A 2020 Gift Directory

A list of the best tried-and-tested gifts (treats and tchotchkes) to buy for others and yourself this season. Because God knows, we all deserve presents this year.

Treats:

Edible Gifts

All Things Nice

Here’s to beginning this list in good spirits. All Things Nice has a new hotline + wine and liquor store, The Wine Cellar, that shows off a super international collection. Founder & sommelier Nikhil Agarwal is standing by with personalised recommendations.

9820698883/9820704500, Instagram: @allthingsniceindia.

Araku

Single-origin coffee beans grown in micro-lots in the Araku Valley, delivered straight to your cup. Brew for small get-togethers & to fuel festive late nights that are around the corner. Their award-winning Grand Reserve and aromatic Signature coffees come with chic cappuccino cups, ready to be gifted.

Arakucoffee.in, Instagram: @arakucoffeein, Facebook: @arakucoffeein, gift boxes at Rs 2,200 and up.

Asorté

Asorté’s elaborate artisanal cheese and grazing boards are right out of a Caravaggio still life. Here, gourmet cheese and accoutrement (fresh fruit, crackers, nuts, honey, dips) sometimes occupy two-storey platters; worthy of being a centrepiece. Vegan and keto requests are taken.

Instagram: @asortegourmet, Rs 5k and up.

Basque

Best.Cheesecake.In.Bombay. This Basque-style crustless confection shows off a dark, glossy caramelised outside and a pillowy, buttery, melting inside. Available in vanilla, lemon and a new salted caramel; packed with brown paper & baby’s breath - great for gifting.

9611123201, www.ayeshanallaseth.com, Instagram: @basque_tartadequeso, 1/2 kg at Rs 1,100.

Berrika

The hottest new produce people in town. From their Pink Sol box, your giftee will harvest fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, dragon fruit, love apples, avocados, baby Mandarin oranges and Granny Smith apples. Bounty hunters, go!

Berrika.com, Instagram: @berrikaofficial, Rs 4k.

Bombay Sweet Shop

Boys and chikki-tas, reach for this Diwali Dhamaka bag. It contains 18 Diwali Mithais, Chocolate Butterscotch Barks, Indian Gummies, Everything Chikki Bar, Aam Pappad Lollipop & mixed nuts & dry fruits. Treats are sold individually too.

7777011097, bombaysweetshop.com, Instagram: @bombaysweetshop, Rs 120 and up.

Dolcemi

Typically, a pistachio soft cookie would be at the bottom of our lust list, but Dolcemi’s vegan, gluten-free ones are insanely good. They taste like marzipan, pistachio & cookie dough decided to be a throuple. Their tiramisu (in glass containers) continues to be a bpb favourite; alcohol-free but magically, still tastes like rum.

9029017000, www.dolcemi.in, Instagram: @dolcemi.in, Facebook: @dolcemi.in, Rs 500 for 100 gms cookies.

Eat Drink Design

Lock us up in this delicious Ombre Tower, built with 26 assorted truffles - white chocolate-coconut-pistachio, milk chocolate-kava-tea & dark-chocolate-orange-fennel.  Eat Drink Design, our favourite party caterers also custom design quirky Art Platters for gifting. 

9821051065, Instagram: @edd_india, Rs 1,100 and up. 

Ether

Here, it’s hard to tell where chocolate ends and art begins. Ether’s Diwali Tablet Library packs the prettiest chocolate bars in one solid gift box; save the Startlet, a ruby-raspberry-chocolate-rose-petal pink bar for yourself.

Etherchocolate.com, Instagram: @etherchocolate, Rs 500 and up.

Goodslice

Neysa Mendes makes just one dessert on order and boy does she do it well. This chocolate tart - richer than your wealthiest relative - sits on a cookie base and is eggless. 

9821336963, Instagram: @goodslice, Rs 2,500 for 9 inch tart. 

Kake It

We all have that friend who won’t give in to cheat days; not even on Diwali. Lucky for you we found this constellation of gluten-free, vegan cookies and cakes; it’s easy (and healthy) to lust after Kake It’s dark chocolate-olive oil cake.

9920476425, Instagram: @kake.it, Rs 1,400 for 1/2 kg.

Kashmir Rare

Behold a range of rare and organic produce from Kashmir - the finest saffron to make Diwali brighter, plus a bounty of almonds, walnuts and apricots.

9602018465, Instagram: @kashmirrare, Rs 375 and up.

Motherland Aromatic South

Motherland’s banana chips are made from green energy-packed Nendran bananas that are hand picked, hand peeled & sliced 1.2mm thin for audible crispness (rock salt is our fav flavour). Extra points for super packaging.

motherlandsuperstore.com, Instagram: @thisismotherland, Rs 360 for pack of 3.

