Rs 200 to Rs 2,000
Cremeitalia’s Italian cheese hamper has four classic kinds of cheese: Burrata with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper, Cream Cheese sans emulsifying salts, Mascarpone, and Fiordilatte Cherry, a semi-soft mozzarella.
Price: Rs 1,400
Various kinds of artisanal mithais have been the flavour of several Diwali seasons. NOTO’s mithais, made using the traditional halwai technique, are vegan and low on calories. One of my favourites: Mohanthal, a traditional Gujarati mithai made with besan, ghee, saffron and nuts at Rs 455 for 250 gm. Yogisattva’s plant-based mithai menu has the vegan version of conventional mithais — Kaju Katli, Rose Kaju Katli, Saffron Malai Laddoo, Pista Mewa Peda made with cashews, coconut milk, cardamom, dates, and pistachios, and Kesar Badam Kulfi.
Price: Rs 349-2,499
Genda Phool's Apple Spice is a blend of delicious apples with hand-pounded walnuts, topped with cinnamon. Their Paantastic Pistachio is made with Pishori pista, Kolkata paan has the flavour of gulkand, while gooseberry square is made with pistachios and gooseberries, and milk-n-fig.
The curiously named Hatti and Giraffe claims to sell ‘anti-dessert laadu’ (read low sugar), a smooth Besan Barfi and Konkani Coconut Wadi in a reusable tin box.
Price: Rs 250 onwards
Truffle and Co.’s hand-rolled truffles are encased in chocolate coverings: Decadent Dark is truffle coated with cocoa or toasted almonds; Bumble Bee has a coating of dark chocolate, salted caramel and honeycomb; Mogador is passion fruit, toasted almonds, and milk chocolate, while Cappuccino is milk chocolate and Kahlua.
Shistaka’s new-age wellness herbal tea brand is on this gift guide not just for their lovely white-and-gold packaging but also for the detoxification goodness they embody, which would be much needed in the post-Diwali days. The luxurious herbal tea trove is a tea spa for your body with eight infusions such as lemon ginger, turmeric, ginger and basil, Tulsi Brahmi, and such, besides two cups and a kettle.
Price: Rs 2,500
The 4th gen Echo Dot is a voice-controlled smart speaker with a built-in Alexa. Rs 2,000. Infinote Smart Notebook is an ideal gift for those who love to make notes or write a personal journal. The paper on the notebook is made up of reusable recycled stone paper rather than traditional wood. The user can erase the notes after scanning them from the Infinite application and reuse the notebook.
Price: Rs 1,049
Mr Jerry’s ready cocktail-in-a-can is a gift well-suited to card parties and continuing after-Diwali festivities. Choose from Mai Tai, Cucumber and Elderflower Fizz, Ol’ Fashioned, Midday Negroni, Long Island Iced Tea, and my favourite, Espresso Martini.
Price: Rs 1,500
Greater Than, India’s first dry gin, makes a kickass London Dry gin, perfect for gifting. The white spirit, made with botanicals sourced from across the world, tastes of Juniper and fresh lemon peel, with a zing of ginger on the finish.
Price: Rs 1,950
Blind Gilt cocktail mixer draws its name from the folklore of the prohibition era: A young female pig who escaped a slaughterhouse took shelter at a speakeasy and rose to become the first female pig to be a bartender, playing with flavours and ingredients in unmatchable cocktails. Blind Gilt cocktail mixers do exactly that. Their starter pack of six has an Appletini (for a vodka cocktail), Basil Smash (best with gin), Espresso Martini (with dark rum), Paloma (best with tequila), Penicillin (with whisky), and Spiced Margarita (with tequila).
Price: Rs 1,194
Luxury Ayurveda beauty brand Vedix has two beauty kits packaged for Diwali — Glow Kit (face oil, scrub, clay mask, toner, and face roller) and Aromatic bath ritual kit (body wash, body lotion, body scrub, body mist, loofah, and a lip balm).
Price: Rs 1,499
Juicy Chemistry’s small batch of potent formulations are made from raw materials sourced from certified organic farms and steers clear of pesticides and fertiliser-laden plant sources, which makes for shorter shelf life but great products.
Price: Rs 500 upwards
Kerala-based vegan beauty brand, Manetain’s kit of Oh so soft shampoo and Oh so strong conditioner baobab protein, seaweed extract and marshmallow extract, and by marshmallows we’re talking about Marshmallow root, a flowering plant/perennial herb that acts as a potent natural conditioner.
Price: Rs 350 onwards
Bath and Body Works' Butterfly collection includes a range of body creams, shower gels, fragrance mist, body scrubs, a candle, and even a perfume with a raspberry-meets-vanilla scent if you like that sort of thing.
