July 17th, 2014
Hostess Gifts


Summer cocktail party season is in full swing, so I’m stocking up on hostess gifts. I love to give local honey, but could use some suggestions on other great gift ideas. The only present I won’t take is flowers– the hostess has to stop what she’s doing to put them in water.


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  • I love giving local too…recently a family in the Annapolis area started a salsa company. I have been giving a jar of salsa with a great big bag of good dipping chips. This has been a popular summer treat that has been the favorite of our hosts…fun and easy and it gets used! I just make them promise not to open it while we are there…it has to be used for a happy hour at a later date!

    Amy RichardsonJuly 17th, 2014  7:51 AM

  • What about a scented candle or a lovely bottle of chilled pink Champagne 😉

    Vannessa VinosJuly 17th, 2014  7:54 AM

  • I love giving (and receiving) a great jar of olive oil.

    KathyJuly 17th, 2014  8:07 AM

  • Local beer such as BeeHaven Brew is a good idea, too!

    Lisa E.July 17th, 2014  8:57 AM

  • I like the honey idea. How about a potted basil, parsley or other herb plant? Or, a fresh, locally made jar of pesto. I also like the salsa/chip idea, and in the summer there are some great local vendors of fresh salsa. I love the idea of bringing a farm to table hostess gift.

    AprilJuly 17th, 2014  9:33 AM

  • Have your local florist create a seasonal signature cocktail arrangement that you can phone in and easily pick up or have delivered ahead of time.
    Keep it Chic and an espresso are my favorite morning rituals!
    Deb M (aka the florist’s wife)

    Deb MatsumotiJuly 17th, 2014  9:38 AM

  • I keep an assortment of Alexa Pulitzer notepads in my gift drawer. Two or three of these whimsical designs wrapped in cello and a nice bow are unique and very tasteful as well as a different idea than the mainstay. This reminds me to restock !

    Janna KohlJuly 17th, 2014  9:43 AM

  • we love to give olive oil, candles, a special salt, things you wo t pick up for yourself but such a great to receive..

    Hudson Grace SFJuly 17th, 2014  9:44 AM

  • I like giving a jar of some wonderful tapenade, wrapped in polka dot tissue paper with a colorful French sabre knife attached with a beautiful ribbon. ‘Hope this helps!

    LizJuly 17th, 2014  9:56 AM

  • I must respectfully disagree on the cut flower hostess gift idea. When I bring them to someone’s home, they come in a vase (that I am willing to part with.)

    Receiving them is delightful because it enables me to think of the beauty of friendship and blossoms all at once.

    KathrynJuly 17th, 2014  10:52 AM

  • I really love giving a jar of Marblehead Salt. Not only is it entirely produced North of Boston, it tastes like the sea and has a fluffy texture that makes it beautiful to look at, entirely different than other salts. We’re enjoying it now on fresh tomatoes and corn. It’s ideal! btw – the company is a triple bottom line endeavor – 100% of profits go to charity. The website is www.marbleheadsalt.com. Enjoy!

    Tracey StocktonJuly 17th, 2014  11:00 AM

  • There is nothing like the gift of flowers! Especially this time of year. Garden Roses, Lilies, Hydrangeas! I also cut them and put them into a florist jar. So when you arrive the host/hostess simply places them wherever they wish. Additionally, love the idea of local honey or jam such as Wild Blueberry or Apricot.


    CaitlinJuly 17th, 2014  11:47 AM

  • I like to bring a homemade treat for the hosts morning after breakfast.

    EBJuly 17th, 2014  1:35 PM

  • I love giving a miniature flower arrangement in a tiny container that one can place on her nightstand….

    CariJuly 17th, 2014  2:05 PM

  • I agree that flowers are a terrible hostess gift unless they are already in a vase! Anything that causes work when you walk in the door is not good! How about a picture frame with a photo of the hosts included if you have one. I love the Olivia Riegel embellished frames. I recently received a ratan tote stuffed with beach towels, sunscreen , bug spray. That was a great gift for my lake house.

    Paula BJuly 17th, 2014  2:23 PM

  • Quality olive oil and a wonderful balsamic vinegar are always much appreciated. I like the salsa and chips idea as well. If I know it will be appreciated, I pot up a few herbs and tie a ribbon ’round it. Fresh local cheese with some tapenade and crackers in a basket is also good (for after the party!).

    pindaJuly 17th, 2014  6:39 PM

  • My only guiding principle is consumables. Often depends on the person or occasion. If I have enough lead time, I love giving Merrimade (http://www.merrimade.com/) monogrammed guest towels, or thick paper napkins. Great all year.

    MargoJuly 17th, 2014  6:59 PM

  • Monogrammed scarf on Etsy @ChicFanScarves! Beautiful and personal!

    SallyJuly 17th, 2014  9:20 PM

  • We like to share our favorite spirits for the cocktail bar–Pierre Ferrand 1st Cru Ambre Cognac for first-rate sipping or a Sidecar; or a bottle of sparkling Belgian Ale–Brut des Flandres Deus, a real treat. Your friends will thank you!

    PaulaJuly 18th, 2014  1:12 AM

  • I like to give a basket with the recipe and ingredients for french toast or another fun breakfast. Something fun for the next morning.

    FrederiekeJuly 18th, 2014  1:40 AM

  • Thanks Margo for the Merrimade recommendation!

    Paula BJuly 19th, 2014  7:56 AM

  • Coffee table books like assouline especially about where they live go nicely

    SheilaJuly 20th, 2014  8:47 AM

  • Local honey is such a neat idea- I’ll have to remember that.
    I enjoy taking a breakfast item- typically a loaf of banana bread or the like. No one wants to have to get up the next morning and make breakfast after they’ve had a party! It’s cute to wrap it up in a nice printed dish towel.

    EmilyJuly 21st, 2014  2:50 PM


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