This newly renovated luxury lodge in South Africa is a nod to the country’s diverse arts and crafts

The surrounding landscape informs much of the colour palette for Phinda Homestead, a contemporary Zulu-inspired bush home located on a private reserve. Here, shades of burnt clay serve as colour accents, and basket ware inspired by traditional Zulu weaving populate key spaces. Handmade clay pots, hand blown glass, nguni cow skin, beadwork, and other Zulu flourishes feature in special and surprising ways too. Traditionally, where clay was scarce, baskets were made into vessels, using the native ilala palm, the leaves of which are soaked in a dye made from dung or natural pigments. The plant grows abundantly in the marshy habitats, and so, is a renewable resource that works well as a design material. 


A circular reflection pond at the entrance marks the spot where a giant Marula tree once stood before a fire burnt down the previous homestead. The reflection of the water creates a sense of calm as you enter the house, and to complement its circular form, Debra Fox and Christopher Browne of multidisciplinary agency Fox Browne Creative, who helmed the renovation in December 2018, created a still life installation, combining contemporary hanging planters made by South African designer Joe Paine, woven Zimbabwean basket ware, and traditional handmade Zulu clay pots. These are grouped on a sleek metal table crafted by the design team at The Urban Native, a contemporary South African furniture and product design firm. Its products are defined by the juxtaposition of abstract ethnic cultural graphics and motifs with the functionality, look, and feel of classical European mid-century and Bauhaus furniture silhouettes. 


The dining table and massive sliding doors that lead into the kitchen are the heroes of this room. These are one-off pieces, made from fallen hardwood by a master craftsman from the design workshop, One Good Tuesday. At one end of the room, a large beaded mirror made by Sithabe African Crafts—an initiative started by women who were brought together by their love of South Africa and its crafts—is mounted on a handwoven reeded Zulu mat above the bespoke sideboard. Above the dining table, a collection of woven Ghanaian baskets is grouped together to create striking pendant lights. Finally, woollen handloom rugs from Shuttleworth Weaving, a women’s cooperative in the Midlands region of Kwa Zulu Natal, anchor the space. 

Gourmet Christmas Hampers by Hotel Royal Orchid, Bangalore
Looking for a gift that screams gourmet goodness? Here’s one for you. This Christmas hamper includes a traditional plum cake, assorted hand-crafted chocolates, an artisanal stollen bread, hand-picked pitted olives, a bottle of the best apple cider vinegar, a bottle of specially selected wine and house-made cookies.
Price: Starting from INR 999 (plus taxes)
Available at: Hotel Royal Orchid, Bengaluru
Contact: 9902954007/7899808011

Le15 Patisserie Christmas Gift Boxes
Whether you want to give your loved ones a yummy Christmas treat or wondering what to give your secret child for Secret Santa, Le15 Patisserie’s specially curated Christmas boxes have got you covered. Take your pick from the Christmas Tree Cupcake Box, Jingle Bell Macaron Box,
Secret Santa Box, Winter Wonderland Box, Merry Christmas Box and the Le15 Hot Chocolate Collection - Christmas Edition
Contact Number: +91 8591621649 or +91 9769286544
Order on: or email
Deliveries available PAN India, macarons available only in Mumbai.

Something's Brewing Coffee Lover's Galore
For all the coffee addicts out there, here’s the perfect hamper for you. This box contains a ceramic coffee mug, Whole Truth bar, TBH Crunchies, Coffee Brooks hair vitalizer and scrub, Ekam candle, a brewing journal and bamboo cutlery. Isn’t this what you’d want? 
Available at:
Price: INR 3800

