Lakeland Limited has served the UK's shoppers for over 40 Years starting as a humble family business packing plastics bags into packs of 100. Now in the noughties it's one of the largest homeware and kitchenware retailers in the UK so where better to look for Designer Magazine's Xmas Shopping Guide 2003. With 2 catalogues - First and Gifts - we scoured the combined 144 pages to deliver what we feel are the best of the low to mid price range goods on offer although by no means take this as a full representation of the Lakeland Range. With gifts on offer from less than £5 what we tried to do was show the affordable side of the catalogue although obviously with a deep wallet you can also buy more luxury items for the whole family. Taking a quick look through the "What's New At Lakeland" and "Top 10 Best Selling Products" section of the Lakelands website give a clear indication of the range on offer.

For the Designer Magazine Xmas Shopping Guide 2003 we've split our Xmas Selections into two clear categories - Household and Food Items


A new addition to the website and something not included in the recent Lakeland Xmas catalogue is the Safari Print Throw which immediately stuck out as a gift for all you glamour pusses. If you believe what you read in the lifestyle magazine's animal prints is very much in although to us it was never really out as long as you were prepared to buy "faux fur" rather than the real deal. Priced at £44.95 at first glance it may appear a little steep, but with so many uses from draping over your armchair and measuring 57" x 79" (145 x 200cm) it can also double up as a sexy bed cover to seduce the man / woman of your dreams we feel it's money well spent. It's also the sort of item that could easily fit into any surrounding be it a luxury city flat with all the trimmings or as a kitsch statement in your students digs. Better still should that party or romp get a little out of hand you'll be pleased to know it's machine washable which avoid any expensive trips to the dry cleaners which throws such as this will often require. Buy this and add a little glamour to your life. (Order Reference: 7948)

As you can see there's a little bit of a theme building up here, although trust us we'll smash the continuum with the final 2 selections. Furry Furnishings provide the perfect accompaniment for the person who would love a cat or a dog to stroke and keep them company on those long winter nights, but who can't actually be bothered with the hassle of walking or feeding the said creatures. No they aren't one of those Japanese gizmos as the picture above shows...but simply the softest most huggable cushions you're likely to lay your hands on this year. Coming in two different colours - Purple which we don't understand and the natural colour which we have here in the Designer Magazine offices for our 11 O'Clock hug fest. Priced at just £11.95 why not buy a few for each room in the house. (Order Reference: 5169 (Purple) 5172 (Natural))

I've never been the sort of bloke who's ever wore slippers, but when I heard of the Don of the Slipper family - the Cozy Toze - I just had to try them out. It's the sort of thing you can imagine Peter Kay joking about, but believe it or not the Cozy Toze are actually microwaveable slippers. And yes you did hear that right. Now if you've got a bit of a simpleton northerner for a dad he'll naturally assume you place the pair of slippers in the microwave and heat them up. Not so, simply take the rubber plates out of the zip up soles, heat up for 30-40 seconds and hey presto you get a little bit of summer heat for your feet at least. While in my opinion the recommended time scale doesn't heat the slippers up near enough we did heat them for an extra 10 seconds for extra warmth although we have to stress this isn't recommended in the instructions and is actually advised against. At only £9.95 these super powered slippers aren't much more expensive than a standard pair. (Order Reference: 7954)

There's the old saying eating out is as good as a rest (Well technical speaking their wasn't until then - it was a holiday...but that didn't fit our next Xmas recommendation). Have you ever eat out at an indian restaurant and wished that you had one of those hot plates to keep those all important family meals warm. It's essential nowadays you've got vegetarians, fussy children and about 10 different meals to cook on Xmas day or any time of the year. Keeping things simple it has no wires or power point and uses the power of candles underneath (with 3 tea lights included when you buy it). Personally we'd much rather keep our food warm this way than turn it to rubber in a microwave and at £14.95 it's a snip. (Order Reference: 2168)

Xmas is a time when all of us are going to pile on the pounds. It's inevitable, no matter how hard you try there will always be some last minute party to go to or an extra box of chocolates that a guest brings round. To work off this the Sophisticated Skipping rope for £8.95 is the perfect gift. As you can see from the picture above it's very much aimed at adults rather than the Day-Glo colours you normally associate normally and before you say skipping's only for girls just take on board that boxers, footballers and most athletes do it as it's one of the best forms of exercise around. (Order Reference: 3659)


If like me you've spend the best part of the year trying to diet and lose weight giving yourself a couple of weeks of leeway before the endless struggles starts again in the New Year you'll appreciate the value of quality chocolate. After depriving yourself for the best part of the year you might as well go for the best and the Organic Choc Assortment retailing at £7.95 features 16 Chocolates compromising equal quantities of Sesame, Banana, Coconut and Hazelnut praline. The dark chocolate coating promises at least 60% cocoa minimum which if you compare that to your average high street brand you'd be surprised at how rich the taste is. (Order Reference: 3197)

The Chocomarble Melties retailing at £6.95 are great purely for the reason that as well as coming in 3 different flavours - orange, mint and coffee - you can also offer them as a full pack or split them giving one each to 3 separate people. The packaging is classy, yet minimalistic letting the chocolate speak for itself. The sort of chocolate that you really should take time on rather than devour in one gulp. Our favourites here in the office have been the mint melties, but it really is case of choosing your favourite. (Order Reference: 8537)

Charbonnel et Walker have closely guarded the secret guarded the recipe of their Maple Brazils for the past 100 years. You can see why as these are possibly the most gorgeous things I have ever had the pleasure of eating and with 20 of them it's hard not to devour a whole pack to yourself. They say the best things come in small packages and with these there couldn't be a more fitting description. Retailing at just £6.95 these are the perfect dinner party accompaniment (Order Reference: 2181)

Why is it as we grow into adult we have to resist the temptations of childish innocent chocolate such as Buttons in favour of sophisticated chocolate. The Rainbow Chunky Chocs aim for the middle ground with the taste of Belgian milk, white and dark chocolate topped with sugar shelled coco beans (or Smarties under another name). The cutest chocolate snack we've seen in a whole and well worth the £4.50. (Order Reference: 3157)

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