The Utterly Inessential Shopping List: Scarves aplenty, whisky candles and some charitable cushions

In a world infested with 'must-have', 'don't miss' and 'buy now', one list stands alone as the voice of reason: this list, where everything is both entirely marvellous and completely unnecessary. Welcome, dear friends, to Utterly Inessential.

What it says on the tin

trotter candle

Anything I can say is redundant at this point. It’s Mr Trotter’s whisky candle, plain and simple. Obviously.

Mr Trotter’s whisky candle for £12.95, www.

Point your compass somewhere else

If you’re the kind of person who can pull this off, my number is on the website’s contact page.

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Please, never call it.

Radial men’s Compass Point silk scarf for £120,

It may even do for a stool in a Pinch.

Don’t be fooled by it’s sedentary position, this table floats.

(Actually, it’s inspired by fishermen’s floats and probably won’t defy gravity, so don’t knock it over / throw it off a building to test the theory. It probably will, however, float in the Thames but again, don’t test this.)

Float table in oak from Pinch design for £895, from www.

I shan’t zip my lips over the quality of this speaker

The most utterly inessential part of this product: you can change the colour of the cover. After spending ten minutes trying to free my Libratone Zipp 2 from its pine-green prison, I watched a helpful YouTube tutorial that pointed out the correct modus operandi. Once again encountering failure (likely my own incompetence rather than a product flaw, if I’m honest), I engaged in the extremely 21st century, modern, progressive ritual of handing the offending object to the nearest man and asking him to help me. I’d like to say he was successful. I’d like to.

If you want 12 hours of constant tunes, a built-in Alexa and amazing sound quality that quite literally fills a large room (I’d like to use this opportunity to apologise to the print team for yesterday’s blasting of ‘Hotel California’ around 11.30 am, it was in the name of research), then this speaker is the one for you. It will certainly be the one for me once I figure out how to connect it to our other speakers (it promises up to ten) so I can stop carrying it around the house like it’s a baby bird in need of constant attention. Good news though; it’s highly portable.

Liberatone’s ZIPP 2 Speaker for £279.99, get it on Amazon,

Celia, you’re helping my heart

Celia Birtwell, famous for dressing the Beatles, Rolling Stones and many others (Probably Simon & Garkfunkel too. With a name like that she’s bound to have, right?), has teamed up with the British Heart Foundation to create some lovely unique pieces.

No, they’re not essential, but the money from they will raise definitely is, so whether you’re looking for a January pick-me-up or a Mother’s Day present (they’re on sale through March), consider visiting the British Heart Foundation website for a browse.

The Celia Birtwell Velvet Cushion for £9.99 and the The Celia Birtwell Heart Bird Print Blue Scarf for £4.99 from

 Time for wine 


Harry Eyres believes that Chablis Fourchaume Héritage 1er cru 2017, Le Domaine d’Henri (£180 per six IB from Berry Bros. & Rudd) displays a greenish-gold glint and fine, Riesling-like fruit purity and acidity, with hidden richness.

If the wine is as beautiful as his phrasing, it’s well worth swapping the Waitrose aisles for the Berry Bros. website. Watch out for that chewy finish.

Six bottles of Chablis Fourchaume Héritage 1er cru 2017, Le Domaine d’Henri for £180,

If you purchased the entirety of our shopping list this week you would have spent a total of £1,502.92 and our address is also on the contact page if you’d like to post over a bottle of the Chablis. Next week: Valentine’s.