Having Fun At GBK’s Annual Official NYC Wine & Food Festival Celebrity/Press Gifting Lounge

I was very excited to get on the guest list for GBK Productions’ Annual NYFCC Gifting Lounge at the Parker Hotel (formerly Le Parker Meridien) on West 57th between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. There were nearly a dozen unique brands there to give press and celebs–and those celebs included Neil Patrick Harris, Whoopi Goldberg, Alain Ducasse and Cuba Gooding, Jr. The suite was just down the hall from the NYWFF Media Lounge so I was able to check out the exciting action going on in both within an hour! Here are some of the unique brands whose booths I visitors and got the 411 from! Each one was special in its own way!Fortune And Frame is a company that makes the most adorable gold and silver tone necklaces (as well as other jewelry) featuring little frames that you can put your fortunes in–they also provide fortunes with each item. It’s easy to put fortunes in your piece and I am sporting the necklace I am holding in this photo right now–and getting oodles of compliments on it. For more info, go to www.fortuneandframe.com.Fit Farm is a Nashville area all-inclusive retreat for the fitness minded. Many of the guests work out seven hours a day and there is a helpful staff of trainers, yoga instructors and nutritionists at your beck and call. Many people just go for the incredible solitude but it’s a great place to knock off a ton of weight fast but in the most healthy way possible. They promised me that if I visited, they would not pressure me to work out so hard. (I am happy to get three three miles on a treadmill in an hour but I would love to hike their grassy green hills.) For more info, go to www.fit.farm.Palace Resorts in Mexico and Jamaica are five star all inclusive resorts and lucky celebs and VIPs coming through the GBK gifting suite were given a week at the resort of their choice. I was highly jealous, I must admit. Palace Resorts have numerous foodie accolades and awards so it is fitting that they would do a tie-in with NYCWFF. And forget about their pools and luxurious beaches–those have won endless Caribbean travel awards and keep guests coming back year after year. For more info, check out www.palaceresorts.com. RAK Porcelain’s booth knocked me out because the dishes featured different solid colors on both sides and were of made of beautiful high quality ceramic. Some of the dishes featured a cool crackle effect that stole my heart as well. RAK recommends mixing and matching as you see in the above photo. I can’t wait to get some of these dishes in different sizes and mix and match for myself. They also have stunning glassware. To see the whole collection, go to www.RAKPorcelain.com.One of my all time favorite chocolate brands Brach’s Candies were at the GBK gifting suite letting everyone sample their reformulated chocolate which is more earth conscious, smooth and delicious. Guests were given wine pairing suggestions as well as their four hottest chocolate products–Double Dipped Hazelnuts, Double Dipped Peanuts, Milk Chocolate Almond Supremes and Milk Chocolate Raisins. I ate the bag of Double Dipped Peanuts (which have the perfectly gentle touch of salt that I love) in bed last night! For more info, go to www.brachs.com.All guests got to create their own custom paring knives at Warther Cutlery. President Steven Cunningham was there to instruct guests to pick out their own parts from bolts to a choice of handle (birch or composite). Guests even got to have their names inscribed on plaques which will be placed on each knife. Every guest was very excited about this gift. I chose a white composite handle and I am having my knife inscribed to my mom. I will be using it to cut oranges when I visit her in Florida! For more info, go to www.warthers.com.Aragon Watches were on hand to show their great diversity of stainless steel watches that are high end quality for a stunningly reasonable price (they are generally priced at $200 to $350 dollars). These watches have super large round faces with markings that are very easy to read so they stole my heart right away. There are special touches here and there like color patterned on the band that complement the color of the face or rim and you can buy extra bands and get them “changed out.” Hold one of these hands and you will notice the heavy duty quality right away. For more info, go to www.aragonwatches.com.Last but not least was Raiwasa Resort in Fiji. This five star retreat has one numerous boutique hotel awards and is a best kept secret among celebrities and VIPS. Custom built by a medical professional who wanted to leave the rat race behind, it is ultra private and boosts the best views of Fiji’s legendary sunrises and sunsets. For more info, got to www.raiwasa.com.

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