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Whether you’re staying the weekend or popping into a holiday cocktail party, a hostess gift is in order—especially if your gracious host is known for going above and beyond to make your experience a great one. But what sort of present is worthy for someone so special? Believe it or not, plenty! Just look for something that provides a little TLC, whether that’s a night off from cooking, a special accessory that makes happy hour more fun, or something cozy to help them relax once they’re finally off their feet for more than 60 seconds. To help make your shopping experience a little easier, we’ve rounded up some of the best host/hostess gifts to get you started.
Is there anything more decadent than a bottle of red wine paired with artisan chocolate? We don’t think so—and we’re pretty sure your host will agree. For just the right pairing, turn to this Oregon-crafted duo: a rich and inviting bottle of Beeson Tempranillo dessert wine and beautifully decorated rich, smooth, chocolate truffles. Of course, you could always upgrade to the “treasure box,” a keepsake wooden chest filled with a larger assortment of chocolate treats to accompany a bottle of 2018 Royal Crest Red blend wine.
After a big party, there’s one thing you can pretty much count on: lots of empty wine bottles. Instead of letting them all end up in an overflowing recycling bin, give your hostess a good reason to repurpose a few. This cool hydroponic grow kit is just the thing.
All they have to do is fill the bottle with water, plug the neck with one of three included hydroponic "smart soil" capsules, drop in some herb seeds, and put the bottle in a sunny spot. Within a few weeks, almost like magic, they’ll have an assortment of clippable herbs (sweet basil, lemon basil, and dill) for their culinary endeavors.
You are the greatest guest, right? So why not turn to this aptly named gift basket to show your appreciation to the greatest host? The impressive assortment features just about everything you need to replenish their snack supply after a weekend of fun together. The specially curated artisanal box includes crispy potato chips, a coffee kit, cocktail syrup, candied pecans, white cheddar popcorn, bourbon barrel aged honey, chocolate gingersnap cookies, ginger almond butter, blueberry bourbon jam, and organic gummy bears.
After coordinating a big party the night before, your gracious host is sure to be exhausted. Soften the blow of the morning after by gifting them a gigantic authentic New York breakfast—no trip to the store required for either of you. Turn to the bagel store local New Yorkers love: Ess-a-Bagel. They’ll mail the recipient six chewy, crusty bagels in your choice of two flavors, plus a 1/2 pound of cream cheese in your choice of flavor and a 1/2 pound of traditional lox. Of course, you can always throw in some extras, like a second tub of cream cheese or smoked fish.
Give the hostess with the mostess a gift that keeps on giving: a fruit subscription. Select your desired duration (three, six, or 12 months), then sit back as The Fruit Company does all the work, sending your loved one a selection of orchard-fresh fruit each month. It’s the perfect reminder of your time together, so they can relive that fun night or weekend over and over again—plus enjoy a sporadic treat.
Between all the prep work and the mingling, chances are your host didn’t get to stop long enough to really enjoy the fruits of their labor. As a way to thank them for all of their hard work, treat them to their very own cheese plate. This one comes straight from one of New York City’s most renowned cheese makers and features a delightful assortment of fromage—Murray’s Mini Brie, nutty Comte Saint Antoine, and snackable Ossau Iraty—from the world’s cheese capital, France.
Rather than dash out to the wine store on your way to the party and pick something in haste, why not order a fine bottle ahead of time? You’ll be less stressed and your host is bound to receive something a little more special, like this 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon from the famed California winery Caymus Vineyards. The bottle, which has a blackberry hue and scents of rich leather, cooked caramel, berries, and forest floor, is a sophisticated pick that pairs with a special dinner.
The best way to end their night: a sweet surprise. This gift box by Godiva, appropriately named the “Sweet Surprise Gift Tower” is just that. The four-tiered present includes nearly 50 rich chocolate treats, including 19 pieces of milk and dark chocolate pieces with crunchy nuts and luscious caramels, 15 pieces of Belgian chocolate, eight pieces of assorted milk, dark, and white chocolates, plus four signature chocolate truffles all tied in a gorgeous gold bow.
