My Gift Guide For Him This Christmas

For those of you that have left your Christmas shopping until the final week and are in need of some inspiration (!) I've got a few gift ideas for you! Guys are never easy to buy for and whether it's for your partner, brother, father or second-cousin once removed, I've broken in down into some key categories :-)

The 'play it safe'

For the man in your life that has everything and that is tough to buy for, you can't go far wrong with a smart new watch or fresh fragrance.  These two choices are guaranteed winners in my book, if not a little safe.

Rotary Ultra Slim Watch

A watch is a gift that is sure to put a smile on any guys face and Rotary have some seriously sleek designs at the moment.  This 'ultra slim' design is incredibly versatile and equally good with a suit, shirt or knit.



You simply can't go wrong with a decent fragrance at Christmas and Jean Paul Gaultier have recently launched Le Male Essence, an upgrade on the classic Le Male scent.  With popular bergamot and cardamom notes, it's a fragrance that is a great all rounder and sure hit with any 21st century guy.

Upgrade that grooming tech

Technology is a big part of our lives and an integral part of most guy's grooming and skincare routines.  We upgrade our mobiles on an almost yearly basis, so why not freshen up your loved one's grooming tech with one of the below beauties!?


For the more tech savvy guys there are some amazing electric shavers on the market.  Braun launched their Series 9 earlier this year and it is one of my favourites, aside from the smart design it's perfect for the daily beard trim or a quick alternative to a wet shave.  It's titanium coated trimmer guarantees a close shave and it's 100% waterproof so can be put to use in the shower.



Clinique are a go-to skincare brand for me but only recently did I decide to give their cleansing brush a go and it's become an integral part of my daily grooming routine.  It's much smaller and more compact than it's competitors but packs a punch, ideal for using pre-bedtime to wash away the daily grime.  A great gift for the more adventurous and someone that likes to get their hands on the latest tech on the market.

A Little Luxury

Here are a couple of higher end ideas if you are looking to spoil the guy in your life; two of my top choices from Mr Porter this Christmas.

Mulberry Full Grain Leather Belt

There isn't a guy on the planet that wouldn't be delighted to receive something from Mulberry this Christmas, one of the ultimate British luxury brands.  This belt is a personal favourite of mine, the quality of the leather is second to none and it can be worn with both jeans or as part of a smarter look combining with chinos or suit trousers.


The ideal gift for the guy that likes to keep up appearances on the go.  Czech and Speake are a brand I've only recently discovered and I've been very impressed with the attention to detail in the design and the quality of their products.  This manicure set is ideal for guys that travel and that like to take care of their appearance - no one wants the return of the dreaded monobrow whilst on holiday or away on business (!)

Skincare Gift sets

There is nothing better than a good gift set at Christmas, a selection of tried and tested favourites combined with a couple of new products.  These two are ideal for those hard to buy for family members and are both great value for money.

Murdock Gentleman's Skincare Set

Murdock grooming have some fantastic Christmas gift sets available and my pick is focused on skincare and travel.  Perfect for someone that likes to try new products or that travels regularly, with all the bottles under the rather testing 100ml.  The exfoliating face scrub is a personal favourite and ideal for pre-shaving.


L'Oreal Men Expert - The Expert Washbag

L'Oreal Men Expert is a brand that keeps surprising me, with such good value prices it's easy to assume the quality is likely to match.  Not true! Their new line of hydra-energetic body washes are well suited to the gym or rugby bag and their moisturiser is a great all rounder to help fight the signs of ageing and dry skin.  This set comes in a handy faux-leather washbag and is the ideal gift for any guy that enjoys his exercise!

Stocking Fillers

There's nothing better than a cheeky stocking at Christmas and sometimes the smaller gifts are the best of the lot.  Here are a couple of my picks that I feel would make be perfect :-)

People Just Do Nothing

I've been driving Josie mad this past month with People Just Do Nothing on repeat (FYI it's Dexter's favourite show too..).  If you aren't familiar, it's a TV show shot in a 'mockumentary' style format, focused on some rather amusing wannabe radio DJs and their pirate radio station.  Sure to make any guy chuckle, it's an absolute winner in my eyes.