Svami BYOB Box Of Gin & Whisky Appreciation Kits
Gin and whiskey connoisseurs can upgrade their at-home bar with this fun BYOB box. The Gin appreciation kits come with 5 Svami tonic waters, the Svami Gin & Tonic pairing guide, a Gin tasting wheel and three videos to guide one's gin appreciation experience; whereas the Whiskey appreciation kit comes with Svami's Ginger Ale, Soda and the Grapefruit tonic water and a whiskey tasting wheel. Each of the kits come with a bar blade opener and 4 newly launched garnish perfumes in flavours such as cinnamon, rosemary and the newly launched Vanilla flavour with a guide on how to use them for different drinks.
Price: INR 2,370
Quantity: A pack of 12 mixers each of 200ml, 4 garnish sprays, a bar blade opener in a BYOB box
Available: Pan India
Nestasia Christmas Cups
Let some hot chocolate filled in these Christmas-themed cups be your companion while you binge on some classic Christmas/Holiday films this season.
Price: INR 990 (for one) 
Available on: 
Terrazas – Reserva Malbec 
Whether you're having a wine and cheese party at home or a lavish Christmas dinner spread, this red wine is the ideal choice to uplift your dining experience and spirit!
Price: INR 4676 for 750ml (in Mumbai) and INR 3280 for 750ml (in New Delhi)
Available in: Mumbai and New Delhi
House Of Candy Christmas Konnections Box
Are you being the Santa for your kids this Christmas and looking for a sweet treat for them to wake up to? What's better than a box of candies! Choose House of Candy's Konnections Box which features dark chocolate almonds, sour apples, fizzy mini strawberry pencil and a Candy Cane, infused with crunchy, nutty and super chewy aspects. What's not to love? 
Price: INR 750
Available on:
Serein Amethyst & Agate Tableware 
Hosting a dinner at home and need to up the ante of your dining decor? Opt for Serein's Christmas collection of Amethyst & Agate Tableware inspired by pine trees. This is a capsule line of tea candles, platters and cheese board knives in emerald green, fuchsia pink, oceanic and deep blue with hints of gold and electroplated metal edges. These are sure to add some sparkle to your tableware and festivities.
Price: INR 2,500 onwards
Available on:,,
The House Of Things X Art-chives 'A Christmas From India'
Make your loved ones’ dining experience a memorable one this festive season. Art-chives’ handcrafted Indian Rose bush cotton linen placemats and napkins, and artisanal hand-poured candles in Indian rose, marigold and night jasmine work wonderfully with The House of Things’ chic curation of dinnerware, cutlery, and candle stands, adding to the Christmas spirit. 
Price: Starting from INR 1,300
Available on: 
ROYCE’ Cookies and Cream Gift Box
When in doubt, opt for a classic gift that is sure to amp up the festive cheer–a box of chocolates and cookies! ROYCE’ Chocolate's cookies and cream gift box includes an ensemble of Baton Cookies, Nutty Bar Chocolate and the velvety-smooth Nama Chocolate packed in elegant red gift boxes.
Price: INR 3,910
Available on: 
Glenmorangie Limited Edition Gift Pack
Bring in the warmth this holiday season with this luxurious single malt label’s limited edition gift box. What’s in it? A vibrant colourful bottle sleeve with a bottle of Glenmorangie The Original, and a surprise gift that is sure to elevate your at-home drinking experience.
Price: INR 4800 (Delhi), INR 7576 (Mumbai)
Availability: Available across 10 cities in India including New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore amongst others

CocoCart Coco's Christmas Premium Opulence
Make it a sweet Christmas for your friends and family with a box full of indulgence. This opulent hamper features luxurious chocolates such as Neuhaus Cracker Box, Godiva Dark Almond Bar, Whittakers peanut butter bar, GODIVA Pearls Dark, Valrhona Tulakalum 75% Cocoa Bar, After Eight Mini Snack Bag, Wedel Dark 50% Cocoa Chocolate Bar, Whittakers Hawkes Bay Plum & Almonds Bar, and a Valrhona Dulcey 35% Cocoa Bar.
Price: INR 7,250
Available on:
Instax - Fujifilm India
Capture precious memories on your Instax Mini 11 this Christmas! Available in 5 colours—blush pink, sky blue, charcoal grey, ice white and lilac purple—it has automatic exposure and a selfie mode too!
Price: INR 5,699
Available at:
Coffeeza Lattisso One-Touch Coffee Machine 
Know someone who not only loves coffee but also likes to brew it at home? This smart coffee machine is the perfect gift for them. The Lattisso One-Touch can brew a cappuccino in under a minute, besides brewing espresso and lungo–we're already sold! 
Price: Currently at INR 24,699 
Available on: 
Moner Bistro & Dessert Bar Christmas Hamper
There’s nothing more comforting than sipping on some warm beverage while snuggling under your blanket, and this Christmas hamper gives you just that. Inside it, you’ll find a hot chocolate mix, marshmallows, sugar cookies, white chocolate barks, and a Gingerbread pound cake. Sounds cosy, right?
Price: On request
Contact: 7770014123
The Gift Studio Sip Sip Hooray Trunk
Comprising the best wines along with cheese to pair it with, this hamper is the kind of cheesy your loved ones will like!
Price: INR 10,999
Available on: (pan India) 
Bombay Sweet Shop Box Of Joy
Known for its innovative festive sweets, Bombay Sweet Shop introduces its Christmas Collection this year with sugar, spice and everything nice. Choose The Box Of Joy featuring Chocolate Rummy Balls (a decadent treat inspired by rum balls and jammy swiss rolls), Nana’s Coconut Ice (an old-school coconut Christmas candy recreated with zingy lemon zest) and Spiced Christmas Walnut Fudge (made with chocolate peda, toasted walnuts and winter spices). 
Price: An assortment of 9 or 18 sweets at INR 700 and INR 1,250 respectively
Available on:
HUFT Snowflake Dog Sweater
On the hunt for a gift for your furry friend? Look no further. This snuggly Christmas sweater from Heads Up For Tails is soft, stretchable and lightweight, making it the pawfect choice for your pet. 
Price: INR 1,299
Available on: 
VAHDAM India Advent Calendar Gift Set
Chai lovers will love a whole box of the beverage in different varieties. VADHAM's Advent Calendar Gift Set features 24 tea blends such as English Breakfast, Earl Grey Citrus, Sweet Cinnamon, Berry Cinnamon and more. 
Price: INR 799
Available on:

