With Thanksgiving in the rearview, we're already in the thick of holiday shopping season. Behind the scenes, the staff at Departures has been making a list, checking it twice, and looking to pick out something nice for all the important people in our lives. Now, our editors weigh in on their holiday dream presents.
Vosges Chocolate The Vault Collection
“I always get Vosges Haut-Chocolat gift sets when I want to impress that discerning sweet tooth, and this year it’s offering the gorgeously packaged Vault, a limited-edition collection of 20 truffles using the top recipes from the brand’s 20-year history. And if you really want to indulge a chocolate lover, Vosges Haut-Chocolat teamed up with Experience Piemonte to offer a bespoke tour of Piemonte, Italy, where it sources its hazelnuts. The fact that the region is also Barolo wine country, a truffle-hunting mecca, and boasts 39 Michelin stars ensures a super-luxe experience.”
Joe Harper, Associate Editor
To buy: $150; vosgeschocolate.com
The Parrot ANAFI drone
“I'm not one for collecting tchotchke souvenirs when I travel—they take up too much room in my luggage and I'd rather something more personal. That's why I always opt for photographs of the places I've been. The Parrot ANAFI drone is perfect for photography lovers like me as it's compact—no additional carryon necessary—and the specs are phenomenal for something so small: HDR video up to 1080 pixels, a 1.24-mile range, and a follow-me option. The bundle includes the drone, three batteries, a controller, eight additional propeller blades, and a handful of other helpful accessories.”
Sean Flynn, Senior Digital Writer/Editor
To buy: $799; parrot.com
Knomo Beauchamp Backpack
"In work and life, I'm essentially attached at the hip to my laptop. I'd been searching for a backpack that allowed me to transport my MacBook around NYC seamlessly, but still had a sophisticated enough design to wear to after-work events. I immediately fell in love with the Knomo Beauchamp backpack, its black nylon shell allows it to stay pristine through the worst NYC weather, and the metal flourishes make it look far more chic and expensive than it is. Another favorite of mine this season is the new EOS Rebel T7 from Canon. I've been writing travel pieces for years but just recently began dabbling in photography. I was told by photo-professional friends that this was the best DSLR camera for novices and was delighted when I had the chance to test it out. So far I have been greatly impressed with the lighter model, which is a breeze to use and was easy to throw in my backpack during a recent trip to Iceland."
Laura Feinstein, Senior Digital Editor
To buy: $175; knomo.com
Take the Tokyo treatment at David Mallett Salon
“Sometimes you don’t have to go far from home to be truly transported. Take the Tokyo treatment, a hair facial now offered at David Mallet’s new gorgeous jewel box of a salon inside The Webster Soho. (The Australian-born, Paris-based tends to the enviable manes of celebrities like Carla Bruni and Penelope Cruz.) For thirty minutes skilled hands will blissfully knead your scalp and then douse your hair with keratins and vegetal oils before placing you under a steamer. The end result is baby silk hair that will have you caressing your head all day long.”
Maura Egan, Executive Editor
To buy: Price available on request; (212) 226-1260
The Real McCoy Rum
“I’ve never understood why the craft spirits revival never hit rum with the same force as vodka and other spirits whiskey, given how much room rums offers for experimentation with. Maybe that’s because it needed an entrepreneur like Bailey Pryor, a New York-based Emmy-winning documentarian who also makes The Real McCoy, one of the tastier rums I’ve had in a while. It’s easy to lay it on too thick with rum. The Real McCoy is restrained but complex, a thoroughbred that doesn’t need to show off, which almost certainly has to do with Pryor’s reverence for his product’s namesake, Bill McCoy, a Prohibition-era rum runner who adamantly refused to adulterate his pioneering rums blends (which he sold from a floating liquor store three miles off Coney Island New York.) The Real McCoy offers a suite of 3-, 5-, and 12-year-aged sipping rums. My favorite, to my surprise, since I usually want all those dark, buttery, caramel notes (without any syrupy sweetness), was the 3-year-aged silver.”
