The 2020 Signature Christmas gift guide
Christmas has crept up on us once again – not sure what to get the person who has everything? Signature Luxury Travel & Style has done the heavy lifting for you.
Whether 2020 seemed to creep by at a snail’s pace, or you are still questioning where the time went, in less than a month you’ll be waking up on Christmas morning with turkey to carve, crackers to pull and presents to unwrap. Which makes now the time to start the Christmas shopping, if you haven’t already. Not sure what to get that special someone? Never fear … we’ve already done the gift planning so that you don’t have to. In this guide, you’ll find a lot of the classics – coffee table books, wine decanters and the like – but also some gifts with a bit of a twist: think watch winders and Ferrari model cars. So let’s get into it!
For the romantic: Rare and finite – Five precious Argyle Pink Diamond rings
With less than 1% of Argyle diamonds being pink, an Argyle Pink Diamond has always been rare. Now, with Western Australia’s Kimberly mine’s closure in November 2020, these gems have become a true collector’s item. These five exceptional Argyle Pink Diamond rings showcase varying shades, shapes and carat weights of Argyle pink diamonds, and can all be purchased through J Farren-Price (an approved Argyle Pink Diamond Atelier).
Rings from top left to bottom right: (i). 0.43 carat Platinum and 18 carat Rose Gold Radiant Cut Argyle Pink Diamond Halo Ring; (ii). 0.40 carat Platinum and 18 carat Rose Gold Radiant Cut Argyle Pink Diamond Ring; (iii). Platinum and 18 carat Rose Gold Argyle Pink Diamond Trilogy Ring (totalling 1.18 carats); (iv). Argyle Pink Diamond and White Diamond Three Stone Set Ring in Platinum (totalling 0.47 carats); (v). 0.50 carats Platinum Argyle Pink Diamond and White Princess Cut Cluster Ring.
For the adventurer: The Ultimate Box by BananaLab
Founded in 2017, BananaLab is Australia’s first range of curated, experience-focused gift boxes. Since then, they have grown to become the second biggest experience gifting platform in Australia. The concept is simple; one gift box, thousands of activities to choose from. However, unlike most experience gifts which are merely offered as vouchers, neither the exciting ritual of physically unwrapping a present, or the idea of a tangible gift as a symbol of thoughtfulness and love is lost, because every purchase comes as a beautifully packaged box. Each experience gift box contains a booklet with an entire range of experiences and a voucher, which can be redeemed for any one offer. With over 1100 experiences available, BananaLab is the perfect gift, no matter the receiver’s age, interests, skills or location.
Purchase BananaLab via their website, or in Coles and Woolworth stores nation-wide.
The Ultimate Box includes ‘Her Ultimate Experience’, ‘His Ultimate Experience’ and ‘Ultimate Time for Two’ and retails for $299.
For the lover of finer things: A work of art by Fairfax & Roberts
Australia’s oldest established jeweller, Fairfax & Roberts have been creating bespoke luxury jewellery since first opening its doors on Sydney’s George Street in 1858. Originally a firm that focused on watchmaking, Fairfax & Roberts soon began to make a name for themselves as creators of fine jewellery. Searching the globe for the world’s finest gems and combining these with award-winning designs, these pieces are nothing short of beautiful works of art that will be loved and worn for generations to come – and will make the perfect surprise for that special someone who you want to truly spoil this Christmas.
Products from left to right: Aquamarine Dress Ring ($24,500); Pave Set Diamond Ball Pendant ($12,500); Chevron Tennis Bracelet ($57,000); Princess Collection Rhodolite Garnet Ring ($15,900); David Yurman Helena Center Station Bracelet in 18K Yellow Gold with Diamonds ($11,200); David Yurman Chatelaine Drop Earrings with Tourmilated Quartz, Black Orchid and Tanzanite ($2,800); and Angel Moon Large Bowl ($895).
For the world traveller: A private island retreat at Kokomo Private Island Fiji
Nothing says “I’m spoiling you this Christmas” quite like a private island experience. If you are looking to treat yourself and get away from the crowds, while enjoying relaxed luxury, untouched beauty and unrivalled experiences, then Kokomo Private Island Fiji is the place for you. This lush hideaway is home to just five luxury residences tucked away on the hillside and 21 exclusive one- to three-bedroom Sunrise and Sunset Villas offering unobstructed ocean views and absolute privacy – each featuring its own infinity pool and private deck with direct access to white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters.