Naagin

A firecracker of a gift for Diwali. A set of two artisanal Naagin hot sauces - a family favourite Original flavour, and an extra ferocious Bhoot version made with Bhut Jolokia chillies from Assam. Both contain premium Indian chillies and real ingredients, instead of 80% corn starch like other grocery varieties. 

naaginsauce.com, Instagram: @naaginsauce, Facebook: @naaginsauce, Rs 450

The Notting Hill Bakery

Noor Mubarak’s salted caramel chocolate tart is like crack. A gift as gorgeous as it is tasty. Her babka and beignets will do nicely too.

Whatsapp 7045542681 or DM @thenottinghillbakery, Rs 750 for babka.

Nourish Organics

Nourish Organics, a homegrown clean foods company, has curated four gifting hampers that look swell and promise to keep you well. These contain 100% natural, organic and preservative-free products, including brown rice snacks, fig amaranth cookies, honey roasted almonds, lime chia bars & more. And yes, they taste delicious too.

9312006667, www.nourishorganics.in, Instagram: @nourish.organics, Facebook: @NourishOrganicFoods, Rs 1120 and up.

Purebrot

For friends who pick flours over flowers: a Loaf Mark awarded German style sourdough bread made in Alibaug and delivered across the sea to Mumbai. Gift their bread subscriptions here, order 48 hours in advance.

purebrot.com, Instagram: @purebrot, Rs 195.

San-cha Tea Boutique

Gift boxes that look & smell like mini fragrant gardens; the Elixir Selection is our fav. Shop these at Sancha’s new e-store where you will also find herbal immunity teas for these times we live in. An online sale is underway, which means more tea for you and me.

Sanchatea.com, 8882274237 (Bandra), 40020852 (Fort), Instagram: @sanchateaboutique, Facebook: @SanchaTeaIndia, Rs 700 for Elixir.

Toshin

We’re all for going old-school, but this time, swap silver platters of pistas for swirls of Sicilian pistachio ice cream, hand-churned and delivered across the city. They also do wicked fruit sorbets.

67982299/98, Instagram: @toshinofficial, Rs 800 for 500 gms.

Whisk Takers

A wonderful pineapple cake topped with a bunch of fresh flowers means you’ve sent someone both, a bouquet and a baked treat. The two ladies at Whisk Takers are behind this gateau, as well as delish cookies and Diwali hampers, one of which is an edible poker set. 

91672 34012, Instagram: @whisktakers.in, Facebook: @whisktakers.in, Rs 400 and up.

Tchotchkes:

Objects of Our Affection

Andraab

Made in Kashmir from the rarest cashmere, using 15th century Persian techniques, Andraab’s shawls are better than hugs. The New York Times called these cloud-soft wraps “warm enough for the cold months to come, but somehow essentially weightless”. Their scarves and stoles make for good gifts. 

Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, store in the Lobby Heritage Wing, Colaba, 02262374856, +919928090110, www.andraab.com, Instagram: @andraabkashmir, Rs 12k and up.

Angry Mother

We love everything about this organic, eco-friendly Nagaland brand - from its name to the clean ingredients. Comes in a bunch of unpredictable moods and flavours - just like our mums. See ganja soap and shampoo bars.

Facebook: @theangrymothersoapco, Rs 180

Baro Market, Absynthe

Absynthe refurbishes vintage radios, and brings them back to life as digital music players, ready for YOU-SB, FM & Bluetooth. They also use old watch parts to make cuff links. Big hand!

Baromarket.in, Rs 6k and up.

Bloombombs 

Trippy red, yellow & orange cacti in ceramic pots, are best delivered to friends who have no time for watering. These moon cacti, we’re told, “thrive on neglect”. 

Bloombombs.com, Rs 679. 

Borderline Studio

This super furniture studio now makes cool cushion covers inspired by architecture. Now be a good shopper and get tempted by their Bubbly Tripod while browsing.

Borderlineplay.in, Rs 1,690. 

Busa And Friends

Sari czar Anavila also makes these adorable Busa dolls (yes, they wear mini saris) and rather well-dressed stuffed animals. Ever seen a mouse dressed for brunch

Anavila.com, Rs 1,200 and up. 

Decastro

Woven in Narin, Columbia & hand embroidered in Jaipur, these deCastro straw hats will bring back the summer you were robbed of. Also see velvet slippers for a soft landing.

Instagram: @decastro.moda, Rs 18k. 

Doft

Spring for this - flowers & herbs are set in wax to make these super pretty, eco-friendly fragrance tablets; hang in your closet to keep clothes smelling fresh, or tuck in a bookshelf like a pressed flower in your favourite romance novel. Also shop candy-coloured candles here

9910034515, www.doftcandles.com, Instagram: @doft.candles, Facebook: @doft.candles, Rs 995.

