London Zu Blog
You can now buy London Zu gift token from our website and choose from a number of options to suit your shopping requirements.
Are you too busy to visit us in Chiswick or Twickenham, but need a present and don't have time to look? Don't worry just buy an EVoucher and we'll send a unique gift token code to that special person and they can spend the equivalent value on our website.
Prefer to Pay and Collect? That's possible too. Just tell us which shop and who will be collecting. It's easy!
Don't forget if your Gift Token value is under £80 and you choose Pay & Collect or an Evoucher please select 1st class postage (£3.95) option and redeem Voucher Code NOPOST13 at checkout to remove postage charge.
All purchases over £80 automatically qualify for free postage.
And if you'd prefer to receive our lovely gift tokens in the post just order and choose the postage option and your vouchers will be on their way to you, a friend or loved one. Lovely!
As the weather changes we're keeping our fingers crossed that the weather is kind to us next Saturday 14th September.
Why? Because Devonshire Rd in Chiswick, West London is having a street party funded by the local Devonshire Rd businesses and shops and promises to be a great day out for all those that decide to come along.
There are lots of events taking place on the day, food, drinks, music and special offers from many of the shops and businesses involved.
London Zu has selected items on sale especially for the event and includes some lovely jewellery pieces from the Jacques Storm range with a whopping 25% reduced price just for the event. We're also launching our new Autumn Winter designs and gearing up for the silly season (you know the one in December). New stock is arriving daily.
Whether you're shopping or just want a great day out come and see and don't forget to pop in and say hello.
For further details about the day go to the Devonshire Road website:
Father’s Day came and went at London Zu and the stock levels of our mens’ collection suddenly seemed massively depleted. So, it was with delight we greeted a new Tyler and Tyler collection as it arrived in this week. For the first time we are trialling 100% Silk Pocket Squares, in Polka Dot and Stripe designs.
Also completely new Olympic Themed Cufflinks with Boxing, Rowing and Athletics all being represented...a nice memory to look back on, and at least it’s one pair you’ll always be able to remember when you got them.
Also back in are the various Pinstripe Cufflinks with matching Collar Stiffeners (matching socks will be back pre Christmas Season...sorry to even mention that word.)
Tyler and Tyler are quintessential English Designers...it’s almost impossible to define exactly why, but once you see the designs and style of their men's range, nowhere else springs even vaguely to mind.
Who invented Father's Day?
Credit for “Official’ Father’s day goes to Sonora Smart Dodd of USA, who invented her own celebration in 1910 in tribute to her own Father, a single parent who raised his six children.
When is it celebrated?
It is generally celebrated on the 3rd Sunday of June, and the first American Presidential Proclamation recognising was made in 1966. It didn’t become a proper National Holiday in the USA until 1972, previous Presidents had been reluctant, some fearing the commercialization of the event. This year Father's Day falls on Sunday June 17th.
How is it celebrated?
From receiving a raised eyebrow some short ten years back in the UK, Father’s day has now become a firm fixture on the celebratory calendar, with Father’s Day Cards in the shops from mid-May, and an ever growing list of dedicated manly gifts.
Popular gift choices today are:-
- Cufflinks, Tie-pins, Ties, Socks, Pocket Squares, and Collar Stiffeners
- A bottle of fine Single Malt Scotch or Irish Whisk(e)y, or fine Cognac
- A Mandle (masculine fragrance candle)
- A coin tray to empty those overloaded trousers
- A hip-flask for those cold winter events
Visit our Father's Day
page to get more great ideas for suitable gifts for Father's Day.
What is a Confirmation?
The Sacrament of Confirmation is the ritual practiced by most Western Christian Denominations at the young adolescent age of 12-14, wherein the Act of Confirming one’s belief and faith is undertaken, and the commitment to the Christian Church. Through the Act of Laying of Hands (invariably by a Bishop) the Acts of Jesus and the Apostles are mirrored and the Holy Spirit is thus conferred upon the participants.
When does it happen?
The Ceremony is generally undertaken on Pentecost Sunday (50 days after Easter Sunday) when Christians celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles.
It is regarded as a rite of passage for the young participants, recognizing their growing maturity and capability of mind to decide for themselves. The ceremony in the Catholic Church generally encompasses a “Sponsor” for the Child, and often a God Parent undertakes this role. This closes the circle from Baptism and Christening as the children now freely choose to 'Confirm' those earlier commitments made on their behalf.
How is it celebrated?
The Ceremony is commemorated with a Church Mass followed by a large family meal and gathering, and the giving of gifts. On many occasions the Parents have kept a variety of items from the Christening/Baptism and Holy Communion Ceremonies, and present to their Child their Prayer Book or Bible, Rosary Beads and/or Crucifix.
For the extended family and friends, gifts are more varied and many seek to commemorate the day with personal gift choices.
* Crucifix / Cross or Heart Necklaces, Bracelets or Charms.
