Welcome to the ES Shopping Shortlist, your monthly round-up of the need-to-know newness out right now. Make a cuppa and take a seat, we’re diving right in.
Silly season has begun good and proper - that deliciously slow time of year when everyone cashes in their annual leave and finds a sunny spot on which to unfurl.
Whether you’re staying in the city or heading further afield, there’s plenty to see, shop and do this month. From wandering around the beautiful gardens and grounds of The Newt, Somerset (with an obligatory stop at the produce-packed farm shop, of course) to adding to your curated ear thanks to The Alkemistry’s in-house piercing service.
This month sees National Prosecco Day on Aug 13, giving us mid-month motivation for our weekend tipples, and of course, the end of the month will be the last Bank Holiday weekend until Christmas (yikes!).
Here’s our roundup of the top buys and splash-out spends for August.
Floward's first London pop-up offers free flowers to visitors
Flower fans PSA: get your skates over to Westfield Shepherd’s Bush, where from August 26 - 30, Floward will be giving away complimentary floral arrangements at its first London pop-up. There will also be competitions and discounts as well as a chance to gaze upon their luxury arrangements. You need to be quick though, as only the first 50 visitors will walk away with freebies.
Tatty Devine x Bowie collection
The legend of David Bowie lives on at Tatty Devine; the costume jewellery brand has just launched a beautiful new collection to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his acclaimed album, Hunky Dory. Inspired by his formidable and iconic style, it's a way to pay tribute to one of Britain's boldest and best rockstars. Prices range from a pocket-friendly up to a splurgey £175.
Stone & Mason summer ready handbag collection
Looking for a cute new bag to carry all your essentials from one soiree to another? Stop the search, because Stone & Mason has just launched its summer collection of arm candy - Wanderlust. Handwoven by craftswomen in Bali, they are full of beach-to-bar vibes - and some even have handy heatwave kits included, full of essentials like a fan, deodorant, cooling face mists and more. Summer in the bag.
Escape to The Newt this summer
Want to escape the city but can’t get a B&B for love nor money? Take yourself off to The Newt in Somerset for the day, where you can soak up as many country views as your peepers can handle. The luxury hotel is also home to impressive gardens, ancient woodland, a plant-focused restaurant, gardening museum, and farm shop selling artisan produce as well as delicious cyder made from the on-site orchards. Our pick? The Newt’s new 2021 Rosé Cyder will turn all your perceptions about cider on its head.
The Newt’s first class Great Garden Escape sets off from Paddington on weekend mornings and delivers you back to the station in time for dinner (although you might be stuffed from the Afternoon Tea on the journey home) with plenty of talks, walks and experiences packed in between. A restorative countryside experience you won’t want to miss this summer.
£295pp, on until Sept 26.
Express your style with Sekonda Watches Build Your Watch service
They say time flies when you're having fun, and this expression is certainly proved right with Sekonda's new service which sees you designing your very own timepiece. Choosing from an impressive selection of colours, finishes and faces, there are nearly 10,000 possible combinations, so your new watch will be one of a kind. A lovely treat for yourself or someone special, the Build Your Watch service allows all genders to express their style in just three easy steps. It won't break the bank either: every style costs £59.99 plus £10 extra if you choose to get an additional, interchangable strap.
Stories Behind Things August Pop-Up
As if August Bank Holiday wasn't exciting enough already, there's a new shopping event set to rock your weekend. Stories Behind Things will open a two-floor pop-up packed with some of the top names in lifestyle and fashion, all with a sustainable and green edge. As well as shopping, there will be events like The Big Clothes Switch where you can donate your old threads or swap them for new ones as well as yoga sessions and panel discussions.
From August 28 - 30, 19 South Molton Street, W1K 5QX.
On yer (free) bike - Raleigh launches competition
If you, like the majority of the country, have spent summer exploring all that Great Britain has to offer, it's time to take your staycation up a gear. Bike titan Raleigh has partnered with pubs along the best cycling paths to welcome riders and enter a competion to win a shiny new Raleigh Strada X.
Entries are open to UK residents, and will close August 22, 2021, with the winner announced before the August bank holiday.
