The Utterly Inessential Shopping List: The Ministry of Defence’s watch of choice, the perfect gift for the perfect puppy and our weekly wine blast

Another week has gone by in which producers and purveyors of goods have asked themselves not 'what does the world need?' but a far greater question: 'What does the world absolutely not need, but still whimsically wish for?'

This page is proof of their effort. Some things will make you nod appreciatively. Some will make you raise an eyebrow and shrug. Others will make you narrow your eyes and wonder… why? Welcome, as always, to Utterly Inessential.

Watch this space

MOD Air Force rendering sailcloth P7545_269974671_487663872

Named official watch maker of the Ministry of Defence, it’s safe to say that Bremont don’t mess around when it comes to equipping the wrists of the nation. Their new range is the boy scouts of watches: prepared for absolutely anything, from cocktails to the cockpit. With chronograph functionality, this watch is specifically aimed at the airman, or anyone for whom perfect timing is a way of life and an absolute necessity. 


The back of this particular watch is engraved with Her Majesty’s Armed Forces Heraldic Badges – something so cool that it’s probably best it’s not for show to the rest of the world (we all need our own little secrets). Described as ‘accurate, durable and legible’, I’m beginning to wonder why I keep checking my phone for the time.

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The Bremont Arrow (RAF) for £3,595 from

My kingdom for a beach…or even a sandpit

whale of a time

I like beachwear an inordinate amount for someone who lives in a)  London and b) the UK in general. Whale Of A Time Clothing always keep me lusting after warmer climes full of sun, sand and sailboats and their new California-inspired range truly spikes the volleyball over the net. Eco-friendly and adorably pastel, I would 100% buy one of their deck shirts, despite the fact that I own no deck.

Padstow Deck Shirt in White and Pink, £59.95 from Whale Of A Time Clothing.

Eye eye

Leica binoculars_263958342_399093402

I don’t personally have a need of binoculars. If perchance you do, you know which ones to purchase.

Ultravid 8×32 HD-Plus Customised Binoculars by Leica, £1,850,

A little sunshine for your little sunshine

Mungo Maud puppy Basket - Little Sunshin_263958372_399093402

I am a firm believer that no one deserves more love and affection than an adorable new puppy. If you even need another reason to purchase this weaved wonder (which contains a blanket, a dog bowl, a toy, dog shampoo and some delicious peanut butter treats) then the name of the toy giraffe is Genevieve. Give Genevieve the Giraffe a home.

Little Sunshine Puppy Gift Basket by Mungo and Maud for £229,

A grape choice this week

Quinta do Vesuvio 2015

Our resident wine expert Harry Eyres has tipped Portuguese table reds in this week’s issue of Country Life, calling them ‘powerful and age-worthy… some of the world’s great wine bargains.’

Harry suggests a very reasonable red Somontes Casa da Passarella Colheita 2015/6 at £11 a bottle, but The Spirit of the Inessential demands that you go for the big-hitter, nay the Big Daddy of Portuguese reds, Quinta do Vesuvio 2015. Harry promises that it’s fragrant, floral and ‘thoroughly seductive.’ And if you finish the whole thing I promise you won’t even remember the price.

Quinta do Vesuvio 2015 £62.10,

If you purchased our entire shopping list this week you will have spent £5,796.05 and all pictures of your new puppy should be immediately sent to the  Country Life Facebook page.