Birthdays Are For Life - Even Near Christmas

Birthdays Are for Life – Even NearChristmas*

*With apologies to Dogs' Trust for bastardising their phrase. A dog is for LIFE, not just for Christmas. Never forget that. However, I'm compelled to point out that ALL birthdays matter. That's for a friend who has a December birthday. Yep, even when you're in full Christmas shopping mode.

As for October, birthdays are a bit like buses chéz Henrietta. They all seem to arrive at once. Do you have a month like that? In one week, we have my birthday and my son's, then my brother-in-law's half-century the following week, and my niece's birthday after that. Fortunately, everyone's guaranteed a beautiful card and gift because, well, Hand-Picked by Henrietta…

I Like Big Birthdays and I Cannot Lie

I like birthdays, even when there's a few to celebrate and buy for. Birthdays are a damn fine excuse for cake, and I like cake, too – who doesn't? And I PARTICULARLY like Nigella's Guinness and Chocolate cake, which I baked recently. It was simply divine, darlings. Rich and decadent, without being cloyingly sweet - and so moist, too, but certainly no soggy bottom.

I've included the link to the recipe – you're welcome. Let me see your results – if the cake lasts long enough for a photo, that is. If boozy chocolate cake doesn't do it for you, what does? Carrot cake? Fruit? Lemon drizzle? Or would you go for a traditional Vicky sponge? *Heads off to the kitchen to bake some more*…

What's Better Than Cake?

Do you know what else is as good as cake (better, maybe)? And also makes a welcome gift for birthdays, Christmas, Autumn, Halloween, and any other occasion you care to mention? Random Wednesdays or miserable Mondays? GIN. Gin is always gratefully received. AND gin never makes your bum look big. I've loved my trusty G&T waaaay before all the new-fangled, fancy and flavoursome gins arrived on the scene.

They're fabulous – it's like being a kid in a sweet shop, sometimes even too hard to choose when you get to the bar. One of everything then!

Gin as an Art Form - and History Reinvented

Macclesfield Forest Gin's have it down to a fine art. Literally, when you think of those already iconic bottles. Their second home, the Cat & Fiddle, the eponymous hostelry and crowning glory of that infamous Macclesfield to Buxton Road, is ALWAYS worth a visit. Though go easy if the weather's wet or cold - that road's notorious for a reason. The cosy open fires have welcomed many a weary traveller since the inn's beginnings, back in 1813.

Fast forward to 2021, and it's all change at the Cat & Fiddle.The best way to discover how is to join one of their brilliant gin tasting evenings (designated drivers will be well lookedafter, too). These are both entertaining and educational (and, obviously, there's gin!) with the brand's history, introduction to botanicals and of course tastings. I'd recommend most highly if you like gin. Or even if you think you should find out what the fuss is about. Call it research…

Just the Tonic

Hand-Picked by Henrietta has lots and lots of lovely gifts for gin connoisseurs. And lushes, too, we don't judge. Let the gifting beGIN!

First up, we have the beautiful hand-painted Lily gin glasses(soon to be joined by our Christmas designs). These aredelicate, so they're exclusively available in-store, so pop in for a browse (now there's a Brucie bonus). Or, make it personal with the elegant and rather decadent rose gold personalised gin glass. Think of it as an exceptionally polite way of saying,"hands OFF, this one's MINE".

Scratch and Snifter

For an added value gift – aka a gift that keeps on giving, cast your eyes over our Gin scratch map. Travel up and down the country visiting gin distilleries to sample some of the bestwell-known and small-batch gins. Scratch off once you've tasted! Can you complete the map? Is that a rhetorical question?!

We have lots more lovely gin-themed cards, and gifts (other beverages are available. Please gift responsibly), including the fantastically cheeky Rosie Made a Thing range. Keep track of your to-do list in the gin&frolic notebook (first thing to do – drink gin. Then buy cards). The cards are great for all occasions, from big birthdays to just keeping in touch and are guaranteed to raise a smile. Or a full-on snorty laugh, more like.

Lots More Lovely Stuff

The beauty of Hand Picked by Henrietta's emporium of loveliness is that you can curate and create your own gift – or ask us to do so for you. How about a pamper hamper for a perfect pick me up? Add a mood-enhancing candle or wax melts, a sweet treat or two and some luscious soaps andsmellies for the bath. The Wild Olive bath melts are perfect for this – and there's even a gin and lime option while we're on that subject. Maybe add a Joma friendship bracelet – the Great Minds Drink Alike charm is brill for a like-minded bestie.

That was just another little taster of the goodies that await you, both on our well-stocked website and in our Poynton and Chapel gift and goody shops. A word to the wise, though. Don't come in if you don't have gin. Noooo, that's not a threat – merely the slogan on our fab doorstop. See you soon, and until then, chin up and chin chin!