Friday, April 11, 2008

Spring Shimmer

Metallic finishes can be tacky but not when they are subtle and luminous as on our brand new ostrich egg dishes. Natural ostrich egg shards are polished and painted on the inside in shades of gold and copper with a lovely shimmer. The dishes are food safe and are perfect for olives, nuts, condiments and candy. Or, they can simply stand on their own as a unique home accent. A perfect and unusual host and hostess gift! (Don’t worry: the ostrich egg shards are collected after the ostrich chick hatches—these are eco-friendly.)

Metallic Ostrich Egg Bowl - Gold

Metallic Ostrich Egg Bowl - Copper

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Decorative Suede Pots Enhance Any Décor

I’ve always loved the forms of voluptuous pots; they make wonderful decorative accents. My mother-in-law, in South Africa, has many grouped together in the entranceway of her home. Our new suede pots are a chic interpretation of traditional Zulu beer pots. In sumptuous brown or crème suede, each is adorned with a hand beaded “necklace.” Hand stitched detailing accentuates the shape. The sophisticated neutral colors will enhance almost any décor.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

New! - Spring Collection of Unique Home Accents, Fine Gifts, Beadwork, African Dolls and More. announces the arrival of its new Spring Collection, which features Unique Home Accents, Beadwork, Photo Frames, African Dolls and Decorative Suede Pots.

Be sure also to view the expanded Cuffs & Bracelets section of our website, which includes our new Ostrich Egg Shell Bangles. is the premiere source for fine gifts online, including unique wedding, anniversary and host/hostess gifts.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Rosé Wines Are Back In Vogue

If you, like me, have always associated rosé wines with those rather sweet, sickly wines from the ’70s – the ones we wrinkled up our noses at – then think again! Rosé wine is really making a comeback on the South African scene and if you’re drawn to the beautiful pink blush of a rosé but keen to keep the calories down then read on.

Arnold Tanzer, a top South African chef who heads up trendy catering company Food On the Move is excited about the new rosés. “They’re a lot drier and more drinkable. There’s still fruit on the new wines but the sugar content is lower. They’re infinitely more quaffable,” he says.

Rosé wine conjures images for me of balmy, salad days but Arnold says rosés are much more versatile than that and are a great fireside accompaniment to a warm meal (important information for us New Yorkers still donning hats, gloves and scarves!)

Arnold gave me a simple salmon recipe to enjoy with a Delheim Pinotage Rose 2007, a crisp but fruity rosé with hints of strawberries and watermelons.

For his curry-dusted salmon with tomato and mint chutney, simply:

Dust two salmon fillets with a mild Madras type curry and leave to one side.

Chop 4 ripe tomatoes and 1 onion. Fry in a little oil until soft and add 2 tablespoons of sugar, ½ teaspoon each cumin, coriander and fresh mint. Add a splash of rice vinegar and a pinch of salt and simmer on low heat until thick and gooey.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil and fry the fillets. Sear on both sides until done to liking. Eat with some fresh pasta tagliatelle dressed with olive oil and a dollop of chutney.

We have some beautiful serving dishes in our guinea-fowl cobalt blue-and-white ceramics range to offset the salmon. A bouquet of flowers with shades of orange and pink will add the finishing touches.

One of my favorite rosés is Fairview’s Goats Do Roam Rosé 2006, another dry but fruity, reddish rosé with a hint of cherries on the palate. And while on the subject of roaming goats, a delicious, light goat’s cheese is an excellent aperitif for a delicate rosé – try a chevin or a gouda. Your cheese will be beautifully presented on our imbuia wood and pewter cheese board. For a touch of whimsy, add our “cheeky mouse” cheese pin. He always gets the conversation going!

Or how about Arnold’s easy warm goat’s cheese salad with raspberry vinegar?

