The Definitive Travel Gift Guide 2006

Perfect For: The Presidential Suite Booker

Practical gifts are good (thanks for the socks, Mom!), but sometimes frivolity is what's called for. Both the Laguiole folding picnic knife and Barneys New York's leather-covered compass are, technically, tools, but they're also completely unnecessary. Not to mention gorgeously crafted: Laguiole knives have been made in the small southern French town of the same name since the 1820s; the handles are carved from mostly local materials such as this briar wood, and the blades are sharp and elegant. But it's the corkscrews—so very French—that make it a true travel gift. The leather-bound and Italian-made compass, on the other hand, indicates north true enough, but mostly it points to the recipient's superior sense of Continental style. The leather comes in kelly green, orange, red, and black.

Forge de Laguiole picnic knife with corkscrew, $129
Laguiole Knife & Corkscrew
Tel: 650 793 0082

Compass with leather covering, $75
Barneys New York
Tel: 800 777 0087

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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