Legna Wisdom Candle

There's nothing more welcoming than a well-scented home and guys are definitely becoming more aware of the wide selection of homely candles out there.  Legna make candles specifically targeted to the male audience and with strong tobacco and leather notes its the perfect stocking filler for the modern day man.


If you are looking for further inspiration check out Josie and my joint Christmas video, live on her channel, where we discuss some other gift options for the men in your life!

Let me know what you think of my choices, are there any gifts that stand out for you?

C.

My Gift Guide For Her This Christmas



With Christmas delivery dates looming, it's been found that one in five of us leave our Christmas shopping until the final week (!)

Here's a few gift ideas for those of you that have left things rather last minute and are looking for some inspiration.  Everything is available on next day delivery, so get shopping!

White Company Candle & Diffuser

There's nothing more welcoming than a well-scented home and The White Company are experts in this field.  The Winter candle is one of my favourite festive scents and a gift that is sure to put a smile on any relative's face.

A reed diffuser is another great gift and perfect for those hard-to buy for family members, because who doesn't love something nice for their home?! 

Coach Eau De Parfum

Every girl needs a good fragrance in their lives and although it could be seen as a fairly conservative gift idea, a perfume is always a solid choice.

This eau de parfum from Coach is a great all rounder, suitable for every day wearing or those more dressed up affairs.  The combination of a suede musk base note and raspberry and rose gives the scent a fresh and floral scent, perfect all year round.

This Works Scent Well Oil Diffuser

One of my favourite brands, This Works, have recently launched their oil diffuser and it's fast becoming one of Josie's favourite products of 2016.  Combined with the deep sleep super blend oil, it produces a lavender, vetiver and camomile mist, ideal just before bed to help aid sleep and relaxation.  

The diffuser is powered by USB and no larger than the palm of my hand, meaning it's easily portable and the perfect gift for someone that travels regularly or has young children (!) and might need a moment of 'zen' before bed.

Jo Malone Body Creme

Jo Malone are experts in gift ideas and they have so many products that are simply ideal for Christmas gift giving.  I've chosen their body creme in the Pomegranate Noir scent, it's a gift that is guaranteed to be well received by your loved one.  

Essentially a fantastic all round body moisturiser, infused with cocoa and almond, it's a great product to get your loved ones through the colder months and the Pomegranate Noir scent is enigmatic and one of my personal favourites.

A great gift for your partner, wife or even Mother (if you are feeling generous!)

Clarins Body Care Gift Set

Clarins is a brand that my mum has always loved and a personal favourite of mine from a men's grooming perspective.  They have a wide array of gift sets available and they are all customisable, so give some real thought as to the recipients likes and dislikes (!) 

A safe bet and great gift for any woman in your life is the Body Care gift set.  Three fantastic products focused on hydrating and moisturising the body, alongside an exfoliating product for prep beforehand.  

This is a fab gift for the older women in your life who like a bit of pampering and luxury.

Kiehls Christmas Box

On those same lines of 'customisable' gift sets, Kiehls offer a similar service whereby you can choose specific products and combine them as one large gift box set, an amazing looking gift.  

The in-store experience at Kiehls is second to none and if you have time this week I would recommend popping by your local store to choose the items and get some advice from the pros in lab coats.  If that's not an option, fear not.  Their website offers lots of advice and just go with your gut! 


I chose this selection with my sister in mind (lets hope she is too consumed by revision at Uni to be reading this!) and went for a couple of Kiehls classics; the Creme de Corps body moisturiser, avocado eye cream and ultra facial cream.  

Mophie Integrated Powerstation

In the fast-paced and technology reliant World that we live in, a gift that can help make our day to day lives that bit easier is always welcome!  Introducing the Mophie integrated powerstation.  This rose gold beauty can hold up to x4 full charges of an iPhone (compatible with any android too) and has an integrated wire so minimal mess.

