If you receive a coveted invitation to somewhere very special, you'll want to show your host how appreciative you are. Charlotte Peters has some suggestions.
The best invitations to country houses are always those that can’t be bought – and you’re going to want to say thank you in style by bringing a gift that is as select as the venue. Something that nobody else has thought of. Something a little bit exclusive and certainly not High Street.
Here are a few ideas to match up. One word of advice – order early as many of these pieces are crafted by hand, so you’ll have to wait a few weeks for delivery. (Which of course makes the gifts all the more special).
Box of delight
Halstock creates beautiful marquetry boxes with images of whatever you choose, from a personal message through to the exact replica of the engraving on a shotgun. These are definitely one-off pieces: the box pictured here took around 300 hours to make, so a bespoke piece won’t be ready until about three months after the commission is made. Prices range from £6,500-£12,000.
Organising the mise-en-place or seating at dinner is a key part of hosting a successful evening following a shoot day. This supremely elegant leather table planner from Pickett makes a pleasure of what can be a tricky task. Your host or hostess simply writes the diner’s names on pieces of card and moves them around until they have the perfect placement to get the conversation flowing. Who should sit next to whom? Who will have something in common?
To make it extra special, you can have a bespoke version made by Pickett London to suit the shape of the table and with the name of the estate embossed in the centre. This would certainly be an heirloom piece for future generations to enjoy. Price £275, bespoke on application.
Through a glass
Have your host’s dog, favourite bird or even their estate engraved on crystal tumblers from William & Son. You can have six different scenes (one on every glass) or the same on every piece. Price around £1000 for a set of six (which will take around three months to be made).
A country seat
Look closely: it’s not a monochrome Jackson Pollock, but rather a chair upholstered with a vintage map showing your host’s country home. Atlas and I will upholster furniture for you with a personalised map location on the fabric. Price on application but this wingback armchair retails at around £1,200. Perfect for the library or study – they also make other items using the pattern, such as this game book.