Corrections or additions?
This article was prepared for the November 17, 2004
issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. Best Bets’ Holiday Gift Guide is sponsored
by the companies mentioned below. All rights reserved.
Best Bets for the Holiday’s: Luttmann’s
It takes its name from a Peruvian god known to its founder during time
spent in the American Peace Corps in South America. But to discerning,
demanding, globe-trotting businesspeople and frequent travelers, Tumi
means the world’s leading brand of prestige travel, business, and
personal accessories. From the company’s exclusive, virtually
abrasion-proof Fusion Z ballistic nylon material used for its
carry-ons, garment bags, totes, and briefcases, to its Tracer product
identification and recovery program (providing peace of mind in a
world that loses over three million bags a year), Tumi offers style,
design, and engineering founded on more than 25 U.S. and
Luttmann’s Luggage in Princeton carries a full line of Tumi products
from computer backpacks to men’s briefcases to women’s handbags with a
truly metropolitan edge – sleek lines and leather detailing combine
with smart features that will impress even the savviest person on your
list. The men’s briefcases, for example, which range in cost from $150
to $875, are James Bond perfect – renowned for their zillions of
compartments for everything from CD players and headphone wires to pen
holders and computer pockets. For all we know, you can fit a martini
shaker in there.
The carry-ons, in 20-inch and 22-inch models, $525 and $575, are
expandable and feature in-line roller blade wheels, telescoping
"one-hand" push-button release handles constructed of aircraft-grade
aluminum tubing, and an add-a-bag hook patented with a secure fastened
tab closure to hold in excess of 200 pounds. The wheels incorporate
sealed steel ball bearings and are mounted on solid steel axles in
custom designed shock-absorbing bushings.
Luttmann’s Luggage is a venerable Princeton shop that opened 101 years
ago as a saddlery shop. Over the years it began to carry leather goods
and continued to be run by the Luttman family until its current owner,
Frank Ricatto, took over ownership of the store. Luttmann’s offers a
full range of traditional and contemporary briefcases, women’s
handbags, allets, portfolios, gift items including leather picture
frames, accessories, and day planners including Filofax and Scully.
Luttmann’s Luggage, 20 Witherspoon Street. 609-924-0004.
I went through a phase a number of years ago where I bought everyone
shoes for presents. Now that, pardon the pun, was thinking outside the
box. I was the smash hit of Christmas morning.
Buy really comfortable shoes, and you’ve hit pay dirt. Ask anyone who
wears Birkenstock shoes and they are likely to tell you they are the
most comfortable shoes they own. The 200-year-old company has reshaped
its image with the addition of enclosed shoes and boots. "A lot of
people are curious about Birkenstock," says Steppin’ Birkenstock owner
Jimmy Jimenez. "People have a perception of Birkenstock as a clunky
clog or the Arizona sandal but they’re that and a whole lot more.
We’ve had lots of three-generation families as customers, even four
Jiminez also attributes the Birkenstock allure to the popularity of
other comfortable shoes that have reached fashionista status, like the
ultra-trendy Ugg boot.
One of the most popular Birkenstock styles this season is the Boston
clog, which features a footbed made of natural cork and latex, with a
suede liner. Four arch supports and a heel cup insure that your feet
are supported and your spine perfectly aligned at all times. A toe
bar in the front of the clog gives your toes an anchor to prevent
slippage and strain on your feet. The sole is an EVA foam similar to
what is used in athletic shoes. The Boston clog comes in suede,
leather, and nubuck, in taupe, mocha, black, brown, white, and other
colors. Birkenstock has even come out with a "Softbed" Boston clog,
similar to the classic clog but with an extra layer of natural latex
and a microfiber upper for those feet that need a little extra loving
Jiminez recommends a pair of Boston clogs or another Birkenstock style
for a gift – or a gift certificate. In addition to shoes, sandals, and
boots, the store also carries insoles, arch supports, cashmere socks,
and kids clogs.
Steppin’ Birkenstock, 12 Chambers Street, Princeton, 609-921-8411;
530 Union Square Drive, New Hope, Pennsylvania, 215-862-9800.
Exclusive parties. Casino night. Fashion shows. Chef’s cooking
classes. Champagne and wine tastings. Dancing. No it’s not a cruise.
You’re warm. Just think a lot closer to home. Imagine if you could
give all of these gifts – fabulous nights out as well as enjoyable
activities for the whole family – wrapped up in one package: a
first-class ticket to a sumptuous social life. A social membership to
Forsgate Country Club offers access to a world of entertaining and
life-enriching choices, from jazz nights and gardening clubs to Sunday
brunch, prime rib buffets, and health seminars .
Forsgate Country Club, situated in an elegant country setting in
Monroe Township, was established in 1931. It was recently named by New
Jersey Monthly as the #2 private golf club in New Jersey. But for
those just interested in the cachet of a social membership, Forsgate
provides a superlative experience for its members.
From black tie to casual Friday, a social membership offers something
for everyone, including club dining, either in the Grille Room,
offering a scrumptious menu in a casual dining atmosphere, or the
Dining Room, offering fine dining selections in an elegant ambiance.
Social members may also attend all club special parties and events.
Think such privileges come only at an exorbitant cost? Think again.
You can give the gift of a social membership with a onetime,
refundable membership deposit of $200 for a Senior Social (62 years of
age or older) or $300 for a Social (under 62).
Forsgate Country Club, Forsgate Drive at Exit 8A, New Jersey Turnpike,
Monroe Township. A private membership country club.Call Carol
Rutherford at 732-656-8914.
Thanks to Carson (if you don’t watch "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy"
you won’t get this) the word "product" has gone mainstream Still don’t
get it? Product means great stuff for styling your hair. Product will
make anyone over the age of 14 on your list happy. It’s even good for
people who think they don’t want it. Trust me. They want it.
Look for European packaging with at least four languages. Women go
weak for anything European. We recommend Phyto products, also known as
Phytologie, made in France. Phyto products, made with all natural
botanical ingredients, have received the Hollywood Good Housekeeping
Seal of Approval – InStyle magazine named Phyto the #1 haircare
Phytodefrisant ($22) a botanical hair relaxing balm, is made with
ferula and sage and received Allure magazine’s Reader’s Choice Award
in 2004. Phytolisse is an ultra shine smoothing serum ($24), and
Phytovolume Actif ($ 22) is a volumizer spray root lift.
Phyto products are available at E.Y. Staats in Princeton, a charming
salon that offers modern styling in an 18th century home – there’s
even a fireplace in the reception area. "Everyone who works here has
been with me since the beginning," says owner Elaine Staats, adding
that the stylists have extensive experience in cutting, coloring
(including dimensional coloring), styling, and bridal services. The
staff stays on the cutting edge by attending seminars such as a recent
one on styling and presentation given by the uber-chic Minardi +
Minardi team from New York at the Canyon Ranch spa in Lenox,
E.Y. Staats, 10 Moore Street, Princeton. 609-924-6696.
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