Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Where to Buy Hostess Gifts in the District

"Never show up empty-handed" -- a Southern sentiment and a primary rule in the Thirsty family!

Whether you're going to your best friend's house for dinner, to your neighbor's for a "meet the baby" soiree, or to your soon-to-be parents-in-law for the weekend ... it's never a bad idea to take a small token of your appreciation.

If this is new to you, let me assure you that such a polite and thoughtful gesture doesn't require a lot of money or even a lot of pre-planning.

Sure, you could swing by any big box store (Target and the like) or even Pottery Barn to pick up something, but wouldn't you rather support the district's small businesses and present your friends with something unique?

I thought so.

Here are just a few of my recommendations for great D.C.-area shops to find edible, drinkable, and/or food-related goodies to wow your hosts!

If you're a guest at a dinner party, wine is totally appropriate. Even if it isn't served, it's a relevant gift for the occasion - assuming that the hosts drink (not a question amongst my friends).

Yes, you could theoretically buy a bottle at CVS ... OR you could visit some of the great wine shops in the area to get specialized suggestions. Pick a place like d'vines in Columbia Heights, Bacchus Wine Cellar in Georgetown, Cork Market on 14th in Logan Circle, or Schneider's of Capitol Hill, tell them your price range, what you're having for dinner, and/or your personal preferences, and they'll help you select a quality bottle.

For an added treat, pick up some fun wine accessories at Home Rule on 14th Street -- think funky bottle stoppers, unique glassware, or wine charms.

If, for some reason, your friends are sober (or pregnant), how about some hand-made chocolates from Chocolate Chocolate ("So good we had to say it twice") just south of Dupont Circle, macarons from Macaron Bee in Georgetown, or truffles from Locolat Cafe near the U Street Corridor? Make sure to buy a treat for yourself too -- that way, there won't be an empty slot in the gift box when temptation hits you (and it will).

Or, if you're MY guest, skip the sweets and go straight for the cheese! Penn Quarter's Cowgirl Creamery is the only one of its kind outside of California and offers dozens of artisan cheeses. Like the wine experts know wine, these ladies know cheese! Tell them what you like and what you think your hosts might like, and they'll help you make your decision.

If you're a weekend house-guest, think a bit bigger. For example, go ahead and pick up some cheese but then head over to Wake Up Little Suzie in Cleveland Park to buy a funky cheese slate and knives too.

If you prefer to make your own gifts, how about some homemade cookies with a D.C. twist? Hill's Kitchen near Eastern Market sells this awesome cookie cutter for less than $2. Add in the cost of flour and sugar, and you've assembled a pretty inexpensive yet unique and heartfelt present!

If you're looking to spend a little more, those cookies would be right at home inside one of these adorable owl cookie jars, no?
Any of these host/hostess gifts will definitely get you invited back!

Now, if you're a good guest, you really should send a thank you note too! (Same goes for recipients.) Stay tuned for a future post about stationary stores in the district.

Mind your manners, y'all!

1 comment:

  1. Via Twitter, we received a recommendation for truffles from Fleurir Chocolates in Georgetown too!