Ditch the gas station flowers and forget that dodgy bottle of fizz. Come on, it's almost Mother's Day and your eponymous celebrant is one of the most important people in your life, right? Would she really wants to gorge on shell shaped waxy chocolates? Or wince when atomised with an odious, sorry odorous, scoosh of Charlie perfume? We thought not. So why not give something about which she'll be properly excited? To assist, here's a C&J mini gift guide -- that spans the financial spectrum -- featuring inspired, prezzies, any of which would send your Mom into a state of elevated recipient frenzy. 'Cos she's worth it...
Suede Trim Cashmere Blanket by Ralph Lauren Home
Finishing touches, huh? The final frontier of home styling. Aye, we've long since opined that these last-minute layers are the gloss upon which the (well-appointed) domestic landscape sails. And, as luxurious pops go, they don't get much sexier than this. Composed of thick, dreamy cashmere -- and lined with suede for extra pleasure -- the touchy feely throw will tempt new levels of cosiness. Believe us; your Mom will spiral into hedonistic delirium...just don't mention the price -- $895. Yes, you read that correctly. She'd be furious. More info' (post smelling salts to bring you back from financial meltdown) at ralphlaurenhome.com.
First things first; we, and many others, have struggled with the pronunciation of this brand for as long as we care to remember. Just for the record, it's not Le Crow-eh-set and nor is it Le Croosy-et. Phonetically, it should be pronounced Le Croo-say. Language lesson complete, let's move on.
Le Creuset is a super stove brand and the type of cooking compendium that will last a lifetime. Literally. Cast from iron, the buxom pots come in various stunning colours and are rigid, easy to clean and suitable for use in oven or hob. The favoured product of chefs in the know, it's little wonder they're lauded the world over. More at Alternatively, be canny like us, and head to Homesense where you'll find selected elements of the Le Creuset range from $29 a pop.
Nespresso coffee machines and 'pods'
A selfish gift? Nah. Just 'cos you can't bear the thought of another dose of freeze-dried hell in a cup (at your Mom's behest) there's no reason for anyone to suggest this is actually a gift to yourself. She'll totally get it; it's all about coffee education and she'll love the journey. So listen up; Nespresso appliances, from our experience, are amongst the best the coffee market knows and, with ambassadors like George Clooney and Penelope Cruz, we wouldn't expect anything less.
On our own kitchen counter sits a 'U' machine and, each morning, as we crawl reluctantly from our slumbers, it pumps the most aromatic coffee; a caffeine laden life blood that propels us into the day. We experienced our first Nespresso gadget, years past, at The Saint Geran in Mauritius (all suites are equipped with machines) and were committed fans from the moment its inky black issue slipped down our eager Scottish throats. So what makes a good coffee? Well, as we see it, it's all in the blend. Nespresso Crus (the various coffee varieties) are staggeringly good. Linizio Lungo, for example, derives from Arabica beans sourced from South America; a balanced, smooth experience it showcases the cereal, malty notes of Bourbon beans which also feature as part of the blend. Combine the taste quality ($6.80 for a sleeve of ten pods) with the pleasing aesthetics of a Nespresso machine and your Mom's caffeine high will be complete.
Aston Martin One-77 Bottle Cooler
By God this is gorgeous. As you gift this cooler, you'll be instantly lauded as 'best kid ever'. And, doubtless, your Mom will weep a little. You'll feel justifiably smug. Crafted by visionary Grant MacDonald from hallmarked sterling silver, and featuring a carbon fibre inner layer, this wildly sexy booze chiller boasts sleek body lines inspired by the revered luxury car brand. But hold it a tic'; before you suggest cars are a blokes domain, take it from us, we know an army of women who fantasise about hot wheels. Retailing at around $41,000 (yes, you read that correctly) the One-77 is an undeniably pricey affair but it makes our inner pistons fire. If feeling extra flush, you might also like to invest in the matching set of gold and silver champagne flutes. And their cost? Just a shade over $56,000. Not much, as our old Scottish grannies might chime, if you say it quickly.
'The Hotel Book' - Great Escapes North America by Diasann McLane, Taschen Publishing
If we're entirely honest, we've become somewhat jaded by the great, er, 'homogenisation' of the leisure industry. Fact of the matter is, these days, loads of hotels look pretty much identical. The whole 'dark timber' aesthetic, for us, is as boring as the detail with which it is dressed; matching beige cushion stacks and the ubiquitous TV recessed into the wall.
Consequently, many of today's hotel books are somewhat compromised, packed as they are full of the, ahem, 'new' raft of options. Yawn. That's why, whenever we're asked to recommend a 'decent' hotel book, our default mechanism is always this 2006 published tome. Crammed with North American escapes it's much less about corporate tailoring and much more about individuality. Bag a copy for your Mom and let her lust over an Italianate villa in rural Massachusetts, a deluxe wigwam in Arizona's Navajo County or a Frank Lloyd Wright house on a wooded bluff beside Mirror Lake, Wisconsin. And these are just for starters; excavating further she'll espy a host of North American B&B's, moody cabins and tree house escapes that will send her over the edge. And not a spot of blandeur to be seen...
However big or small your budget -- and whatever you decide to give -- make sure your gift has 'special' written all over it. You only get one Mom, after all and, let's be honest, it was she who helped make it 'kids day' every day as you grew up to become the fabulous person you are. Blimey; that sounds so schmaltzy. But who cares? Only a mean soul would suggest that joyously flying one's true familial colours was a bad thing. So get the bunting out and cut the cake. Raise the flag and celebrate. The party starts Sunday...