There’s also someone to buy for at Christmas who proves to be… somewhat tricky. For me, it’s my parents. Given that they are in their 60s and hoping to downscale in the not too distant future, they don’t particularly want or need more ‘stuff’ to clutter the house with, so these days we tend to go with experieces, like membership or tickets to something along the lines of the National Trust or the V&A. This year, one has made a few discoveries that might help with buying a special something for those awkward someones…
Top of my list is the new London sightseeing tour from Yonda
. Now hear me out; I’m aware that a whole raft of Londoners will be questioning my judgement on this one, however this is sightseeing with a difference. You’ll pick up a whizzy little smart car from their HQ in Park Lane and then either drive yourself, or head off with a driver, around an adventure of London’s streets like no other. The in-car virtual guide all give you turn-by-turn directions, taking you down London’s great avenues and cobbled backstreets, on a discovery of the real story of London. Prices start from £24 per person. Discover more at www.goyonda.com
While the gifting budget may not quite
stretch to sending your loved ones on safari to actual Kenya, luckily The Aspinal Foundation
) has something up its sleeve that's almost as good, albeit with a Kent climate. At their Port Lympne reserve near Hythe, one can experience first hand some of the 700+ animals and 88 species by getting up close and personal, literally, on one of their unique short breaks. Tiger Lodge features one side of the accommodation within the tigers' enclosure, while the other enjoys unparalleled views across the Kent countryside, out to sea and even as far as France. Enjoy the wilds of nature on the Asian plains with animals roaming past your door at Hog Deer Creek, while Giraffe Lodge - Voted the UK's Best Tourism Experience by Visit England 2016 - allows you to spend a magical night under the stars whilst overlooking the watering hole on the African experience. Truly magical.
Finally for the more creatively inclined, the Cotswolds haven that is Daylesford Organic
offers a plethora of workshops at its organic farm in Gloucestershire. From festive floristry and nose-to-tail butchery classes, to mastering watercolour painting and learning the tricks of the trade when it comes to rearing poultry, all of their workshops can be bookended with a stay in one of their truly charming Daylesford Cottages and a visit to the Bamford Haybarn Spa. Sign me up. www.daylesford.com