“Last week, a little black envelope was popped through our letterbox. It contained a sleek white box and a scented bit of tissue paper. The box was tied with a black ribbon and a handwritten note was tucked inside. It was a much appreciated early wedding present – a lunch at the Michelin star Spanish restaurant Ametsa in Belgravia.”
I had decided to surprise one of my favourite bloggers, Stephanie Sadler, also known as Little Observationist, with one of my favourite lunch gifts on TRULY, at Ametsa. With her wedding just weeks away, I thought she and fiancé Jorge might appreciate an early wedding gift to take their minds off the intensive preparations for the big day.
Steph and Jorge’s story began two and a half years ago, with dates at some of London’s hidden gems, including the quirky gypsy jazz restaurant, Le Quecumbar in Battersea, bringing the pair together through their mutual love of travel, creativity and great food. Jorge proposed last June over a fancy picnic that he organised in a local rose garden on, rather fittingly, the sunniest day of the year.
As the pair’s wedding day drew closer and closer, many of Steph’s friends were struck by how calm she remained. Labelled the calmest bride-to-be, I was certain that beneath the cool veneer surely lay a frantic patchwork of panicky wedding planning. An experience gift would allow the bride and groom-to-be some quality time alone to think about something other than the big day.
As it turned out, I was most definitely wrong in my suppositions that any amount of trepidation was being harnessed by the queen of cool. Always perfectly prepared for any eventuality, Steph’s organisational skills stretch back to her school days in New York. Taking them with her to London in 2007, she found time to create her first public blog in an effort to share stories with friends and family back at home. Her enthusiasm for blogging has even led to her full-time job – running a daily blog as a social media strategist for an international education company.
Nonetheless, the gift was appreciated for the reasons intended. “When you’re planning a wedding it takes over your life. It’s difficult to talk about other topics for too long before one of you mentions something you should do or were supposed to do,” Steph admitted.
The wedding gift experience itself was a delight to behold. “We absolutely loved our experience! Ametsa was the right mix of quirky (with its ceiling made of test tubes full of spices), local (we were able to walk there) and luxurious (the food was incredible). The attention to detail from both TRULY and Ametsa through all aspects of the experience was brilliant. Everything, logistically, went quickly and smoothly with very minimal effort from us. It was definitely indicative of the high quality demanded from TRULY.”
In fact, with the rise of couples living together long before marriage in today’s society, Steph was hoping that many of her wedding gifts might be of the experiential variety. “We definitely appreciate experiences over stuff these days. They create memories and work towards building your relationship rather than building up clutter. The touch of luxury makes the TRULY gifts especially appropriate for special occasions like weddings. As people who appreciate the finer things in life, this is definitely something for us.”
The signature TRULY gift box also struck a chord with the Little Observationist. “So much thought and care had gone into it. I loved the details, down to the scented tissue paper, the sleek black envelope and the handwritten personal note that came on top. The presentation of the certificate made me feel as if it were something very special with its elegant lettering and black ribbon tied around the box.” As with any well wrapped present, the blogger also found a way to reuse part of the gift box. “It was laid out on a black piece of foam which I’ve saved to use as a background for food photography that I occasionally post with recipes on my blog. Recycling!”
Indeed, Steph and Jorge appreciated the experience so much that they decided to gift the same thing to their devoted wedding planners. Close friends of theirs, Danny and Lucy, together for five years, having been introduced to one another by Steph, will help ensure the wedding day is a memorable one. Danny is a West End sound engineer, who will control the music for the ceremony, while the incredibly creative Lucy is in charge of her own design business called The Story House. “She designed our wonderful and very personal invitations and also created a lovely scrapbook as a hen party gift for me with notes from my friends across the world that couldn’t be there.”