Gift guides popping up all over your feed is a good thing; it’s another sign that the holidays are finally here. 2017 is about to be done and dusted, but first you’ve got the Olympic sport that is gift-giving to get through. However you choose to celebrate the Christmas holidays, it’s going to be all the more special if you really nail the pressies this year, and with this year stacked with excellent releases from tech to spirits to fashion, we’re here to help you sift through the noise and land on the one’s that are actually worth it. Without further ado, we present the AU review’s Christmas Gift Guide for 2017.
Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N Experience
Know someone in (or planning to be in) Melbourne next year? If you’re looking for something affordable and different to gift them then give them access to what is guaranteed to be one of the most talked about exhibitions in Australia for the next few months. From December 1st you can grab tickets to the huge Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N experience coming to Federation Square in March 2018.
After widely acclaimed time spent in destinations like New York, Vegas and Paris, the experience which has been bolstered by NASA will offer guests the opportunity to simulate recruitment as if they were actually training agents. The 1.5 hour immersive event will have guests exploring a range of Avengers operation equipment such as Captain America’s uniform and shield, Iron Man’s MK 45 suit, The Hulkbuster suit and Thor’s mighty hammer.
S.T.A.T.I.O.N. which stands for “Science Training and Tactical Intelligence Operative Network, will feature science and technology supplied by NASA alongside comprehensive educational materials available for teachers, plus supporting materials created by the Science Teachers Assocation of Victoria to really give any students an unforgettable experience.
Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. opens in March 2018 for a limited time. Tickets can be purchased online from Ticketek HERE, with prices for students starting at $19 and $32 for adults.
To find out more about to experience click HERE
Grey Goose Riviera
It should now be considered a universal truth that Grey Goose will always serve to satisfy the discerning spirit enthusiast, which is why it has become one of the most instantly recognisable spirits of our time. That’s largely due to the beautifully designed bottle with pops of blue you can spot from a mile away.
However, as a limited-edition summer treat, Grey Goose have made some slight adjustments to their iconic bottle, celebrating the Vodka’s 20th anniversary with a special Riviera bottle. Mirroring the brand’s French heritage, the design features classic marinière strips to recall the famous bathing beauties of the nouvelle vague alongside visible brush strokes reminiscent of France’s influential Impressionist Movement. Designed to give the impression of spontaneity and vitality, the new bottle has a summer-ready glow that’s perfect for Australia’s enviable holiday season.
The new bottle also complements Grey Goose’s signature summer cocktail, which is the undeniable Le Grand Fizz – a twist on the classic spritz best made with St-Germain elderflower liqueur, fresh lime, soda water, and Grey Goose over ice. Serve it in a wine glass to lift the refreshing nose and you’ve just saved Christmas.
If you want to gift your favourite spirit enthusiast something reliable but slightly tweaked like a true collector’s item, you can grab the limited edition Grey Goose Riviera bottle from any Dan Murphy’s, BWS, Vintage Cellars or Ritches across Australia, while stocks last.
Fresh Sock Co. Subscription
Over the past few years subscription based gifts have really taken off. You know the whole thing about the gift that keeps on giving? There’s that, but also the palpable sense of excitement and unpredictability that builds up once the ongoing service settles into a nice little groove and the recipient becomes obsessed with receiving their little surprises each month.
That’s certainly the case with the increasingly popular Fresh Sock Co., who have taken an often overlooked fashion detail and turned it into a playful process where a random set of limited edition designed socks are delivered straight to the recipients door each month. And we aren’t talking plain old department store socks either. As you can see on their Instagram, these are beautifully designed pairs full of flair available for both men and women. The socks are manufactured using a minimum of 75 per cent cotton blend, designed to fit men’s feet sized US 8-14 and women’s feet sized 5-12.
The socks received are selected at random with a different pair sent out each month. If recipients aren’t happy with the design they’ve received they can simply send them back and trade them for a new set.
Gift subscriptions are available in three, six, nine, or twelve month packages at a cost of $12 per month. As an extra bonus for this Christmas, Fresh Sock Co are also throwing in a free pair of pre-wrapped socks (to keep under the tree as an emergency present, of course) with every six, nine or twelve month gift subscription, and you’ll be able to choose them as well; at checkout shoppers buying a gift subscription will be asked to claim their free emergency socks by providing a separate delivery address.
Sound good? You’re damn right it does. You can grab a gift subscription over at the official Fresh Sock Co. website HERE.
Canon EOS 200D
With the advent (and constant refinement) of the all-important smart phone camera it’s becoming increasingly common to see more and more amateurs interested in taking their photography skills to the next level. That’s where designed-for-beginner cameras like Canon’s new EOS 200D are most ideal, offering a body that’s perfectly designed to encourage, facilitate and develop a beginners photography skills. It’s compact, powerful, finessed to the point of perfection, and comprehensive with an intelligent grasp on the best way for beginners to learn and get the hang of taking photos they can be truly proud of.