Disguise

Three scientists started this cruelty-free, vegan, indie makeup brand, whose Rainbow Glow Oil and Nude Poet matte lipstick achieved cult status. For the season, create custom gift boxes with your favourites, or explore new launches - Satin Smooth Eye Shadow singles, new All Day Gel Kajal shades & 24 hues of Gel-Finish Nail Polishes. 

9820944029, www.disguisecosmetics.com, Instagram: @disguisecosmetics, Facebook: @disguisecosmetics, Rs 400 and up.

Freedom Tree

Sitting under the shade of this Freedom Tree, it’s easy to understand how the iridescent wing of a butterfly could spark the design of a cushion case; how botanicals could inspire baking trays. The new Joyee collection turns bits of nature into the cutest egg cupstea bag holderssalt shakers.

Freedomtree.in, Instagram: @freedomtreehome, Rs 440 and up. 

Glass Forest

You would be forgiven to spend an entire season longing for Juliette, Glass Forest’s handcrafted tableware inspired by the Italian Incalmo glass blowing technique. Think clean straight lines and jewel toned glasses, bottles, jugs and glass stoppers. How about this Diwali-orange carafe to get you started?

8810625886, www.glass-forest.com, Instagram: @_glass_forest_, Facebook: @glassforestdesign, Rs 2k and up. 

Green Heirloom

A virtual version of your grandmother’s kitchen cupboard. Green Heirloom works with artisans in Kochi to craft smooth-talking, clay cookware, perfect for friends who like to cook and share. See clay curd setter, kadai and uniappam pan. 

7012506499 / 919902470102, www.greenheirloom.in, Instagram: @greenheirloom, Facebook: @greenheirloom, Rs 400.

Jaimini

A portmanteau of ‘Jaipur’ and ‘miniature’, Jaimini sells lovely artworks - depicting cars and court scenes, birds and botanicals, deities and dancers - inspired by Rajasthani, Mughal and Persian schools of miniature art. Drawn on handmade paper with vegetable dyes & stone colours, we heart the intricate Persian series.

9829230119, www.jaimini.co.in, Instagram: @jaimini.india, Facebook: @jaimini.india, Rs 8k and up.

Kokun 

The Kokun clan recycles Hindi newspapers, colours them using natural pigments like turmeric, madder and hibiscus petals, deckles the edges and garnishes them with dried flowers. This handmade paper sheet set is ready for your poetry.

Kokun.in, Rs 900 for 10 A4-A5 sheets. 

Né Nepal

This Nepal-based design studio engages local artisans to make stoneware dishes in shades of butter, morning mist and that blush we get when we see you. We also love their bouquet candle, hand poured using 90% pure bees wax from Chitwan. 

Nenepal.com, Instagram: @ne_nepal, Rs 450 and up.

No-Mad 97% India

It may be strange to have a favourite tray, but this is ours: a big-as-the-moon No-Mad one that re-imagines the Indian thali, handcrafted in colours of plum, olive and ochre, terracotta, brass and copper, in sizes that fit inside one another, like Matryoshka dolls. In fact, No-Mad has a whole section that lets your table play dress up: geometric print linen and kansa tableware.

98203 61687 / 22091787, www.no-mad.in, Instagram: @nomad97india, Facebook: @nomad97india, Rs 1,500 and up.

Oleum Cottage

Fresh, artisanal, apothecary-style skincare featuring a robust bouquet of 29 formulations for women and men. Put our favourites - Body Love Trio, Everyday Essentials and Natural Haircare Duo - in a thoughtfully curated Oleum Cottage gift box for a much-required self care present.

oleumcottage.com, stores in Bandra and Powai, 9326470587, Facebook and Instagram: @oleumcottage, Rs 1250 and up.

Sabr

Sabr celebrates quietly with chic, understated face masks bearing Chikankari embroidery on a georgette base lined with pure cotton. Pair with your favourite Sabr Diwali ensemble.

9920942216, Instagram: @label_sabr, Rs 305.

Saphed 

If it feels like terracotta and smells like marigolds, it must be time for festivities. Let Saphed’s special edition Marigold candle, made in collaboration with Indian artisans, light up the dark corners of your home & heart. Match with turmeric & Gulabjal linen sheets

Saphed.com, Instagram: saphedhome, Rs 599.

Scoup

The loyalty program curates the best restaurants, bars, organic produce vendors, cheese and meat suppliers, chocolate and bread makers, and alcohol stores and gets you 15% off each time you order. Best gift subscription ever.

7738934999, coupcard.in, Rs 5k for annual membership.

Tinge

If you want to run away with a mystery man, it will do you well to pick Stranger by Tinge - a blush pink multi-use shade stick for eyes, cheeks and lips. This handcrafted make-up - 100% natural, cruelty-free & paraben-free - is great for the Indian skin tone; can be customised at the store. See Diwali sets that pair the brand's favourites together.

95384 77770, www.tingestore.com, Instagram: @tinge_by_sabrina_suhail, Facebook: @tingeshop, Rs 750.

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