jewellery. It’s a touch of luxury in a box. All the boxes are fully recyclable and greetings cards come naked (no plastic sleeves.) Boxes cost from £33.
Button Queen Vintage
Back when kids used to collect stamps (way before *ahem* my time) it was more than just the sticky-backed paper you wanted: it was that exotic link with a foreign clime. Maybe that’s why these retro stamp maps from Mel at Button Queen Vintage are flying out the door. For example, the Devon map (above) includes stamps that evoke the place – Brixham fishermen in their yellow sou’westers, local wildlife and a vintage Exmouth train ticket. It costs just £30 – a total snip for a one-off retro gift you won’t find elsewhere. Find her on the Indie Store.
Brownies by Post, Porsham Cakes
Award-winning brownie maker extraordinaire, Porsham Cakes makes the gooiest, tastiest, chocolate-iest brownies ever. Owner Tan has recently been awarded a Taste of the West Gold to prove it. She bakes and posts Mon-Wed before midday, and both sizes slide perfectly through the letterbox: just in time for the lucky recipient to rip off the pretty tissue paper and scoff with their morning coffee. £18.95 for A5, and £28.95 for A4.
Good Vibes Cushion Cover, Ian Snow
Greetings cards are so last year, dahling, now it’s all about saying it with a retro slogan cushion. It’s guaranteed to give the lucky recipient and their home an instant energy boost, and something cosy to cuddle if they’re feeling low. This embroidered bolster from Ian Snow measures 50x50cm and is available as just a cover or with a feather inner for £42.
LEICESTERSHIRE & RUTLAND
The Willoughby Book Club
In need of a little escapism and like the idea of getting lost in a new book? The Willoughby Book Club offers a handy book subscription covering everything from young adult adventure, to new recipe books, or the latest crime thrillers. If the thought of searching for endless hours to find your next read is overwhelming, you’ll be pleased to know that their team of fellow bookworms do the hard work for you. From £39.99, they’ll hand-pick a new book every month – tailored to your favourite genre, authors and preferences – and deliver it straight to your door. Plus, for every purchase of a new subscription, they donate a brand-new book to Book Aid International – what’s not to love?
A one-woman show, postnatal fitness expert Dr. Joanne Helcke makes delicious and moreish raw vegan letterbox treats which make WFH that little bit sweeter but guilt-free. Mint Edit are edible works of art that are the perfect treat for lovers of dark, mint chocolate: a healthier, vegan version of ‘After Eights’ featuring raw, natural mint chocolate fudge. Available as a one-off box or as an ongoing subscription, the treats arrive wrapped in brown paper in a letterbox-sized card box. Flavours change slightly each month and prices depend on product, beginning at £17.
HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT
If you can’t be there in person – send chocolate! Sure to raise a smile, Morse Toad is a simple way to send a hug or cheeky chocolate note by post. Personalised messages are imprinted into top-notch Belgian chocolate and sent in a letter-box friendly package anywhere in the UK. Upload a picture to accompany your choccy message and friends or family will be instantly cheered by a snap of your smiling face, loveable dopey dog, a vintage snap or other happy time together. We love the £10.25 Big Chocolate Hug, above.
Jessica Russell Flint Silk Scarf
Bright, cheerful and super-stylish, this £48 Circus Stripe Silk Skinny Scarf from British designer Jessica Russell Flint is an antidote to spring showers. A splash of rainbow colour, it’s perfect to style-up Spring outfits and is one of a huge selection of designer scarves from Indie Store seller Harriet Cleverly’s Stockbridge-based boutique, Cleverly Wrapped. As a bonus, there’s no need to faff with wrapping and packaging as it’ll be ready gift-wrapped in Harriet’s signature black and peach-ribboned boxes.
The Little Gift Box
Sisters Maddie and Georgia specialise in brightening people’s days with their variety of charming gift boxes. Each one is gift-wrapped and includes a handwritten personal message of your choice with a selection of themed goodies. You can pick from a vast range including a moreish Movie Snack box of picky treats to a Blooming Lovely box featuring wildflower seeds. (And, just saying, they do a Self Care box, for if you wanted to treat number one…) There’s also the option to create your own gift box, and curate exactly what that special someone would want. Prices start at £5.95, depending on box contents.
The Local Gin Company
Make sure your loved one never runs out of their favourite tipple. Passionate about local spirits, The Local Gin Company offers a subscription service of regional gin accompanied by the distiller’s tasting notes, garnishes, and independent British tonics. If you don’t want to limit yourself to one region, the ‘surprise me’ subscription delivers a gin tour that spans all of England. To give as a gift, you can select the gift option and choose how many boxes you wish to give. The receiver is sent a voucher, and decides which region they want to receive gin from and how often. In no time at all, they’ll be sitting down with a glass of fine, regional gin. Boxes are £40 each.
Palette luxury gift boxes
Cambridge-based Palette is a brand new luxury gift box company and just the sort of thing that we’d love to receive through the post. Every box contains beautiful roses, paired with a collection of other carefully curated little luxuries like sweet treats and posh pampering products, making them ideal if you can’t decide between sending flowers or a gift. The boxes range from £50 to £135.
Cambridge Imprint Stationery Lover’s Gift Box
Know someone who loves all things stationery (and who enjoys writing and sending letters even when it’s not lockdown?). Then send them this gorgeous gift box full of Cambridge Imprint goodies, featuring some of their prettiest designs. The £42 gift box includes a set of three Memo Books, envelopes, labels and notecards. You never know: they might just send you one of the stylish notecards back as a thank you!
The Suffolk Hamper Company
Can’t decide on just one gift? Treat someone who loves a pamper to a whole hamper of delights on their doorstep from The Suffolk Hamper Company. There’s something for every type of recipient – from dog lovers to foodies – and each hamper is filled with local goodies such as candles, truffles, foot cream, dog treats or body lotion. You could even go down the bespoke option if you want extra brownie points. Prices start at £10.
