Hostess gifts are some of the most difficult to give. There's something about the price point, the level of personal connection, and immediacy in which the gift has to be acquired that makes it almost impossible to come up with. Time and time again, I've gotten and given a bouquet of flowers or a bottle of wine. While there's nothing wrong with either of those thoughtful gifts, it doesn't always leave the impact of gratitude that you hope to express.
Over the holidays though, I received the most thoughtful gift I've ever received from a guest. When a family friend arrived to my house, she had a gorgeous rectangular package wrapped in a printed dishcloth with a ribbon. Inside, were two specific cookbooks that reflected both my and Rob's interests: a French one, Around My French Table, for me and my dreams of living in Paris and a Portuguese one, The New Portuguese Table, for Rob, whose family is from there. The personal touch felt so beyond thoughtful, and the wrapped cloth was not only less wasteful, but such a simple, beautiful, and useful addition to our home.
While this isn't particularly complicated, it felt like an easy, approachable gift to replicate for any dinner party or weekend away. Here are some of my favorite pairings if you're on the hunt for a gift of your own!