sunday circular

7 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: From Champagne to Cinema Subscriptions

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

We write about hundreds of products a week. Here, in our version of the Sunday circular, we’ve plucked out some of our favourites — expert-recommended essentials, life-changing stuff you didn’t know you needed, newly launched gizmos, and the very good deals we uncovered while trawling the vast online-shopping universe this past week, including a wholesome gaming expansion pack, an old-fashioned brolly, and some remarkably real-looking faux flora. And if you want even more Strategist stories sent straight to your inbox, sign up for our email newsletter.

A dependably romantic last-minute gift

Despite it only being a day away, there’s still time to nab a truly thoughtful, truly last-minute Valentine’s gift for your loved one. We’ve sifted through our (extensive) Valentine’s Day reporting to find hand-picked pieces that will arrive either instantly or later that day. This gift box of Rosé Moët & Chandon, for example, is available on same-day delivery for all Amazon customers (including non-Prime members). We think it would make for a fail-safe last-minute option, or a particularly luxurious supplement to your existing spoils. Do be aware, however, that whilst smaller and larger options are available, only the 75cl bottle will arrive on the same day.

A Grand Designs–meets–Tom Nook expansion pack

This Animal Crossing New Horizons expansion pack is an ideal gift for the valentine looking for something new to do on their island (besides getting Mabel to chitchat). With Happy Home Paradise, players become both architect and interior designer for grand holiday homes, as well as cafés, restaurants, and other spots for their islanders. And as it’s an instant download code for the Nintendo Switch, the gift will arrive as soon as you click “Confirm Purchase.”

A gift on a Letterboxd user’s wish list

If your valentine is a cinephile, another instant (yet thoughtful) gift option is a subscription to hand-picked cinema streaming service Mubi. The site has a catalogue of both classic and newer indie titles, from Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo to Ben Sharrock’s Limbo. It was first brought to our attention by Strategist contributor Hannah Holway. “Experts such as film historians and critics curate the collections of films on offer by genre, theme, or director, so you can easily search for the kind of film you’re looking for,” explains Holway.

An expertly curated coffee-table book


If your lovely coffee table is looking barren, you might be looking for an engrossing coffee-table book to liven it up. Our list of 24 coffee-table books (that would also make a great gift) has options for sneakerheads, brutalist enthusiasts, and even hip-hop lovers. Contact High is curated by journalist Vikki Tobak and features decades of photography (and rare outtakes) — with subjects from Biggie Smalls to Nicki Minaj — to create a visual history of hip-hop. It’s also supplemented by essays from hip-hop journalist Bill Adler, DJ Premier, and RZA.

A brolly straight out of The King’s Man

On the hunt for a “solid brolly,” Strategist contributor Fedora Abu’s sleuthing brought her to independent brand London Undercover. With an almost metre-wide canopy, the brolly comfortably offers protection from the elements for two, and as its elegantly old-fashioned curled handle rests over the lip of her handbag, Abu doesn’t have to root around to locate it once the heavens open. “I can safely say I’m absolutely in love with it,” says Abu. “Not enough to be thrilled at the prospect of wet weather, but if there’s rain on the forecast, I’m slightly cheered knowing I get to whip out my most handsome find.”

And some very convincing faux houseplants

A good-quality artificial plant can add all of the verdure of its authentic cousin, without the attached hassle of upkeep. To help you identify a quality faux plant for your space, Strategist writer Chris Mandle consulted with experts before trawling across countless sites to compile a list of 17 (actually stylish) options. This artificial 3.6-foot Kentia palm tree is sure to counter some of the winter gloom. Whilst the tree does demand some self-assembly (through bending and unpacking the fronds), customers said it actually helped the plant achieve a more “natural” look.

Artificial Eucalyptus Stems
£12 for 12
£12 for 12

For a less conspicuous option, these artificial eucalyptus stems are ideal for perching within a vase atop a desk, mantel, or windowsill. The stems are available in packs of 20, and reviewers have been delighted by the authentic likeness of the grey-green leaves.

The Strategist UK is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Read about who we are and what we do here. Our editors update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

7 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: Champagne to Cinema