Last month we reported that the glossy chronicle of the filthy rich Robb Report is offering the world's most expensive Christmas gift this year - a matching custom private jet and megayacht set costing $500 million. The profligate publication has a few more eye-popping offerings as part of its Ultimate Gift Guide, a seasonal smorgasbord of over-the-top exclusives. Among the most enticing is a $1.5 million Monaco Grand Prix gift package, consisting of the following: a VIP experience at the 2010 Monaco Grand Prix F1 races in May; round-trip private jet travel from North America to Nice, France, and helicopter transfer from Nice to Monte Carlo for a party of four; five nights' accommodation in the top-floor suite at the luxe Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort; privileges aboard a private 170-ft. yacht that will provide a prime vantage of, and tender service to, four days of racing and activities; and last but not least a custom Spyker C8 Aileron Spyder (above) "as a keepsake".
Fawlty Towers Remastered
Fresh off of the success of Monty Python's Flying Circus, John Cleese outdid himself by creating one of the greatest sitcom farces of all time, Fawlty Towers. The legendary comic plays the memorable Basil Fawlty, overseer of the mis-managed Torquay hotel. Surrounded by a nagging wife and an incompetent workforce, we following the towering Fawlty throughout his charming business as he deals with dead guests, con artists and more, all while trying to keep his head on straight. The 70s series remains as funny and timely today as it ever was. The new remastered edition includes all new commentary by John Cleese and cast interviews.
We're giving away box sets of Fawlty Towers to four lucky Luxist readers! To enter, simply leave a comment on what is your favorite British TV series ever. Winners will be randomly selected. Contest endsTuesday, December 8th at 7 PM EST.
Some other important details:
* To enter, leave a confirmed comment below.
* The comment must be left and confirmed before December 8, 2009 at 5:00PM Eastern Time.
* You may only enter once.
* Four winners will be selected in a random drawing.
* Four winners will receive a copy of The Fawlty Towers Set valued at $49.98.
* Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia.
See complete contest rules here.
This contest is now closed. Thank you for your participation.
Fluid Forms is a site where you can get all sorts of custom made things, and this clock is one of them. I am not totally sure how it works, but you choose not only the city, but the proper segment of the map that you want to have as the backdrop to the clock. You then choose the material (wood or acrylic), one of many colors available. About $181 later (plus shipping) you can get the clock. It is made in Austria, and the quartz movement is apparently German. Designer John Briscella will go over the final design in detail with you before it gets made.
Learn more or get one at Fluid Forms here.
Ariel Adams publishes the luxury watch review site aBlogtoRead.com.
The Westin Heavenly bath line includes calming blend of botanicals and natural ingredients. Products include a soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion and body oil. The collection is available in White Tea Aloe, Green Tea Grapefruit, and Chamomile Lavender. Prices range from $12 to $18.
This is only taking place for three hours: 9:00 am to noon on Friday, November 27. The news was just released today, so there's a good chance that not many people have heard about it.
A couple $100 items: Electronic Wine Chiller, Food Steamer , and the "Clef du Vin" Wine Aging Tester (I didn't even know that existed). The Lamina Small Footed Bowl above is $125. The deal is only in stores and only while supplies last (so if they're out of the item you want, unfortunately, you won't get the deal).
Also, the gift certificate must be used by December 6 -- but for the savvy holiday shopper, that should be no problem. Some exclusions may apply, so see a sales associate for details.
The Awaken and Rejuvenate eye system ($100) is all you need to get rid of crows feet and other sun damage. Awaken, applied in the morning brightens and firms the skin around your eyes, while Rejuvenate works as you sleep to repair cellular damage.smooths out skin for a gorgeous close shave.
All Hommage products are scented with an amazingly sophisticated cologne. It's addictive. The products are available online at Hommage and Luxury4Him. Hommage was created specifically for men. But before you know it, he'll be catching you dipping into his Hommage.