* Picture Frames, personalised or a little more special than the usual fare are often given.
* Pearl Bracelets or Necklaces have always been a popular choice.
* Savings boxes, and Pledge Pins (alcohol abstention) have also retained their popularity (found in Catholic Church shops)
* School bags are also a practical and appropriate gift as they often mark the transition from primary to secondary levels in a school year.
* Money is also generally given but may be frowned upon by some.
London Zu has shops in both Chiswick and Twickenham and both areas boast a healthy Catholic population. As such, every year in April, we are constantly asked for advice on what is a suitable First Holy Communion gift.
When talking to our customers many remember their own childhood experiences of the rosary beads they received and lost from Auntie Mary. Or the icons that scared them by their bedsides. And of course, the “Communion Money” they received on that special day. Indeed in Ireland, unspent “Communion Money” is a well worn metaphor for the over-thrifty habits a particular person may have. However today, whilst a rosary bracelet or necklace may be occasionally handed down, or a Crucifix might be placed in the children’s room, the Sacrament of the Eucharist and its significance to the Christian, and especially Catholic Traditions are often more vaguely interpreted.
What is 'First Holy Communion'?
The “First” is the first receipt of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, which for Catholics is the second of the Seven Sacraments, mirroring those actions and guidance of Jesus at the Last Supper - and whilst for many denominations the symbolic mirroring ends there, for the practicing Catholic the belief that Christ is truly present through the mystery of ‘substantiation’ is one the cornerstones of the ritual’s significance.
How is it celebrated?
It is universally celebrated as a large family event. including a church ceremony where the girls are usually presented in white dresses and veils - symbolizing their innocent purity - and the boys are dressed in their new ‘Sunday Best’ or new uniforms.
What is a traditional gift?
Traditionally gifts of a religious nature were given (Rosary Beads or Prayers Books or Icons), and indeed treasured and kept through a life of practice. Today, many family members and friends give gifts of a more diverse nature. Money is still most common, and often enclosed with a small gift and a card. For a seven to eight year old, this is an exciting time.
What is a suitable modern day gift?
Typical gifts for a First Holy Communion today are : -
* A first Pearl Bracelet or Necklace (Girls)
* A Silver/Gold Cross or Crucifix on a Chain (Unisex)
* A Savings Box (Unisex)
* A Photo Frame to commemorate the occasion (Unisex)
* A Photo Album (Unisex)
* A Heart Necklace (Girls)
* A Charm Bracelet with First Charm (Girls)
* A Guardian Angel Pin (Unisex)
As part of the ritual of growing up within the Christian Tradition, this is a significant rite of passage for both the child and the parents. It often marks a transitional time and an increased rapidity towards young adolescence. Money in their pockets, savings boxes or bank accounts, the child begins the early days of decision making, and God Parents who’ve often had little to do in the early years can find themselves happily getting involved in their young charges lives once more. They are perhaps our true wonder years.
NGT - Nougat London have launched their new toiletry range for men.
At long last a complimentary range to their ever popular womens toiletry range has come to market and we love it. In fact my husband is road testing it right now and has given it the thumbs up. He's also road testing Tyler and Tyler socks which he says are the most comfortable socks ever, but I digress.
The NGT range includes a face wash, shaving creams and balms, muscle soak and shower gel, which makes me wonder which are the favourites of the England Rugby team. Because an insider at Nougat recently told me that they were so delighted to hear that one of the England Rugby team guys had tweeted he was a fan of the range, they immediately sent the whole team NGT goody bags. Lucky them.
Well pop in a see for yourself. We have the range in both our shops and here online. We'd love your feedback x
STEAMCREAM is handmade in the UK and Japan with fresh natural ingredients, fused together with a shot of steam.
A great skin cream doesn’t just feel good as you put it on, it sinks deep down to keep it soft, smooth and flexible. Most creams are made with complex molecules bound together by a powerful emulsifying process; the problem with this is that they just sit there on the skin’s surface. They give a good first impression, but don’t keep their promises.
STEAMCREAM use a unique steam process to make an amazingly effective cream that your skin can absorb instantly. When it touches your skin, the naturally moisturising ingredients and pure, calming essential oils are released from our light emulsion so that they can penetrate past the surface. Your skin will feel softer for longer.
How the steam process works.
Steam is pure water, heated under pressure past 100°C, and STEAMCREAM harness its power to fuse the ingredients together instantly, to make a gentle emulsion. This forms the natural base of the smoothly textured cream. By using steam to combine them, the natural materials in STEAMCREAM remain pure and effective.
By using such a simple process, STEAMCREAM can invest in natural materials such as orange flower water, oatmeal and vegetable glycerine to hydrate your skin. Almond and jojoba oils, with moisturising cocoa butter, soften the skin’s surface.
