Here are some easy and affordable ways to bring beautiful taste and accessible luxury into your everyday life.
It's a wild, wild world out there—and sometimes, especially this time of year, as we approach the holiday season, it's the rare stolen moments and tiniest creature comforts that can feel most luxurious. Here are five ways we're indulging our senses—and basking in small luxuries on an everyday basis (in between dinner parties, travel planning, and holiday shopping marathons) as we prep for one of the most festive months in the calendar.
Eating well: Some of our favorite foods—cookies, pies, cakes, rich and savoury sides, large-format roasts—are everywhere during the holiday season. And while there's nothing more luxurious than a grand feast shared among family and friends, it's the thoughtful consideration paid to ingredients-sourcing, condiments, and garnishes that can take a dinner party dish from a comfort food classic to a memorable meal that people will talk about for the next 20 years.
Strapped for ideas? Consider some Food & Wine all-time greats—think: a chile-brined fresh ham, our five-star-rated recipe for roast goose with crispy skin, a rosemary-pepper beef rib roast with porcini jus, an herb-roasted wild turkey with mushroom gravy, or this crowd-pleasing wild mushroom lasagna. Want complete menus? These chef-curated holiday menus are the answer—celebrate Christmas the winter holidays at your dinner table just like the all-stars. If your family loves their main course traditional, play up the sides—here are some of our favorite holiday side dishes. Maybe this year, try an Italian-inspired Christmas dinner menu. Or, for smaller format dinners, here are menus made for four (or two with hearty appetites).
The best kitchen tools: For avid home cooks, there's nothing that feels more luxurious in the hand than a good set of cooking tools and kitchen appliances. Our brand new Food & Wine Collection (above) of luxurious pots, pans, and kitchen gadgets make any meal prep feel extra-special. I'm especially partial to the full 10-piece set of pots—I love it when things match!
The essential home gadget: If you don't have an Amazon Echo in your home yet, what are you waiting for? This little helper/resource/entertainer/know-it-all feels like the future, now—and can answer so many of your everyday questions (weather, time, measurements) and perform so many basic modern-life chores (setting alarms, switching on lights, coordinating kitchen appliances) without you ever having to lift a finger (only your voice). If you're looking to spread the love to every room in your house, consider buying a smattering of Amazon Echo Dots, which are unobtrusive, affordable, and also make for great gifts.
Capture the best moments for posterity: There's no escaping social media these days—platforms like Facebook and Instagram have evolved into the best ways to share photos and videos with your friends, families, and followers. Make sure to capture all this holiday season's best moments (and foods!) by having a great camera on-hand—the best phone camera right now are right at your fingertips in the new iPhone X, the Pixel 2 XL, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Want something gadget-ier? Consider the Frontrow necklace action-cam that can livestream and take timelapses or the brand-new Rylo 360 camera, which you can plop in the middle of your dinner table to film the entire room at the same time.
Small luxuries in your workspace: As we inch towards Christmas and New Year's and work winds down, make your office space as cozy as possible (without totally irking your boss). Consider a Marie Kondo clean sweep to prep your desk and office for a fresh start ahead of January, and consider investing in some new agendas, stationery, and desk accessories. Some of our favorite notebooks and desk accessories come from Smythson—stationers to the British royal family—like this chic "Cosmic" Agenda, with a day-a-page layout to help you start that journaling project you've been promising yourself for years, and this refillable gilded "Panama" pencil, which feels sleek in your hand.