Never have we appreciated our friends so much than in the past year. Our collective Covid nightmare has confirmed a few things; among them, the absolute necessity of a bunch of good, solid mates.
While some friendships may have ground to a halt without the oil of daily contact and a shared routine, others have shone brightly, offering pin-pricks of laughter and light through the grey Groundhog days. If our WhatsApp conversations could be published, they would be tomes of empathy, telly recommendations and Zoom links with a healthy punctuation of memes as we buoyed each other through the pandemic.
There are all sorts of relationships, and friendship is amongst the most special - many studies say people value their inner circle more than their partners.
So what better time to let you pals know how much you cherish? Spoil your favourite people and send them a bear hug from across county lines with a gift from our round-up some small but special treats to show them how much you care.
From fancy fragrances to a corner shop’s-worth of chocs, here are some of the best gifts to send your BFFs.
Whether you’re old enough to remember SodaStream from the dizzying heights of its fame (circa 70s - 90s) or you just like the idea of fizzy water on tap, SodaStream is the must-have home carbonation system that your best mate never knew they needed.
Putting the kitsch in kitchen, the device comes in a selection of fun colours and is perfect for making your own drinks with the brand’s syrups - flavours include lemonade, cream soda, orange mango, cola and more - as well as fizzing up plain old H2O. We once tried running white wine through a SodaStream to make ‘Sham-pagne’ - one way to inject a little sparkle into lockdown.
However, embark on such experiments at your peril; SodaStream recommends only putting water through the machine or risk breakage.
Flowerbx bouquets of friendship
This World Friendship Day, why not treat your mates to a lovely bunch of flowers from luxe online florist, Flowerbx? There’s a huge selection to choose from; think arrangements of blush stocks to potted roses that can be replanted in the garden once they’re big enough.
With temperatures still running high, it's never been more important to stay hydrated. Add a little naughtiness to their water with &SODA, which presented premium triple distilled vodka and soda in a can in three completely delicious flavours. They're sugar-free (92cals a pop) and contain just 5 per cent ABV, so ideal for mindful drinking. Choose from Mexican Lime, British Raspberry and Florida Orange at £2.25 each, or pick up a box of 12 for £28.
For World Friendship Day they are doing 50 per cent off the whole site! Just use the code MATESRATES&SODA50 to bag your discount.
Five Guys Gift Card
For those who live within striking distance of the American burger bar chain, Five Guys is selling gift vouchers that you can send pals. Physical cards are only available in-store, so you can pick one up, or better yet, order via Deliveroo for a treat (there are 250,000 possible combinations) that you can both enjoy at home.
Seas The Day Babe A4
A good print never fails to cheer up mood as well as walls. London-based artist Ellamae Statham is known for creating magical, empowering works of art with a strong female theme. The focus here is less on a simpering mermaid, more on a strong aquawoman sailing the seas of her own destiny. Or something.
Accompany with a sea shanty voicenote for bonus points.
Friends don't let friends suffer with bad skin. Skincare is at the top of our agendas. Containing products worth more than the box, a Glossybox subscription makes the ideal gift for your gals.
Champagne Laurent-Perrier’s Cuvée Rosé
Rose-coloured bubbles are enough to raise anyone's spirits, but this bottle from Laurent-Perrier should leave them feeling nothing short of ecstatic. Give your mates a little lift with Champagne Laurent-Perrier’s Cuvée Rosé, the perfect way to toast your friendship.
We like the idea of it for Saturday morning brunch with your pals (safely on video chat, of course).
Foodie friends will adore Rainbo's gyoza and Japanese larder staples, which look every bit as good as they taste. Available separately (free delivery for orders £50+) or in party boxes of 60 or 100 (drool) they're a great birthday or ‘just because’ gift.
As well as a mix of gyoza stuffed with chicken, pork, prawn, duck and vegan shiitake the boxes come with necessary extras like pickles, chilli oil and sauce for dipping. Pop them straight in the freezer for fresh gyoza when the mood strikes.
Edge of Ember Everyday chain bracelet - gold
Friendship bracelets are back from the playground and in 2021, the grown-up versions have never looked chicer. Add some accessory love to your buddy’s burgeoning jewellery collection courtesy of Edge of Ember, where there are more delicate designs and chunky chains than you can shake a well gilded wrist at.
We’ve got our eye on this Everday chain bracelet; solid and golden, just like your friendship.
Jurlique Rose Hand Cream, 125ml
A rose delivery of a different kind, Jurlique's skincare is made using flowers bred specifically for the brand. The rich scent is addictive, but it's not all talk and no trousers - the products work wonders too. If your best mate is new to the brand, this hand cream is a deluxe introduction: it smells the definition of divine and will keep skin soft and supple too.
This gorgeous bottle from the Isle of Wight distillery is beautiful inside and out, and the perfect way to let your gin obsessive know you’re thinking of them. Rich with ingredients plucked from the island (think ocean-splashed rock samphire and Boadicea hops from the famous Ventnor Botanic Garden), add a splash of tonic and a cucumber garnish to bring out its sparkling best.
Pierre Marcolini Heart of Petits Bonheurs
We can’t get enough of these gold foil-wrapped chocs; think of them as a luxurious version of Ferrero Rocher in neat block form. Packed in the cutest heart shaped tin - pink outside, bright red within - there are 26 confections to enjoy. Add two to basket; you’re going to want to try these.
Daily Flame Neptune Candle
Fan the flames of your chum’s candle obsession with a sculptural hand-poured design celebrating the female form. Daily Flame has a selection of silhouettes to choose from; we’re drawn to the full-figured Neptune. It comes in an array of shades but at 10 x 6cm, it only has a burn time of an hour so this one is best kept for display only. A small-spend treat that’s big on love.
Grey Goose Espresso Martini Cocktail Kit
You caffeine Queen will adore this new way to perk up Saturday night drinks. Containing everything they'll need to mix up delicious espresso martinis, this kit includes miniature bottles of premium vodka, Grey Goose, Patrón XO Café, a can of Cold Brew Coffee and a martini glass for the full bar-at-home effect.
Floral Street Wonderland Peony eau de parfum 50ml
Peony season may have come and gone, but your pal can linger in the beautiful notes for longer thanks to Floral Street. It’s Wonderland Peony EDP is a celebration of the popular petal, and is so fragrant with notes of blackcurrant, pink berries and candy floss, that actual strangers have stopped us in the street to ask what we’re wearing. Display-worthy bottle, too.
Roku Streaming Devices
Roku continually offers a selection of deals on its Roku Express and Roku Premiere devices, making them ideal for nabbing as gifts. The streaming device - which allows you to watch Netflix, Prime, Disney+, Now TV, AppleTV+, Hayu and thousands more on one portal -is ridiculous simple to use. No wires, no fuss, just plug it into your TV and you’re set.
They’ll never again moan about not having anything to watch.
Peach Melba Gift Set
Flowers are a failsafe gift idea, but go one further for your gal pals with this beautiful hamper from Pink and Roses. It includes the Peach Melba bouquet, luxury chocolates, champagne and a lovely scented candle. A lovely gift for any occasion.
Pandora jewellery and charms
A little trinket to remind them that you care. While there are plenty of options in the Valentine’s edit, find something more ‘them’ in Pandora’s many collaborations, from Harry Potter and Star Wars to classic Disney. Perfectly charming.
Bloody Drinks Box
These are hands down the best canned Bloody Mary’s we’ve tried, making them worthy of sending thirsty, hangover-prone pals. The box comes with four cans of the pre-mixed drink, two dinky bottles of Tabasco, a tin of Bloody Mary salt and a can of Perello Picante Olive and Pickle mix to garnish.