One of the best kept holiday secrets on the East Coast is the annual Christmas Stroll on Nantucket Island. The island located off the coast of Massachusetts, has long been famous as a summer destination for the wealthy and occasional celebrity or well known politician. It is also renown for maintaining its charm and old-fashioned feel, accomplished through strict development and zoning laws that regulate what can be built.
The holiday season begins the first Friday after Thanksgiving, when the Chamber of Commerce sponsors an Annual Tree Lighting and Community Caroling event. Nothing could be more picturesque than the antique cobblestone filled town illuminated by over 150 Christmas trees, while sounds of the carolers fill the air. The 36th annual Christmas Stroll is held over the weekend of December 4th-6th as part of the month long Nantucket Noel Celebration.
One of the highlights is a Main Street parade featuring Santa and Mrs. Claus, who arrive by Coast Guard vessel, rather than sleigh, and ride up Main Street in a horse drawn carriage accompanied by the town crier.There are also carolers in Victorian costumes and a Magical Talking Tree to entertain the little ones. The shops and restaurants are all open and feature holiday themed window decorations and often offer hot toddies and cookies to visitors. It is a charming way to experience a little bit of an old-fashioned Christmas as well as get some early shopping accomplished.
There are many lodging options available for the special weekend. The Chatfield-Taylor Real Estate company has set up a special website for homes to rent for the Christmas stroll weekend. Many are quite conveniently located, either in town or within a short walking distance of the festivities, and come in all sizes in case you'd like to bring the extended family or just want a romantic couples retreat. There are numerous Inns and Bed & Breakfasts in town as well as the famous The Wauwinet a Relais & Chateau property located on the beach.
Gallery: Nantucket Stroll
Would you like to own a unique piece of privately commissioned artwork? Now is your chance. The Museum of Modern Art in New York is offering up for sale limited quantities of collectible works.
Entrepreneur and art collector, Peter Norton is known not only for his genius in creating computer software but for commissioning art and for his philanthropy. Every year since 1988 he has asked artists whose work he collects to create unique pieces to be sent as gifts to his family and friends. This year he is donating various pieces to be sold to the public through MoMA with all proceeds to go to P.S. 1. For those who are not familiar with P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center it is one of the oldest and largest non-profit art institutions in the United States. It is an exhibition space and devotes its resources to displaying experimental contemporary art.
Some of the artworks featured include:
Untitled (Condoms), Daniel Martinez, 1990
Freedom, a Fable: A Curious Interpretation of the Wit of a Negress in Troubled Times, Kara Walker, 1997
Untitled (Dollhouse), Yinka Shonibare, 2002
Untitled (Music Box), Christian Marclay, 2005 (shown above)
Certain items can be bought individually with prices ranging from $150 to $1,000 dollars, while other pieces must be purchased as a complete MoMA set" for $6,200. To see a samples of the various works in person, head to the bookstore on the second floor of the museum, otherwise the works can be viewed and ordered online.
Building the perfect stationery set can be a real challenge. To build the ideal collection, you want to find pieces that both reflect your personality and pull from a wealth of design sources. Fortunately FitzGerald Coleman has come to the rescue this holiday season, and done all of the work for you. Introducing curated desk sets, each three-tiered secretary box is expertly filled with elite paper goods from brands like Herman Yu, Pancake & Franks, Paper & Cup, Snow & Graham, TokyoMilk, and John Derian.
Choose your personality: the Romantic, Minimalist, Innovator, Traditionalist, Connoisseur, Humorist, or Modernist, and find a box packed to the brim with luxurious paper goods tailored directly toward your own style. If you love gorgeous die cuts and pop outs, go for the Innovator. If Victoriana is more your style, choose the Traditionalist. If you like to make people laugh, the Humorist is the box for you. In addition to standard stationery, you'll find wrapped cards for every holiday and occasion of the year, all on delicately printed handmade paper. Click through the images to see some of the intricate designs. The boxes are even topped off with a matching pen from Montreal company Pierre Belvédère.
