Shopping for Christmas gifts can be hard at the best of times. So, when you find yourself with two people to please, the task can feel twice as daunting.
Whether they’ve just moved in together, recently got hitched or have been married for many years, it can be tricky to find something that both parties in a couple will love and actually use. So we’ve done all the hard work for you with a shopping list that runs the gamut from kitchen gadgets to days out.
When it comes to deciding what kind of present to go with there are a number of possibilities to explore, including personal or practical gifts and experiences.
Customised gifts can feel more special as they’re truly unique, while thinking of solutions to your couple’s everyday problems will guarantee you don’t waste your money on something they’ll relegate to the back of a dark cupboard. Still stuck? Then pick something that will upgrade their together time, whether that’s a delicious meal, daytime jaunt or decoration for their home.
How we tested
Whether they’re amateur chefs, nature lovers, movie buffs or gadget fans, we’ve curated a list of present ideas designed to suit every type of couple, for every budget. To ensure we only included gifts guaranteed to wow, we tested each on their quality and ability to be enjoyed by both partners, with extra points given for that personal touch.
The best gifts for couples in 2021 are:
Best overall – Hotel Chocolat velvetiser: £99.95, Hotelchocolat.com
Best personalised gift – Papier multi photo print: £45, Papier.com
Best for homebodies – Dunelm Dorma Genevieve green bedspread: £150, Dunelm.com
Best for aspiring chefs – Karasuba-Iro ramen bowl set: £45, Souschef.co.uk
Best for travel lovers – Assouline travel photography book: £70, Net-a-porter.com
Best for cheese fans – La Fromagerie franche-comte box: £57.50, Lafromagerie.co.uk
Best for outdoorsy types – National Trust joint membership: £120, Nationaltrust.org.uk
Best for wine connoisseurs – Fortnum & Mason the French wine quartet: £75, Fortnumandmason.com
Best for nature lovers – Patch Plants Julien: £28, Patchplants.com
Hotel Chocolat velvetiser
Help your favourite couple take their homemade hot drinks to the next level with the velvetiser – a handy kitchen gadget that helps you create barista-worthy hot chocolate, coffee and more. Working much like a milk frother, it heats and whisks milk together with Hotel Chocolat’s flavoured flakes – choose from classic, milky, hazelnut, salted caramel or chocolate latte – to create a silky-smooth hot chocolate that’s more akin to those you’d find in a boujie café and only takes 2.5 minutes from start to finish. As far as kitchen gadgets go, it’s also super stylish and comes in a range of colours – matt charcoal, copper and white – however, our favourite is the new limited-edition white and chrome version, which features a cast-iron handle that’s guaranteed to make a statement. We loved how quick and easy it is to use and clean, and that it’s small enough to fit neatly on most kitchen worktops.
Buy now £99.95, Hotelchocolat.com
Papier multi photo print
Best: Personalised gift
Give a gift they can display for years to come with this personalised photo frame that’s great for every type of couple. From snaps of special memories to candid shots of their grandchildren and holiday photos, this is a present that will be treasured from the moment they unwrap it. With space for two or three images, it’s easy to curate online – simply upload your chosen photos, select your layout, orientation and size, and pick between either a black or white handmade wood frame. The images are printed on “gallery-quality” photo paper and mounted to give them a premium finish, while the frame looks sleek and comes with all the fixtures your couple will need to hang it proudly on their wall.
Buy now £45.00, Papier.com
Dunelm dorma genevieve green bedspread
Best: For homebodies
Whether they enjoy revamping their home, cosying up indoors or have just moved in together, this luxurious bedspread is the perfect way to overhaul their sleep retreat. Made from cotton, it features a seriously soft velvet top that’s handstitched to give it a quilted effect and comes in a rich green hue that adds both warmth and a stylish touch to any bedroom. The bedspread comes in two sizes, including medium, which is best-suited for double and king beds, and large, which is ideal for super kings. We tried the medium size for our double bed and it was more than big enough, with the sides of the bedspread almost touching the floor for a dramatic finish. Cosseting and weighty, it looks far more expensive than it is.
