Christmas Gift Guide

There is something for everyone in Ciao’s Christmas gift guide, tested and written by Winsor Dobbin 

Super sharp

Every kitchen needs a set of ultra-sharp knives and this smart set from Kleva certainly delivers. “I wouldn’t want to risk using these after a couple of glasses of bubbly,” said my wife. For anyone who loves to cook, a dull knife is the bane of their existence.  This Australian-designed, tough Japanese Vamolcrium multi-alloy steel kitchen knife set has range of six smart-looking knives for different purposes and comes sharpened and well balanced for immediate and comfortable useEndorsed by chefs including celebrities such as Peter Russell-Clarke and the original Masterchef Julie Goodwin. The set also includes a knife board and optional sharpener. Comes with a 10-year guarantee and free delivery. RRP: $179.

Whiskey with a difference 

Whiskey lovers will enjoy the Teeling Irish Small Batch Whiskey Glass Pack from Dublin with flavours from unconventional cask maturation techniques (former bourbon and rum casks). The pack includes a very smart premium Teeling tin, a bottle of Teeling Small Batch (700ml) and two whisky glasses. This is a premium Christmas gift for someone who loves whiskey and enjoys something a little bit different. Available from Dan Murphy’s RRP $73.99 and $74 from BWS or online.

Delightful diaries

It is not only Luddites who keep a written diary on their desk. There is something comforting about a classy paper diary – and it will not be subject to tech glitches no matter how many power failures you suffer from.  Paper diaries have been updated are now printed in an assortment of useful layouts which tell us what to write, where, and when. There are many different styles in the Collins Debden range, but I particularly like the Metropolitan Notebooks Sydney range – premium products without the hefty price tag. The diary has a vertical week view and three-year planners, a list of international holidays, international dialling codes and a time-zone map and is printed on premium Japanese Kinmari paper. There is room for making notes, too. Prices start from$23.50. The full Collins range is available at Officeworks, newsagencies, bookstores and quality stationery stockists across Australia, or online at

Vodka with a twist

SVEDKA is a premium Swedish vodka producer and the number one imported vodka in the US. This is its niche product for the summer with vodka blended with 5% rosé wine. Think tropical fruit flavours and a lighter style (30%  alc/vol). Perfect served over ice cubes or chilled straight from the fridge, or just add a dash of sparkling water. Instant holiday refreshment. Available now at BWS and Dan Murphy stores nationally at RRP $49.00 a bottle. 

Breathe Easy 

The Scandinavian Feel 200ml Hand-Blown Glass Aroma Diffuser with lavender essential aroma oilis terrific for anyone who wants a fresh-smelling home without the risk of lit candles. This smart-looking diffuser is crafted with hand-blown glass and a genuine bamboo base and completely replaces the need for chemical air sprays to get rid of overpowering kitchen, bathroom, and laundry smells. Diffusers can also help you to unwind, relax, and relieve stress – I use mine in the bathroom before sleeping to resolve a blocked nose. You can use any oil you choose with this nifty device. It has colour changing lights and automatically switches off when the water runs out.  RRP: $129.

A Tasmanian Escape 

How about booking family and friends in for a couple of nights at Truffle Lodge, Tasmania’s luxury bush glamping destination? Known for its idyllic riverfront location and for being akin to a 5-star hotel under canvas, Truffle Lodge’s luxury safari-style en-suite tents cater for every creature comfort and are naturally socially distanced – all eight tents are located right on the Derwent River. Truffle Lodge guests can enjoy a range of eco-friendly outdoor activities within moments of stepping outside their tent – and even spot platypus in the river. Each Truffle Lodge tent is double-walled and triple-roofed for maximum comfort and features a hand-made wooden bath, rain shower, extra-large and deep double beds, a coffee machine, tea-making facilities, a bar fridge, and many more thoughtful touches. Breakfasts, drinks, and two-course evening meals are served in Truffle Lodge’s communal areas. From $400 per couple per night including breakfast and dinner.