onscriptl: Why not treat yourself and others to the gift that keeps on giving. Whether it’s subscription book boxes or foodie discoveries through the letterbox, finding that perfect gift is simple as we round up the best UK subscriptions.
What are the best UK subscription boxes in 2021?
We scoured the web, and in our article below, we have selected our top picks. TL;DR, here’s the summary:
- Book subscription boxes UK: Heady Mix; Mbawa Books.
- Writing and author advice subscription boxes: Scribbler
- Music subscription boxes: Vinyl Moon; Cassette Club, Safiya’s World Music Playlist.
- Foodie subscription boxes: The Roots Market; Seoul Box; The Cheese Geek.
- Boozy subscription boxes: Master of Malt.
- Plant and flower subscription boxes: Appleyard Flowers; Sprout London.
- Art subscription boxes: Art Crate.
So whether it’s for a birthday, Mother’s Day or just a bit of self-care for yourself, our guide to gifting could be just the ticket you need to manage the present buying of those who’ve made the nice list. And in modern busy lives, what’s better than the gift of monthly post. It’s a tangible gift that lasts more than any special occasion, delivering and delighting all year round.
Read on for our recommendations of the best UK subscription boxes for 2021 so that you can sign a loved one up to a monthly treat. From books to beats, and from plants to prints, give the gift that keeps on giving.
Book subscription boxes UK
Choosing a book for an avid reader can be a task and a half. With thousands of books on the shelf covering genres from romance to dystopian sci-fi, a misstep could mean raised eyebrows thrown your way. So if scouring a bookshop fills you with dread or if the book lover in your life has an encyclopaedic knowledge of all books everywhere, you’ll need inspiration for what to buy them next. Read on as our selection will help them have a fulfilling and exciting To Be Read list for 2021.
Delivered once a quarter, Heady Mix’s Quarterly Mix is a book subscription box in the UK that features multicultural stories by female writers from racial and ethnic minority groups. Each theme highlights the challenges faced by these underrepresented groups as well as crushing the stereotypes they endure every day. Unusually, and very welcome, for a book subscription box, Heady Mix also publishes its own book of short stories that feature in its quarterly book boxes. With a female first approach to choosing its writers, Heady Mix shines a light on books that don’t normally get much in the way of attention, even though they are written by talented authors who are sharing stories we should all be exposed to. Past themes showcasing a stunning selection of female authors include Afrofuturism which showcased African writers, Lost and Found which highlighted refugee stories, and Home featuring South Asian writers.
One of 2021’s themes that we’d like to highlight is Windrush which spotlighted female writers from the Caribbean and of Caribbean descent. Heady Mix founder, Justina Cruickshank, was inspired to curate this theme following the continual issues with the Windrush scandal, and in recognition of the huge contribution that the Windrush generation has given to the UK. This is an incredible book subscription box collection that explores identity, feelings of acceptance, emotional security and the fragility of belonging.
Mbawa Books is a one-stop gifting choice for the curious tween, by the curious tween. Its two founders are both still in school and have already published a novel each! They are rapacious readers who wanted to promote diversity and literacy in middle-grade reading, so created a subscription book box for 8-14-year-old bookworms called ‘Happier Every Chapter’. Each monthly box comes with two books, two short stories, four-to-eight bookish treats and lifestyle items and access to a member’s only area where there will be live author interviews and other goodies. They believe readers are thinkers, and thinkers are leaders.
Writer and author advice subscription boxes
Billed as‘like a writing conference in a box’, this monthly offering has everything you need to turn your aspirations to be a bestsellingauthor into reality. You get teaching notes fromchart-toppingauthors; live chats with literary agents and editors; curated writing gifts and a new release novel in each package. There’s an industry newsletter, an online community and a digital magazine. Started by Victoria Scott and Lindsay Cummings in 2017, this is now the US’s largest box catering to aspiring authors globally.Between them, the founders have so far mainstream published 17 books of their own.
The Prompt Box
If the idea of leaping straight into a novel feels a bit daunting, how about taking it slower and subscribing to the Derbyshire Writing School’s Prompt Box? Each month you’ll receive a collection of unique writing prompts, with no two boxes the same. It’s not just lists of prompts either, its vintage postcards, old keys or other items, quirky photographs and a PDF workbook to dream and mull your way through. The aim is to surprise you into creativity every month, bringing the fun back. If you want companionship on your writing journey, there’s also a Facebook Group. What are you waiting for?
Music subscription boxes
Music streaming services have changed the way we listen to artists, giving us access to anything and anywhere. But what about when convenience isn’t the main priority, and instead, just as it should be, it’s for the love of music? For our 2021 UK subscription box gift guide, we wanted to show that nostalgia for hard copies still does exist, and what’s more it doesn’t have to be old music either…
Vinyl Moon is a record club created from the idea there must be new ways to enjoy vinyl than dusting off the relics from the 80s. Discover new bands every month with thoughtfully designed vinyl delivered right to your door.
