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If you really want to get to know someone, play a board game with them—watching someone guess, bluff, argue, or accuse a loved one of cheating can be very revealing. I prefer games that aren’t too involved, ones you can play while laughing and catching up with friends. Priorities is perfect for such an evening. It takes only two minutes to learn and less than 30 minutes to play, plus it’s cooperative, so everyone works together, instead of against each other, to win the game. To play, one person draws a card with a list of absurd, inane, and poignant items, such as woolly sweaters, climate change, and long hugs. Players furtively rank the items in order of their personal taste, then everyone else works together to guess each player’s order. The real fun is watching your friends try to parse your list. It’s like eavesdropping on a roomful of people gossiping about you. ($30, —Bridget Arsenault


Extreme Cashmere

The Amsterdam-based designers of Extreme Cashmere have a not-so-modest proposition: Cashmere is more than a fabric—it’s a lifestyle. Accordingly, their collection focuses on easy-to-wear, classic shapes made of the luxe material. And now that our gift giving has come to a halt, we’ll be congratulating ourselves for a job well done by procuring this stretch-cashmere maxi dress, which reminds us of something Dianne Wiest would have worn in the 70s. It’s more comfortable and forgiving than sweats and a robe but looks as formal as a maxi dress should. It’s just the thing to make January a bit more bearable. ($920, —Ashley Baker


Brunello Cucinelli

Despite what the weather suggests, spring isn’t all that far off. Those who have already ordered their annuals know the importance of top-notch gardening tools. Brunello Cucinelli began as a fashion brand, but the Solomeo-based style emporium is now touching every aspect of a civilized life through its Casa Cucinelli collection, which includes everything from tableware and glassware to chessboards. Made in Italy, their four-piece gardening set includes a miniature rake and shovel, plus a trowel and hoe. With this set in the shed, even a novice gardener will feel compelled to get her hands dirty. ($1,045, —Ashley Baker



Perish the thought that any Air Mail reader is not a caviar expert. However, if you were, say, “asking for a friend” what caviar you should be buying and trying, CaviAIR is like having your own personal, um, eggs-pert. Launched during the pandemic by Ariel Arce, the 33-year-old restaurateur behind Niche Niche, and Michelle Double, the idea is simple: a direct-to-consumer approach where they source great caviar, then sell it at more affordable prices. What’s great about the site as well is that it demystifies a world you love to enjoy but which often makes you feel like you’re overpaying. There’s even a party hotline where Arce and a team of real, live human beings gladly answer any questions. (How much do I need? Best way to serve? Got any great recipes? Do I have an addiction?) As the Youngs say, it’s all festive A.F. But as we say, it’s wonderfully decadent. And a great way to indulge you and those you love after one very—very—long year. ( —Michael Hainey


Clementina Sketchbook

Even though Clementina Zegna is a millennial, she’s committed to old-fashioned letters. Using watercolors, she paints whimsical scenes and elegant designs to create charming stationery, greeting cards, invitations, notepads, and much more. Brought up in Milan, Zegna—the daughter of the man behind the men’s-fashion house that takes their last name—eschewed runways and party dresses for travel. Many of her sketches are inspired by her international adventures, from horseback riding in the Italian countryside to watching elephants roam in Africa. In addition to the designs she thinks up, she’ll create bespoke painting. ( —Bridget Arsenault


Baratza Electric Coffee Grinder

In two and a half years, my Baratza Encore electric coffee grinder has endured six moves—one of them cross-country. Not only did it survive; it still works as well as it did the day I opened the package. The Encore uses a “burr set”—unlike cheaper grinders, which use blades—so it produces uniform grounds. It’s easy to adjust the size of the grind so the machine can chop your beans fine enough for a pour-over or coarse enough for cold brew. Despite all these features, the Encore is an “entry-level grinder.” All it takes to operate it is flipping an on-off switch. ($170, —Jensen Davis

Issue No. 129
January 1, 2022
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Issue No. 129
January 1, 2022