sunday circular

6 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: From Caviar Shampoo to Cat-Scratching Posts

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

At the Strategist, we write about hundreds of products every 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 an unwavering, cactus-themed cat scratcher, a shampoo made with caviar extract, and a book written by a Britpop legend. 

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An unwavering cat-scratching post

Photo: Amazon

After her newly adopted cat, Tabitha, wasted no time destroying her upholstery, Strategist associate director of audience development Rosie Percy set out to find a decent scratching post. Underwhelmed by standard beige and brown tower posts, Percy uncovered this cactus-shaped scratcher with delight during a late-night Amazon scroll. “Although it’s so silly, the cactus does sort of blend into my home décor of earthy tones and houseplants,” Percy says. “The materials are good, too — a mix of fluffy plush and hard-wearing sisal that provides different textures for pawing, climbing, and scratching.” Crucially, the cactus scratcher stays sturdy and steadfast as Tabitha mounts several attacks per day. And Percy can sleep soundly, knowing her furniture stays claw-free.

A novel addition to dad’s home bar

If you’ve exhausted every whiskey-themed gift imaginable for your discerning dad — from whiskey stones, glasses, and even a nice bottle itselfauthor Bobby Palmer recommends this portable smoker. Despite its complex appearance, Palmer reveals the “toy-for-grown-ups” is remarkably straightforward to use: “You simply turn it on and fire it with wood chips, then you can give your old-fashioned or whiskey sour a smoky flavour and a mixologist-worthy billow of smoke so satisfying that you’ll want to use it on every drink.” An ideal choice for foodie dads, the smoker also works for “adding some MasterChef flair to food,” adds Palmer. For more Father’s Day gift inspiration from stylish people, read here.

A gadget to improve dad’s golf game


We’ve also catered for golf dads this Father’s Day, reaching out to professional players, coaches and bloggers to ask what’s on their own wishlist. For dads looking to improve their handicap, Ray Nyabola from Black British Golfers recommends the Shot Scope V3 — it’s basically like a FitBit for golfers. “Rather than guessing what has gone wrong or right in your golf round,” Nyabola says, “you can see every shot with data. And over subsequent rounds, you build comparative data, and can start to improve your decision making.” There’s also an option to upload scores to social media, so dad can boast about his latest game to his friends, or identify room for improvement with his coach.

A budget-friendly, sturdy carry-on

The inexpensive cases from Tripp are beloved by frequent flyers. Niamh O’Brien, a digital editor at Lonely Planet, called it a “sturdy little number” and said the case “tolerates being dragged downstairs and across fields and can be chucked in the tightest of luggage situations.” The wheels and handle “can really take a punishing,” she adds, easily navigating cobbled, sandy, muddy, or hilly terrain. Victoria Beardwood, the in-flight-magazine editor at Ink, also rated Tripp highly. “It’s not flashy, it’s not expensive, but it does the job brilliantly.” According to Tripp, the cabin case fits in the cabins of ten airlines, including Aer Lingus, British Airways, Jet2, and Lufthansa, so there’ll be no last-minute panic (or fees) as you prepare to board your flight.

An eclectic twist on a classic memoir

To find the perfect books to gift this Father’s Day, we spoke to independent booksellers from across the country. For achingly cool dads, Tara Spinks from Lutyens and Rubinstein in Notting Hill recommends a book by rockstar (and dad himself) Jarvis Cocker. “Jarvis has always had some definite Big Dad Energy — and anyone who came of age in the late ’90s will know that he somehow makes the uncool deeply cool,” she says. In Good Pop, Bad Pop, Cocker turns a session of loft-rummaging into “an enlightening memoir and a reflection on life, music, art, and everything beyond.” An interesting read covering rock music, growing up in the ’70s, and 20th-century pop culture, that will have dad out rummaging in his own shed.

And a deluxe, deeply nourishing shampoo

When dealing with dry, curly hair, Chelsey Pickthorn — head stylist at Pickthorn salon — opts for Alterna Haircare’s smoothing shampoo. The shampoo has a luxurious list of ingredients, including caviar extract, rich in hair-strengthening omega fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Suitable for all parched-hair types, including more mature hair, the shampoo is free of parabens, sulphates, and synthetic colours. It also has a remarkably pleasant fruity scent, which can last for days between washes. For more shampoo recommendations for those with dryer hair, read our expert-recommended list 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.

6 Things That Delighted Us Last Week