The Utterly Inessential Shopping List: Spring flowers, rugby shirts and sterling silver Marmite lids

Alexandra Fraser takes a look at a few things set to brighten up the end of your winter, from a non-denominational rugby shirt to a £145 sterling sliver marmite lid. No, we're not joking.

Some spring flowers…

a mid summer nights dream bouquet

Jealous of the flowers your friends got on Valentine’s Day? You’re an independent person – get your own. Send them to yourself at work. Fill your home with bouquets. You’re worth it.

This gorgeous bunch, from Lavender Green Flowers, is just the ticket to herald in Spring. Sure you could pick a few flowers from your local field (as is the nature of utterly inessential), but for a special occasion, it’s nice to enlist some professional help.

The Midsummer Night’s Dream, from £65 from Lavender Green Flowers, www.lavendergreen.co.uk


A cup of tea or two…

Alice`s Queen of Hearts afternoon tea

Afternoon tea is a rare, wonderful gift in life and it’s back in its best season. If you’re after something a little different from the traditional tea and cupcakes, try the Queen of Hearts afternoon tea at the Taj.

Truly tasty and beautifully put together, it’s definitely afternoon tea royalty, especially for those who are fans of a rich, chocolatey cake. If you fancy an ordinary (ha!) jasmine tea, it runs all year round.

The Queen of Hearts Afternoon Tea at the Taj 51 Buckingham Gates Suites and Residences, £45 per person, click here to book


Come on, England

Sometimes, you want to demonstrate an awareness of the current major sporting event occurring in the world right now, to show you’re in the know and woke. Sometimes you have so many teams that you owe allegiance to that you just can’t bring yourself to wear one country’s colours.

whale of a time deck shirt

Sometimes you stride into a Very English Bar full of Very English Rugby Shirts and dive to the floor in your gold and green when the screen shows the trophy being carved 5 minutes before end of play. C’est le vie. And we’re all living it.

Whether you’re watching in the pub or escaping to the seven seas, a Whale of a Time deck shirt is always appropriate.

Padstow Deck Shirt Blue/White, £59.95 by Whale of a Time Clothing, www.whaleofatimeclothing.com


Our weekly tipple…

Gin Basil Smash Sipsmith

Sipsmith are experts on easy gin cocktails. When you catch your next glimpse of sun, try this one out for size:

Muddle some basil leaves in a shaker

Add ice, 10ml of sugar syrup, 15 ml of lemon juice and 50 ml of Sipsmith London Dry Gin

Shake well and double strain into an ice-filled glass

Garnish with a basil leaf if you’re feeling fancy


A little slice of wonderfully ridiculous

Theo Fennell Sterling Silver Marmite Lid £145 www.theofennell.com

‘I love my marmite and it deserves all of the silver lids!’ – anonymous Country Life staff member, 2020

Just please, for the love of all that is holy, do not throw it in the damn bin.

Silver Marmite 125gm lid, £145 from Theo Fennel, www.theofennell.com


This week’s issue of Country Life magazine

David and Victoria Beckham reading Country Life

If it’s good enough for Posh and Becks, it’s good enough for you!

You can find Country Life on most newsstands, or if you’re feeling inspired, subscribe through the link here. It makes a wonderful present!