If Nero were alive today, he wouldn't have fiddled while Rome burns — he'd have bought stuff off the internet. And this is the page he'd have come to in order to help make his choices, where he'd have found the weird and wonderful as picked out by Victoria Marston and Toby Keel.
You might think that our Utterly Inessential blog isn’t entirely blameless in the whole ‘disposable fashion’ culture thing. Possibly you’d have a point, but we do at least try to point people in the direction of quality items that last for years — and today, we’re going one better by pointing you in the direction of things that have already lasted some time, and can go on to do even greater service. A Yorkshire start-up called the Nearly New Cashmere Co sources used cashmere goodies, repairs and refurbishes them, and moves them on to new owners.
It’s eco-friendly, has lots of lovely choice — we found the brilliantly retro Argyll sweater above — and they do a beautiful job of packaging things in cotton bags which makes the whole thing feel very special indeed. What’s not to love?
Prices vary, tops start from around £34
I apparently have terrible taste in perfume. I’m kidding, I obviously smell delightful, but every time I find a new perfume that I love, it is almost guaranteed to be discontinued within the year. I therefore suggest that you get your hands on a bottle of Cobalt Amber — all natural, with a sophisticated oriental, peppery twist, all very grown up — as soon as you can.
From £58 from Abel
Okay – there’s no getting away from the fact that this one is slightly crazy. A British firm called Senturion has begun making watches out of material from the Gibeon metorits, a rock that was an estimated 4.9 billion years old when it fell to earth — that’s about 400 million years older than anything on this planet. And the watch, as well as telling the time (at least we assume it does) doubles as a key for a supercar.
The watch has a big red button ‘designed to synchronise with high-performance cars, such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Aston Martin, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Porsche and Mercedes AMG’, the company writes. We suspect that if the watch can be programmed to work with all those cars, it could probably also start up a Ford Fiesta, but let’s not go there. Instead, let’s just enjoy the bonkers idea of a watch older than planet earth, the shamelessly unreconstructed PR pics, the six-figure price tag and the ability to open your Aston Martin with a big red button on your watch. If that isn’t Utterly Inessential in all the best ways, nothing is.
Senturion watches from around £14,000; SW-M1 model made from the Gibeon meteorite from around £138,000.
If, like mine, your dog has a habit of chasing its food bowl around the room, decorating the kitchen floor (and sometimes even the walls, impressively) en route, then this may well be the answer — a huge chunk of solid oak. Billed as ‘a special treat for your special friend’, it will, apparently, ‘look great in your dog’s room’.
Hang on — dogs are meant to have their own rooms?
Priced from £150 from The Oak & Rope Company
My mother is incredibly difficult to buy presents for. Seriously — my sister once bought her a new handbag and her response was: ‘But I already have a handbag.’ However, being of the horsey persuasion, anything with a nag on it is more or less guaranteed to go down well. I therefore have high hopes for this pair of serving mats by Susan Crawford, one showing the mighty Frankel, the other the holy trinity of Arkle, Red Rum and Desert Orchid. Wish me luck…
£45 from Clubmatters
After a few weeks of sipping cocktails beside a hotel bar in Cap d'Antibes, albeit sadly only in their dreams,
Well all be wearing face masks for a long time yet, so in a shockingly topical twist to Utterly Inessential
Utterly Inessential is back with the things which you‘d rather have received for Christmas itself, but have resigned yourself to
Welcome back to our friendly neighbourhood round-up of the best wine, furnishings and completely, utterly inessential products available now.