The Utterly Inessential Shopping List: Boat Race boots, beautiful benches and better-late-than-never bouquets

Whether you're Oxford or Cambridge, white or dark chocolate, or flowers or champagne (always both), you're sure to find something on the Utterly Inessential Shopping List to make you with you were a millionaire. Not that you'd need us for that...

Which blue are you?

Oxford Retail 88622 (c)

The Official Boot Partner of The Boat Race 2019 is an impressive title and Aigle is an impressive brand. No, you may not be in the Blues boat, but you can certainly fill their boots with your own feet should you wish to.

Cambridge Retail 88627 (a)

Top tip: if you don’t have any loyalties (you lucky few) choose your favourite colour.

Aigle x The Boat Race Cambridge Boot, £95 and Aigle x The Boat Race Oxford Boot, £95.

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The Real Flower Company Ultimate Pink Bo_271111041_399093682

The thing is, when you leave things to the last minute (especially things which involve the woman who gave you life) you don’t really have the luxury to choose your budget. Your penance is this: an extravagant bouquet that you may have been able to grow and pick yourself if you’d forward-planned and not forgotten about Mother’s Day until this very moment. Add the optional bottle of Nyetimber Classic Cuvee, you know she deserves it.

Ultimate Mothers Day Bouquet for £200 (£235 with a bottle of Nyetimber Classic Cuvee),

Summer body beware


Not quite into summer but firmly out of winter, those still keeping up their New Years Resolutions are dwindling before the rush to get fit for summer sets in once more. If you’re looking for a tempting last meal, look no further than pink gin truffles, the only flavour which could ever make me turn away from my beloved salted caramel. Fear not; they’re in there too.

Set of three chocolate truffle tubes, £36.50,

Just roll with it

Catherine Fitzgerald

This garden seat, created by 4th generation master craftsman Leo Healy (based in Co. Limerick), bowled me away. Is is essential? No. Is it incredible? Without a doubt.

Wheelbarrow seat, €2,767.50 (£2,431.23), from The Leo Healy Collection,

Harry’s Happy Hour


This week, our wine man with a plan is championing sustainable grapes from Bordeaux. Encouraged by a recent visit to the region that ‘more sustainable practices (abandonment of herbicides, reduction of chemical spraying, apart from copper sulphate) are moving from the fringes into the mainstream’ Harry recommends this ‘underrated’ vintage farmed sustainably in healthier soil to taste ‘fresher and livelier’.

Château Soutard 2011, £308 per six IB from

If you purchased our entire shopping list this week you would have spent £3,230.73 and now really, you don’t need two pairs of Boat Race wellies. My address is on the website.