After a tough year, 'tis the season of 'revenge-spending'.
After a torrid year of COVID-19-related lockdowns, beleaguered retailers will be hoping that this Christmas, a post-lockdown splurge known as 'revenge spending', will prop up their balance sheets.
In a recent survey of 2,000 British adults, nearly a quarter said this Christmas they plan to buy a present for themselves. Many said they feel they simply deserve a treat this year, and nearly a third said that Christmas is more important than ever due to the pandemic, and they will spend more lavishly, according to the survey from centre:mk.
Here are a handful of our favourite lavish luxury gifts, for the ultimate self-treat. Go on, you're worth it.
Bespoke Umbrella Handle (Archer Adams £210-£320)
Made in Europe, Archer Adams umbrellas are handcrafted with a black laquered birch stick, topped with a silver-plated animal head, including a lion, jaguar, dolphin and duck. There are also more unusual designs such as the Swarovski skull, of which Keith Richards is a proud owner.
Armand de Brignac Champagne (£295, Harrods.com)
Just 300 of these Armand de Brignac x Harrods Édition Spéciale Brut Gold sets, have been created. Each giftbox is inscribed with a unique number on a special pewter label. The giftbox also features a custom nameplate affixed to the inside, and is coloured 'Harrods Green'. Produced by 13th-generation Champagne growers, the Brut Gold is the most iconic cuvée in the range.
Hand-painted table and tray (Mary Justice Designs £4,119)
A hand-carved, Mahogany oval tilt top table with removable tray, hand-painted with scenes of the jungle, Bali-based designer Mary Justice calls this, 'fine art as furniture'. Her tray tables are limited in editions of 15, painted by master Indonesian artists. It takes three weeks to paint a piece, as nine brushstrokes on the primer material gesso equals one brushstroke on canvas, says Justice.
Alexandra Llewellyn Snake Backgammon set (AlexandraLlewellyn.com £9,600)
Every Alexandra Llewellyn Backgammon board passes through no fewer than nine craft workshops on its journey from idea to realisation. Inspired by the games played (and the bonds made) as a child with her step-grandfather in the backstreets of Cairo, Alexandra’s love of Backgammon has been lifelong. This snake board is inspired by her visits to Mexico as a teenager and the beauty and danger of the desert. Presented with luxurious, weighted burgundy and cream leather playing pieces, with black calf leather shakers and an embossed, weighted leather doubling die, the set can also be enhanced with pieces carved from semi-precious stones, such as turquoise.
Aurora Coffee Table By FBC London (FBC London £10,950)
Fiona Barratt-Campbell, the interior-designer wife of footballer Sol Campbell, created the Aurora Coffee Table after being inspired by the parched earth of a dried-up lake in South Africa. It was the first piece she made for her design retail firm, FBC London.
Portrait by an artist (FannyRush.com £12,000- £24,000)
A portrait is a way of seeing behind someone's eyes, whereas a photograph is just their surface, explains British portrait artist Fanny Rush. She will come and meet you, and over a coffee or lunch take some photos to capture your expressions, character and unique idiosyncrasies. After a couple of months of working on the portrait in her London studio, she will come to you for a final sitting in person. She said there has been an uptick in business as "with COVID, people are placing greater importance on a family legacy".
Underground Wine Cellar (Spiral Cellars, £20,609 - £80,000)
As people spent more time drinking at home this year, due to the hospitality sector restrictions, wine cellar installation has seen an uptick. This design-forward underground cellar can be installed in less than seven days and covered up with a rug until it is revealed, with a flourish, on Christmas Day. With space to hold up to 1,900 bottles, the climate-controlled Spiral Cellar can double up as a spacious larder for the overflow Christmas treats.
Sultan's Beluga Almas Hadid Caviar, 500g (hadidcaviar.com, £32,500)
As the world's most expensive caviar, the Sultan's Beluga Almas is only sold only in 500g tins, ideally suited to a deep-pocketed caviar connoisseur. Harvesting the roe from rare albino sturgeon, with small to medium eggs of a unique translucent amber color, the Almas caviar has a subtle nutty tone.
Hadid Caviar was launched this year by property tycoon and entrepreneur Mohamed Hadid, with six editions ranging from £75. Fished from sustainable sources and 100 percent traceable, Hadid Caviar will be donating 5 percent of the profit from every sale to the vital work being undertaken by amfAR to make AIDS history and bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Signed first edition of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (Peter Harrington, £80,000)
This beautiful first edition of A Christmas Carol is inscribed by Dickens to “Josef Valckenberg from his friend Charles Dickens Twenty First January 1847”, a wine merchant that Dickens met during his 1846 holiday travelling down the Rhine by steamboat. The largest antiquarian book dealer in Europe, Mayfair-and Chelsea-based Peter Harrington has catalogued 125,000 rare books since launch in 1991.
Pom Harrington, owner of Peter Harrington Rare Books, said: "In recent months, people have turned to books more than ever: for their power to transport us to other times and places; for their ability to reflect present challenges through the lens of the past, and for the comfort familiar words can bring."
Rolls-Royce New Ghost (Rolls-Royce from £233,235)
Rolls-Royce has given its Ghost model a 'Post-Opulent' makeover, aiming for greater simplicity and more power. The hand-welded aluminium body is one seamless canvas, uninterrupted by shut lines. Equipped with a twin-turbo, 6.75-litre, 12-cylinder engine, the new Ghost operates in near silence with a 'magic carpet' effect of minimising road bumps. The German-owned, British-based carmaker considers itself "more a new money brand" these days, as the average age of a Rolls-Royce owner has dropped from around 60 at the beginning of the 21st century, to 41 today.
Villa Siam in Phuket, Thailand (ConciergeAuctions.com, £13.5m, or nearest offer)
This five-bedroom, 5,000 square foot villa is located in the stunning Trisara resort on Thailand's Phuket coastline. It is set to be sold by auction between December 8-14th online to the highest bidder, without reserve, previously listed at US$18 million (£13.5m). The villa includes an 8-person steam room, its own Bar/Cafe lounge and Cinema/home entertainment room, tennis courts and a boxing room, as well as two gorgeous infinity-edge pools with spectacular views of the sun setting into the Andaman Sea.