A paradise for explorers in search of unique experiences, a retreat for families, and a haven for honeymooners, spend your days enjoying water sports, scuba diving in the Great Astrolabe Reef, taking a village tour, swimming underneath a natural waterfall, or sailing the seas on a private charter. The restaurant’s degustation menu showcases island grown and locally sourced produce, while at Walker D’Plank you simply tell the chefs what you are in the mood for, and it will appear like magic. Want to bring the little ones along? Kokomo is simply overflowing with family appeal with an interactive Kids’ Club and complimentary nanny services.
A stay in a One Bedroom Sunrise Villa starts from $1,995 USD per night, inclusive of all meals, non-alcoholic beverages, 1 x 45-minute spa treatment, 1 x tank scuba dive and more. Visit Kokomo’s website here.
For the wine connoisseur: St Hugo’s Fine and Rare Collection
Producing outstanding wines since its first 1980 vintage, St Hugo’s Fine and Rare Collection is a series of back vintage Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon that has been released to showcase the longevity and complexity that is gained by these fine wines with extended cellaring. Stored securely and in carefully monitored conditions at the St Hugo winery in the Barossa, these wines have been hand selected after rigorous tasting and review by Chief Winemaker Peter Munro, before consideration for re-release. St Hugo wines have accumulated in excess of 1,000 wine show awards, including over 30 trophies, which testify to its unwavering high quality and impeccably stylish red wines led by Cabernet Sauvignon.
Previously only available to purchase at the St Hugo Home in the Barossa, the St Hugo Fine and Rare Collection is now available for purchase through select wine merchants and online at store.sthugo.com – a thoughtful selection for wine connoisseurs, or perfect red for a Christmas evening tipple with loved ones.
St Hugo Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 1998 retails at AUD$150.
For the beachgoer: A sand-free beach towel by Tesalate
The arrival of the warmer months also means more and more sunny days spent oceanside, breathing in that salty air, eating seafood, taking a refreshing dip in the water or simply lounging in the rays (with lots of applied sunscreen, of course). While a good beach towel is a summer must-have, not all are created equal. Enter Tesalate’s range of towels, known as being “sand-free”. How do they work? The material is made with AbsorbLite™ microfibre that is 80% polyester and 20% polyamide with no loops, so sand can be easily brushed away, and dries in half the time as normal towels. The collection is not only functional; it is super stylish, with a wide range of fun, colourful designs to choose from.
RRP AU$79 for standard sizes and AU$139 for Towel for Two sizes.
For the foodie: Italian linen tablecloths by Origine Italiana
The holiday season has arrived, and with that, countless celebratory breakfasts, lunches, dinners and cocktail hours with family and friends. Want to spruce up your own Christmas spread, or trying to find a unique gift idea for that special someone who always hosts a fabulous party? Then look no further than the gorgeous range of Italian linen tablecloths by Origine Italiana. Offering both classically vibrant designs perfect for casual alfresco dining, as well as a series of more understated and formal pieces for a sophisticated indoor affair, there is chic look for any type of festive function hoping to channel la dolce vita. Still got room in the Christmas stocking? High-quality tea towels, fragranced toiletries from Tuscany, exquisite Venetian glass jewellery and other tableware products are also available on the online store.
The range of Italian linen tablecloths start from $154.
For the tech-lover: AirPods case by Bottega Veneta
While the charging case for your AirPods is perfect for protecting those little ear miracles, what about protecting the charging case? The hard shell can get scratched and scuffed just like any other device, and if you do happen to drop it, the results can be just as disheartening as hearing that iPhone screen crack on the pavement. With Bottega Veneta’s elegant AirPods case, you can keep your pods and charger in check, in style. Made in Italy from smooth strips of black leather woven using the house’s intrecciato technique and detailed with a lobster clasp that can be connected to other accessories, it makes the perfect add-on to one of the brand’s leather bags (which are also designed in the same fashion).
RRP from $650
For the watch wearer: Turbine Watch Winder by Rapport London
The history of Rapport London stretches all the way back to 1898, when a young Mr Maurice A. Rapport built his first timepiece. The company’s latest innovation? A new Turbine Watch Winder that mimics the shape and style of an aero-engine, and is crafted from a sleek black and aluminium. It will be sure to add an eye-catching element to your desktop or sets of drawers.
