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Top Hostess Gifts Ideas

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by Carole Liivrand (subscribe)
I love to explore & share my experiences and photographs with others on the off-chance that they too get a buzz out of simple things at their own back door. www.instagram.com/photoopportunity/
Published January 15th 2019
Dinner guests bring unusual gifts
For those of you who love to entertain, don't you just love it when your guests turn up with something different?

hostess gift, chilli pot, herbs, flowers, oil, vinegar, wine, candles, jam, preserves, relish, honey, soap, room spray, gift wrap, gift bag
Colourful Fresh Chilli in a Pot


General Dinner Party Etiquette
Most people will bring a bottle of wine, which may or may not be consumed over dinner. This will depend on the host, unless the guest makes a point of wanting it to be opened and shared. On rare occasions, the hosts will tell their guests "do not bring wine" as they wish to share a special wine they already have in their cellar, or they have a themed evening and matching wines pre-planned. This is when the Host(ess) Gift can get tricky.

hostess gift, chilli pot, herbs, flowers, oil, vinegar, wine, candles, jam, preserves, relish, honey, soap, room spray, gift wrap, gift bag, wine, fruit punch
Chilled Wine or a Fruit Punch


The Gift Dilemma
The most popular gifts are chocolates, flowers or pot plants. If it's a large party, try to include a gift card or tag so the hosts will be able to identify who brought which gift.

hostess gift, chilli pot, herbs, flowers, oil, vinegar, wine, candles, jam, preserves, relish, honey, soap, room spray, gift wrap, gift bag, wine, fruit punch
Two Potted Orchids were gifts from guests on 2 separate occasions. They look great in an ice bucket


Flowers, especially, create a lovely environment, but more often than not one host might be busy greeting guests while the other is adding last minute touches to the canapes, or to the dish that should have been in the oven or BBQ an hour ago!

Who's got time to arrange flowers? They often end up in a bucket in the laundry tub or popped into a vase to be properly arranged much later. Guests, who most likely have either never met or haven't seen each other in a while, are often busy sharing scintillating conversation, and the flowers are long forgotten. So, any arrangement that may have happened becomes a distant thought.

I am delighted when guests bring something that is different from my usual purchases.

Gift Ideas

Consumables are a good idea.

Here are a few suggestions:

hostess gift, chilli pot, herbs, flowers, oil, vinegar, wine, candles, jam, preserves, relish, honey, soap, room spray, gift wrap, gift bag
Unusual Oils and Vinegars wrapped in cellophane and tied with a ribbon are always welcome


** A lovely marmalade or rustic organic honey that you picked up at the local produce market.

hostess gift, chilli pot, herbs, flowers, oil, vinegar, wine, candles, jam, preserves, relish, honey, soap, room spray, gift wrap, gift bag, Donna Hay, product market
North Sydney Farmers Market

** Lemon, Chilli, or Basil infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
** A Rub for seasoning meats. There are so many on the market these days. They include Moroccan, Middle Eastern and Spanish.
** An unusual salt like Fler de Sel, Himalayan Pink Salt, or Truffle infused Salt. Some delis sell these in gorgeous perspex see-through grinders which would look good in anyone's kitchen.
** Sauces and relishes -- the choices are endless.

hostess gift, chilli pot, herbs, flowers, oil, vinegar, wine, candles, jam, preserves, relish, honey, soap, room spray, gift wrap, gift bag, Donna Hay, dessert
Preserves, Relish & Jams


** Verjuice, caramelised balsamic vinegar, pomegranate or fig balsamic. Even a nice champagne or white wine vinegar.
** Extra Virgin Olive Oil from one of the many award-winning Australian makers.
** Nut oils like Walnut, Hazelnut or Macadamia nut - these all make wonderful salad dressings.
** Specialty Coffees, especially if you know your host has a coffee machine.
** Curry mixes and bases, from Simon Johnson, Saucy Spice Company,Herbies or The Essential Ingredient.
** Hand wash in brown apothecary-style bottles from places like Appelles Apothecary, Aesops, Occitane or even Crabtree & Evelyn.

hostess gift, chilli pot, herbs, flowers, oil, vinegar, wine, candles, jam, preserves, relish, honey, soap, room spray, gift wrap, gift bag, herbs
Room Sprays and Hand Wash


** Unusual tea is always a hit with me. In fact, any tea is welcome in my kitchen. T2 is trendy & popular and has stores across the country. A Touch of Tea in Bowral ships Australia-wide, but if you can get in there, taste their samples and inhale the aromas before buying, you will discover there's a whole new world when it comes to tea. T-Bar can be found in the Adelaide Central Market and will ship to you.

Many of these can be ordered online and promptly delivered to your home or workplace.

hostess gift, chilli pot, herbs, flowers, oil, vinegar, wine, candles, jam, preserves, relish, honey, soap, room spray, gift wrap, gift bag, herbs
If your are lucky enough to have a herb garden, take a bunch of fresh herbs


Don't forget the good old fall-back of scented candles. These are always a hit and I can never have enough in my house.

If you have time and are creative, make your own gifts. These always go down well! Donna Hay has easy-to-follow recipes in her books for things like shortbread, chocolate or Anzac cookies, and she suggests creative and attractive ways to package them.

hostess gift, chilli pot, herbs, flowers, oil, vinegar, wine, candles, jam, preserves, relish, honey, soap, room spray, gift wrap, gift bag, Donna Hay
A Donna Hay Cookie Idea


If your host is a guy and drinks beer, why not make up a mixed box of boutique beers, or some miniature bubbles or fancy Cider. In other words, something a little left-field.

The options are endless. All you have to do is 'think outside the box' and take something unusual, or just something nice. Whatever you take, if it's a large gathering, put a little gift tag on your gift to identify you as the giver.

hostess gift, chilli pot, herbs, flowers, oil, vinegar, wine, candles, jam, preserves, relish, honey, soap, room spray, gift wrap, gift bag, Donna Hay
Cellophane, Bagged or Boxed?


Why not offer to bring dessert. If you know people well, they will most likely love you for it! That doesn't mean you have to prepare it.

hostess gift, chilli pot, herbs, flowers, oil, vinegar, wine, candles, jam, preserves, relish, honey, soap, room spray, gift wrap, gift bag, Donna Hay, dessert
A selection of sweet things for dessert


hostess gift, chilli pot, herbs, flowers, oil, vinegar, wine, candles, jam, preserves, relish, honey, soap, room spray, gift wrap, gift bag, Donna Hay, dessert
Birthday Cake - one less thing the host has to think about


Happy Shopping, and Happy Sharing
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Why? Don't go to a party empty handed
Where: Everywhere
Your Comment
My gifts are a jar of home-made Pickled Cucumbers or freshly baked biscuits or cake. A bottle of wine sometimes is not the correct choice (of colour!) so a Prosecco is a good substitute.
by Gloria (score: 2|283) 332 days ago
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