For those of us who have been working from home for months, the sound of the doorbell to signal another delivery is both thrill and torture. These subscription gift boxes and services, though, should work nicely as a surprise treat (that keeps coming) for a friend having a tough time or a family member you haven’t seen in months. And while you’re at it, treat yourself – it’s practically the law after all.
A one-stop shop for cult gifts
One for gamers, anime fans and pop-culture aficionados, Lootcrate provides a selection of collectibles, clothing, figures and more to the lucky recipient. Each subscription ‘crate’ can be tailored to suit fans of pop culture, film and TV, animation or gaming with limited-edition buys buys available too. Each edition features a surprise selection, but you can narrow it down into franchises such as Marvel Gear + Goods, JK Rowlings’ Wizarding World, Star Trek and Destiny Universe. A recent Masters of the Universe crate came complete with a Ghostbusters jacket.
Price: From £19 per month | Sign up to Lootcrate
Know someone who can’t string a sentence together before they’ve had their morning hit of caffeine? A subscription to a coffee gift box may be a welcome boost. Grind is the perfect accompaniment for those who already own a Nespresso machine. Each month the recipient will get a Compostable Nespresso Pods Letterbox Refill Pack, which features 30 pods in three different blends – the House Blend has notes of chocolate and hazelnut, while the Black Blend includes lighter floral notes to match a heady caffeinated kick. There’s also a decaf version too.
Also check out Rise Coffee Box – a generic sub for those who don’t like to be limited to one brand. A Rise coffee box subscription includes two or three specialist ground coffee blenders from various UK roasters, delivered to your door every month, with recipes and special treats such as syrups thrown in too.
Little Cooks Co
Let them eat cake
An adorable option for budding young chefs, Little Cooks Co provides a monthly subscription-based recipe kit that arrives in a recyclable box. Each pack includes all the dry ingredients that kids need to bake delicious recipes such as chocolate chip cookies and carrot cakes, while keeping them engaged and interested in the joys of baking from scratch. Each pack includes collectable recipe cards and added extras to help kids learn about the origins of food and grow their own from seeds.
Price: From £8.33 per month | Sign up to Little Cooks Co
Bloom Box Club
Bloombox is a plant subscription box service that delivers unique plants each month that are hand picked by specialist growers. Each plant – be it a calathea or a strelizia – measures between 12-17 cm and within the subscription package you’ll receive a ceramic pot or basket, and a beautifully illustrated booklet with tips on how to care for your plant. There’s also a surprise gift added to your box every other month. Scientific research shows that house plants can do wonders to reduce stress levels, increase productivity and boost moods, so unless your recipient has scissors for hands you can’t go wrong with bringing more greenery into their home.
Price: £39 per month | Sign up to Bloom Box Club
Craft Gin Club
“I’ve been getting really into gin”
Missing the pub? This giddy subscription box from Craft Gin Club, which lets you try unique small batch gins, aims to bring happy hour home. You can sign up to receive a box every one, two or three months, only pay for the months you get and pause your subscription at any time. Each box contains a full-size bottle of craft gin, tonics and garnish to create a delicious G&T, ingredients for a cocktail of the month and a sweet and savoury treat. Oh and there’s a 56-page club magazine to enjoy while you sit back and sip away.
Price: From £40 per month | Sign up to Craft Gin Club
Sous Chef Tasting Box
Bring restaurant-style home
A selection of gourmet food to make the usual weekly food menu more interesting will no doubt be a welcome idea while our favourite restaurant doors are shut. The Sous Chef Tasting Box subscription box service is ideal for sprucing up dinner on a rainy day and comes complete with five hand-picked ingredients, such as Voatsiperifery Pepper and Sweet Potato Vermicelli, all used by a selection of Europe’s top chefs. Each box includes something to eat straight away, some ingredients to use in a single dish – with inspiration on what to cook in detailed inside – and tasting notes to give you information about each artisan product. The box includes one or two fridge and store cupboard ingredients to make meal times more interesting in the days and months ahead too.
Price: From £27.50 per month | Sign up to Sous Chef
Make like an Old Master
Tools for creative endeavours make for a thoughtful gift idea and you’ll find an abundance of art boxes online that will make inspiring Old Masters of us all. Craftiosity offers a modern craft kit subscription box, which sends you all the tools you need to complete one new project per month – be it book binding, lino cutting, macrame and more.
Scrawlr Box is another great art box option and the recipient will get a monthly ‘mystery’ selection of premium art supplies from well-known brands such as Faber Castell and Chameleon Color Tones as well as high-quality new and unknown brands.
Luxury beauty boxes
We could all use a bit of a pick me up right now. Beauty and ‘self care’ boxes are big news right now and Mintd offers a luxury monthly package. Sign up to receive up to six deluxe-sized, high-end beauty products every month, which can be tailored to skin type and lifestyle. Past boxes have included premium products such as Malee Verdure moisturing oil, Su Man refining facial oil and Odacite Ba+S eye serum.
Alternatively, for a box offering beauty products from well-known high-street brands, Glossybox is a sound option. You can sign up to receive five beauty products each month, worth over £50 and membership also gives you access to Limited Edition boxes, new products and free samples.
Gadget Discovery Club
Whether you’re buying for a tech novice or an avid tech tinkerer, the Gadget Discover Club will find something they didn’t know they needed. The subscription service covers everything from music tech to wearables and smart home with devices including Google Home speakers and kit from Philips and Samsung. Upon signing up, you’ll get asked to select your preferences – be the box for yourself, a family member or a friend – and asked if you’re ‘not that tech savvy’, a ‘frequent gadget user’ or a ‘gadget geek’. You can then choose your plan ranging from month to month to a more committed 12-months subscription.
Price: From £33 per month | Sign up to Gadget Discovery Club
Send beaut blooms on subscription
There’s nothing quite like the sight of fresh flowers to make you feel calm and grounded in these head-spinning days. Enter Arena, which is just one of the latest ethical floral companies to offer stylish bouquets on subscription. Arena offers weekly, fortnightly and monthly plans and each box arrives with one or two types of fresh, seasonal stems and greenery using British grown varieties wherever possible.
We’re also a fan of Freddie’s Flowers, which offers a similar service with seasonal bouquets. They have also been known to throw in the odd surprise vase, complete with helpful tips on how to get the most from your flowers too.
Ourglass + The Cheese Geek
Bored of your regular supermarket plonk? A wine club like Ourglass will spice things up, opening you up to new flavours, notes, legs and full bodies. Ourglass helps you choose a selection of three to six bottles every month, suggesting wines depending on your preference from a selection of over 1,500 types from around the world. Each box comes with tasting tips and the membership is flexible, so you can skip a month if you fancy going dry for a while.
If you’re looking for something to pair with your wine, The Cheese Geek can deliver a bespoke cheese box as a one off on or a subscription basis. Each box from the modern cheesemonger includes up to five artisan cheeses. Get the crackers ready…
Beer 52 + Sober Sauce
Crack open a lockdown brew
If you know someone who can tell their Duvel from their Dovetail Helles in one sip, then a beer subscription might be just the ticket. Beer 52 is a craft beer discovery club that offers themed subscription boxes that take you on a journey to discover unique flavours from around the world – from England to Estonia and Canada to Australia. Each box includes eight mixed or light beers a month, a snack and beer magazine to accompany.
For anyone embracing sobriety however, Sober Sauce makes for an excellent alternative. The company offers alcohol-free hand picked beers on subscription, delivering upright different beers every month for you to try. Each box includes a mix of lagers, pale and medium-bodied ales.
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