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 multipack of healthy, cheesy snacks, a pair of cool-guy-recommended jeans, and a vegan alternative to Palmer’s cocoa butter.
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Some easy-growing windowsill greens
This year, our gardening columnist Sonya Patel Ellis is focusing on nurturing potted seeds indoors. Topping her list of potted edibles are microgreens; she says that they’re remarkably easy to cultivate, making them a great choice for those who’d like to grow seeds with their children. She also says that they’re “packed with antioxidants and nutrients, delicious in salads or as a garnish, and possible to grow all year round, even in the smallest spaces.” Some microgreens in particular that Ellis recommends include “red-stem radish for adding heat to egg dishes or sandwiches; coriander to sprinkle on curries, noodles, or stir-fries; mild spinach for mixing into salads”.
A set of handsome luggage tags
This is an especially nice gift for a mum who hasn’t been able to travel recently. Strategist UK senior editor Ailbhe Malone says, “I bought a personalised Aspinal luggage tag set for my mum a few years ago, after she’d finished a course of chemotherapy. I thought it was a stylish way to say ‘the world awaits.’” These tags join 17 other items on our list of the cheapest, nicest gifts from luxury brands. For an added £15, the tags can be embossed with your mum’s initials. An added incentive: The tags are currently on sale — at a reduction of 40 percent — in colours including this rich Bordeaux red.
A gift for a bookworm
For mums that are always looking for something new to read, we recommend gifting this best-selling novel by Colleen Hoover. It Ends With Us is a love-triangle romance which has become a cult classic thanks to a gaggle of avidly enthusiastic fans on TikTok. It’s also the first in a trilogy, which concludes later this year. It’s less than £10, in both Kindle and paperback editions. For more Mother’s Day gift ideas below £10, read here.
A pair of sustainable selvedge jeans
To discover the very best jeans for men, writer Chris Mandle consulted fashion editors and male models, reached out to friends, and even did a deep-dive through some devoted sub-Reddits. During his hunt, he heard repeatedly about Nudie. Its jeans are made from Japanese selvedge denim — premium, thick denim made on antique looms — at a consistently lower price than competitors. Its range, also, is considerable: It offers eight fits across four styles (from slim to loose), and sizing in the waist runs from 24 to 38 inches. But what stood out most to Mandle was Nudie’s Re-use programme, “which encourages customers to donate old Nudie jeans in exchange for an in-store discount,” he says. “You can also get your jeans fixed for free, for life, at the Soho and Shoreditch stores, and the Redchurch Street branch sells secondhand denim for up to 50 percent off the RRP.”
A decanter worthy of Tommy Shelby
“When you’ve been best friends with someone for many years, it can be hard to think of creative or thoughtful ways to surprise them, especially when it comes to gifts,” writes Strategist intern Lucy Carr. To help, we’ve compiled a guide of 39 gifts for every type of best friend, including this whiskey decanter. The glass decanter is shaped like a globe, and has a petite ornate glass ship sailing amongst the liquor it holds. An ideal gift for a friend who’s a whiskey connoisseur (or one who can’t stop quoting Peaky Blinders).
A Berlin facialist’s lotion of choice
Strategist contributor Grace Banks first discovered Gly Skin Lotion Plus in Berlin, at a facialist in Charlottenburg. She soon found that it was exactly what her winter skin needed. “On waking up every day that week, I found the results were surprisingly miraculous — and quick,” she says. After an initial sting — due to natural acids within the lotion — Banks found that her skin looked “positively dewy,” and the glow lasted all day. Despite nightly use, Banks has only gotten through three tubes in over a year. “Because it’s so potent, you need just a couple of drops,” she says.
A (vegan) Palmer’s alternative
We also took a look at vegan skin care, scouring the internet to find skin-care products that are cruelty free and reasonably priced. If you were dismayed to discover that popular cocoa-butter brand Palmer’s is not cruelty free, you’ll be pleased to hear about this confirmed vegan alternative. The Queen Helene Cocoa Butter is equally as hydrating as the butter from Palmer’s, smells equally as lovely, and costs only £8 for a whopping 15-ounce tub.
And some crunchy, healthy snacks
This popped snack is made from dehydrated cubes of cheese — and nothing else. They’re available in a variety of favourite cheese flavours, including Gouda, Emmental, and Red Leicester. The high-protein snack is free of carbohydrates, sugars, and gluten, and according to reviewers, it tastes rather good. For more healthy snack ideas (all available via Amazon), click here.
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.