The Telegraph Editors' Christmas Gift Guide: Talib Choudhry

In the final instalment of our Telegraph Christmas Gift Guide series, we've quizzed The Telegraph’s Design and Interiors Editor, Talib Choudhry, to find out what made it onto his shopping list this Christmas. Here, Talib shares how he basks in the festive season and hand-picks a selection of gifts for his loved ones…

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There’s nothing I enjoy more than the sight of a temporary Christmas tree forest arriving outside my local greengrocer, where stacks of clementines and bags of nuts are piled up inside; cards landing on the doormat (as well as a few brown-paper packages tied with string); and watching TV’s Nigella, Jamie and Mary adding twists to traditional festive food and baking Christmas cakes weeks before the big day.

It’s the time for decorations to emerge from hibernation and rooms to be festooned in sparkling style as good taste flies out of the window. My favourite part, though, has to be the furtive squirrelling away of gifts that will (hopefully) surprise and delight, even if a few not-so-subtle hints have been dropped.

Although I am heartened by all the markers of the Christmas countdown, revelling in the preparations of others, I have a confession: I’m a last-minute perfectionist. I have great intentions and plan to choose the ideal presents, decorate lavishly and entertain in sophisticated style – but I don’t leave enough time. 

I’ll often bulk-buy a few of the same item (block-busting books, beauty bits and pieces, butter-soft cashmere socks and scarves) and think about the most appropriate recipient when I get home. Everyone unwraps something lovely, but perhaps a little more generic than I’d like. My dear old dad definitely doesn’t need another autobiography or any socks.



Parisian candle maker Cire Trudon has an impressive pedigree. Founded in 1643, it counted both Marie Antoinette and Napoleon Bonaparte as clients. Presented in beautiful hand-blown glass jars, its scented candles are a 21st century innovation. Bethlehem is perfect for Christmas and Abd El Kader is an uplifting year-round favourite. 

Cire Trudon Candle, £70; Available at Fenwick Bond Street 

What to buy for teenagers who are more interested in digital devices than toys? This portable charger is ideal for my Star Wars – and smartphone-obsessed – nephew. He will love it and cool uncle credentials are assured.

Mimoco Star Wars Phone Charger, £25; Available at Fenwick Bond Street

Kate Spade New York is a fabulously feel-good fashion brand, which my sister adores. Retro-glam style and thoughtful details – bags with unexpectedly colourful linings, secret messages sewn on labels – set it apart. This bangle looks a good deal more precious than the price-tag and comes in on-trend rose gold.

Kate Spade New York Glass Stone Hinged Bangle, £40; Available at Fenwick Brent Cross, Kingston 

Royal watchers will have spotted that Prince George often sports traditional outfits by London-based designer Rachel Riley. My baby nephew Charlie – not a prince, but bonnie nonetheless – will be sporting this charming smock set come Christmas afternoon.

Rachel Riley Smock Set, £79; Available at Fenwick Colchester 

Who wouldn’t love the gift of a blissful night’s sleep? I swear by This Works’ slumber-inducing Deep Sleep Pillow Spray. Drifting off surrounded by the scent of lavender, vetivert and wild chamomile is, well, dreamy. The perfect stocking filler. 

This Works Bedtime Story Gift Set, £30; Available at Fenwick Canterbury, Kingston, Tunbridge Wells, Windsor, York 

It’s not often that high fashion and comfort come together so beautifully. The sports-luxe trend is all over the catwalk and this cashmere hoodie is just the thing for winter weekend lounging. My brother-in-law is a hoodie aficionado but I may keep this for myself. 

Moray Cashmere Hoodie, £275; Available at Fenwick Bond Street

It’s the small things that can elevate the everyday and make us smile. The idiom on these pencils, “doing things pleasantly”, suggests the idea of penning thoughtful missives to friends and loved ones. Just the thing for post-holiday “thank you” note-writing.

Fenwick 'Doing things pleasantly' Pencil, 50p each; Available at Fenwick Bond Street

My dad likes to put his best foot forward and despairs at my seven-day-a-week trainer habit. He’s a stickler for polishing shoes to a high shine and will love using these impeccably-crafted accessories to keep his shoes pristine. 

Saphir Shoe Brush, £17 and  Cedar Wood Shoe Tree, £45; Available at Fenwick Bond Street 

Be sure to check out our previous Gift Guides, including The Telegraph's Fashion Features Editor, Men's Style Editor and Acting Beauty Director

By Talib Choudhry