The Utterly Inessential Shopping List: Everything you need for the last weekend of summer

Alexandra Fraser rounds up the last few things you absolutely don't need this summer, as we reluctantly turn towards autumn jackets, broken brollies and 'do you have any tables inside?'.

The August Bank Holiday has come and gone, the school run is about to start and cold evenings are hinting at the weather beginning to turn.
And yet, there’s still hope. One more barbecue weekend awaits. One more trip to the beach. Maybe even one more restless night tossing and turning in too-warm-sheets – bliss. The last weekend of summer is here: Let’s make sure it’s a good ‘un.

Create the gin that will keep you warm for winter

As more and more distilleries open their doors to the public, the mystery of just how gin tastes so good is being slowly revealed. Joining the fray is the City of London Distillery, who have transformed the Fifth Floor Terrace of Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge into a haven for gin lovers, with a menu of delicious cocktails and a gin making experience.

The first gin distillery in the Square Mile for nearly 200 years when it opened in 2012, the haven of gin has been producing some of the most delicately and deliciously flavoured gins on the market – their Rhubarb & Rose gin in the playful Rhubarb 75 is delicious, and the Murican Orange Gin of their Pink Collins will send you straight to the ski slopes with its Aperol pairing.

Learn all about botanicals and mix your own gin to take home in their Make Your Own Gin experience, followed by a gorgeous three course meal from Harvey Nichols’ fine kitchens, served overlooking the rooftops of Knightsbridge. If you don’t make the experiences (on Thursday 29th August and Friday 6th September) you can still drop by the terrace to enjoy one of their incredible cocktails.


Catch those last few rays of sun

rose gold / caramel

See off the sun in style in these stunning shades. Inspired by the 70s oversized lens revival, these lightweight and fashionable shades are the perfect pair to wear while you wave goodbye to late, light evenings and summer barbecues. Beautifully coloured, the glasses also have anti-reflective coating, so you can take your final golden hour sunset pic without the annoying sun/screen glare.


Give the little one a final taste of summer

Machine-washable, just in case it takes a few teething chews too many.

Fair Trade crochet-cotton Friendly Ice Lolly baby rattle, £6.50, www.bestyears.co.uk


Just in time for the last beach trip

Ibbi hammam towel

Let’s face it: towels are a nightmare to pack. These lightweight alternatives, on the other hand, are just as absorptive and fit easily into a weekend bag.

Pure-cotton Hammam towels, £20 each from ibbi, www.ibbidirect.co.uk


For that perfect flat white…

Yallah Coffee

As the dreaded school run approaches, you’re going to need a jolly good coffee to remind you of sipping affogatos on Italian cobbled streets while you leave 15 minutes early, dodge traffic and still arrive half an hour late.

Purchasing this bag of rich, strong beans also helps out the Jubilee Pool in Penzance – Yallah will be donating 50p from every bag sold to the ‘Friends Of Jubilee Pool’ charity. Before plans to heat a section of Jubilee Pool to 35°C all year round using natural geothermal energy are completed in November, you may need a warm cup of joe after your weekly swim!