Hurrem's Limited-Edition Christmas Box
Looking for something offbeat? Add some joy this festive season with this holiday-themed box that includes special Turkish confectionery and desserts like Rose Petal Turkish Delight, Chocolate Baklava and Ceviz Raya. This specially crafted box of delights is bound to make it a very merry Christmas indeed!
Price: INR 1650
Available at: Hurrem’s stores across Mumbai. 
Contact: 9920559204 / 022-47415007

Smoor Truly Gifted Tin Hamper
No Christmas dessert hamper is complete without the quintessential plum cake. And this charming artisan tin includes this lovely treat along with pinwheel cookies, a box of 4 luxury chocolates, stir it up, and a bar of Indian origin chocolate. Yummy, right? 
Price: INR 2,100
Available on:
Ikai Asai Peacock Green Wine Glasses
Imagine drinking red wine in these cheerful green glasses on your Christmas date with your beau–sounds like a great plan, right? Turn it into a reality by shopping for this cool drinkware from this homegrown label. 
Price: INR 2,000
Available on:
Truffle & Co. Christmas Gift Hamper
When it comes to sweets, why not try something unusual, yet memorable? Gift your family and friends an indulgent box of truffles with two Christmas-themed flavours–Mulled wine (dark chocolate laced with spices and red wine) and Gingerbread (milk chocolate infused with ginger and dusted in crushed ginger bread)–we’re salivating already!
Price: INR 500-2,500
Available on: @truffleandco_ on Instagram
Call to order: 8287216506
Delivery: Pan India 
Beruru Coffee Mug
Christmas shopping for the home decor buff in your life is never an easy task. Don’t worry, we’ve found the perfect pick— Beruru’s handmade and hand painted striped coffee mugs are sure to win their heart.
Price: INR 840
Available at:
ETSY Shop (HardBySomyaJain) 3 Tier Cake Stand
Up your gifting game with something handmade and that can be repurposed. While you can use this resin stand for multiple desserts, you can also use it on your dressing table for trinkets and other accessories. The stand comes with a protective felt sticker at the base to protect your furniture! Gold paint edges are protected with a layer of waterproof sealer for longevity.
Price: INR 3,455
Available on:

Reindeer Solid Wood Boat Tray (Set of 2)
Gifting someone who's a decor enthusiast? Add some fun to their Christmas dinner set with these adorable Reindeer trays.
Price: INR 4,799 
Available on: 

Phool Winter Gift Box
An ode to the magic of winter, the Phool Winter Gift Box is the perfect gift for the special someone in your life. Containing a detoxifying foot soak, a photo frame, incense sticks and more— it is sure to bring warmth and joy into your home.
Price: INR 1,075
Available on:
Dandelion X Mag St. Bread Co. Christmas In A Box
This limited-edition collaboration between two labels brings everything warm and cosy for the holiday season. It consists of a pack of marshmallows, handmade gingerbread cookies (4 pieces), spiced hot chocolate, bauble print eye mask and scrunchie set, 2 handmade Christmas star ornaments.
Price: INR 2,500
Available at: and at Mag Street Cafe, Colaba, Mumbai

The June Shop Macramé Christmas Tree Ornament - Star
Take the crafty route for your Christmas tree decorations and opt for these macrame ornaments by The June Shop. Available as a set of 2 pieces in red and white, these are sure to add a unique touch to your holiday decor.
Price: INR 300
Available at:

PropShop24 Red And White String Light - Snowflake
Add an extra sparkle to the Christmas cheer with PropShop24's red and white snowflake string light. Handmade with eco-friendly cane, this 6m string light includes 20 LED bulbs.
Price: Currently at INR 399
Available at


18th-century archival botanical prints of the native fever tree, a popular image of the African bushveld, are hand-printed on linen wall hangings, creating a feeling of being in the bush, even when inside. The reserve is well known for its cheetah population, so, custom embroidered retro armchairs evoking the animal were designed in collaboration with furniture designers Casamento in Cape Town. To make them, Casamento used traditional techniques to create handcrafted furniture in natural fibres, with embroidery, cross-stitching, tapestry work and painting. It is the only upholstery studio in South Africa that is dedicated to a foam-free environment, and constantly explores recycled and natural fibre alternatives for its products. 


In the suites, a large woven circular reed mat acts as a dramatic headboard and room divider. It pays homage to the Zulu tradition of weaving, while also referencing the reflection pond at the entrance. By the bed, hanging hand blown glass pendant lights, finished with Zulu beadwork detail, were commissioned from a young South African artist, and hand strung reed curtains made by the women of a craft cooperative frame the bath, giving the bathroom a natural, organic and tactile feel.

Photographs: andBeyond

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