Archive for the ‘Gifts’ Category

Accessories, Gifts

Oakley and The Macallan launch the ultimate (indestructible) Whisky Flask

By Stefano on March 4th, 2013

Now you might have thought that creating a whisky flask was a largely straightforward job. It is not though when you get high-end luxury whisky brand The Macallan and sports equipment specialist Oakley Inc together and get them to rewrite the flask design book.

The pair have been working together to hatch this – just called The Flask – which they claim is ‘the ultimate auxiliary tool for the aspiring single malt whisky aficionado which creates the definitive solution for the industrious and active gentleman.’And we think might just be a work of design genius.

From the release it sounds like The Macallan tasked Oakley with the job of coming up with the ultimate whisky flask – one that had a unique design, but would also include materials that enhanced the whisky’s subtle flavours and aromas.

It also had to be really really tough to withstand the pressures put on it during testing – see the ever so slightly bizarre video to see exactly what they put it through – not nice.

They did an amazing job too. Take the inner flask which is apparently made ‘laser welded and made of food grade steel is wrapped in carbon fibre composite as well as treated to an intensive passivation and electro-polishing procedure.’ Or the outer casing which sports ‘black anodized 5-axis machined aerospace grade Aluminium.’

There’s also ‘a rubberised bottom for non-skid grip to a small rectangular air vent on the side of the funnel to allow for ventilation.’

Even the The Flask’s cap is apparently ‘double sprung to allow for effortless drinking, so it maintains an appropriate distance from the mouthpiece when in use for optimum enjoyment and allows for smooth open and close action.’

I am not entirely sure what a lot of that means – but it sure sounds impressive…

All that and it can survive being dropped from a helicopter.

The only downside… It’ll cost you £600 to own one.

The Macallan are always doing interesting things – like this collaboration with Peter Blake from last year.

macallan-oakley-flask



Christmas 2012 goodies, Gifts

‘Tis the season to be legless. We check out St Austell Brewery’s ‘Big Job’ beer

By shinychris on December 20th, 2012

Apart from the occasional strong Belgian beer, I tend to steer clear of really strong beers. While a 6 per cent Abbot Ale from Adnams is acceptable (and very tasty), anything stronger is a sure fire way to guarantee a hangover that would make the end of the world more than welcome. So it was with some trepidation I ‘reviewed’ a 9 per cent bottle of St Austell Brewery’s wonderfully-named ‘Big Job’. Not only is it very strong, it is, as the name suggests, very big – the size of a standard 750ml bottle of wine in fact.

With a price tag of £9.99 it’s definitely not something you are going to quaff a large quantity of either, unless you fancy yourself as some modern day Oliver Reed. The press release says it is packed full of as many Citra and Centennial hops as they could get their hands on and I can quite believe them. This drink is less than subtle. Though I expected it to be quite sweet and syrupy it wasn’t too sickly, but it was most definitely very ‘hoppy’. And though the first few sips went down well enough, I struggled to drink much more than half a pint.

Maybe I’m losing my touch, but think this is definitely an acquired taste. Amazingly, it’s not the strongest beer in St Austell’s line up either. That dubious accolade goes to the Smugglers Gran Cru at 11.5 per cent, though this is much more oaky and toffee flavoured and perhaps more to my taste.  I definitely think I’ll be confining myself to the brewery’s ‘smaller jobs’ from now on such as the very nice and malty  Tribute Ale. You can check out all of the St Austell Brewery’s beers and ciders on their website at www.staustellbreweryshop.co.uk.



Football, Gifts, pick of the blogs

Top stories – Who should Arsenal sell? Air Stewardesses behaving badly, great cheap gadgets

By Stefano on December 14th, 2012

Top stories from Brandish and our pals

The Arsenal squad – who do you keep and who do you sell?

Magnificent vintage football stickers

How Carrots won World War Two

Air Stewardesses behaving badly

Great CCTV footage of people doing stupid things in stations

Eight Christmas gifts for music lovers

The phone of the future tested – we spend a month going 4G

Your ultimate tech Christmas guide

Five aspirational cars from the 90s now going cheap-ish

The most under rated British indie bands of the 90s

Stocking fillers – 21 ace gadgets for under £200



features, Gifts

The best Christmas gifts for her: gadgets, fashion, accessories and beauty

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on December 12th, 2012

Let’s talk Christmas guys. Have you started thinking about presents for the missus yet, or will you do a mad dash around the shops the last weekend, picking up things willy-nilly without any thought or love put into it? I’ll be honest, unless it’s a really expensive diamond ring or a trip to Tokyo, most women will notice that you haven’t put much planning into your shopping and resorted to the last-minute-panic-buy approach. We’re clever that way you see.

