Go for laughs instead of tears with Onion Goggles ($19.99 at Home Rule, 1807 14th St., NW; 202-797-5544). Fans swear they keep tears away when chopping even the most potent onions. The nerdy-chic eyewear comes in black or white with acid-green accents and soft foam around the lenses to keep fumes out. One caveat: It’s tough to wear them over your own glasses.
The Waring Pro Electric Wine Cooler chills—or warms—wine to the right temperature in 20 minutes. Punch in the varietal—there are 26 choices from Chardonnay to Barolo—and this stainless-steel gizmo does its stuff. No more buying from the wine-shop fridge when you’re pressed for time. Around $100 at Williams-Sonoma stores (locations at williams-sonoma.com).
Or treat your loved one to a ringside seat at the chef’s table in the vast and monastic kitchen—the background music is Gregorian chant—at the Inn at Little Washington (Middle and Main sts., Washington, Va.; 540-675-3801; theinnatlittlewashington.com)—$300 ($450 Saturday) for the table plus $138 to $168 per person for chef Patrick O’Connell’s six-course extravaganza, including cocktail canapés and a cookie basket to take home (get a wine pairing for $100 extra per person).
Throw in a night at the inn’s posh new Suite 16 in the Norman House, where the soaking tub has a view of the Shenandoah Valley through an oversize window (from $745 a night). Then go for the Trio of American Breakfast Favorites in Miniature—oatmeal soufflé, corned-beef hash with sunny-side-up quail’s egg, and scrambled eggs with smoked salmon. It’s $25 on top of the already filling—but included—Continental spread of housemade jams, tea breads, croissants, and yogurt-and-granola parfaits.