The 1st of December is always something of a turning point. From ripping into the Advent calendar to tucking into the first mince pie, it’s officially the season to be jolly from the moment the clock strikes 12. Then the week ticks on and that initial joy is swiftly rugby-tackled by impending dread, not least from the endless list of presents to be bought. One of my favourite go-to’s has long-been the coffee table book: they’re crammed full of sumptuous images, decadent to behold and fabulous piled high on, well, a coffee table, as well as being the perfect price and, most crucially, delightfully easy to wrap. So, whatever your friends or loved ones are passionate about, here are 5 of my favourites to look out for this Christmas:For the: Food Fanatic
Book of choice: A Bird In The Hand by Diana Henry, £20, Octopus
What’s inside: From lazy summer feasts to cheery pick-me-ups, this beautiful book is packed with delicious recipe ideas to transform the humble chicken into a scrumptious centrepiece. With 120 global-inspired dishes to choose from, including Vietnamese lemongrass and chilli chicken thighs, smoky chicken salad with roast peppers and almonds, and a pomegranate, barley and feta-stuffed roast chicken, it’s full of guaranteed crowd-pleasers that are destined to become family favourites. A food-lover or keen cook’s dream!
For the: Interiors Addict
Book of choice: The World of Charles and Ray Eames by Catherine Ince and Lotte Johnson, £29.25, Thames Hudson
What’s inside: Single-handedly responsible for shaping the designs of a generation, Charles and Ray Eames’ unique vision is still abundant on the high street today. This stunning book lets readers delve into their lives, including film, architecture and furniture projects, as well as personal letters and writings from Charles and Ray themselves. Looking to while away a chilly afternoon this winter? Don’t miss the corresponding exhibition at the Barbican, which runs until 14 February 2016.
For the: Make-up Maven
Book of choice: Face Paint, The Story of Makeup by Lisa Eldridge, £18.99, Abrams Image
What’s inside: Delving far further than the surface art of make-up, Lisa’s new book is an exploration into face and body decorating reaching back hundreds of years. Arguably the first real historical book on the subject, Face Paint looks into the social and political implications of make-up, as well as materials, icons, cosmetics and the impact of make-up on women as a whole. More than just a make-up book, it’s a glorious journey into the history of an incredible art form.
For the: Jewellery or Fashion Aficionado
Book of choice: Vogue, The Jewellery by Carol Woolton, £75, Octopus
What’s inside: Straight from the pages of British Vogue, be veritably dazzled by the intoxicating array of jewellery nestled inside this sumptuous tome. Take your pick from over 300 images, including jazz-age-inspired glamour, rock ‘n’ roll royalty, diamond-encrusted tiaras, and sculptural cuffs, all shot by the most notable photographers of the century.
For the: Globe Trotter
Book of choice: 100 Interiors Around The World, £12.99, Taschen
What’s inside: Whizzing around the globe from cover to cover, this just-released edition is a smorgasbord of the world’s most irresistible properties. From riots of colour in Hong Kong to concrete art in Berlin, and densely pigmented riads in Marrakech to London’s finest period properties, soak in an amazingly diverse range of styles, all with individuality, authenticity and spirit and their core. Got a well-travelled friend who’s a bit of culture vulture? This one’s for them.
Still hankering after the perfect present? Opt for a slightly lighter version with a gift that keeps on giving (12 times, to be exact) and pick up a subscription to Ideal Home. Priced from £24.99 for 12 issues, it’s a fab way to spread a little Christmas cheer all year long!
Read more →