We’ve all been there. You’re invited to a friend’s house and they say ‘just bring yourself!’, but you don’t want to show up empty-handed. Wine is tough (is it a gift or are they expected to open it?), particularly if you don’t know the menu. Speaking of which, as someone who has obsessed over menus, for the love of quinoa, don’t show up with a dish! Anyway, here’s my go-to list of simple but thoughtful gifts to take when visiting friends for an occasion warranting thrusting something into their hands as you step over the threshold.
Records – this one requires some hardware, but if the stage is set it’s a gift that doesn’t only say ‘I thought about this’, it’s also a great conversation starter. Prices vary and a quick Google will show you some stores near you, but failing that, Amazon has a great vinyl selection.
Boutique beverages – leave your regifted red at home and take something that sighs ‘special’ as soon as you set eyes on it. Perhaps a bottle of The Melbourne Gin Company‘s finest ($68.99 AUD for 700ml at Dan Murphy’s) and a few friends in the form of Fever Tree Indian tonic water ($7.99 AUD for a pack of 4 from Dan Murphy’s).
Tea and coffee – and I’m not talking Nespresso (sorry, George). Get thyself to your local cafe and have a bag of something rich, dark and delicious to waft under the nose of your host* on arrival. Alternatively, an interesting tea (caffeinated or otherwise) is a unique choice. I’m into almost everything at T2, but for a nice little after dinner something-something, check out their Flutterby range (Madam Flutterby shown above, $12.00 AUD for the tin) and the French Earl Grey ($14.00 AUD a box). It is in fact, the actual cats pajamas.
Something for the kids – if all else fails, showing up with the latest little Lego set or Matchbox car will be appreciated by everyone in the house. Guaranteed. Lego sets vary in price but start around $15.00 AUD at Big W.
*I do hope it goes without saying, but I’ve used the words ‘host’ and ‘hostess’ interchangeably in this post.