We really don't see why toaster get such a bad rap on gift lists: quite frankly, we'd love to update ours every year! Which is why the new Brillante toaster (£59.99) and kettle (£59.99) from De'Longhi, with their multi-faceted light-reflecting surfaces, have quite literally caught our eye. Available in Jet Black and elegant Ice White, these worktop essentials are beautiful and functional making them perfect additions to any home no matter how long you've been there. We like the rapid boil function on the kettle and the handy crumb tray on the toaster. Available from John Lewis (www.johnlewis.com)
If you've overdosed on cupcakes and are bored of brunch, why not opt for a spot of traditional afternoon tea? We're talking crisp white tablecloths, fine china and cucumber sandwiches. Twinings have teamed up with a number of venues across the country to provide exactly this and Brides was lucky enough to be invited to enjoy the experience at London's Criterion restuarant dining rooms, an oasis of calm in the centre of Piccadilly, which oozes old-school decadence with its grand gilt and marble interior.
Choose between twenty different teas - from Signature Earl Grey infused with lavender and Second Flush Assam, to the Jin Shang Tian Hua, a green flowering tea that unfurls before your eyes in a glass teapot - and if that's not enough to quench your thirst, there's always the glass of house Champagne to add to the package. A tea timer is brought to the table to ensure optimal brewing time, along with a selection of the classics - finger sandwiches, scones, clotted cream and delicious homemade jam, cakes and tarts - all presented on a pretty silver cake stand. The perfect antidote to an exhausting day of wedding planning, or a great way to start a hen party in style.
Traditional afternoon tea £29
Traditional champagne afternoon tea £36
Find out more at www.criterionrestaurant.com or www.twinings.co.uk.
Follow in the footsteps of Joe Cole and Carly Zucker, who settled for a low-key honeymoon in London. Book into the five-star Athenaeum Hotel in Mayfair, London and make the most of the new mini-moon package, which includes two nights in one of the chic townhouse apartments and a complimentary dinner for you and your groom. Best of all, there's a couple's massage treatment included in the price so you can keep your newlywed glow at its fullest. Once you've unwound from the wedding whirlwind, let the concierge point you in the direction of the Royal Park for a romantic stroll before heading to Bond Street for a spot of shopping. The Mini-moon package starts at £399 per night; www.athenaeumhotel.com 0207 499 3464.
Tying the knot up north? Pomp & Ceremony Planning (www.pompandceremonyplanning.co.uk) has just launched and it promises to deliver a party with panache. Caroline Hale and Claire Hampshire are behind the new service, and their experience ranges from high-end events to marketing and lifestyle publishing. While the girls aim to bring top-rate planning to the north, they assure they can work to any budget. Plus, they charge on a percentage basis so you know what you're paying from the off. "A lot of people still consider wedding planners to be a luxury for celebrities and millionaires, and this is simply not the case," says Caroline. "Planners are well connected and can not only draw on their contacts but also negotiate with new suppliers and vendors to get the best possible price for clients." For more information, visit the website www.pompandceremonyplanning.co.uk or email email@example.com.