sunday circular

8 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: From German Nail Clippers to Giftable Green Tea

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 versatile olive oil, a pair of ultraprecise German nail clippers, and some stylish-person-approved Mother’s Day gifts. 

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A buttery, blended olive oil

To compile a list of the very best olive oils, Strategist writer Chris Mandle interviewed four food-industry experts, combed through Strategist archives, and taste-tested the most popular. This blended bottle from Filippo Berio is one of five that made the cut. It’s commendable for its versatility, availability (from Asda to Amazon), and great value for money — it costs a mere £5. “The oil is a blend of refined and virgin oils, and the fact it’s been refined this way means it has a higher smoke point,” he says. “When I dunked some crusty bread in a puddle of this oil, it tasted buttery and rich, though not full of the grassy notes you get in extra-virgin varieties.” In addition to cooking various dishes, the oil can also be used to bake, a testament to its versatility.

A bunch of editor-approved letterbox flowers

From £22

With Mother’s Day now fast approaching, we’ve compiled gift guides with delightful ideas for every type of Mum — but you can never go wrong with a beautiful bunch of flowers. Editor Ailbhe Malone likes to send bouquets from Bloom and Wild to her friends and family over in Ireland. Along with a fresh, vibrant selection of stems, their letterbox service comes accompanied with flower-arranging tips and tricks. They use Royal Mail’s Tracked service (for free) to deliver flowers the very next day. To ensure that your pick arrives before March 27, order by 10 p.m. on Friday, March 25.

A slender, handmade vase

You could even pair your Mum’s lovely bouquet with this twin set of vases made in Stoke-on-Trent by Reiko Kaneko. They were recommended to us by the chief curator for the V&A Wedgwood Collection, Catrin Jones, one of 37 people we reached out to for our Mother’s Day gift guide (according to people with excellent taste). “I love the simple bamboo form of this bone-china vase, which looks great with a single flower, a bunch of tulips or daffodils, or just on its own,” she says.

A gallery-worthy tea towel

Another decorative suggestion came from Dr. Zoé Whitley, the director at Chisenhale Gallery. Whitley encourages friends to support local nonprofit art galleries — “Chisenhale included, naturally” — and told us she will be gifting her mother a piece from Studio Voltaire’s range. “I’m particularly taken with their current stock of David Shrigley tea towels,” says Whitley. “£25 functional artworks!”

A crisp, fruity green-tea trio

We also delved through our directory of 101 Black-owned British businesses to find some Mother’s Day gift inspiration. If your mum gets through eight cups a day (without fail), you could spoil her with a luxury green-tea upgrade. The three green teas, named in tribute to Simone Veil, Frida Kahlo, and Ndaté Yalla Mbodj, are made with crisp Chinese sencha and have flavours of cherry, raspberry, and rose petals, respectively. They’re also packaged in eco-friendly tins (which are eminently reusable).

A snuggly security blanket

This cosy blanket is great for keeping babies warm and settled in their buggy as it has an added hood and legs. It came recommended to us by mum-of-three Aliy Brown who says it has remained a firm favourite object of her children, who still carry it around now (“It’s become a security item.”) The blanket comes in a variety of colours and prints, but we particularly like this grey, starry option.

A pride-of-place poster

We trawled through hundreds of Amazon listings to find 32 posters that are so nice, they warrant a frame. This poetry festival poster comes in a simple but particularly pleasing colour palette. The green and red splodges look like those within a lava lamp, but the neutral khaki tone ensures the poster is not too busy for the living room wall.

And some meticulously crafted nail clippers

Strategist writer Kitty Guo discovered a Goldilocks pair of clippers, courtesy of German knife brand Zwilling J.A. Henckels. “I’m happy to report that these Goldilocks clippers have the perfect amount of bite, not too weak where you have to really wrench to get them to cut — but also not too strong that they’ll send stray nail fragments flying across the room,” says Guo. The clippers are sleek, compact, and come with a sturdy leather storage case. “Cutting my nails, a pastime I once regarded as a dreary chore, is now a joy and a delight,” reports Guo.

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.

Sunday Circular: 8 Things That Delighted Us Last Week