Ben Ryder Howe, Senior Editor
To buy: From $24.99; realmccoyspirits.com
The Holistic Facial at Naturopathica Chelsea
"The craziness of the holiday season leaves me craving a little relaxation, and in New York City, no place delivers quite like Naturopathica’s Chelsea spa (the scent of the products alone is enough to satisfy the mind). During the Holistic Facial, guests receive a totally customized treatment delivered by an expert—and superfriendly—esthetician (ask for Karen!), plus dietary, wellness, and lifestyle tips to maintain that perfect glow. And, while you’re at it, pick up the Manuka Honey Cleansing Balm—it’s life-changing."
Erin Lengas, Editorial Operations Associate
To buy: $175; naturopathica.com
The Leica M10-D
“Up until the last few decades, photography was an exercise in delayed gratification. Henri Cartier-Bresson was always chasing what he famously called the “decisive moment,” that critical instant when all the elements in his camera’s frame were in balance. But he could never be sure he’d found it until he sifted through his negatives well after the moment had passed. These days, almost all high-performance cameras feature a digital screen that can confirm whether or not we nailed the shot. But with its latest camera, the M10-D, Leica is eliminating the screen altogether, leaving the photographer to depend only on the viewfinder. (Not to worry, control freaks: you can still see your shots on screen via a smartphone app as long as you’re connected to Wifi, and the actual guts of the camera are as cutting-edge as any of Leica’s latest products. You can also purchase an optional Visoflex electronic viewfinder.) The move is in keeping with a culture-wide trend towards reviving the rituals of a pre-digital world, on the principle that they can help you cut out the noise and reclaim a measure of serenity. The photographer is forced to rely on nothing but artistry, serendipity, and faith in the German brand’s legacy of technical excellence. The lack of a screen frees you up to fix your eye on the world around you as you keep searching for that moment.”
Julian Sancton, Senior Features Editor
To buy: $7,995; leica.com
These modern, unisex slippers have a snap-in, Italian-made sneaker sole, making them the most comfortable non-shoe you’ll ever wear, indoors or out. Finally, I can take out the trash without having to a) put on my shoes or b) get my slippers dirty.”
Rachel Hurn, Associate Editor
To buy: $105; mahabis.com
VOYA’s “My Little Hero” Facial Serum
“My Little Hero” Facial Serum is part my facial routine every day, without fail. The Irish beauty brand’s products contain extracts of seaweed that they’ve hand-harvested from their northwestern coastline–some of the cleanest and most unpolluted waters in the world. The seaweed contains countless minerals and vitamins and is packed with antioxidants, creating a nourishing, hydrating, cleansing, and anti-aging powerhouse of a product. I’ve tried many facial serums and oils, and nothing gets my skin as dewy and glowing as My Little Hero does!"
Hannah Belport, Editorial Assistant
Loewe Wool blanket
"I love receiving things for my home as gifts. I find these things harder to buy for myself than a pair of shoes or a new bag. I also collect blankets–most of which I’ve acquired as gifts–and keep about 4 or 5 of them on my bed almost all year round. The warm neutral colors and contrast stitching of this Loewe wool blanket are cozy and versatile. It would be the perfect accent piece on my couch or in a stack among the others."
Jenny Hartman, Senior Fashion Editor
To buy: $990; matchesfashion.com
Anita Ko's Diamond Huggie in Rose Gold
Anita Ko’s diamond huggie is a delicate, understated touch that looks chic worn alone (in trend with this season’s mono-earring style) but also stacked for a more dramatic effect. I love how the dangling diamond briolette offers a subtle sense of movement.
Annie Davidson, Associate Editor
To buy: $3,300; editoralist.com
Hurom H-AA Slow Juicer
Since moving to New York, I’ve learned to live without even the most basic appliances. But after a friend recommended the Hurom’s slow juicer, touting its contained, sleek design and ease of use, I made an exception. The new H-AA White Slow Juicer ($439) is to juicers what a Tesla is to sports cars: it’s incredibly quiet, easy to clean, and has a surprisingly high yield. Its blade-less, slow-squeeze mechanism means that your fruits and veggies are pressed through a strainer, rather than pulverized so that nutrients stay intact. There are also strainers for milk, tofu, and ice cream. My favorite part? A deceptively simple and compact drying rack allows you to keep all the parts in one place.
Erin Riley, Associate Editor
To buy: $440; surlatable.com