The utterly inessential shopping list: Spooky shoes, the art of the tarte and a royally good sweatshirt

Forget about the big things. You can keep the necessities. Don't tell us about the must-haves. In a new series, Country Life's Alexandra Fraser takes a look at a few little luxuries which, in a world too full of strife and woe, will help ease your way through life with a smile on your face.

Something wicked this way struts

Oliver Brown Velvet Slipper

Happy Halloween! Almost.

After sneaking a little bit of Christmas into our last list, I thought it would be best to firmly return to the season at hand and recommend with all my heart that you spend a lot of money on something that will only be on-theme once a year.

Oliver Brown Velvet Slipper

However, if you’re feeling a little practical today (hi, lovely to meet you, you’re on the wrong page) Oliver Brown has over 50 other beautiful motifs to choose from for these delightfully decadent shoes. Which are (surprisingly?) Men’s shoes. Like last week. I’ll find some Women’s slippers soon, promise.

Recommended videos for you

Buy the Oliver Brown Men’s Velvet Slippers for £169 and personalise with a motif for an additional £26 at

Would you care for a tipple?


The Royal Capri Trunk by Artemest is everything you look for in an utterly inessential product. Made of only the finest materials, it features a folding table, bottle storage, a hi-fi system and an iPad/iPhone dock. The phrase ‘one for the road’ was never so aptly applied.

Royal Trunk

Artemest describes it as an ‘elegant, multifunctional living centre’ which I find perfectly accurate because for this price, one could rent an extremely nice room in London for a month or a not-so-nice one for two.

Buy the Royal Capri Trunk for £11,565 at

Art of the Tarte

PAUL masterclass tart

Public Service Announcement: All tart puns have been vetoed by my better judgment

If you’ve ever wanted to truly impress at a dinner party with minimal effort, this is the one for you. You’ll leave the masterclass with a Tarte au Chocolat, Tartelettes Fraises and Tartelettes Framboises Frangipane, all of which you’ll have made yourself and be able to replicate at a moment’s notice. You’ll also leave with a special PAUL apron, a certificate to mark the momentous occasion you discovered what frangipane actually is and a full stomach (a gorgeous dinner is included in the price).

Book the Art of the Tarte masterclass for £80 per person on the PAUL website,

Royally fashionable

Whale of a Time 1/4 zip

Ally, I hear you say. This isn’t utterly out of my price range. In fact, I can actually afford this today, no saving required. The recent change in weather means that I would actually class this as essential. Why have you done this? This isn’t what I clicked on this link for.

Prince Harry Visits The QCC Project In Epping Forest

While warmer clothing may be essential, it is not essential that you purchase it to model yourself on Prince Harry, but that is precisely what I am suggesting you do. It’s also very, very cosy. Case closed.

Buy the Norfolk Quarter Zip Sweatshirt Grey/Navy/Green from Whale of a Time ( for £52.95. 

A hint of hygge

Andddd we’re back to the utterly utterly inessential.

By now, everyone has heard of the Danish concept of ‘hygge’, a word that embodies the feeling of being cosy, happy and loved. British designer Elnaz Namaki used this concept as inspiration for her new collection, Luuna’ and used it well.

Elnaz Namaki Jolene

The only word I can think of when I see this is ‘snuggly’. Sure, all the other furniture you buy will have to be muted to compensate for the individuality of this piece, but I don’t think that’ll be a problem as you probably wont be able to afford any other furniture after buying it. On the plus side, it’s the kind of chair you could comfortably sleep in, so you wont be needing a bed. Just this and the Artemest trunk.

Buy the Jolene Armchair for £3800, find it at

A little bit of ring composition

2018 Halloween Cutout Low-res2018 Halloween Cutout Low-res

Let’s end where we began. Featuring Godiva’s famous white chocolate praline Mielodie, it’s safe to say these will not be going to trick-or-treaters.

Godiva Ghost Pieces, box of five for £7.50, find in stores. Browse Godiva’s other luxurious creations at

If you purchased our entire shopping list you would have spent £15,700.45…if you want my honest opinion, you really should have spent £15,780.45 and brought someone special to PAUL with you. Share the laughter, share the disaster, take home double the tarts.