The annual Christmas gift buying stress extravaganza is already well under way and many of us will be wondering what to buy for relatives and friends who already have enough beijing knick-knacks and "silk" scarves to fill a museum wing. Never fear, the Beijinger is here to help! We've compiled a list of some of our favorite Beijing-inspired or locally produced gifts, this time geared towards the ladies in your life.
For the social butterfly... 2015 Capital M Diary
The Capital M Diary (RMB 350) is almost as famous as the restaurant's iconic Qianmen location. A diary may seem like a boring gift, but Capital M's version is next level. The pages are full of fun, fabulous details like pop-up illustrations, recipes, jaunts into history, and much more. Pick one up at Capital M, The Bookworm, or Page One.
For the culinary whizz ... Recipe Collection and Chinese Chef's Knife from The Hutong
If your missus a whizz in the kitchen, why not test their skills with a set of Sichuan and Yunnan recipes (RMB 50) from culinary champions The Hutong? Of course, they'll need something to actually make the recipes with, so get them the ultimate all purpose gadget, a Chinese chef's knife (RMB 180) – don't worry, they also sell finger guards for nervous cooks. These gifts and more are available from The Hutong.
For the classy drinker... Signature Wine Club Subscription
Most of us would like to think we know a little something about wine, but how many of us actually do? Give the gift of knowledge as well as the gift of alcohol with a subscription to Signature Wine Club. Every month, the recipient will receive two new bottles specially selected by Signature Wine's panel of experts, along with tasting notes and access to an online library of wine resources and videos. A three month, two bottle subscription is RMB 1,169.
For that special someone ... SHHH... Dudou from Pillowbook
Founded by New York lingerie designer Irene Lu, Pillowbook specializes in bespoke pure silk lingerie designs inspired by traditonal Chinese lingerie styles. What is a Pillowbook you may ask? "Pillow books are titillating works of art created in ancient China as illustrated guides for adventurous love play. It later became customary wedding gifts to advise young newlyweds in pursuing the pleasures of love and thus, planted near matrimonial pillows. *Chinese pillow books differ significantly from Indian karma sutras and Japanese shunga."
The dudou (or Chinese chemise) pictures above costs approximately RMB 1,112 (USD 180) and comes from the SHHH... collection, inspired by the red light district of old imperial Beijing.
For something totally unique ... Body Memory by Yi Zhou
It doesn't get more unique than a piece of jewelry made from a cast of one of your own body parts. Starting from RMB 450, designer Yi Zhou will make a plaster cast of the body part of your choosing (use your discretion ...), before affixing high quality gold fittings to turn it into a piece of jewelry. Contact [email protected] for more information or to set up an appointment.
For the stylish diva ... Jewellery from Ishaveya
For the stylish lady who has gone beyond wear-it-once-before-the-stones-fall-out jewelry from H&M and the like, you can't go wrong with Ishaveya. Owner Jahanavi Bhaskar Laag's has brought to Beijing a collection of Indian and Indian-inspired jewelry brands with gorgeous collections of necklaces, bracelets, and earrings set with semi-precious stones and one-of-a-kind cuts. Visit her studio in Xingfucun Zhonglu – email [email protected] for more details.
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Photos: Courtesy of the brands, Robynne Tindall, Mitchell Pe Masilun
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