Buy now £150.00, Dunelm.com
Karasuba-Iro ramen bowl set
Best: For aspiring chefs
Got a couple of ramen lovers in your live? Then they’ll be elated with this set of bowls that guarantee an authentic Asian dining experience. Perfect for taking dinner time up a notch, the set includes two great-sized bowls that are made from sturdy glazed ceramic – which is dishwasher safe – and feature a stylish shiny black and grey speckled design, as well as two wooden ladles that make slurping on the rich soup a delight. We also love that the set comes with a ramen recipe booklet, which gives you a brief introduction to the different types of ramen and four different recipes so you can make your own.
Buy now £45.00, Souschef.co.uk
Assouline travel photography book
Best: For travel lovers
Few things are more dear to travel lovers than the memories of the holidays they’ve shared, so why not surprise your nomad couple with a striking coffee table book dedicated to one of their favourite destinations. Assouline’s series of travel books takes readers on a tour of some of the world’s most popular destinations, with each cover designed to celebrate the region’s bold colours, from the azure coastline of Capri to Ibiza’s clifftop villas. Inside you’ll find a series of photographs, quotes and information about each place’s history, as well as curated anecdotes and local recommendations. Truly immersive, these books allow you to relive or discover new corners of the world, and they look pretty good on your bookshelf or coffee table, too.
Buy now £70.00, Net-a-porter.com
La Fromagerie franche-comte box
Best: For cheese fans
If your recipients are the kind of people that opt for a cheeseboard at the end of a meal instead of a pudding, then this downright delicious assortment of French cheeses is sure to delight. Housed in a luxury gift box, you’ll find an expertly curated selection of four cheeses, including a slab of morbier, comt d’estive, bleu de gex and, our personal favourite, a wheel of reblochon – a melting cheese that works just as well paired with crusty bread as it does added to baked dishes. The gift box also comes with a box of oat biscuits that provide just the right amount of crunch, and a handy tote bag. If these particular cheeses don’t take your fancy, there are plenty of other sets to choose from or you can even make your own bespoke gift box.
Buy now £57.50, Lafromagerie.co.uk
National Trust joint membership
Best: For outdoorsy types
Whether they love cycling through the countryside, learning about historic houses or relaxing walks along the coast, a National Trust membership is a great gift for explorers that can be enjoyed all year round. This particular membership is designed for two adults living at the same address and includes free entry to more than 500 sites and free parking, as well as a handbook that’s full of ideas to help them plan their next visit and a magazine that will arrive on their doorstep three times a year. We particularly liked that you can choose to have the membership welcome pack and cards delivered either to you or the recipient, and that if you choose the latter it will come with a personalised letter explaining that the membership is a gift from you.
Buy now £120.00, Nationaltrust.org.uk
Fortnum & Mason the French wine quartet
Best: For wine connoisseurs
If wine is the love language of your favourite couple, go beyond a bog-standard bottle of plonk you picked up from the corner shop this year with not one but four delicious tipples delivered straight to their front door. A great way to give them the chance to discover something new, the set includes two white wines – a muscadet and saint-véran – and two reds – a bourgogne rouge and bourgueil – meaning there’s a bottle to suit all tastes and pair with any meal. We also love that the wines are delivered in an instantly recognisable Fortnum & Mason gift box, which is the epitome of luxury.
Buy now £75.00, Fortnumandmason.com
Patch Plants julien
Best: For nature lovers
If you’re buying for a couple that love to flex their green thumbs, consider gifting them a plant that will breathe new life into their home. We love this one named Julien – otherwise known as a calathea makoyana or peacock plant – which is guaranteed to make a striking impact in any room and is also surprisingly easy to care for, making it a good choice for plant novices, too. Its leaves look like they’ve been painted with strokes of green, while the underside is tinged with red and we also like how it curls up at night before unfurling in the morning so it can catch some much-needed sunshine. Patch Plants also offers for the plant to be sent directly to your recipient with a free gift note and with a personalised message included.
Buy now £28.00, Patchplants.com
The verdict: Christmas gifts for couples
The way to any true foodie’s heart at Christmas time is with a warm cup of cocoa, and that’s why we’ve picked Hotel Chocolat’s highly giftable velvetiser as our best buy. We loved that it can be used to make a range of different drinks, including coffee, and think it’s a great activity for couples to do together, or with friends and family.
If you’re looking for something more personal, opt for Papier’s photo print, which is sure to put a smile on their faces and give them something to remember you by every time they walk past it.
After a boozy Christmas countdown? Find out how to pre-order Virgin Wines’s advent calendars