Now you haven’t got much time if you’d like to give your lady a great gift this year. But don’t panic just yet. Over on Brandish’s sister-sites ShinyShiny and ShinyStyle there are some superb Christmas gift ideas that I’m sure your girlfriend/fiance/wife would like – and five Christmas gifts women definitely DON’T want to find under the tree this year.

If she’s a geeky girl, here are 10 cool gadgets and accessories, all over £100 to make sure you’ll stay in the good books, or if you’ve spent a bit too much going out with your mates, 10 rather fun gifts under £50. For the more fashion and beauty obsessed girl, you can find 25 Christmas gifts women want easily or if you’re thinking about getting her a jumper look no further – these are the 10 best Nordic-inspired sweaters around.

While you think about which Christmas gift list to browse, here are the Victoria’s Secret Angels singing a festive song. I know, we think about everything… Happy shopping!



Gifts, Home, How to, Lifestyle, Lifestyle & Gadgets

Throw a tasty indoor BBQ this winter with the Philips Avance Grill

By Gerald Lynch on October 22nd, 2012

Philips Avance Grill 01.JPGFancy throwing a rain-free indoor barbecue this winter? That’s exactly what the Avance Grill from Philips lets you do. A 2000W grill designed for use inside the house, but without scrimping on the juicy flavours that characterise a great outdoor barbecue, it’s great for cooking red meats, poultry and fish, as well as grilling veg too.Philips Avance Grill 02.JPGThough we at Brandish have their fingers on the fashion pulse, we weren’t in the queue when they started handing out Michelin Stars. But the Philips Avance Grill makes it simple for even amateur cooks to throw together a tasty meal. For starters, there’s just one control, a heat dial that lets you choose how hot you want the grill to get, with a handy indicator light that blinks off once the grill has warmed enough to cook on. Philips also throw in a simple cook book too, showing dozens of recipes that can be made simply by throwing all the ingredients in at once. It’s basically fool proof.

The Avance Grill’s secret weapon is its “Taste Infuser”, a small circular metal depository where you can pop in smoker chips. A packet of hickory chips come in the box, which when heated up in the compartment on the grill (and the glass lid has been shut in order to keep the smoke circulating around the meat) adds a sophisticated smoked taste to your dishes. A small well at the back of the grill can also be filled with water if you’re looking to steam meats, keeping steaks moist and fish from going too crisp.Philips Avance Grill 04.JPGCleaning the grill is easy too. The glass covering panel slides out, as does the cooking grill itself, exposing the heating conductors below. The Taste Infuser pops out of the grill, and there’s a run off tray underneath that collects excess oil (keeping meals pretty healthy too). All these can then be soaked in warm soapy water, with the cooking grill and glass panel washable in a dishwasher.

Even with our lack of cooking experience, we were able to knock up a load of tasty dishes for a gang of pals in just 30 minutes or so, including preparation and beer-sipping time. As well as a great BBQ alternative on a rainy day, we’d also say the Avance Grill is a great going away present for students who aren’t too comfortable in a kitchen, as it’s so easy to use.Philips Avance Grill 10.JPGThe Philips Avance Grill costs £120 and can be picked up from Argos and Homebase. Extra taste-infusing Smoker Chip packs in a handful of different flavours can be picked up for £7 from www.barbecook.com.



Gifts

The NAPTC M010S – a £60 tablet that Amazon and Google ought to be worried about

By Stefano on October 12th, 2012

Every now and then a very interesting bit of consumer electronics slips under the radar. It is usually a fairly cheap device from a no name brand from the far east which miraculously not only works brilliantly but offers outstanding value for money.

And one device that might just be about to join that rather short list is the M010S a £60 tablet from NAPTC. It sports a 7inch screen and runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, has a A13 1.0 GHz CPU, a Mali 400 MHz graphics processor and a 5 point multi touch capacitive resolution 800 x 480 screen. It packs eight Gigabytes of storage – which can be upgraded by a MicroSD card – and comes with a 0.3 mp camera and access to the Google Play store.

Just to offer some perspective the cheapest Kindle Fire at £129 has a slightly faster processor, a higher resolution screen and all the Amazon integration, but the differences aren’t huge. The Nexus 7 at £159 is also fairly similar though it runs Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) and has a superior screen and better camera.

Now there are a few seven inch Android tablet devices around with a similar set of features. Few however come close to the M010S ‘s give away price.

More importantly the device is currently going down a storm on Amazon. The last time I looked it had 4.5 stars and 35 reviews mainly rave reviews. Here’s just  a couple. If the distributor has been writing them they have certainly been working very hard! Actually read the reviews and given the details they go into they certainly seem legitimate.

Overall an utterly amazing piece of kit for the price, I would recommend this to anyone who wants a good small tablet but is unwilling to fork out for a more expensive branded model.