I bought this for Josie for her Birthday and it's been a great gift for her (and me) so much so, that I have now invested in one myself, the more manly gun metal grey of course..

An ideal gift for someone with a busy work life or who travels regularly and the PERFECT gift for a blogger, for those of you fellow 'blogger boyfriends' out there!

The Little Book of Hygge

No gift guide would be complete without a 'stocking filler' or 'secret santa' gift idea.  There have been many crazes in 2016 but one that stands out from the crowd is this sudden love of all things 'Hygge'.  For those not au fait with the term, it's a Danish term (come way of life) that can most easily be described as 'cosy' or 'homely'.

This is a great little book and ideal for the second-cousin once removed or as a stocking filler for your loved one (s)


Are there any other great gifts for 'Her' that you have come across this year?

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and New Year.

C.


What's In My Gym Bag? My Essentials

It's the time of year that the daily trip to the gym falls slowly down your list of priorities.  I've taken a slightly different approach this year and made a commitment to keep up with my gym work pre-festivities in attempt to make room for all the inevitable mince pies and Christmas pudding!

Routine for me is very important, whether it be on the gym floor or post workout in the changing rooms, it's key to have a plan and stick to it to get the best results.  I've got serious OCD (!) when it comes to my post gym 'rituals' and here's an insight into what's in my gym bag and my post-workout routine:

1. Exfoliating gloves:

If you've read my blog before you'll know I am a huge fan of exfoliating gloves! It may take a little getting used to, but they are an epic addition to any shower routine.  It's important to fully cleanse the body after a workout and with the aid of exfoliating gloves you're able to scrub away those pesky dead skin cells whilst cleaning your pores of any grime.  Mine are pink (queue gasps..) but thats simply because I find soap & glory ones to last the longest!


2.  An all-in-one body and hair wash:

When you are fairly limited on space it's always good to find products that serve more than one purpose.  This 5-1 (yes 5!) from L'Oreal Men Expert is ideal for a quick hair wash, body scrub and clean and moisturise.  On top of that you can also use as a replacement for shaving gel, so if you need a quick stubble spruce before work, this is a winner. 

3. A great cleanser:

Your face is one of your greatest assets and it's crucial to fully clean those pores after a sweaty workout.  When you sweat pores open up and can inevitably become clogged with grime from gym equipment and dirt, so a great cleanser is a must for any post-gym routine.  Origins are one of my favourite brands for face washes and cleansers and this zero-oil deep pore cleanser is a new found favourite.  The combination of cooling mint with pore-minimising Salicylic Acid helps clear pores and reduce shine, key to fighting any breakouts and the dreaded post-workout spots.


4. Face moisturiser:

After cleansing away the sweat and grime, it's time for a punchy moisturiser to feed the skin and keep you looking refreshed.  Rituals now offer a men's range, centred around the 'rituals' of the ancient Samurai, a great concept.  This face balm is perfect after the gym, it's non-sticky and is designed to help fight signs of fatigue and hydrate.  The ingredients include Japanese Sencha (tea) which is proven to help in battling ageing skin and wrinkles!

5. Powerful deodorant (!):

No one wants to smell you for hours after the gym and once you've had spent all that time cleansing it's important to top up with a strong deodrant to fight any unwanted man smells.  I'm a big lover of Right Guard 'Total Defence' and they now offer a Sport focused range that targets perspiration and wetness.  It also smells great and can be purchased in a miniature bottle that fits nicely in the gym bag.


6. Body moisturiser:

Your body needs some love too and a good body moisturiser is a staple for any gym bag.  Kiehls Creme De Corps  is one of my go-to's and is perfect for nourishing the skin after a hard gym session.  I like the fact it's non-greasy and absorbs quickly, leaving your skin feeling 'silky smooth'! 

