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Luxury Getaways with Mr. and Mrs. Smith

This boutique booking specialist will send you on your way.

December 07, 2011

Dolphin Island, Fiji

Give yourself or a friend the gift that keeps on giving: a membership to boutique and luxury hotel booking expert Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Three different levels of membership earns you the best rooms guaranteed all over the world with no booking fees. The gold card membership ($600 for the year) includes a travel concierge, automatic room upgrades, access to airport lounges, personal shoppers and restaurant reservations. For the holidays, enter to win a French vacation with a year’s worth of Champagne. Happy travels!

—jessica ferri


One-of-a-Kind Beetle Rings from Cynthia Rowley

Gorgeous rings that make perfect stocking stuffers.

December 07, 2011

These singular beetle rings ($95 each) from Cynthia Rowley are one-of-a-kind and come in an array of colors. A wonderful little something. 376 Bleecker St.; cynthiarowley.com

—jessica ferri


Editor's Picks: Super-Luxe Gifts

36 awe-inspiring gifts chosen by Gotham editor in chief Samantha Yanks.

December 07, 2011

Follow Samantha Yanks on twitter.com/samanthayanks for more #superluxgifts

—Samantha Yanks


Gift of the Day: A Diptyque Candle

Diptyque’s holiday candles are easy on the eyes and the nose.

December 06, 2011

Leave it to Diptyque to meld art, fragrance and holiday cheer, as it does with sensational success in its 2011 holiday collection. Consisting of two fragrances—Epinette and Perdigone—the collection was inspired by fabrics created in the 1960s by Diptyque’s founders. (Little-known fact: Before it was a house of fragrance, 34 Boulevard Saint Germain, the Paris home of Diptyque, was a house of fabric.) Part of the permanent collection at the Musée des Arts Dècoratifs, the vintage fabrics from which the candles in the collection borrow their aesthete are contemporary and abstract, but still rich and opulent to the eye. Lovers of pine and wintry scents will gravitate toward Epinette, which burns clean, crisp aromas of balsam fir, Siberian pine, Texas cedar and Indonesian patchouli, while sweeter noses will favor Perdigone, which wafts candied plum, clove and cinnamon. Available in three sizes ($32, 2.4 oz; $68, 6.5 oz; $275, 63.5 oz), the candles come packaged in beautiful boxes printed with the graphic design of the candle and its fabric muse.

See all of Gotham's 2011 Gifts of the Day here.


Piper-Heidsieck Champagne by Jean-Paul Gaultier

A limited-edition bottle makes for a sexy holiday gift idea.

December 06, 2011

Inspired by Parisian cancan dancers, Jean-Paul Gaultier, in collaboration with Piper-Heidsieck Champagne, has designed two limited-edition bottles of bubbly for the holiday season. Only 60 bottles of Piper Heidsieck’s Millesime 2000 ($630)—dressed in Swarovski-crystallized fishnet stockings and tucked inside a sensual red-lined case with two flutes—will be available at select retailers. (A bottle of Piper-Heidsieck’s Cuvée Brut ($55), also enveloped in fishnet, is available in select stores and restaurants.) What better gift for lovers of fashion and champagne?

—jessica ferri


Sustainable Eating Made Easier with Clean Plates

Jared Koch, founder of the healthy eating guide Clean Plates, wants you to eat well.

December 06, 2011

Jared Koch

Three years ago a restaurant guide focused on healthy and sustainable dining in Manhattan called Clean Plates was published. Since then, Clean Plates—the only nutritionist- and food critic–approved guidebook on the market—has expanded on the web to include both Brooklyn and Queens. Everyone from vegetarians and vegans to raw foodists can find what they are looking for via the site's specific searches. We chatted with founder Jared Koch about the future of his brainchild.

How does Clean Plates differ from other restaurant guides like Zagat or Yelp?  
JARED KOCH: The primary difference is that at Clean Plates we research and curate restaurants serving healthy, tasty and sustainable food for vegetarians and carnivores while Zagat and Yelp focus on restaurants in general. We also have our own food critics visit the restaurants rather than relying solely on user-generated content to base our recommendations.  

What is your background and how did you conceive Clean Plates?  
JK: I graduated premed from the University of Michigan and passed on acceptances into a few New York–area medical schools to join my brother in a business providing musical entertainment at social and corporate events. After I sold the business about 10 years ago, I started studying nutrition and have become a nutritional consultant certified by the Teachers College of Columbia University. About six years ago I started a private practice working with people to help them eat and live healthier. Three years ago I started working on Clean Plates.

