Our collective Covid nightmare has borne a few realisations; among them, the absolute necessity of a bunch of good, solid mates.
While some friendships may have ground to a halt without the oil of daily contact and a shared routine, others have shone brightly, offering pin-pricks of laughter and light through the grey Groundhog days.
If our WhatsApp conversations could be published, they would be tomes of empathy, telly recommendations and Zoom links with a healthy punctuation of memes as we buoyed each other through the pandemic.
There are all sorts of relationships, and friendship is amongst the most special – many studies say people value their inner circle more than their partners.
If you want to spoil your favourite people and send them a bear hug from across county lines, we’ve rounded up some small but special treats to show them how much you care.
From fancy fragrances to a corner shop’s-worth of chocs, here are some of the best gifts to send your BFFs.
Whether you’re old enough to remember SodaStream from the dizzying heights of its fame (circa 70s – 90s) or you just like the idea of fizzy water on tap, SodaStream is the must-have home carbonation system that your best mate never knew they needed.
Putting the kitsch in kitchen, the device comes in a selection of fun colours and is perfect for making your own drinks with the brand’s syrups – flavours include lemonade, cream soda, orange mango, cola and more – as well as fizzing up plain old H2O. We once tried running white wine through a SodaStream to make ‘Sham-pagne’ – one way to inject a little sparkle into lockdown.
However, embark on such experiments at your peril; SodaStream recommends only putting water through the machine or risk breakage.
Five Guys Gift Card
For those who live within striking distance of the American burger bar chain, Five Guys is selling gift vouchers that you can send pals. Physical cards are only available in-store, so you can pick one up on your next walk – or better yet, order via Deliveroo for a cringe-free treat (there are 250,000 possible combinations) that you can both enjoy safely at home.
Seas The Day Babe A4
A good print never fails to cheer up mood as well as walls. London-based artist Ellamae Statham is known for creating magical, empowering works of art with a strong female theme. The focus here is less on a simpering mermaid, more on a strong aquawoman sailing the seas of her own destiny. Or something.
Accompany with a sea shanty voicenote for bonus points.
Friends don’t let friends suffer with bad skin. While makeup may be left in the beauty bag for the time being, skincare has shot firmly to the top of our agendas. Containing products worth more than the box, a Glossybox subscription makes the ideal gift for your gals.
Champagne Laurent-Perrier’s Cuvée Rosé
Rose-coloured bubbles are enough to raise anyone’s spirits, but this bottle from Laurent-Perrier should leave them feeling nothing short of ecstatic. Give your mates a little lift with Champagne Laurent-Perrier’s Cuvée Rosé, the perfect way to toast your friendship.
We like the idea of it for Saturday morning brunch with your pals (safely on video chat, of course).
Foodie friends will adore Rainbo’s gyoza and Japanese larder staples, which look every bit as good as they taste. Available separately (free delivery for orders £50+) or in party boxes of 60 or 100 (drool) they’re a great birthday or ‘just because’ gift.
As well as a mix of gyoza stuffed with chicken, pork, prawn, duch and vegan shiitake) the boxes come with necessary extras like pickles, chilli oil and sauce for dipping. Pop them straight in the freezer for fresh gyoza when the mood takes them.
Missoma x Lucy Williams gold t-bar chunky chain bracelet
Friendship bracelets are back from the playground and in 2021, the grown-up versions have never looked chicer. Add some accessory love to your buddy’s burgeoning jewellery collection courtesy of Missoma, where there are more delicate designs and chunky chains than you can shake a well gilded wrist at.
We’ve got our eye on this chunky t-bar bracelet; solid and golden, just like your friendship.
Jurlique Mini Face Treats
A rose delivery of a different kind, Jurlique’s skincare is made using flowers bred specifically for the brand. The rich scent is addictive, but it’s not all talk and no trousers – the products work wonders too. If your best mate is new to the brand, this mini set offers the perfect introduction: there’s a pocket-sized cleanser, toner and moisture-rich serum that work together to leave skin looking healthy and glowing.
This gorgeous bottle from the Isle of Wight distillery is beautiful inside and out, and the perfect way to let your gin obsessive know you’re thinking of them. Rich with ingredients plucked from the island (think ocean-splashed rock samphire and Boadicea hops from the famous Ventnor Botanic Garden), add a splash of tonic and a cucumber garnish to bring out its sparkling best.
Pierre Marcolini Heart of Petits Bonheurs
We can’t get enough of these gold foil-wrapped chocs; think of them as a luxurious version of Ferrero Rocher in neat block form. Packed in the cutest heart shaped tin – pink outside, bright red within – there are 26 confections to enjoy. Add two to basket; you’re going to want to try these.
Bobbi Brown Extra Lip Tint
Chapped lips season is still far from over. Give them a pout to shout about with Bobbi Brown’s tinted balms; a few shades have been transformed for Valentine’s with cute new packaging.
Shades include Bare Raspberry, Bare Blackberry and Bare Punch.
Daily Flame Neptune Candle
Fan the flames of your chum’s candle obsession with a sculptural hand-poured design celebrating the female form. Daily Flame has a selection of silhouettes to choose from; we’re drawn to the full-figured Neptune. It comes in an array of shades but at 10 x 6cm, it only has a burn time of an hour so this one is best kept for display only. A small-spend treat that’s big on love.
Grey Goose Espresso Martini Cocktail Kit
You caffeine Queen will adore this new way to perk up Saturday night drinks. Containing everything they’ll need to mix up delicious espresso martinis, this kit includes miniature bottles of premium vodka, Grey Goose, Patron XO Café, a can of Cold Brew Coffee and a martini glass for the full bar-at-home effect.
Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum Intense Spray
In Lockdown 3, it can feel as if there are limited ways to bring beauty newness to our shelves. A new fragrance can offer a burst of freshness that you don’t have to worry about washing off before bed. The Perfume Shop has a massive range of scents on offer including top brands like Chanel, Thierry Mugler, Marc Jacobs, Carolina Herrera and YSL, some at up to 60 per cent off.
Replenish supplies of your best mate’s all-time favourite, or send them something new for the season ahead.
Roku Streaming Devices
Roku continually offers a selection of deals on its Roku Express and Roku Premiere devices, making them ideal for nabbing as gifts. The streaming device – which allows you to watch Netflix, Prime, Disney+, Now TV, AppleTV+, Hayu and thousands more on one portal -is ridiculous simple to use. No wires, no fuss, just plug it into your TV and you’re set.
They’ll never again moan about not having anything to watch.
Peach Melba Gift Set
Flowers are a failsafe gift idea, but go one further for your gal pals with this beautiful hamper from Pink and Roses. It includes the Peach Melba bouquet, luxury chocolates, champagne and a lovely scented candle. A lovely gift for any occasion.
Pandora jewellery and charms
Bloody Drinks Box
These are hands down the best canned Bloody Mary’s we’ve tried, making them worthy of sending thirsty pals you can’t have a drink with IRL just yet. The box comes with four cans of the pre-mixed drink, two dinky bottles of Tabasco, a tin of Bloody Mary salt and a can of Perello Picante Olive and Pickle mix to garnish. All that’s left is to organise a brunch Zoom.