The Direct Approach
Cold Hard Gifts
In newsletters and books, I like to provide general principles and then let readers figure out what makes sense for themselves. But sometimes that doesn’t work: people want to know precisely how much to tip a fishing guide or exactly where to stay in Kyoto. Not in theory, but very much in practice. Enough philosophizing. Give us the facts, man!
It remains the busiest season and I appreciate that you want to get right down to it. Sometimes you want commerce. So here goes. You want links? You got them!
-I love the textured ceramics from Hasami, the black mug is great. If you prefer a smoother glaze then the grey is perfect.
-While you’re messing around on the Tortoise website then check out this very handsome Kaico kettle, which should bring order to your life.
-Té Company is one of the great places in the West Village. They offer subscriptions and shockingly good Linzer cookies—if anything strikes you on their site then get it.
-I’ve used a Smythson Pocket Diary for the last fifteen years or so. It’s nice to have a record of books you’ve read, places you’ve fished. You can refer to it later and really is like a streamlined diary. I also write down people’s names I might forget (a waiter or concierge). On the rare times I can find it in time it’s very satisfying.
Baudoin & Lange. The Sagan Classic loafer is good on men and even better on women. I’ve had them made for different people in my life and they look great. You need to know their size (naturally) and choose a good color, then they’re made and delivered quite seamlessly. They have great customer service and offer easy returns if there’s a size issue. It’s an indulgence and a good one.
I like the idea of one big gift. If you get your loved one a custom-made overcoat they will remember that for a long time. Bring them to my friend, Jake Mueser, who can make a coat for whoever’s important in your life. Start with lunch in the West Village and then head over to your appointment with Jake. Classy.
My favorite store to actually discover something is John Derian. They are also excellent with new and vintage holiday decorations. But everything’s great. If you’re not in New York then any of these vases would be lovely.
You want to keep it simple and small? The best thing you can fit in your pocket is a white truffle from Eataly.
Coggins-Related Gifts: Some collaborations and other projects I’ve worked on recently.
Drake’s: the waxed cotton sport coat is hard to track down, the fly fishing coat is also running low. But there are still shirts in quite a few sizes. If you’re on their site then one of their scarves is a great gift for a man or a woman and you can always borrow it yourself.
Redbreast Whiskey. I’m working with this classic Irish whiskey company—more on that soon. But check out any of their vintages and you’ll be happy.
Sonic Editions. At the invitation of my friend Russell over at Ye Olde Sonic Editions, I made a selection of portraits of great artists, writers and musicians from back when painters still wore a coat and tie. You can see the collection here.
Paris in Winter. What about Coggins Père’s book on the City of Light—perfect for this time of year? If you’re already over the cold and dreaming of the Caribbean then try Blue.
One note about The Optimist. The good news is that the book is heading into its third printing. The not as good news is that because of the old “supply chain issues” that the printing is delayed and Amazon is sold out. You should be able to find them from smaller retailers and I wrote about a few places you can find signed copies here.
Hope you have a safe and sane holiday season and that you’re not subjected to too much unwanted Christmas music!
Good call on the Red Breast whiskey, it’s a very solid choice and that’s coming from an Irishman. Looking forward to the collab.
Perhaps an appropriate time to ask - any details to share on a potential second run of your shoe with Rancourt?