One thing an avid host can always use? Beautiful serveware to elevate their next event. This marble and acacia wood cheese board is an excellent choice. It’s available in either white- or charcoal-colored marble, plus can be monogrammed for an extra-special touch. It’s the perfect vessel for all of their favorite cheeses, whether soft like Brie or firm like Gouda.
This attractive rose gold cocktail shaker is more than meets the eye. It’s not just a pretty accessory for their bar cart—if you look closely, the shaker twists to reveal the ingredients for eight classic libations to choose from, including a Manhattan, whisky sour, martini, cosmopolitan, margarita, Tom Collins, mojito, and mai tai.
After a long night of hosting duty, one thing is for sure: The party planner extraordinaire is definitely going to be craving a little bit of rest and relaxation. This candle, with notes of the fresh fruits and flowers on display at Sunday morning farmers' markets, will help set the mood. As a bonus, the soy wax is derived from American-grown beans, so all 50 hours of burn time is as eco-friendly and clean as possible.
Enhance any downtime your host has with an incredibly soft throw that makes snuggling up on the couch an irresistible proposition. (As if they needed another excuse!) The throw is woven from a super-soft cotton and acrylic blend and features a sophisticated buffalo check print and a playful fringed edge that looks attractive on any couch or armchair. For a personalized touch, add an embroidered monogram.
Treating your regular game-night host to something special? Choose this thematic gift set, which includes a fun game—a fancy acrylic tic tac toe board that looks great on display—plus the drinkware you need to take the evening to new heights—a metallic base decanter and glassware set and four mixed marble coasters.
Get the most bang for your buck with a great hostess gift that pulls double duty. This painterly pitcher fits the bill as both a vessel for holding their favorite beverage or a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Though undoubtedly a work of art, there’s nothing fussy about this gift—the decaled stoneware is both dishwasher and microwave safe.
Bring charm and whimsy to their table with these sophisticated dessert plates. There are three different colors and designs to choose from—beige, blush, and black and white—that look great as a set, so why not treat them to the whole set (times two for a full dinner party’s worth!).
Though they undoubtedly have top-tier hosting skills, there’s always more to learn. This fun and informative coffee table book functions as a how-to guide to teach your favorite host how to create everyone’s favorite appetizer: the ultimate cheeseboard. For their viewing and learning pleasure, the book is filled with 50 easy-to-make cheese plates for all dietary preferences.
Though flowers are always a nice gesture no matter where they come from, there’s something truly special about an exotic orchid from one of the country’s most famous greenhouses. Beyond its undeniable beauty, the orchid is a great choice because it will last much longer than your standard bouquet—it will typically bloom about once a year, for up to three months.
For the host who already has just about every kitchen appliance and gadget you could dream of, opt for an artisanal tool that will help them make intricate cheese boards and desserts. The European oak plate is outfitted with a special blade you turn to transform a wheel of cheese or a block of chocolate into delicate, tissue paper thin swirls that resemble flowers.
When your host stumbles out of bed all bleary-eyed from the festivities from the night before, they’ll be thrilled to wake up to this assortment of artisanal coffee in the stash of hostess gifts. The sampler quartet features four single-origin coffees from all around the world. There’s something to suit every palette, too, from a balanced light-medium roast to a bold medium-dark roast, and even a fruity and floral-forward light blend.
Treat some of the hardest working hands you know to a little TLC with this attractive soap and lotion set. The pretty caddy comes filled with one hand soap and one lotion in gorgeous blue vessels containing what’s widely known as Anthropologie’s most beloved fragrance “Volcano,” a blend of tropical fruits, sugared oranges, lemons, and limes combined with the fresh scent of exotic mountain greens.
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This roundup was written by Brigitt Earley, who has written and edited hundreds of gift guides for various publications over the course of the last 10 years. She also holds a culinary degree from the French Culinary Institute.