Real Foodies Don’t Arrive Empty-Handed: foodie gifts for the host or hostess
Are you invited to partake of New Year’s revelries at the home of your favorite foodie? Rejoice! There is nothing better than ringing in a new year with craft drinks, special bubbly, and gourmet edibles. But… don’t forget the foodie gift for that special host or hostess.
Your challenge is what to bring, because every foodie knows that the perfect guest arrives 10 minutes late, and bearing a thoughtfully chosen token of gratitude. This doesn’t have to be intimidating, though, even when you are invited to celebrate at the most discerning of foodie domiciles.
Our best advice: don’t bring food. You don’t want to clash with a carefully constructed menu, or create panic in the kitchen as your host or hostess scrambles to incorporate, plate, or store your gift. Actually the same goes for flowers; can we say “done it,” and why cause mayhem as your host digs for a vase?
We pulled together a few super thoughtful foodie gifts for the dedicated foodie host or hostess, items that will please just about anyone who entertains with regularity.
We set a challenge for ourselves, to prove that you don’t need to go from store-to-store, burning up precious party-prepping time.
The challenge? Go to one favorite store, muster your creative resources, and shop with an eye for items that can serve double duty on the entertaining front. We stopped in at Art Factory, a meandering space packed with interesting imports and vintage items, and we compiled a winning list of gifts that will make you the guest who garners repeat invites.
Port City Foodie Recommends Host and Hostess Gifts
1. Handcrafted Turkish Glass
Anyone who entertains will find a use for these beautifully simple handcrafted dishes. In a variety of sizes, with simple designs and primary colors, these Turkish glass plates blend with any decor, and can be used for hors d’oeuvres, sides, or perched for display. Price range: $35 and up
2. Vintage Seagrove Pottery
Made in North Carolina in the 60s and 70s, by renowned ceramic artists Nell Cole Graves, Ben Owen, and Jugtown Wares, these gorgeous pieces of sought-after Seagrove Pottery are equal parts decorative, collectible, and functional. The rich earth tones and fluid shapes will please the traditionalist and the lover of contemporary. These are also a super gift that says “North Carolina” for friends and relatives across the country.
These pieces are so special, you might want to buzz over and choose some for yourself. We have our eye on the deep pie dish. To. Die. For. Price range: $40 and up
3. Handmade Chopsticks
These Red Zen Handmade Takumi wood chopsticks are small enough to tuck in an evening bag, and special enough that any foodie who loves Asian food will be truly appreciative. Buy a pair, or two pairs, and wow your foodie friend with your dining acumen. This is such a special – and personal gift – that it will be appreciated for years, in moments of quiet foodie joy. Price: $30
4. North Carolina Bubbly in a Basket
Not just any bubbly, RayLen Vineyards bubbly. Not just any basket, a handmade one-of-a-kind, hand woven basket from Ghana.
The basket fits two bottles comfortably, and can be packed with tissue and accessorized with wine glass charms, bottle opener, and festive paper goods. Let your imagination run a little wild on this one. Our New Year’s hostess gift suggestion is a bottle of Fizzzy Sparkling Rosé From RayLen Vineyards & Winery. This is a newcomer from Raylen, that is as pretty in the glass as it is delicious. The sparkling semi-sweet rosé features floral flavors with ripe peach, honeysuckle and citrus. Choose two bottles of Fizzzy – no one will complain! – or make the second bottle a delightful brut sparkling wine from Childress Vineyards, the Blanc de Blancs Victory Cuvée. We say you can never, ever, ever, have too many bubbles.
On the basket front, browse the Art Factory’s collection of hand woven baskets in the center gallery. There are go-to-market baskets, bread baskets, decorative baskets, and covered baskets, with a huge range of textures and natural dye hues. So many possibilities here, whether you gift them filled, or leave them empty and ready for your happy host’s inspiration. Prices starting at $85
5. Handmade Table Linens
Colorful linens are seriously out-of-the-box as a hostess gift, and super versatile, so don’t be put off by the old-fashioned sound of this one. Browse imported textiles from Turkey, India, and Africa with an open mind: table runners, table cloths, buffet accent pieces. A one-of-a-kind silk bedspread makes a banquet cloth. A square of mirrored Indian patchwork accents a centerpiece. You get our drift. If you keep to a neutral palette – or know your host’s favorite colors – and shop thoughtfully, a richly detailed, patterned, handmade linen could very well be the best hostess gift of all time.
With a myriad of uses and joyful colors, imported table linens just shout “celebrate!” Prices starting at $65
What is your favorite foodie gift for the host or hostess with the mostest? Have you been the fortunate recipient of the perfect hostess gift? Do share in the comments below!