7.  Finishing touch fragrance:

The final touch for any grooming routine has to be a quick spritz of fragrance to leave you smelling fresh and ready for the day/evening ahead.  I'm constantly trying out new scents on the market and a new favourite is L'Homme Ideal Eau De Parfum from Guerlain.  It's a woody scent with vanilla and almond notes, very masculine but not too overpowering.  The bottle is also a nice shape for any gym bag (please excuse the slight dent, I sadly dropped this when shooting!!)

8. Post workout-protein:

Aside from a decent grooming and skincare routine post-gym, it's also important to refuel your body and give the muscles some much needed protein.  After a workout your muscles are calling out for fuel to help rebuild and repair and you've got a 1 hour window to maximise this.  

  Wow Protein is a brand I have just come across and that's only recently launched, offering the unique proposition of  protein infused water.  Pretty cool concept and makes a nice change from the thick and heavy protein shakes that crowd the market.

One huge plus is the convenience, each bottle contains 20 grams of protein alongside BCAAs and vitamins to give your body what it craves after a tough session and there's no need for powder or tubs!


The bottle has a unique design, with the protein stored in the 'blast-cap'; with one push the protein is infused into the water and at the point of consumption, meaning no need for preservatives - a nice change from other protein brands.

With 2017 fast approaching, why not change it up and give Wow Protein a try? Its available at Tesco and can be bought online here.


What are your gym bag essentials? 

Will you be keeping up with your gym routine this Christmas or taking a break in favour of the mince pies?!

C.

Man About Town's 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway



With everyone getting into the festive spirit and Christmas fast approaching, I thought I would put on my Santa hat and give a little something back to everyone that has supported me and my new blog these past few months. 

This festive giveaway will run for the first 12 days of December and I have some amazing goodies to share, all male grooming focused.  Whether you are a guy looking for a pre-Christmas treat or you are girl looking for a gift for your loved one, there are lots of great prizes in store.

I'll be announcing a winner each day on my Twitter and every day there will be a different prize on offer!

It's really simple to enter,  follow the steps in the rafflecopter to be entered in with the chance of winning. 

Just sign in to the rafflecopter below and follow the steps requested - please don't worry none of your personal info will be shared and the email address is simply so I can contact you for postage details.

Also please make sure you use a correct/working email address when registering for the competition as these will be used to contact the winners :-)

Best of luck to everyone that enters and Happy Christmas!

C.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Scandis Are In Town! Restaurant Review - Aquavit London


Nordic nosh has been cropping up across London ever since Noma landed on our shores and made Scandinavian food so popular.

New to London and open as of yesterday (!) Aquavit London offers an array of Nordic cuisine cooked in the traditional fashion, from fresh fish dishes to Smorgasbord, and is a must visit during the festive period!

You may be familiar with the Aquavit name - they are well known for their 2 michelin star New York flagship restaurant that offers a culinary experience of tasting menus and fine dining.  Aquavit London carries through the tradition with a more relaxed A La Carte Menu and some amazing cocktails.



A stones throw  from Piccadilly Circus in the redeveloped St James' Market, the first thing you'll notice is the beautiful high windows and ceilings.  The light fittings in particular are quite mesmeric and captivating.


There is oodles of natural light too, which combined with the marble tables and gold detailing makes Aquavit a bloggers dream with countless photo opportunities! It's fair to say that my memory card was crammed full after my visit and its worth a trip if just for a few great cocktails and to take in the stunning decor.




The All Day A La Carte menu encompasses authentic Nordic cuisine with some modern twists, using fresh and locally sourced ingredients.  To start with we channelled our inner Viking and went for the traditional Nordic classics, a Smorgasbord of tasty appetisers.  Smorgasbord for those not familiar with the term is a range of delicacies served in a tapas style format and is the best way forward for those wanting the authentic experience.

This included an array of pickled vegetables and potted shrimp accompanied by the most moreish home made rye bread.  My recent commitment to go slow on my gluten intake went completely out the window (!)