There are brownies and then there are Cocoa May brownies, which fit through a standard size letterbox and straight into your mouth in delicious style. You can’t go wrong if you send these chocolate treats to a loved one. Their salted caramel brownies are the bees knees, but you could also push the boat out with mini egg blondies, pistachio and sea salt brownies or biscoff brownies. Boxes are priced from £12.50.
Norfolk Wellness Gift Box
These £26 cute subscription boxes are packed with gorgeous handmade local treats including wax burners, organic soap, roasted coffee plus a free paddleboard day out and funky skincare samples, all with the idea of giving yourself some me-time. Hands up who wants?
Birch Lea Soaperie
Fancy some handmade, all-natural sustainable skincare and soap from the North Norfolk coast? These subscription boxes, at £15 per month, are the perfect treat. With three full size products in each, there’s no fobbing you off with a box full of samples. Expect gorgeous fruity, floral scents made with local ingredients and essential oils.
This LBB classic (and Muddy Awards Best Gift Shop finalist) offers a range of online charming, ready-selected boxes to send to a loved one. At £30 each, you can send various packages stuffed with goodies: we like the sound of the gin box, self care box, or adorable bee-themed box. Know some new parents? Send them a baby box, packed with cute baby gifts.
The Gourmet Brownie Kitchen
Voted the Best Local Food Producer in Wiltshire 2019, The Gourmet Brownie Kitchen sends their drool-worthy brownies by post nationwide. Freshly made and available in a range of naughty flavours, the brownies quickly sell out — but don’t worry, they’re also restocked regularly. The mixed treat box (£10 plus postage) includes hits such as Chocolate Orange, Kinder and Nutella, Jammy dodger blondie, and Malteser tiffin. You can also buy a £10 gift card.
Send your loved one a selection of Rumsey’s exquisite chocolates, hand-made in Oxfordshire with local milk and sustainable cocoa. You can choose from a dizzyingly delicious range of chocolate gifts, for example a £22.50 large selection box or a £4.50 packet of posh chocolate buttons. Or, you can create your own gift box, tailoring the contents (all mouth-watering, of course) based on what the recipient likes. Priced at £11.95 for 8 choices, or £29.95 for 20.
I Am Immy
Know someone who could use a bit of relaxation time (besides yourself)? Encourage them to take a moment of me-time with this organic, fortifying bath oil stocked online at sustainbale Oxfordshire gift shop I Am Immy. Made with energising peppermint and fennel, a long soak in this stuff should relax and restore them, but also provide enough pep to get back out and keep going. At £25, it’s something they might not necessarily treat themselves to — so what a wonderful way of saying: ‘hey, I care.’
Can’t go out to the bar with friends? Here’s the next best thing: bar-quality cocktails that come with a matching, hand-picked playlist, delivered to you. Choose from one of Clayton’s four excellent cocktails, each crafted to perfection and priced at £34.95. We like the Marlow Negroni featuring the eponymous local gin. Send a friend a cocktail to match your own, and enjoy the accompanying tunes together over Zoom. Best of all? The playlists are updated regularly, so you can continue discovering new songs even after that first (tipsy) night.
Carlo’s Coffee Kitchen
One for the caffeine addicts. Based in Milton Keynes, Carlo’s Coffee Kitchen is a tiny-scale coffee roaster, supplying artisan, high quality coffee to local people and businesses. Carlo now offers gift subscriptions – sign up a loved one, and they’ll receive a bag a week in rotational flavours, covering multiple types of coffee. From £75 for 3 months.
Twinings Luxury Home Fragrance Pack
Treat your mum (Mother’s Day isn’t far away) or bestie to one of the most popular new Twining VIP Club Subscriptions – and they’ll be forever thanking you for helping to make their home smell so divine. With a rotating choice of fragrances, boxes are delivered to the door every four, six or eight weeks. This £35 pack, actually worth £50, includes: 1 Three Wick Candle Jar, 1 Single wick Candle Jar, 1 Candle Tins, 1 Packet of Wax Melts.
Wine Poole Virtual Tastings
You may not be able to meet up with your nearest and dearest for drinkies just yet, but over lockdown the Wine Poole Zoom Virtual Tastings have been immensely sought-after. With the wines shipped right to you, they make a perfect surprise gift for a loved-one, and the promise of a good night shared online together. During the session, experts and winemakers present three wines while you and your mates sip at home and learn about the properly posh vintages. You purchase the three full-size bottles of wine as a £39.50 package here, and receive them with handy tasting notes. (When purchasing for yourself, it’s worth knowing that the box has free shipping at 12 bottles, which seems as good a reason as any to add another nine…). The next virtual tasting is 12 March.
Box Sized Hugs
Sometimes all we need is a hug, right?! Well, these little beauties come beautifully packaged in a lovely box. There are various selections to choose from, but we’re loving the Happiness Hamper which includes a bunch of girly goodies: happiness journal, face mask, hand cream, sweets, bath salts and mirror – all guaranteed to make you smile. This one is priced at £25.49, with 20% going to the charity Mind UK.
Mummy Makes Fudge
Say it with fudge. It’s not an official saying, but it should be. And once you get a taste of these sweet delights handmade in Surrey, you’ll know what we’re talking about. They’re not squidgy, not grainy but – as Goldilocks might say – just right. Guaranteed to cheer up any distant friend. The fudge comes in flavours like toffee apple, peanut butter, English peppermint and lavender, as well as the traditional ones like salted caramel, clotted cream and chocolate. We’d go for the box of three for £8.50. (The biggest ask is narrowing down the choice to just three…)