There is no scientific formula for finding the perfect gift based on demographics like gender, age and profession — you can get pretty close, but not always perfect. By delving into an individual’s weird and wonderful interests, we are able to create experiences that will be momentous, maybe even life changing.
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a whisky tasting experience. But we know that is not entirely accurate. It also cannot be definitively stated that a soon to be married couple must be in want of a romantic couple’s massage, or a school teacher a nice afternoon tea.
The niche interests of TRULY clients have directed our concierge team to curate a fascinating range of out-of-the-ordinary experiences: helping a farmer during lambing season; shadowing the writers of a client’s favourite TV show; learning to communicate with wolves under the guidance of a forest ranger and ‘wolf-howl’ expert.
We caught up with our client Eira Meller to hear all about her own bespoke request for her husband, who is crazy about grandfather clocks!
How did the experience come about?
I was looking for a nice dinner initially. It was for our 25th wedding anniversary and normally my husband organises everything, but this time I thought I’d give it a go. I couldn’t get anywhere on my own but I found TRULY online and they were a godsend.
I wanted to do something really special. He’s a director of a company, and goes out to lovely restaurants all the time, so it had to be something very different and unique.
Just dinner wouldn’t have been enough, and I saw some theatre breaks online but we do that anyway. I had a couple of emails with my concierge, Heather, before we hit the nail on the head. She asked questions to find out what we liked — well, what my husband liked. Dave loves clocks. He’s been looking for years for his own perfect long case clock. So Heather did a bit of research and came back to me.
She suggested that we go to the V&A museum for a tailor-made private tour of all their clocks, then to the Mosimann’s private dining club for dinner in their Montblanc room, and then we had an after-hours visit of a clock shop, Pendulum of Mayfair.
Dave was absolutely bowled over. He thought it was wonderful. The guide who took us round the V&A was passionate about her research into the clocks. And the guy at the clock shop was really helpful. We had a good look around and heard all about the history of the shop and about all of the clocks that were there. Dave did actually spot one he would love to buy!
The romantic private dining at Mosimann’s was perfect because when he goes out for dinner with business he doesn’t do that kind of thing, so that was absolutely lovely.
Was he expecting it?
No — nothing like that at all. I told him to keep the day free, which he did. But he had no idea what we were doing or where we were going, and because it was all completely bespoke for us, he would not have been able to guess it in a million years.
Do you have a favourite moment?
I think having the whole clock shop to ourselves after closing time. The owner was obviously passionate about clocks. It was so nice to have people who cared so much, like Dave does, and knows a lot about it as well. And that’s something that you really can’t buy — well, you obviously can buy! — but you know what I mean. So unusual.
So you always go for experiences over material items?
We do. Normally things we can do for ourselves, for example spa days. But for a 25th wedding anniversary it has to be special doesn’t it? We’re very lucky and we have ‘stuff’. Byourage—I’m 49 and he’s 50 now— memories are what are important now. We’ve actually always done that with the kids as well. Take them places, do things. They love it and we love it. Spending time together and doing things that we like, or things that are unusual. For Christmas my kids bought us all an afternoon tea, and my eldest is learning to drive right now, so we’ve bought her some fun off-road driving experiences. But this experience was just for me and Dave. I doubt that the kids would have been very enamoured with a trip round a museum and a clock shop! But it wasn’t for them, it was for my husband, and we’ll have it forever.
Now my husband’s going to find out it wasn’t me that did it all!