Christmas shopping with Buyagift


Christmas shopping with Buyagift

This post is written in collaboration with Buyagift.

With November drawing to an end I always start to panic.

December seemed so far away when I was basking in the last of the sun’s rays in the summer holidays, my feet in the paddling pool, G&T in one hand and an ice lolly in the other – who thinks about their Christmas shopping then? Not me. I have so much to do with the start of a new school term I’ve been completely focussed on that. I feel like this year I’ve blinked and now it’s almost December. Where did the last 3 months go?!

I wish I was as organised as some of my friends and family who seem to have all their Christmas shopping done and dusted by now. They look on smugly as I start to ask around what people would like and organise my shopping. “What, you haven’t started your Christmas shopping yet? I had mine done by October” they gloat. I haven’t been organised enough to take advantage of the Black Friday deals, or even the Cyber Monday ones and now mild panic sets in when people can’t think what else they want. The thought of having to battle with festive shoppers to reach the tills with a baby who hates the pram, a pre-schooler who hates shopping and a husband who seems to just wander around aimlessly with no idea what any of his family want, at a weekend no less, just fills me with dread.

This is where Buyagift comes in handy. They have Christmas covered, with gifts from just £10 for everyone, including children. This year some of my friends and I have decided that our lucky children have so many toys, that they don’t need any more. So instead, we’ve set each other a budget and we’re gifting each other’s family with experiences from Buyagift instead, which they can all enjoy together, creating wonderful memories, without adding to household clutter.

The experiences aren’t just for children and families, Buyagift have experiences for couples and individuals too. They range from dining out and days out, overnight stays and pampering to zorbing, supercar driving or even flying! The good news is that you don’t have to make a final decision, if you buy someone a voucher for a spa day and they’re more a speed demon, almost all of their experiences are interchangeable, as many times as you like, for free (as long as the voucher hasn’t expired!)

I was lucky enough to be gifted a view from The Shard and a sparkling afternoon tea for two for my birthday from Buyagift. It arrived in a gift wallet, and contained all the information I need to book the afternoon tea, including information about the 5 venues I could chose from, and flexible entry tickets to The Shard, which meant I didn’t have to book that. The voucher lasted for 10 months. I chose to have afternoon tea at Hotel Chocolat’s Rabot 1745. This is nestled in the heart of London’s Borough Market, so we chose to spend a few hours here taking it all in and doing some shopping from small food businesses (my favourite!) before we went for our afternoon tea.


We were lucky to have a table on the terrace outside, so we had a panoramic view of the market and it had a really good atmosphere. The afternoon tea was lovely, we had a menu which explained about each item so we ate them in turn reading about where the ingredients were sourced from etc as we ate it. We enjoyed a glass of prosecco each, and also bought a few of the cocktails to accompany our feast, my personal favourite was the Salted Caramel Soother and my husband’s was the Cocoa Gin Martini. It was delicious, however it’s the only afternoon tea I’ve ever been to where we didn’t get a hot drink. There were patio heaters out on the terrace so we were warm and snuggly, but there’s just something about cake and sandwiches that makes me want tea!

Afternoon tea

We were apprehensive about our view from The Shard, it was raining and was a miserable day. Because the tickets were flexible we didn’t actually have to do it that day, we could have waited until the weather had improved but due to childcare and having visited London specifically for my birthday treat we decided to go ahead and do it. Because of the weather there was no queue, we walked straight in without waiting. We zoomed to the top in the various lifts and then climbed the stairs to the very top. Even though it was raining we still enjoyed it and had great views.

London views

The landmarks are labelled so even if you’re not familiar with London you would know which direction you were looking in and what you were looking at. There’s a bar and an ice cream stall (I’m not sure they sold many the day we went – it was so cold!) at the top, and space to sit and enjoy the view.

Since my birthday treat, we’ve been guests at a wedding where they didn’t have a gift list so we decided to visit and bought them an afternoon tea voucher as we’d enjoyed our experience so much. Now they’ve got something to look forward to after the wedding hype has died down. And if they don’t like tea and cake – they can always exchange it!

What would you chose from the Buyagift range?

Kate Hitchens
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