Price: Rs 500 onwards
Abel House, a niche new design studio with a portfolio that goes from home décor and furnishings to fashion, has a range of hammered metal lotus urlis, brass hammered floral diyas, and antique replica lanterns. Rs 500 onwards. Phool’s made from temple flowers and incense sticks are a good addition to any gift basket with Diwali-referenced décor. The Diwali collection with plantable mithai and several such goodies is priced from Rs 1,000-4,000.
Rs 3,000 to Rs 10,000
An interesting name like Begum Victoria Cheese aside, the brand’s curated hamper includes all the favourites — Brie, Cheddar and Manchego, with limited-edition flavours of a Pecan & Dill Soft Cheese, some Pepper Gouda, served with olives, crackers, and accompaniments.
For Villeroy and Boch’s porcelain Samarkand collection, artisans have drawn motifs and patterns from the ancient civilization of Samarkand — once strategically located along the Silk Road — which is fringed in by a vibrant border design.
Kashmir Craft Tick’s delicate tilla embroidered pashmina shawls for men are redolent of the elegance of Kashmir’s lush craft heritage and its long tradition of exquisite pashminas.
Rare Scents new fragrance, the limited-edition, 151-piece Oriane, has notes of Indian Oud and spices — raw materials that are ethically sourced — and is infused with pure 24 Karat gold flakes. The fragrance has taken over 369 days to perfect.
Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000
Eleftheria’s artisanal cheese and butter would be my pick for a cheese aficionado. The winner of silver at the World Cheese Awards in 2021 for its excellent Burnost, offers interesting cheese grazing tables and cheese boards. Its ‘The Big Cheese Grazing Table’ — 30x14 inch in size — is a super-indulgent mix of Truffle Burrata with roasted cherry tomatoes, basil and garlic, types of Fromage Blanc — garlic and parsley, chives and pepper, and Italian black truffles, Belper Knolle, goat cheese truffle, gouda cheese from the Netherlands, vintage cheddar from the UK, Red Pepper Relish…and far more stuff than I can put down here.
Price: Rs 12,500
Who doesn’t like pizzeria-like pizzas made at home? Just introduced Ooni Pizza Ovens do just that, or they promise to at least: give you restaurant-style stone-baked pizza in just 60 seconds. Not to forget naan, tandoor rotis, grilled veggies and roasted meats. Now if only they could make a mean laccha parantha or stuffed kulcha as easily.
Price: Rs 32,999
There are only 250 bottles of Woodburns' Limited Edition A Tale of Oak single malt whisky available. Launched recently by All Things Nice, A Tale of Oak has an ex-bourbon cask finish, no additives and is non-chill filtered.
Price: Rs 13,500
Century-old jewellery house, Krishniah Chetty’s new Denim & Diamonds collection references the texture and colour of denim and translates it into jewels with textured surface.
Price: Rs 12,000 onwards
Storie Veneziane’s Rosso I Extrait de parfum (these are the most concentrated and expensive perfumes with 20 to 40% oil concentration) for men has the woodiness of oud and the freshness of pink berries.
Price: Rs 35,700
Forest Essentials' Gentlemen’s Box for men is a collection of sandalwood fragrant skincare range — shaving cream, facial wash, shaving cream and a brush — with notes such as sandalwood (of course) and orange peel.
Rs 50,000 and above
Jaipur Rug’s hand-knotted, deep indigo colour Brahmaand Collection is inspired by a series of paintings on meditation, contemplation, and natural elements such as the moon, by architect and designer Ashiesh Shah.
Price: Rs 4 lakh and above
Tory Burch’s 2022 collection that will make for a great gift: the classic cutwork bag, accessories reimagined with their iconic logo, zip shoulder bag with a 90s’-inspired shape, and statement earrings and other jewels.
Price: On request
Pay obeisance to a sustainable lifestyle by gifting a plant. Not just a plant, but one planted in an angular, geometrical Steen planter designed by Stefan Antoni and Greg Truen of Cape Town design studio, SAOTA. The designers are inspired by the big boulders found on the coastal cliffs in their city. The planters have a water reservoir at the base into which the roots grow.
Price: Rs 70,000 and above
How can this list be complete with iPhone 13, that’s just hit the market? With features such as a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display and 12+12-megapixel camera on the rear and 12 megapixels on the front that clicks beautiful images and is capable of recording videos in 4K at 60fps.
Price: Rs 79,900
Swiss Haute Horlogerie Audemars Piguet’s limited edition 34 mm Royal Oak Selfwinding in black ceramic is a collaboration between the Manufacture and Carolina Bucci. The Italian jewellery designer has created a dial endowed with a unique multi-coloured mirror effect paying tribute to the iconic Tapisserie design.Price: On request