At $145, including shipping, fine paper is the luxury that anyone can afford this holiday season. It's a perfect gift full of wonderful surprises for anyone on your list. Head to FitzGerald Coleman to find your own paper personality.
Gallery: FitzGerald Coleman Curated Desk Sets
It seems that a better idea is to not slave over the stove, but take you and your family to the nearest upscale restaurant for the special meal. Eat, drink and relax, the turkey will be cooked to perfection. Handing the responsibility for a beautifully cooked Thanksgiving feast over to someone else might even make spending the day with your annoying cousins just that much more bearable.
Another bonus of not preparing your own Thanksgiving meal at home is that often the menu includes items for those at the table who really don't like turkey. It may be considered heresy, but there are many who, out of hunger, force down what is often a dry uninspired main course because that is the only option. There is often at least one vegetarian at every table who sits glumly while the rest of the guests are feasting.
For example, at Ken Aretsky's Patroon in New York City, pictured above, executive chef Bill Peet presents a family-style menu in the warm dining room of this midtown restaurant. In addition to the traditional free range turkey with all the old fashioned fixings (mashed potatoes, stuffing, roasted Brussel sprouts and giblet gravy) you will find chateaubriand as well as Scottish salmon for the vegetarians in your group. The restaurant will charge $85 per adult and $45 per child for the meal. Whether you live in the tri-sate region, are in the area visiting family or to see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade I can't think of a better way to make you meal truly stress free.
For those of you who live around the country and are watching the parade or the games on t.v., there are great Thanksgiving menu options at the Craft and Craftsteak restaurants, run by the award winning chef Tom Colicchio, located in Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. (New York too!) The restaurants offer holiday prix fixe menus - everything is served family style, except the choice of main course.
Leave the turkey in the freezer, save it for a random winter weekend, and eat out!
The highlight of the trail was the smaller Clinton Vineyard, housed in an historic green barn. Specializing in one grape, the seyval blanc, the vineyard offers one particular bottle which makes the perfect present this holiday season: Cassis Wine. Paying ode to the Brits, who put cassis syrup in anything from Guinness to fruit pies, to draw out natural flavors, the cassis wine is a lighter alternative with exponential flavor. The Clinton bottle, which has won Gold Medals and Best in Class at the Los Angeles International Wine Competition, might just be the best cassis liquor available in the States. Add a splash to champagne for a Kir Royal, the perfect end to any meal, or even to a glass of chardonnay, to add a special tartness to your daily glass of wine.
If only Pamela Anderson had discovered the new SENSAI Platinum Edition Coffret Gift Set, before she let her platinum addiction drive her into bankruptcy. The new luxury gift set out just in time for the holidays offers for the first time ever, platinum, in a soft pearl powder and highlighting platinum body lotion. If that sounds decadent to you, it is. Forget the latest diamond cremes, platinum is the new luxury ingredient, straight from the renowned Japanese beauty line, which counts Scarlett Johansson and Jennifer Aniston as fans. The Platinum Gift Set, which includes the powder, flawless brush, and body lotion packaged in a velvet clutch is available exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman, and retails for $80. It's literally all you need to take to any party this season. But use sparingly. A brush of powder is all you need to make your whole face glow.
The Cointreau bottle has remained remarkably unchanged for nearly 160 years, making this one of the hottest collector's bottles of the season. Malandrino's romantic bottle remains true to the silhouette, but is dressed in stars and lace, calling to mind the signature detailed cuts and handicraft trims of her ready-to-wear collection.
Cointreau is a must to give our favorite cocktails that slight edge of "Je ne sais quoi" sweet and bitter oranges, making for the most perfect margaritas or cosmopolitans. Bring this luxury gift to your hostess this holiday season to spice up any cocktail hour.
Cointreau Cosmopolitan Recipe
1oz Cranberry Juice
0.5oz lime juice
Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with twist of orange to bring out the flavor of Cointreau.
Gallery: Catherine Malandrino for Cointreau