Men are often difficult to buy for, whether husbands, sons, fathers, or brothers. Here is a selection of ideas to suit all types, especially useful when you are desperate for inspiration, and all available on line.
For (potentially) well groomed man
The Shirt Shuttle from the Conran Shop is a board around which you fold a shirt, put it into a slim case that fits into a briefcase, and out comes a crease free shirt at the other end of the journey. Ideal for overnight business trips. £30
Bullocks Refining Facial Scrub is a preshave exfoliator to remove old skin and give a smoother shave. £15
Organic Homme Scrub It Exfoliator for the eco-conscious man. £9
Clinique Skin Supplies for Men Face Scrub has won lots of awards. £15.50 or Age Defense for Eyes
Pure Performance Dual Action Aveda Aftershave is a very gentle aftershave for sensitive skin. £23
Black Pepper & Sandalwood Face Balm soothes irritated skin after shaving. £6
A’kin pureMan Calming After Shave is an Australian product. Alcohol free it is perfect for sensitive and dry skins . £11.00
L’Oreal Men Expert Excell 5 for the man who wants to camouflage a bit of grey. £7
Re- charge Black Pepper Body Scrub Bar is spicy scented with cracked pepper to exfoliate and vetiver & basil to invigorate. £12
Headblade HeadLube Lotion Matte for moisturising bald heads, leaving it matt rather than shiny. £11.20
Traditional Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. are very stylish and will keep his toothbrush, tweezers, nose hair and nail clippers neat. £20
Czech & Speake Neroli Bath Oil with refined scent and very relaxing. £40
Fou for men natural shaving balm shower and shampoo gift bag, made with natural plant based ingredients and essential oils of citrus and bergamot. The Shaving balm can be used as a shaving oil, pre shave or shaving balm
Kiehl’s Razor Bump Relief is excellent for skin that gets irritated by shaving
Molton Brown’s Silver Birch Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. £18
Ortigia Sicilian Lime Shower Gel is invigorating and energizing. £12.50
Korres Shower Gels are natural and smell good enough for anyone to use. Cedar, Guava and Citrus are favourites. £7
Bulldog Natural Grooming Moisturiser is a very effective natural skin moisturizer at £6.
Nivea for Men– Intensive Moisturising Cream is a popular product at £6
Liz Earle for Men Men’s Travel Kit £34
Remington Washable Dual Head Hygienic Clipper is a classic from the 1930’s reinvented with a light, and heads for ears , nose and eyebrows. £10
Clarins Men Moisture Gel
Not greasy and makes the skin feel fresh – highly rated in various trials
Clinique Maximum Hydrator
Sinks in well and makes skin feel soft
For gadget man
Genius Multi -Charger will charge anything in the car that has a mini-USB port – blackberries, iPods etc £13
Powermonkey eXplorer is a mobile charger that you can pre charge for use when you can’t get electricity. It charges from phone, computer or the sun and fits all models. £65
A range of leather iPad cases, if you can’t afford a Smythson these are excellent quality. From £125
Noise Cancelling Headphones Effective noise excluding headphones are expensive, but so useful for someone who travels a lot.For ear buds rather than headphones that work with ipod/ipad the MM80i Travel masks most ambient noise and with an adaptor plugs into the airline’s in flight entertainment system.
JVC’s HA-NC120 have memory foam ear pads cut out most of the noise ( including engine drone and loud kids) £70
Fuji Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. are only 2 inches and click together for carrying, When separated they give surprisingly good sound. £20
iHome iHM79RE rechargable collapsible mini speakers for iPods, £40
One of this years must have gadgets is the ION iCade – a table top retro amusement arcade that just needs an iPad to give you the classic games from the 70’s, complete with joy stick and fire buttons. Playing Missile Command is guaranteed to keep everyone happy throughout the Christmas season. £80
For iPad fans why not give an elegant wall mount? The Wallee iPad wall mount has a rotational option too .£40.00
Keep mobile devices charged when on the move with an Idapt i1Universal Ecocharger. Its auto -off system reduces standby power. and interchangeable tips ensure compatibility. £20.
For music lovers C5 Headphones offer excellent sound quality and are noise reducing for the person sitting next to you too £150
Undercover Laptop Bag looks like an envelope but is waterproof and padded to protect and camouflage a valuable laptop. £15
Ring Automotive RAC600 Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. is compact and easy to use. £20
Alco Sense Elite Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. gives a quick reading and alerts you when you are near the limit . £55
FreeLoader Globetrotter Solar-powered Charger is ideal for sunny climates when access to electricity is difficult. £50
Home Energy Monitor – for options see “How to for Technophobes”
The WINEfindr. iPhone app will identify best price and vendor from a picture of the label of any wine he likes
Polaroid PoGo Instant Photo Printer £40 is a hand held device that prints wirelessly from any Bluetooth phone, and does not need printer cartridges.
