So you got the summer weekend invite. High five! Whether it’s to your friends’ beach cottage in Vineyard Haven, a colleague’s sprawling lake house in Sebago or a cushy ‘lil log mansion in Woodstock, the crucial thing is to never show up empty-handed. You’re going to need a gift that gets you invited back.
Here’s the thing about host/ess gifts: They aren’t like all the other gifts. They shouldn’t ever bring any pressure to be used right away, while you’re there. The host/ess probably had a plan in place for meals and decor before you arrived, anyway — so it should be something they and the members of the house can easily enjoy whenever they like, on their own. So that said, here are a few choice ideas:
Have a greens party
Bring any friend who loves gardening and food a blessing in a box—the ability to grow their own gorgeous micro greens, via the Hamama Microgreens Starter Kit ($69 on hamama.com). It includes a reusable bamboo tray, growing instructions and three seed quilts that you choose — from kale and wheatgrass to daikon radish and clover. They can grow, harvest and then toss the delicate greens over anything they cook to make it look spectacular and have a huge kick of flavor.
Jo Malone’s newest fragrance, Moonlit Chamomile, makes a great gift. (Photo jomalone.com)
Put on the charm
Nothing says, ‘I’m taking this gift giving thing to the next level’ like a bottle of one of Jo Malone’s latest masterpieces. Their newest scent, Moonlit Camomile, comes as either a cologne ($145 on jomalone.com) or as a pillow mist ($45 on jomalone.com) and is laced with English chamomile, blue moonflowers and white musk. Consider it summer evenings incarnate.
Make like you’re in the Med
You can with a gift set of Mediterranean Adventures ($56 on skordo.com). The sets of nine extremely high-quality spice mixes come in pretty jars from the family-run company, including everything from herbs de Provence and Syrian za’atar to harissa and Cypress flaked salt. Your host/ess can use them to make fresh Greek salads, homemade hummus and Tuscan flatbreads.
Spice things up with a gift set of Mediterranean Adventures from Skordo. (Photo skordo.com).
Spread the scent of joy
Few American families have been able to escape the allure of Disney’s musical “Encanto,” so if you’re bunking down for a weekend getaway with kids, delight them with a new home fragrance paying homage to the movie. Show up with a Mirabel Mango Tropical and one of Pura’s smart home fragrance devices, and its cheery notes of blood orange, nectarine, pineapple juice and tangy mangostino will make parents as happy as the kiddos.
Go for a classic gift
That means vino — preferably something summer-y and celebratory, like the sparkling Ferrari Trento ($36.99 on totalwine.com). It’s an almost universally liked and ever so quaffable rosé, with red-berry aromas and crisp acidity. And while it’s definitely a premium wine, its price point is reasonable enough that no one will think twice before popping it open anytime.
Help clean up
No, not after dinner (though yes, definitely do that as well). Just arrive with a simply beautiful gift set of soaps like the Centuries Collection Year of Soap ($98 on caswellmassey.com) — filled with indulgent, moisturizing scents such as cucumber, oatmeal, almond, verbena and almond — and you’ll be a guest of honor for years to come.