If there are any budding photographers in your life then it’s going to be hard to beat this affordable entry-level DSLR, which also comes with numerous intelligently pre-programmed creative shooting modes to cover a huge array of occasions and environments.
For the Canon EOS 200D click HERE.
Remember the Sonos Play 1? Sure you do, it’s one of the best sounding smart speakers on the market and has remained so since it was released. Now take pretty much the same perfect performance and add future-ready voice control to it and you’ve got the Sonos One. The beautifully sounding speaker comes from a company whose reputation is unquestionable when it comes to sound quality, as well as it’s access and connection to multiple services. This has resulted in a true all-in-one speaker whereby pretty much every streaming service imaginable (Spotify, Deezer, Soundcloud etc) can be accessed through various smart assistants – yep, you aren’t locked into just one service, Google, Amazon, Apple and more are all going to work on this device when they are fully launched and available in Australia. Amazon’s Alexa, which is built-in to the device, should be arriving in Australia anytime soon so by Christmas you’re favourite music lover will be able to talk to their device seamlessly. Sonos are known for their functional and substantial updates, even years after a device is released, so it’s only going to get better from here.
For the Sonos One click HERE.
B&O Play are having a big moment on the tech market right now. They just brought out their beautifully designed M3, which is their most affordable Wi-Fi multiroom speaker to date and features a directional, front-facing design with awesome sound coming for a 3.75″ woofer and a single 0.75″ tweeter. That’s going to be an ideal gift for the music lover in your life, especially one who appreciates impeccable design with a sturdy aluminium casing and swappable covers.
Then you’ve got B&O Play’s recent collaboration with Saint Laurent, which will be available online from now up until December 20th. Of course, these ones are going to cost you a small fortune but for those after high-end fashion in pretty much everything they own, this is an essential. Saint Laurent have worked with B&O Play to produce three limited edition collector objects, the first being the Beoplay 9 ($3,910) which is an extremely powerful and flexible music streaming system with built-in access to major streaming services. The Beoplay H9 ($781) are luxurious over-ear headphones and an intuitive touch interface, advanced Active Noise Cancellation and up to 14 hours on one battery charge. Then there’s the more affordable of the three, the Beoplay P2 ($265), a portable Bluetooth speaker with rich, full-bodied sound with 360-degree sound dispersion, speech sensitivity, and up to 10 hours on one battery charge.
The new Surface Laptop from Microsoft feels like the device this juggernaut company has been building up to for years. They’ve experimented with easier, more portable devices like the Surface for awhile now, but this one truly feels like the most perfect iteration of that movement towards balancing convenience with performance. With either the pared back, battery-friendly Microsoft 10 S or the comprehensive 10 Pro, this one’s a killer for students and professionals (particular one’s who travel a lot) who need something light weight that’s beautifully designed and has great battery life. Seriously, the battery life on this thing (close to 13 hours even when pushing a lot of power) is extraordinary and one of the distinctive strengths of this, which is why it’s perfectly suited for those busy people on the go. If you know someone in need of a new laptop then this one is well worth a look.
For the Surface Laptop head to Microsoft HERE.
Nespresso Vurtuo or Essenza Mini
Nespresso have hit the mark with their brand new machine, the Vertuo ($299) which has given rise to an all-new range of pods that offer both espresso and coffee. These pods, significantly bigger in size than the ones used by precious models, each feature a special barcode which, at the press of a single button, the machine uses to decode specific brewing instructions to deliver a pour with a consistent profile carefully crafted by experts. The simple usability is an extra bonus, and the single-button, single-serve function takes the brand forward more than just a few leaps. If the coffee obsessive in your life doesn’t have one of these funky, retro-designed machines then now is the perfect time to go out and grab one.
Or there’s always the Essenza Mini ($199), which refines all the positives of previous models while arriving at something more compact. It too was released earlier this year to wide acclaim from Nespresso fans the world over, and the big plus is that you can still use the smaller, more familiar pods so for those who aren’t quite ready to take the leap to the Vertuo, or who like to feel a bit more in control of their pour, this is ideal.
Bose SoundLink Micro
This might be Bose’s most well-balanced portable speaker to date. The compact convenience of it is undeniable – just look at the sleek body with it’s sturdy little strap ready and able to attach to various surfaces like a backpack strap or even a bicycle. The real beauty is how it sounds though; unbelievably loud and clear for something so small. For the more adventurous music lover who is constantly on the go this one is an essential.
For the Bose SoundLink Micro click HERE.