The Universal Travel Power Pack will charge up digital equipment throughout Europe, and at £30 also has a built in battery for emergency top-ups
A waterproof case for MP3 phones is submersible to 15 feet and has waterproof headphones too for £50
How to wow his dinner guests – a silver plated huge clam shell that you fill with ice for an amazing variation on an ice bucket. £125
Blood Art offers affordable art by fine art graduates. The studio scours the country for emerging talent and prices start at £50. They also offer gift vouchers which make an even easier present.
Midland Sub Zero Headphones have good sound quality and allow the user to listen to music and make hands free calls. They are compatible with the iPhone. £35
For outdoor man, and the golfers
Waxed cotton hat from Canadian company Tilley, which can be washed and flat packed. Good for sun and shade, and looks rather cool
For skiers and hikers how about Sock Shop Heat Holders Thermal Socks which will keep feet feeling toasty warm at £10. You name it, they stock the sock.
North Face Etip Gloves £28 for cold weather when he doesn’t want to take his gloves off to operate phone or MP3 player. They have a special silicone sensor in the index finger to operate a touch screen.
For dog lovers, Alastair Sawday’s latest guidebook Dogfriendly Breaks in Britain would be perfect. Some offer dog sitting too!
Uniglo’s “calorie burning” T shirts and underwear might help him lose xtra pounds at Christmas!
Easy to see golf balls – a set of six styled as a tennis, cricket, snooker, rugby, basket and foot ball. £10
The Bionic Men’s Golf Glove has pads to stop the club twisting on impact with the ball, and to increase speed and smoothness of the swing £15.00
For action man
If he loves adventure and a challenge why not buy him a day of fast driving, wing walking, bungy jumping, gliding, or sky diving? Click and take a look at: Extreme Element or Into the Blue
Driving a steam train on one of the UK’s heritage railways ( you will find one near you but here are ideas in Kent and Yorkshire
Flyfishing is offered at quite a few venues around the UK
For a bargain thrill at £25 how about rolling downhill strapped into a ball at a shreik inducingly fast speed?
Or there are a wide range of country pursuits to satisfy the more creative streak, such as hedge laying, stone walling or keeping chickens .
If he is into exercise, then the Nike Fuelband will track his progress, estimate calories burnt and change from red to green as he gets near his performance goal for £149.
If you have a man who loves his cheese, go to Pong Cheese for a site that is passionate about cheese and can supply some unusual and pongy ones
An alternative is the Cheese Shop in Louth Lincolnshire which sells fabulous cheeses on line – local cheeses, artisan cheeses, and cheeses from Europe, through a very helpful and informative website.
Natoora does fantastic French and Italian cheeses and supplies many restaurants.
The Cheese Society offers 150 cheeses, and is famed for its tiered cheesecakes.
If he likes Welsh cheeses Caws Cenarth offers Golden Cenarth , which won best soft cheese of 2010 in the cheese oscars.
The Cheese Shed supplies gorgeous West Country artisan cheese selections
Does your man like sausages? How about a sausage making machine, skins and recipe book from the experts? Horizontal or vertical stuffers from £120.
For something unique a clutch of his own vines which will produce 6 bottles, and provide regular updates on the vines plus a wine experience day.
A roasting thermometer is easy to use and should give perfect pink lamb every time! From under £10
For honey lovers Fortnum & Mason now sell honey from their own hives on the roof of the store. You can see the bees in action too on their Bee Cam or buy honey and honey mustard from the Beekeepers Association
For some rather unique hand made chocolates go to Choc on Choc
For the morning after the night before, Bloody Spice contains 11 ingredients and makes a good Bloody Mary, virgin or alcoholic. Available in single sachets too.
For the budding chef who would like some high quality Naifu knives try The Chef’s Knife Store
A sleek modern Diamond Turn wine decanter that sits on its side and gyrates but never tips over. £35
The Octopus Bottle Opener £19.95
How about a day’s lesson at a cookery school? Go to cookery schools in the Leisure Section for some ideas. Billingsgate have an excellent range of fish and meat courses, so you could also get a few meals cooked for you too as an added bonus
If he gets frustrated banging ice out of trays, the Quick Snap ice cube tray releases the ice cubes at the press of a switch
Tell him to put a cork in it – to stopper a half drunk bottle of wine buy him a Haley’s Corker – £5.75