For the pearl obsessed: Forbidden Drop Earrings by Karen Walker
Reinventing how pearls can be worn, the Eden Collection by Karen Walker is both subversive and sensual. Featuring a large freshwater pearl emerging from a bed of spiky barbs, the Forbidden Drop Earrings hang from the ear as fruit would from a tree, and come in sterling silver, rose gold and yellow gold. Want to complete the set? A matching ring is also available.
RRP from $2,319 (for yellow gold, pictured)
For the reader: Capri Dolce Vita by Cesare M. Cunaccia
Capri, a resort island dating back to the height of the Roman Empire, is a long-time luxury destination favourite for those seeking la dolce vita, from physician Axel Munthe, who recommended its clean air to his patients as a cure for bronchitis, and film director Jean-Luc Godard as the setting for his 1963 film Contempt to numerous literary icons, celebrities, poets and the jet set. Written by Italian art and design expert, Cesare Cunaccia of Italian Vogue fame, Capri Dolce Vita takes a look at this fabled corner of the world through the ages through beautiful photography and travel tips on subjects ranging from dining to shopping. If coffee table books sold purely on aesthetic, then this would no doubt be a best seller.
For the whisky buff: Kingsman Decanter Set by Higgs & Crick
Whether you’re toasting a fellow agent a la Mr Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman series, or simply settling down to a well-earned nightcap, this set is a must-have addition to any home bar. Crafted by British specialist Higgs & Crick, the set is comprised of a weighty decanter, stopper and two glasses (fun fact: as you take a sip, you’ll note the secret agency’s logo is carefully engraved on each vessel’s base). Each glass is mouth-blown, lead crystal, and takes two weeks to make.
For the chef: Cast Iron Oval Casserole by Le Creuset
Le Creuset is a household name, and it’s no surprise why. The French brand’s collection of colourfully-coloured cast iron classics, also known as “cocottes”, “coquelles”, “saucepans” or “casseroles”, have been in around since 1925 and remain as beloved in kitchens the world over as ever. Aspiring chefs need at least one ‘casserole’ in their shelves, and the ‘oval’ option makes for a great jumping-off point. Large enough to roast a whole leg of lamb, yet narrow enough to leave space in the over for extra trimmings, this must-have cooking companion will have you creating show-stopping dishes in no time.
RRP from $429
For the bold: Rouge G Premium Lipstick and Case by Guerlain
Why not trade your standard red-hued lippy for a work of art this Christmas? This exclusive gift set includes an exquisite case embellished with a jewelled bee – the legendary symbol of the House of Guerlain – created by the famous jeweller Lorenz Bäumer, in which each rhinestone has been applied individually by hand. Inside this exceptional double mirror case is an equally exceptional lipstick; the rich formula offers a full-coverage, satin finish with added jojoba and mango butter for enhanced comfort.
RRP from $400
For the Sex & The City fan: Noelle by SJP
For die-hard fans of Sex and the City and it’s shoe-obsessed lead Carrie Bradshaw, a pump from Sarah Jessica Parker’s SJP line is a must. All SJP heels are handmade in Italy by third and fourth generation Tuscan shoemakers, and focus on one solid hue to help you create a monochrome silhouette or display an unexpected pop of colour. Since it’s the festive season, then the more sparkle the better, and the elegant silhouette of the Noelle, teamed with its eye-catching crystal embellishment, makes it the perfect accessory to dress up that little black dress for a night out or a slimline suit for an office work party.
RRP US$575 (approximately AU$778.92)
For the musician: Beosound Balance Speaker by Bang & Olufsen
Want to move the concert hall into your bookshelf? Intended to be positioned up against the wall on a shelf or side table in your home, this compact wireless speaker sure packs a punch for its size. The natural wood base and the simplicity of this design, rooted in Scandinavian minimalism, allows the tech to blend seamlessly into your home. Also boasting a range of connectivity options – you can wring a tune out of the Beosound Balance from Bluetooth, AirPlay 2, Wi-Fi and built-in Chromecast – this is a gift for those who like their music to not only sound good, but to look good.
RRP from $3,500
For the exec with wanderlust: A mini desk globe by Bellerby & Co Globemakers
Mr Peter Bellerby launched Bellerby & Co Globemakers in 2009 after exhausting his search for a globe that wasn’t too delicate to handle or riddled with geographic errors. The mini Walnut Albion features the same innovative roller bearing mechanism as all the brand’s other desk globes, permitting a 360-degree rotation in all directions, yet is small enough to slot easily onto an office desk. Each piece is made bespoke to order – choose from a variety of hand-drawn and hand-painted illustrations, cartouches, travel routes or anything else you dream up – and the cartography is up to date to the time of making.
