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Perfect Gifts Picked by a Pro

Nicholas Manville, head of Bergdorf Goodman's decorative home department, shares his best ideas for hostess gifts. Plus, T&C's guide to hostess gifts.

Nicholas Manville, head of Bergdorf Goodman's decorative home department.
Trent Biltoft
By Sarah Medford

What are your favorite hunting grounds for gifts?

In New York it's de Vera [1 Crosby Street, in SoHo], for the art of an incredible mix in a dramatic space. I also love Stern Graveur in Paris [47 Passage des Panoramas, 2nd Arrondissement]. Madame Stern is a prickly genius: write your name on a blank sheet of paper and she tells you what your stationery will be.

What's your perfect dinner-party gift? Gift for a weeklong visit?

For a dinner, a Lobmeyr candy dish, a bowl by Imiso Ceramics, D. Porthault cocktail napkins or a Buccellati silver leaf. For a longer visit, a set of Fouquet mustards, honeys or spices.

What's in your closet, ready for an emergency invitation?

Cire Trudon candles. The company made candles for Marie-Antoinette—she illuminated her jail cell with them—but now it has a collection of complex but subtle fragrances. Or my new favorite wine, Barthenau Vigna S. Urbano, Pinot Nero 2001, from Joseph Hofstätter. Gifts mentioned above, except the wine, are available at Bergdorf Goodman, NYC, 800-558-1855; bergdorfgoodman.com.

Published on 7/16/2008
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