For the price paid, I’m very impressed with this tablet, regardless of any small issues that have presented themselves to date. I’ve actually ordered two!

The company selling the tablet, Wendy Lou, seem to have a good reputation and they also offer many more NAPTC tablets including one – the M009S which sells for £39.99.

As for NAPTC, well who knows… It appears to be a Chinese company that specialises in cut price tablets many of which are sold via Amazon.

So has anyone actually bought a M010S? Does it match its billing? is it value for money? Should Amazon and Google be worried?



Gifts, News, Video

Tarantino XX collection is the “Royale with cheese” of Blu-ray box sets

By Gerald Lynch on September 24th, 2012

You know what they call a 10-disc Quentin Tarantino box set at Brandish? They call it a “Box Set Royale, with cheese”. That’s exactly what you’re getting with the superlative “Tarantino XX” Blu-ray box set, a 20-year retrospective of the grindhouse director’s work.

The box set includes eight films ranging from from Reservoir Dogs to Inglorious Basterds, as well as two discs of extras offering up five hours worth of behind-the-scenes insight into the auteur director’s movies.

Due for release on November 19th 2012, you can pre-order the Tarantino XX box set from Amazon for £67.49 by clicking here.

Tarantino’s next project is Django Unchained, a brutal western starring Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson. It’s set to hit UK cinemas on 18 January 2013.



Gifts, Lifestyle, News, Scent & Aftershave

007 Fragrance: The smell’s Bond, James Bond

By Gerald Lynch on July 30th, 2012

Fancy smelling like James Bond? No, it’s not some clever olfactory disguise devised by the inimitable Q, but rather a new men’s aftershave called 007 from P&G launching exclusively online and in-store at Harrods from 15th August 2012.

Harking back to the Fougere perfumes of the 1960s (arguably the first “hero scent” range for men), the 007 Fragrance “flawlessly combines irresistible sophistication with uncompromising masculinity [...]culminating in a robust signature scent which embodies the duality of Bond.”

Ingredients include the strong vetyver, blended with lavender and apple, all packed in a glass flacon bottle as sleek as some of Bond’s motors.

“It has been an exciting experience coming together and working with P&G to create the debut James Bond fragrance,” said Keith Snelgrove, global business director of James Bond’s production house EON.

“This is a special year for 007, and we are thrilled to launch this distinctive and sophisticated scent during Bond’s 50th anniversary year.”

Expect to pay £32 for 75ml bottle and £42 foe a 125ml bottle.

 



Brand Spotlight, features, Gifts

Valentine’s Day – Lingerie buying guide for men

By Laura on February 10th, 2012

Valentines day is next week, so we imagine many of you will running around this weekend trying to find the perfect gift.
To help you out we spoke to Soozie Jenkinson, Head of Lingerie Design at M&S, to find out her top five fail-safe tips to help you choose your lady the ideal lingerie gift for Valentine’s Day…

1. CONSIDER HER STYLE
If she’s an elegant and sophisticated dresser, look for luxurious fabrics and detailing. If she likes to feel feminine and pretty go for lace and florals, and if she’s a bit of a fashionista then keep your eye out for on-trend prints and jewelled colours.

2. MAKE SURE YOU GET THE SIZE RIGHT
Don’t just guess! Raid her lingerie drawer, look for something she has bought recently and loves wearing, and write the size down. You won’t be in her good books for buying lingerie that’s too small, or too big, and she’s much more likely to wear it if it fits well and feels comfortable to wear.
The shape is really key because some women love wearing balcony bras, (a traditional style which gives maximum uplift and a fuller shape) whilst others love wearing plunge bras (a modern shape which lowers / dips in the centre and gives a great cleavage). Brazilian knickers are the knicker shape of the moment, but she might be a short or even a thong fan. Don’t feel overwhelmed – get clues from her existing collection to see what she feels suits her best.

3. CONSIDER A TOUCH OF LUXURY
Every girl loves luxurious lingerie so consider silk lingerie as her special gift. Silk lingerie will be on every woman’s wish list so treat her to something special because it feels extravagant and sensual to wear.

4. TRY NIGHTWEAR IF YOU’RE UNSURE OF HER SIZE
If you’re worried about getting her bra size wrong then consider nightwear or loungewear. Pyjama dressing and vintage glamour looks are so on trend right now you can’t fail but to get it right – and guarantee cosy winter nights in cuddling by the fire. Every woman loves pretty, cosy PJ’s.