One of the highlights for me was the gravlax with mustard and dill sauce, a simple and healthy dish, but cured to perfection.  It amazes me how hard it can be to find good fish in London and the ingredients at Aquavit are of the freshest variety, the salmon was melt in the mouth.


A dish that I was pleasantly surprised by was the very traditional Matje Herring, potato, sour cream and egg yolk.  The flavours combined well together and it's always nice to try something slightly different and unusual.  


For the main event we were given the options of Swedish meatballs, cod with shrimps or Kroppakor (a potato dumpling served with mushrooms and lingonberries).  The general consensus at the table seemed to be the true Swedish classic of meatballs, so I thought I would stump for the cod with shrimps, confident I could persuade someone to let me try a meatball or two (!)


I am a big fan of fish and the cod was certainly no let down.  It was cooked perfectly and fell apart on my plate; truly some of the nicest cod I have ever tasted.  Served with shrimp, pickled cucumber and dill, it was fresh and really hit the spot.


I was successful in my hunt for a meatball or two and can vouch that they were no exception to the level of food of the evening! Meatballs may sound like a simple dish but if we've all tried the IKEA meatballs we know that they can be massacred.  This dish was another triumph and was complimented well by the creamed mash and sharpness of the lingonberries.  

I think sharing the two mains with a partner is potentially the best way to go and a great way to experience different flavours and textures.

For the finishing touch we had the option of 3 incredible sounding desserts and it was a tough decision.  The options included Arctic Bird's Nest, apple crumble or rosehip soup. The waitress sadly rebuffed my request of all 3 and so I decided on the Chef's special, Arctic Bird's Nest.


This was undoubtedly the 'piece de resitance' and unlike any dessert I have tried before.  A combination of a pastry 'nest' with a goat's cheese ice cream egg and lemon yolk.  A masterpiece of construction and incredibly photogenic! I almost didn't want to attack the 'egg' but needs must...


The apple crumble was a Nordic take on what is a very classic British dessert.  Served with charcoal vanilla ice cream, it was just delicious and a dish that left me wanting more and more.

Whether you are in town for a romantic dinner or in the area for lunch with friends, Aquavit is a great option to try something a bit different and experience some amazing textures and flavours.  Having opened yesterday, it's the perfect time to head on down before the bookings no doubt start flooding in!

Have you guys tried much Nordic cuisine before?

Are there any other Nordic restaurants in London you would recommend?

C.




5 Of The Best Gifts for 'Him & Her' This Christmas

Christmas is fast approaching and it's certainly starting to feel a lot more festive here in London.  Time to beat the crowds and take advantage of the deals on offer on today of all days - Black Friday.

I thought I’d do something a little different to kick start my gift guides this year, with a ‘Gift Guide for Him & Her’. 

I’ll be sharing my top tips on the perfect gifts for couples this Christmas, whether it be the perfect gift for the hard to buy for boyfriend or something a little different for your girlfriend.  Better still, why not buy both; because who doesn't love matching gifts and we should all treat ourselves too at Christmas right?

Here are my top 5 best 'His & Hers' gifts this Christmas:

1. Smart Technology

For me the best gifts are well designed, beautifully crafted and offer something unique. Most importantly, the best gifts are useful. They're the type of products which the recipient already owns, but you're gifting them the upgraded version - the luxe edition that they wouldn't necessarily fork out on for themselves.

For this reason I’ve chosen the Oral-B GENIUS 9000 Electric Toothbrush as the first gift on my list. It combines smart technology and sleek design to create a cool new gadget.

The GENIUS 9000 comes in limited Rose Gold (perfect for her, or him…), the brush also comes in a stylish Black, making them the perfect gift for the stylish man or woman in your life.


What makes this gift extra special, is that it’s not a simple electric toothbrush it comes with a few pretty cool gadgets…

The Innovative Smart Travel Case – This toothbrush comes with a fantastic case, which not only charges your brush, you can also use it to charge your smartphone! Making it a must have essential from Him or Her.

