The 10 Best guest essentials

  • @lisamarkwell

1. Poilâne bread

Around £10, from selected Waitrose branches

Chewy inside, crisp crust, this is the best bread for communal breakfast. A Poilâne loaf lasts for days and toasts brilliantly.


2. Muji toothbrush

£2.50, from branches of Muji,

In case of impromptu sleepovers after Christmas parties, it's worth having a handful of these brushes from utilitarian specialists Muji in the bathroom.

3. The Banned List; A Twitter Year

£8.99, Elliott & Thompson/£10, Bloomsbury, from good bookshops

The Banned List, a takedown of jargon by John Rentoul, and A Twitter Year, by Kate Bussmann are good bedside books.

4. Cath Kidston eiderdown


Having cosy, stylish bed linen to rustle up a comfy nest for guests makes everyone feel at home. This warm eiderdown sits atop a double bed, or hangs over a single.

5. Universal mains charger


For guests who forget their phone charger, you can offer them this gadget, which has nine attachments for everything from Nokias to iPhones.

6. Ren mini body gift set


Yes, it's an expensive way to pamper your friends, but canny homeowners could split this set (there are rose, and grapefruit, washes and creams).

7. John Lewis towels

From £3 for face-cloth,

Choose a different shade of towel set for each guest/family. Good old John Lewis has a brilliant selection of funky bright colours in Egyptian cotton.

8. Aerobed SleepEasy Raised bed


I've never looked back since investing in one of these sturdy, comfortable and (most importantly) supereasy-to-inflate air-beds, which come with their own pump.

9. The White Company robe

£40 (till tomorrow, then £50), 0844 736 4222,

We're not suggesting you try offering a boutique hotel experience, but a fresh bathrobe makes everyone feel special.

10. Rockett St George water carafe with four glasses


Guests will welcome a bedside carafe of water (just add ice and a slice of lemon to keep it cool and fresh all night).