Let’s ear it for The Alkemistry
Fine jewellery brand The Alkemistry has rolled out an in-house piercing service in its Floral St store, ideal for those still on the quest for a perfectly curated ear. Piercing packages make this a true pampering experience, starting with a welcome drink, before a personal consultation and a complimentary goody bag before you leave. Sounds like a hole lot of fun to us. Prices from £25.
Chinti & Parker puts grey days away
There’s little more sartorially joy-giving than a burst of colour - just try and sulk while wearing a sunshine yellow jumper. It can’t be done. So no wonder we’re loving fashion label Chinti & Parker’s new tie-up with Crayola, which manages to be both nostalgic and luxe all at once, while giving our dopamine levels a serious boost. The collection features an array of rainbow-bright apparel from relaxed loungewear to hoodies and logo tees.
Free gift alert from FOREO
Who doesn’t love a freebie? We’ve heard of a humdinger over at FOREO - until the end of this month, they’re offering a complimentary gift with every purchase of a UFO2 device. Choose from a LUNA play, ideal for keeping your skin in check while on the move, or the ISSA Play, an electric toothbrush that uses sonic care to keep your chops whiter than white.
Krispy Kreme x Xbox
Krispy Kreme, the purveyors of sinfully delicious doughnuts, is celebrating two decades of Xbox with a themed range in its honour. Not only will the new confections bring a smile to your face, but there are gaming giveaways and prizes to score too - including an Xbox Series S Console. Our pocket money is going on the limited edition Nexus Level Doughnut, which you can only get until August 22. Sweet as.
A NZ haven by way of Selfridges
Selfridges may well be one of our favourite department stores, but this August it’s preparing to whisk us away to the other side of the planet thanks to wine brand Cloudy Bay. It’s installing a pop-up bar called the Cloudy Bay Haven on the shop’s ground floor (between stationery and the food hall), all cream, white and canvas. Serving the brand’s delicious portfolio of wine, it’s around until early October and the best part is, you can purchase bottles to take home too. If you’re not sure what to go for, try a wine flight which allows a taster of some of Cloudy Bay’s best grapes.
St-Germain x McQueens Flowers Spritz workshop
Luxury London florist McQueens and St Germain, the French Liqueur brand, have teamed up for a brilliantly fragrant workshop this August. Over two hours, guests will unearth the art of captivating floristry in McQueens’ Mayfair store, arranging bouquets while sipping on summer-ready spritzes before taking home a bundle of fleurs and a spritz kit to continue to enjoy at home. It’s running every Thursday evening this month (Aug 5, 12, 19 and 26) with tickets costing £85pp.
Discover hidden treasures thanks to Art Fund
Art Fund has launched Art Pass Unbooked which brings together hundreds of smaller museums and galleries in one place and allows the public to find one near to them and book there and then - so no whining that there’s nothing to do at the weekend. It means you’ll get to uncover smaller cultural gems while swerving the bigger queues and ticketing hassle of London’s better known institutions this summer.
Hot shot: Win £200 in Fujifilm’s new photography competition
Attention developing photographers! Fujifilm has a new competition to pique your interest. The photography company has just launched its printlife@home digital exhibition, an exciting new initiative that will have you printing your favourite snaps and showcase them to a Europe-wide audience. While all submissions will get a free 8x10 print of their image, there are prizes to be won too, from vouchers up to £200 for a ‘Photo of the Week’ to brand new Instax mini 40 or Instax mini 11 cameras.
You have until Dec 5 to get your submissions in using either your smartphone or a proper camera.
La Perla gets comfortable
Sexy, seductive lingerie has always been La Perla’s singular USP, but the brand has cottoned on to the comfort most of us embraced in lockdown to launch a new sustainable collection that does good as well as looks good. The pieces in Comfort Zone are fashioned from recycled lycra and green cotton, with easy-to-wear bodies, bralets, vest and tanga briefs. Everyday elegance, the La Perla way.
Ocean Bottle x GAIL’s planet-saving tech
Ocean Bottle has chosen artisan baker GAIL’s to roll out its new Earth-saving tech, an insulated drinks bottle fitted with a NFC chip. Located in the base of the design, owners will be able to fund the collection of 20 single-use plastic bottles choking our waters every time they present and scan the cup, which can hold both hot and cold drinks (making them ideal for year-round use). The bottles will be available in GAIL’s initially but the idea is that other stores will start to adopt them too, helping to turn the tide against plastic pollution.