Born from a similar notion, Casette Club is the subscription service that reconnects its customers to tape. More for the 90s teenagers amongst us, give the gift of nostalgia with these limited-edition cassettes featuring artists in the lo-fi indie rock genre.
Safiya’s World Music Playlist
Caribbean Jazz Musician Safiya Leslie lost all her gigs during Covid – so she created a subcription box for everyone else missing live music and the hope and activism it can provide. Each monthly box ships with a Spotify playlist for the monthly region being showcased, music history, a featured artist to immerse yourself into, and travel notes, plus a USB with high quality digital downloads. Depending on which graded package you choose, you might also get artists’ merch, virtual travel guides, coupons, a handwritten note from the artist, art prints and bios. Guaranteed to expose you to new music and experiences monthly.
Foodie subscription boxes
For the foodies on your gift list in 2021, we’ve included food discovery boxes. Delivered each month, these subscription boxes contain everything from cultural delicacies from across the globe, to exotic spices and ideas for using them. This year, give a culinary experience to someone without them even having to leave home.
The Roots Market
The Discovery Box by Roots Market is an eclectic mix of 7 to 10 must-try ingredients, snacks and drinks from a new country or culture every month. And what makes this one ultra-authentic is that the company work directly with mamas, friends and locals who know their food best…
Korean food has seen a spike in popularity over recent years in the West, with restaurants popping up all over major cities. Seoul Box is a subscription box dedicated to an indulgent selection of hand-picked treated and Kpop goodies combined with authentic tasting tips; all promising to awaken your Seoul!
The Cheese Geek
Dubbed as ‘the Netflix of fromage’ by GQ magazine, the Cheese Geek is the perfect gift for dairy-loving snackers. Each monthly subscription box contains five cheeses from a balanced selection: ranging in strength, origin and textures. There’s also tasting notes and scorecards included, how could we not include this in our gift guide to subscription boxes!
Little Cooks Co.
Helen Burgess was a working mum who felt there was a lack of information on how to teach children to cook healthily from a young age: her friends kept asking her how her own wholesome kid treats were made. The company was born! Boxes feature recipes and dry ingredients; cooking records; gardening projects with seeds, and fun extras – there’s stickers! Every box sold sees the price of a healthy breakfast donated to the charity Magic Breakfast, which supplies 40,000 disadvantaged school children daily with a meal to see them start the day stronger.
Boozy Subscription Boxes
A 2021 subscription box gift guide wouldn’t be complete without some boozy treats and surprises! So if you know someone who’ll enjoy a tipple at some point during the year, why not package up something extra special. Whether it’s wine or spirits, ales and pales – there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this selection…
Master of Malt
A range of spirits is available with the subscription box from Master of Malt, with 30ml spirits samples from over 5,500 individual drams available exclusively. Great for gifting a number of drink options with their small tasting collection, there are also extras available such as tumblers and whisky glasses, should you be feeling extra generous…
Plant and flower subscription boxes
All things flora and fauna form classic gifts any time of the year, but how about subscribing a loved one to a seasonal bouquet each month or bi-monthly houseplant? What better way to gift! And the following list is a real heady mix from seeds to sprouts, from carnations to compost!
Born out of a passion for cutting edge floral design and luxury craftsmanship, the Appleyard subscription service aims to make every purchase a unique and luxurious experience. With a range of bouquets on offer, their flowers are carefully selected, arranged and packaged by florists who hand-tie each delivery.
Sprout London is a subscription service to a monthly houseplant. For those who struggle to keep plants alive, they even include a guide on how to become a little greener fingered, with tips on care and nourishment for your miniature forest.
Art Subscription Boxes
Art appreciation is subjective, varying in the eye of the beholder. That’s why we’ve included art subscription boxes in our 2021 subscription box gift guide, so you can gift art curated by experts, with no need to scour print sales or exhibitions for the perfect piece.
The Art Crate centres around a bespoke service that offers customers the chance to describe their style and space to specialists, who will then source art for selection. Promising to make an art collection easy and affordable, this could be the perfect gift for the new home-owners on your list…
If you’d love to try and make art, but have no clue what you might be good at, this clever box sends you art supplies around a themed project every month. Art supplies aren’t cheap, so it’s a great idea to have a box showcasing different subjects and methods, with high end supplies included; you’ll know if you want to experiment further after you’ve tried that month’s offering. Scrawlr partners with charity Trees for the Future.Org, who plant trees across Africa, providing income, empowerment and leadership to communities through conservation. So you’re also helping to save the planet!
Craft subscription boxes
This quarterly subscription box is for dedicated and beginner stitchers alike. With a nature theme reflecting each passing season, it contains several projects of varying skill level and all materials needed to complete them. To try a box, a single one-off purchase is available at £25, with a yearly pay upfront subscription also offered at £92.
And that’s that! An exclusive Heady Mix 2021 gift to all things subscription box, the gift that delivers all year round!