Roll a couple of fresh goat’s cheese logs through a mixture of breadcrumbs and crushed hazel buts. Place on an oiled baking sheet and bake at 375 F until they begin to melt. Meanwhile dress some baby salad leaves with raspberry vinegar and hazelnut oil. Grind some fresh black pepper over the leaves and add the cheese. Enjoy with rosé and crusty bread.

And to add warmth and bold color to the meal, look at our vibrant fusion ceramics range: the salad bowl and jazz or square platter are ideal serving accessories for a cheese and wine feast and go beautifully with our exotic brass serving accessories, inspired by ancient tribal artifacts.


Dori Rootenberg


* The rosé wines are available at

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Visiting South Africa

After seventeen hours on a cramped and crowded flight, one wouldn't expect to arrive at one's destination in high spirits. Nothing could be further from the truth for my husband, my now 12-year-old daughter and me when we land in Johannesburg, South Africa.

My husband was born and raised in S. Africa and our twice yearly visits kill four birds with one stone. Although hectic, we love every minute of it.

First Stop: Johannesburg

After collecting luggage, we head straight for the Westcliff Hotel, which in NYC would be entirely outside our budget. With a favorable exchange rate, we treat ourselves to a brief stay at this exclusive property overlooking the Johannesburg Zoo! Our stay in Johannesburg is primarily devoted to visitng with family: my mother-in-law, her mother--soon to be 100 years old, and my sister-in-law and her kids. My daughter loves to see her cousins on their turf and during our most recent visit, she recorded her great grandmother's story of leaving Austria during World War II for Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and then eventually settling in South Africa.

While my daughter is off with cousins, I visit our artists' studios where our handpainted ceramics are produced. It is always a treat for me to be with the artists and discuss new idea in person.

Second Stop: Ingwe Game Lodge, Northern Province

In the heart of the bush, Ingwe was clearly the highlight of the trip for my daughter. Open jeep game drives twice daily provided more excitement than she could have imagined. Having been on safari before, this was the first time our guide and excellent tracker allowed us to climb out of the vehicle and observe leopards at close range. It was not busy season at the lodge and one evening we were the only guests. Dinner was set for us at an outdoor table and we enjoyed a delicious meal under the stars. Naughty baboons were not too far in the distance, hoping to steal a bite or two.

Third Stop:CapeTown

Some people go to South Africa for the hunt-either a photographic or hunting safari is on the itinerary for many travelers to this part of the world. I am also hunting....for the unique, the wonderful and beautifully handcrafted products we sell in our on line shop. After receiving a hand forged brass spoon twenty years ago as an engagement gift, I always dreamed of having my own business as curator and retailer of South African home accessories. Little did I know that eventually this would come to be and that JacarandaStyle would become part of our family vacations. Meeting with artisans, discovering new products and shopping in Cape Town, a truly magnificent and cosmopolitan city, is all in a day's work.

Fourth Stop: Durban

It's hard to leave CapeTown. The extraordinary beauty of the city and surrounding areas, the food and wine, the art and culture all make it diffcult to say good-bye. But, then there is Durban and the Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks, just fifteen minutes outside of the city center. Step into the lobby of the Oyster Box and you've stepped back in time-the 1920's, to be precise. Boasting beachfront property, it is one of the most charming hotels I have visited.

Aside from scouting and finding wonderful things for JacarandaStyle, Durban is the nearest city to the Ethembeni School for Disabled Youth. We spent a day at the school during our last visit and we support this wonderful institution by donating a portion of our sales to it. We were all moved by the spirit and energy of the students and the dedication of the teachers.

Every single sale at JacarandaStyle helps to improve the life of a disabled child.

We are passionate collectors of South African tribal art and it was in Durban that we found and purchased an extraordinary old Zulu pot, which is now in our home. In a few weeks it will leave to go on loan to the Neuberger Museum where many others will be able to appreciate a bit of South African art and culture that we love so much. We are not saying "farewell" because the pot will return to our home in about one year...just in time for our next journey to South Africa!