The unique method means that STEAMCREAM gives your face instant refreshment the moment you use it. It’s super-moisturising, sinks deep down and revives your skin straight away. I actually use this and believe me I have really annoyingly sensitive skin so if it works on my skin it will work on everyones! Although I've only used it so far on my face, it can be used on your hands, body and feet. What a treat it's fragrance is a mix of Lavender and Orange water and is very very lovely.
STEAMCREAM produce eco-friendly limited edition tins that they design with the odd collaboration here and there to spice things up. Which means the tin designs are constantly changing as new releases are delivered and designs sell out. So grab your favourites before they sell out because when you’ve used your STEAMCREAM, you can keep your tin for storing your small stuff, and come back to see what’s new. I like to use mine for earrings and rings in my suitcase, very useful.
As Christmas fades into a distant memory and pre Christmas Sale signs are replaced by January Sale signs, one wonders whether these 'Huge Reductions' and '70% off' sale offers can firstly be genuine and secondly be sustainable if they are genuine.
It doesn't take a mathematical genius to work out that if a retailer buys something for £10 and prices the item at a standard retail mark up for £27.50 to reduce it by 70% would mean selling it for £8.25. Allow for VAT and the item is being sold at a significant loss for £7.94. If the same item is reduced by 30%, allowing for VAT the retailer will receive £17.40 which covers the cost of buying the item but is unlikely to help cover any other costs incurred with running a retail business such as utilites, rates, rent and wages. And a 30% discount does not give any retailer a profit. So for the small independent retailer offfering items at a reduced price it should be a considered decision. Independents which follow the big retailers business model may find they go out of business fairly quickly.
Large high street retailers work with a much higher footfall and stock turnover, it's a numbers game, a matter of volume turnover of often cheaply sourced items from the East each generating a small profit. A small independent retailer rarely has the luxury of high footfall and large volume turnover, and may struggle to negotiate lower unit prices on the stock they buy. So the business model simply can't compete with the High Street model. And let's not forget there have been plenty of High Street retailers that have gone to the big retailer in the sky because this model was not sustainable.
In our shops we occasionally run a sale cabinet which offers quality items at a reduced rate. These will be the last one or two of a range which isn't being repeated. We tend to sell collections of designs, and when something is the last of a range it makes sense to sell it at a reduced rate, rather than have a shop full of bits and bobs, which are difficult to merchandise together. But such items only go into the sale cabinet when we are sure that we have sold enough of the range to make the profit we need to sustain the business. It's no use giving our customers a bargain if it means they won't have their local gift and jewellery shop in six months, because it's gone out of business.
So whilst we all love a bargain just take a moment to think about the whole story; is that '70% off' genuine or is it a garment brought in from a warehouse after being stored there since 1995! And so what if your local shops can't offer you huge discounts, their products are probably nicer and better quality, the staff probably offer you a much better service and if you don't support them and shop locally you won't have any local shops left.
For our genuine 20% off website sale page click on this sale logo
The 'Christmas lights switch on' is happening on Friday 25th of November, and we've already created our Christmas window display much to the delight of the local children. So it's no use pretending Christmas is not going to happen this year and trying to ignore the looming date of December 25th.
We have lots of lovely new lines to make your life easier and your Christmas shopping a breeze, and don't forget we are still gift wrapping up to mid December. So start your shopping early and avoid the crowds.
Keep those chilly Christmas winds away with our lovely selection of velvet, satin and jersey scarves from UK designers Earth Squared, Lua and Powder.
Accessorise with a pair of luxury suede gloves in a range of contempory colours by Penelope Pond, beautifully boxed and ready to give as the perfect present.
New in for the boys are boxed scarves and leather gentlemans gloves - men deserve a little pampering to!
And on those wintery Christmas nights what better than to fragrance your home with the scent of cloves and juniper and snuggle down to a warm fire and a good book. Then look no further as we have a new collection of winter fragrances from Lily Flame, Copenhagen candles, True Grace and Bluebell33.
Of course it's not all about staying home and keeping warm, it is afterall the party season! So what better way to care for those tired party feet after a night of celebration than to slip into the ever so comfortable Tipsy Feet. These clever little pumps fold away into a neat matching purse which also opens up into shopper bag to carry your party shoes in when you've swapped them for your Tipsy Feet shoes. Genius! They come in a range of colours and sizes and we've just uploaded our winter colours, including bronze metalic, for you to buy online.
And don't forget to accessorise your outfit with some stunning jewellery Michal Negrin is always perfect for a bit of vintage sparkle. Our London Vintage range includes swarovski rings, brooches, bracelets and necklaces in beautiful wintery colours.
The Michal Negrin rose bud studs and vintage necklaces are available in a huge range of colours and are now presented in a Michal Negrin vintage gift box for those of you buying as a gift. Just perfect!
And for those of you that missed out last year we have just two musical carousels left, so don't miss out again.
Happy Christmas shopping!