RRP £1,199 – £1,599 (approximately AU$2,181.69 – AU$2,909.52)
For the gamer: Hanover Leather Scrabble Set by Asprey
Want to test your vocabulary (in style)? Crafted from smooth black leather and featuring a lambskin playing board backed by purple silk that rests on a rotating disc for convenience, four racks and letter tiles in a saddle-hide presentation case, this scrabble set by Asprey is perfect for those rainy Sunday afternoons.
For the entertainer: Mamba Decanter by Riedel
Channelling the vigour of the dangerous black mamba – aka the world’s fastest snake – the Mamba decanter will make the perfect accompaniment to a holiday dinner party. Following on from the popular 2008 serpentine Eve decanter and recommended for young wines, the poised upright stance and coiled design creates a series of air pockets which “double decants” the wine – achieving what would take hours of decanting in a typical bowl-shaped carafe. Not to mention, it makes for quite the sleek table setting.
For the collector: Ferrari Dino 246 GT (1969) 1:8 Model Car by Amalgam Collection
Renowned for its stylish design inspired by 1950s Italian cars, the Dino 246 GT was Ferrari’s first model to be mass-produced in such a high quantity. Scaled down to 1:8 size, this replica is handmade to the exact specifications of the original prototype using CAD technology and later quality controlled by the car manufacturer for accuracy – drop it under the Christmas tree if you are buying for a serious petrol-head with a love of classic cars.
RRP US$13,003 (approximately AU$17,614.47)
For the well-dressed man: Greggo by Christian Louboutin
The iconic fire-engine red sole that defines Christian Louboutin isn’t just for women. Made from black patent leather and edged in a tone-on-tone grosgrain piping finish, the Greggo dress shoe makes for a timeless wardrobe staple, adding a hint of flair to any suit ensemble. The closed-lace Oxford is reworked each season by the brand, and this all-black, gleaming take on the classic has to be one of the best yet.
For the skiers and snowboarders: The Man Behind the Maps by James Niehues
Never heard of James Niehues? If you are an avid skier or snowboarder, then he has undoubtedly guided you down the slopes before. Dubbed the ‘Rembrandt of the Snow’, Niehus is one of the last great analog map makers – a ski trail map painter and an icon in the skiing world – who has painted more than 430 maps on five continents over the course of his 30-year career, all by hand. If you’ve ever consulted a ski map, you were most likely looking at a Niehues work of art. Now, the first and definitive compilation of his works, The Man Behind the Maps, is available to take pride of place on your coffee table.
RRP US$90 (approximately AU$121.92)
For the stylish: Marquetry wood jewellery box by Silvia Furmanovich
Now you’ve got the diamonds, you need somewhere to keep them that is just as unique. Handcrafted using marquetry, a complex woodworking technique that requires the meticulous precision of artisans, this bold jewellery box by Silvia Furmanovich is inlaid with geometric silvers of tonal-brown, black and sky-blue oak; outlined by gold-tone metal; and fastens with a smooth marble tab. Worried about your precious keepsakes getting scratched? The velvet interior includes a removable organiser to help keep your necklaces, earrings and rings separate.
For the shoe collector: Shoe shine box with Ovangkol brushes by Lorenzi Milano
The maintenance of a luxury item is just as important as the item itself. This is particularly true in the case of footwear, whose meticulous care and treatment requires all manner of tools. Enter this fabulous shoe shine kit by Lorenzi Milano, which has it all: two large medium-hardness brushes, two brushes with soft bristles (Sciuscià), two small-sized and one for suede, all in precious Ovangkol wood, as well as a selection of creams, three daubers, a shoehorn and a Sciuscià cloth. But wait, there’s more… the lid is lined with boar leather and its reverse becomes a perfect support surface during the cleaning. Now that’s shoe care.
RRP $5,467.71 (approximately AU$7,407.31)
For everyone: A Signature Luxury Travel & Style subscription
For the travel lover who has everything, a subscription to Australia’s leading travel and lifestyle magazine is the perfect way to find that next holiday destination. Whether it’s a private island in the tropics, a luxury cruise to Antarctica or a sumptuous European hotel suite, Signature Luxury Travel & Style is packed to the brim with ideas and inspiration.
RRP from $47.80 for one year