Ruth Runberg knows a good thing when she sees it. After being a buyer for Saks, Barneys and most recently Browns of London she has made a career out of picking beautiful things. Here Ruth shares a few of her favorite finds on Taigan!
I love a gin and tonic. Try this quinine-botanical-cane sugar elixir from Charleston and you’ll never go back to the plastic two-liter of tonic.
My husband is the oenophile of the house and this elegant rosewood corkscrew is a tool as beautiful as functional. A serious upgrade from his plastic model!
Cloth cocktail and table napkins are so much nicer on the kisser that we use them for all our meals, with company or just us. So I am always on the lookout for great-looking linens like these.
Julia Reed, Frank Stitt and The Lee Brothers are my entertaining oracles, co-existing in harmony in my kitchen cookbook area. Before I die, I would love to crash one of the epic parties Reed describes in her books and I plan to prepare her Sauteed Oysters on Toast recipe in from this book—sure to be a holiday party hit.
I don’t know much in life that is more wonderful than cheese. And plunking down three good cheeses, some pepper jelly or membrillo and a basket of baguette slices is the easiest party crowd-pleaser. A slate board adds a refined ruggedness to your presentation and also keeps your cheeses a cooler temperature.
Garden stools are invaluable chameleons when entertaining. They are easily moved, yet sturdy enough to serve as an extra seat for a crowd. They make wonderful end tables (on which sweaty drinks won’t leave a ring!). In a powder room, they are the perfect perch for flowers, a candle or a stack of hand towels. Once you own one, you’ll never know how you operated without.
The little shop of Cire Troudon, the world’s oldest candlemaker, is one of my favorite Paris spots. I stock up on their Abd El Kader candle. The fresh scent of green mint, tobacco and ginger reminds me of Morocco, another favorite place of mine.
This set of 15 goblets will serve a crowd and add some color to a table. You can never have too many beautiful glasses to mix and match with your china.
I have a pair of these, which twinkle beautifully with a fat, beeswax pillar candle in each on the table. They also are just the right height to contain an arrangement of long, autumnal branches for a festive holiday sideboard or fabulous fall centerpiece.
My mother-in-law has a beautiful collection of antique Imari china from the years they lived in Japan, and she has taught me about the history of the patterns. This vase would be a gorgeous centerpiece on a fall table, with greenery spilling over the edges or stacked high with clementines.
I chose Herend’s Chinese Bouquet in rust for my wedding china. Perhaps I need to invest in this platter before my family arrives from North Carolina for Thanksgiving—perfect for the turkey!
Another favorite shop of mine in Paris is the tiny Astier de Villate, filled with delicate handmade pottery glazed in their distinctive glossy white. Their serving bowls are functional, dishwasher-safe and the clean lines and elegant style modernize the feel of a table set with more traditional china.
I love to cook, but I rarely make dessert, often serving ice cream and cookies to company. This sampler of Nye’s ice cream sandwiches is the perfect no-fuss treat to serve with coffee. And they are made with Tar Heel love in North Carolina, my home state!