App Integration - The stand out feature for me is the pressure technology that notifies you if you are over brushing; something we are all guilty of.  Motion sensor tech within the brush is also able to detect areas of your pearly whites you might be missing, via an app connection, to ensure you get the perfect clean with no areas missed.

3DWhitening brush head –  To top it off this brush comes with a unique whitening brush head which mimics the shape of a dentist's tool to gently polish away surface stains. Pair it with the Oral-B 3D White Luxe Perfection Toothpaste, for up to 100% of surface stains removal in just three days, revealing that bright white smile. Who would say no to that for Christmas?!

It's the perfect Christmas gift for that someone special, I actually received an Oral-B brush as Christmas gift a few years ago and I loved it! It’s not something I’d have splashed out on for myself and so it made the perfect gift. I can genuinely say it has made a huge difference to my smile.

With Black Friday deals on fire this year, the Oral-B GENIUS brushes are available for £99.99 (RRP £280) from Boots, click here for more information. (*Price is at the sole discretion of the retailer)

2. Him & Her Fragrances

Fragrances are the perfect gift for the 'hard-to-buy-for' loved one because you can never have too many nice scents.  The Tom Ford Private Blend collection is one of my all time favourites and offers unique scents that help you stand out from the crowd.

For Him, Tobacco Vanille, one of my all time favourite fragrances.  The prominent tobacco and vanilla notes combined with tonka bean, give this scent a rich aroma and is ideal for those dressed up affairs.

For Her, Soleil Blanc, a floral scent focused on white floral and coconut notes.  This is a great ever day scent and is one of my favourites of Josie's collection.

All Tom Ford Private Blend are unisex, so the beauty of this duo is you can swap if you want to change things up a bit.

3.  Him & Her Grooming / Beauty

Clarins is one of my favourite beauty and skincare brands and receiving a gift set from them on Christmas day is guaranteed to make you smile.

For Him, the Clarins Men Weekend Essentials set.  This includes the exfoliating cleanser scrub, super moisture balm, smooth shave gel and my personal favourite in the anti-fatigue eye serum.  A perfect gift for a guy on the move, whether it be for your overnight bag or gym bag.

For Her, the Clarins Winter Body Essentials set.  This includes the moisture-rich body lotion, exfoliating body scrub and hand & nail cream.  Ideal for a girl's handbag to help fight the damage the Winter months can cause to our skin.


4. Gadgets for Him & Her

Gadgets are guaranteed to get everyone excited at Christmas and it's always nice to open something that you can have a play with on the day.

For Him, the perfect boys toy, Samsung Gear Icon X in-ear headphones.  These are one of my favourite gadgets of 2016 and are perfect for the gym-goer or traveller.  The headphones are completely wireless and touch sensitive, allowing you to change tracks with the tap of the ear bud.  The biggest plus for me is the handy travel case that also charges the headphones when not in use - guaranteed to get your boyfriend or husband excited!

For Her, the ultimate portable battery charger for tablets and mobile phones.  Mophie are experts in technology and their battery packs are in my opinion the best on the market.  This rose gold beauty will give you x5 additional full charges of your iPhone; the perfect gift for those who live live in the fast lane!

5. Him & Her Stocking Fillers

Traditionally I always make a small stocking up for Josie and it's a great way to display a few smaller and thoughtful gifts - and also win some brownie points (!)  

For Him, the recently launched People Just Do Nothing box set, with the full 3 seasons.  If you haven't caught the show on BBC 3 you've seriously missed out, it's filmed in a mockumentary style similar to that of the Office and is guaranteed to get you and the other half chuckling.

For Her, the Little Book Of Hygge.  If you've managed to avoid reading the countless recent news articles about Hygge, it's the Danish concept based focused on living well and living simply.  This book has some great recipe ideas for the colder months along with some cosy interior ideas and is a great coffee table book.


Click on the links for the best deals available and happy Christmas shopping!

What are your 'must-haves' this Christmas?

Are there any 'Him & Her' gifts you have your eyes on?

C.

*This Blog Post was written in collaboration with Oral-B


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