5. FINALLY, REMEMBER TO BUY FOR HER AND NOT FOR YOU AND SHE’LL LOVE YOU EVEN MORE!
Yes, red and black sets can be extremely sexy, but there’s so much more choice in lingerie and sleepwear today that you can really be sure to choose something that will be loved by you both and won’t end up hiding at the back of her draw.
If you are far too embarrassed to venture in to a lingerie department, don’t fret because lots of retailers offer products online with next day delivery. Choose wisely and you are sure to have a memorable Valentine’s Day!



Accessories, Gifts

Luddite Thomas Paul Collection At Liberty Of London.

By ThomasHewetson on June 18th, 2010

luddite.jpgThese cases made on heavy cotton canvas have a nostalgic feel to them. Although I’m barely old enough to feel any nostalgia, at university this term I have attended many a dull lecture on William Morris and the Luddites. At first meaning someone against machinery due to the loss of jobs and loss of true craftsmanship, it has now come to represent someone who is against technology. I really like the irony of these cases then. Three out of the five cases in the range are designed to hold a piece of technology key to the our modern times. A phone, digital camera and an iPod. Then charmingly hand silk-screened onto the canvas is a representational image of the past. This could be a great gift for fathers day. Available at Liberty Of London.

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Gifts

Slazenger Heritage 1966 Replica Football.

By ThomasHewetson on June 12th, 2010

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The day has finally come for England’s world cup campaign to start! After a slightly dull opening day to the world cup with France and Uruguay in a 0-0 and the host nation South Africa drawing 1-1 with Mexico we can hopefully expect more goals today. Argentina are playing Nigeria and I want to see Messi back to his best after Mourhinho managed to make him look human in the Champions league semis, and I certainly hope that England can at least put three past our friends across the Atlantic.

With every brand jumping on the bandwagon and definite proof that football sells, Slazenger have released this replica of the ball used in the 1966 world cup final. In a tag-line to influence us to buy it ‘Maybe – just maybe – it’ll bring some ’66
World Cup magic this way’. I doubt it, but it’s quite a nice idea and piece and is only about 10 pounds more than a standard football.



Gifts

Field Notes Notebook Sunshine Special Edition Pack.

By ThomasHewetson on May 8th, 2010

fieldnotes.jpegThese notebooks hark back to school days of exercise books and they lack the grandeur of a Moleskine, but that makes them ever more charming. This pack of three would be perfect for a gift, or just to treat yourself, and in true fielding noting style, you get a pack of marigold seeds included.



Accessories, Clothing, Coats & Jackets, Footwear, Gallery, Gifts, sunglasses, T-shirts, Polos & Shirts

Menswear summer picks from Lee Douros, head buyer at my-wardrobe

By admin on June 30th, 2009

Lee Douros is the menswear buyer for my-wardrobe and at the last press day we had a great chat with him about men’s clothing and the online side of things. Lee definitely knows his stuff, so we were thrilled when he agreed to present his top summer picks for us. If you’re still stuck for high-summer chic then this is like the holy grail. Stay tuned for pt2!

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Brand Spotlight, Gifts, T-shirts, Polos & Shirts

For a Daddy Cool, go Super Superficial

By SLaw on June 19th, 2009

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A good Father’s Day present is hard to find; we picked out some fab gifts yesterday, but my Dad was after a T-shirt. I headed to the high street to find him one, but quickly realised that what once was a goldmine for interesting, unusual tees was now a factory of cartoon characters, fussy design and ugly graphics. After a look around a few more typical high street retailers, I’d almost had enough.

Massive palm trees, logo’d shirts (I mean, really, in 2009?!) and the word ‘Osaka’ on every third T had really got to me. It’s the equivalent of wandering around Tokyo wearing ‘Luton’ across your chest. The oddest thing was the disparity between the immaculately-styled mannequins (in one shop, they had a sharp DJ over a loose white vest, belted with a black silk cummerbund) and the stuff lining the shelves. A frustrating shop, to say the least.

But then I remembered Carnaby Street’s little boutiques and dropped into Super Superficial. Simple, pretty graphics, no ‘distressing’, logos or Japanese city names. Added to that, the lovely & helpful staff and a Cafe Nero-style loyalty card scheme (after 10 Ts, you get one free) and you’ve got the recipe for the perfect Father’s Day present and quite possibly a bit of self-gifting as well. While it’s not exactly high street prices, it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for an unusual but still stylish gift for your Dad.



Accessories, Gallery, Gifts, sunglasses, Watches

Brandish’s too good for Father’s Day gallery

By admin on June 17th, 2009

We’re all for giving, but how many times have you been out shopping for someone and bought something for yours truly?

Our Father’s Day gift guide is great if you want to give your dad a push in the right style direction, there’s nothing too out there or kooky, just a few pieces that will give a little panache to dear poppa’s wardrobe. Should the selection be too outlandish for pater then you might even want to snap up some of the items for yourself!




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