When you're invited over to someone's home for a party, whether a dinner party, cocktail party, or even a gathering at a location other than the home, it is customary to bring the host or hostess a gift. This small token of appreciation for the gracious invitation doesn't have to be extravagant. It should however be thoughtful, useful, and reflect the good taste of both yourself and your recipient.
If the event is a dinner party - I do not recommend gifting wine, flowers, or any food items. This gift may offend the host, as it is their responsibility as planner extraordinaire to have planned the beverages, decorations, and menu.
If the event is a cocktail party - I recommend refraining from any liquid refreshment, as just like the dinner party, one does not want to insult the planning skills of the host or hostess.
Now that your gift giving options are limited - do not panic! There are still many great recommendations:
-- I love the home fragrance diffusers from Agraria Home. Unlike most diffusers that are alcohol based, these diffusers are made from pure oils from the South of France, including delicious Mediterranean scents like Golden Pomegranate, Fig, Balsam, and Bitter Orange. The glass vessels are hand blown in Italy, and make for a long lasting, thoughtful gift for the home.
-- No matter what one's colour scheme may be, every kitchen can always use new tea towels. My favourite are from Garnier-Thiebaut, a fabulous French firm from the mid 1800s. The heirloom quality weave makes for incredibly long lasting linens, and the traditional patterns and vibrant colours are a quick way to bring the Mediterranean lifestyle into anyone's home. Think everyday elegance.
-- For the perfect whimsical gift, I love giving the Egg Plant: Basil from Branch Home. This sweet gift set includes a small, unglazed ceramic egg shaped pot, a terra cota dish, soil, and seeds - everything you'd need to grow basil on a sunny kitchen window sill!
-- After an exciting soiree, the host or hostess will no doubt be exhausted. What better way to show your appreciation by gifting a fabulous bubble bath. I am borderline obsessed with Bliss' Blood Orange + White Pepper fragrance. For men or women - you can't go wrong with this delightful, delicious treat!
-- Everyone appreciates a freshly made bed. And what better way to show your gratitude to your host or hostess by giving Caldrea's amazing Sea Salt Neroli Linen Spray? The fresh fragrance is fantastic for linens in the bedroom, as well as your curtains, bathroom linens, and virtually any other fabric surfaces!
When giving a hostess gift, it's not about the price of the gift that's important. Find something that is both a reflection of you and your recipient, and you're sure to be invited back again!