LUNCH BREAK: 'Tis the season for some heavyweight shoppers to take midday breaks at Barneys New York restaurant Fred's. Last week it was tough to miss the towering Michael Jordan and glad-handling Sandy Gallin. The former NBA star's entourage spread the holiday cheer, wishing strangers well in the store's elevator. Tuesday's lunchgoers could feast their eyes on a tawny Cindy Crawford, who dropped in to dine with a friend — just missing "Deceptively Delicious" scribe Jessica Seinfeld at a nearby table with Liz Claiborne's Bill McComb. Even Barneys New York's Howard Socol was spotted temporarily keeping a vacant table warm, albeit talking on his cell phone.
TEA WITH GLORIA: Germany's reformed punk princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis is back in a partying mood. Only this time, Princess TNT (as she used to be called) is into throwing tea parties — with her very own Tea-Time collection. It comprises "Tee Caliente" — a blend of selected Ceylon teas; her favorite Breton butter cookies; chocolate bonbons filled with caramel, and strawberry jam, all produced in France. The princess designed the packaging herself: red, blue or green metal tins bearing a sketched image of Schloss St. Emmeram, the family castle in Regensburg. As for the name, "Gloria" is boldly printed in large gold letters, while "Thurn und Taxis" appears more discreetly below. The idea for the collection came, naturally, over a cup of tea. "We're always trying to think up ways to make Schloss St. Emmeram better known, so this is a bit of p.r. for the Schloss," she explained. The Corner Berlin has exclusive distribution for the next three months of the line, priced between 8 euros, or $12 at current exchange, and 16 euros, or $24. But von Thurn und Taxis is keen to place the collection in "Munich and Stuttgart. Paris, of course. And New York? Selling in Bergdorf Goodman would be the dream," she said.