What was its inspiration?  
JK: I was actively seeking a way to contribute to positive change on a broader scale by combining my past entrepreneurial experience with my passion for helping people eat healthier and more sustainable food, so I started really paying attention to what was actually getting my clients to make changes.

Will there be an iPhone app?
JK: There will be an iPhone app available the beginning of next year. I’ve been asked so many times when will we have an iPhone app so I’m really excited to finally be launching it.  

What is the biggest mistake New Yorkers make when dining out?  
JK: Probably coming to the restaurant overly hungry. Menus can be overwhelming and it’s that much harder for our brains to navigate them—and for us to make good choices—when we are starving and have low blood sugar.  

Give us your advice on how to stay committed to eating healthy and sustainably in New York.
JK: Well, of course I suggest staying engaged with us over at Clean Plates. Our mission is simply that: to help make it easier for New Yorkers to eat healthy and sustainably without sacrificing taste. In addition, I always encourage people to take small steps. I'm always amazed at what a positive impact just adding some more vegetables to one's diet actually has.   

—jessica ferri


Fabulous Holiday Gifts to Give

Perfect presents for those you love.

December 06, 2011

1. Tiffany & Co. does it again with its snow hat charm, stocking charm and reindeer charm. Everlasting gifts that will spice up your keychains, adding a touch of style to your accessories everywhere you go.

2. If you are tired of bringing the classic bottle of wine or vodka to your friend's house, The Glenrothes Speyside Single Malt Whisky might be the choice for you.

3. As winter quickly approaches, accessories that will warm you up are a must. These Grandoe Bentley gloves with sensor touch technology provide you with both the heat that you need and the comfort you crave. No longer will you need to take your gloves off to use your cellphone, as these gloves make it that much easier to type in New York's chilly weather. Available at Bloomingdale's

4. Done in collaboration with fashion designer Bernhard Wilhelm, these MYKITA sunglasses are both stylish and useful. Available in different colors, they are the perfect gift for your sun-loving friends.


Gift of the Day: A Mink Scarf

Wrap your loved one in a sumptuous J. Mendel mink scarf.

December 05, 2011

It would be a shame to let this J. Mendel embroidered mink scarf ($1,350) and all of its wintry glamour sit in a box beneath the tree all season long. Better to give this as an early Christmas gift so its intricate and festive beadwork can be admired throughout every last holiday party. 723 Madison Ave., 212-832-5830

See all of Gotham's 2011 Gifts of the Day here.

—April Walloga


Chic Holiday Hair with Roy Teeluck

Renowned hair stylist Roy Teeluck demonstrates a few of his favorite festive hairstyles.

December 05, 2011

Roy Teeluck of Roy Teeluck salon knows just what it takes to keep hair healthy and looking gorgeous. What do his clients want this time of year? Easy updos and sophisticated styles that are festive without being fussy. (For day-to-night looks, watch this video.) Below Teeluck gives us a few tips for the season, and lets us in on whose hair is currently setting the trends.

What trends are you seeing this holiday season?
ROY TEELUCK: Women are going for the more polished, sophisticated look. Full-volume styles and, most importantly, treating their hair with the best products to achieve shiny, healthier hair. Updos that are effortless to create but look fantastic are always popular during the holiday season.

What is important for women to keep in mind this time of year when it comes to their hair?
Keeping up with consistent maintenance in salon and at home makes a world of difference to deal with the change in weather. Talk to your stylist to make sure your regimen includes products that best suit your hair type. Stylists are like doctors for your hair. Our recommendations are the equivalent to an apple a day.

What do you think in general looks modern and new right now?
Ellen Barkin is making style headlines. Her angular cut is the must-have look of the season. The Crazy Horse Burlesque Review in Paris inspires me with the girls’ sharp bangs and blunt, angular cuts that are very sexy. Haircuts seem to be getting a bit shorter. The popular long, curly, beachy waves—though still prevalent—are giving way to this “new" look.

Roy Teeluck, 5 E. 57th St., 212-888-2221


French Label Sandro Opens Its First US Store

Shop chic clothes and accessories at Sandro’s new West Village boutique.

December 05, 2011

Inside the Sandro men's store

The popular French brand Sandro, brainchild of husband and wife team Didier and Evelyne Chétrite, joins the US market for the first time with its new shop on Bleecker Street. With more than 200 stores in Europe, Sandro’s clean, modern clothing and accessories are a perfect fit in NYC. The men’s and women’s stores are separate but adjoined by a common vintage-inspired interior space, and the Fall 2011 collection was inspired by ’60s rock ‘n’ roll. 415 Bleecker St.

—jessica ferri

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