Eat + Drink, Gifts
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10 Hostess Gifts They’ll Actually Want to Use

(Graphic: Helen Jane Hearn/TueNight)

Our household throws a lot of parties. And although I’ve never expected a hostess gift for our efforts, it’s always lovely to receive something thoughtful. Host gifts are tricky gifting — you don’t want to clutter up someone’s home, but you also don’t want to be the odd guest out who arrives empty-handed.

With those caveats in mind, I’ve pulled together my dream list of host gifts — all for less than $50.

tuenight gift guide helen jane hearn hostess linen towels

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1. Linen Dish Towels
I love receiving gifts that are a luxurious upgrade to life’s regular, cruddy routines. These natural linen hand towels are the luxurious upgrade you didn’t know your dishes wanted.


tuenight gift guide helen jane hearn hostess Aeirum

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2. Footed Aeirum
Upgrade your host’s desktop with this adorably footed container for some sweet little plants. Moss, lichens and Tillandsia will change as they grow, or you can add an air plant (starting at $14) for even more magic.


tuenight gift guide helen jane hearn hostess cake stand

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3. Multi-function Cake Stand
Responsible for bringing a dessert? Leave behind this multipurpose cake stand, which also becomes a chip-and-dip platter, punch bowl and salad bowl.


tuenight gift guide helen jane hearn hostess herbs

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4. Penzey’s Herb 8-Jar Gift Pack
Bring a gift you know your host will actually use, like this 8-jar herb gift pack from Penzeys, my favorite place for herbs and spices.


tuenight gift guide helen jane hearn hostess wine charms

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5. Numbers Wine Charms
If you’re bringing a bottle of wine, why not include some bling? (Bonus party game: Have the other guests share why they chose the numbers they did.)


tuenight gift guide helen jane hearn hostess corkscrew

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6. Guy Fieri Cruising Waiters Corkscrew
While we’re on the topic of wine and wine gifts, this Guy Fieri Cruising Waiters Corkscrew is my absolute favorite. Heavy, sharp and with enough leverage for my wee hands to wield effectively, this corkscrew will tickle your more discriminating friends — and provide a great tool for future entertaining.



tuenight gift guide helen jane hearn hostess napa cuisine

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Books are one of those prezzies that say as much about you as they do the giftee. Compliment your host (and flatter yourself) with the perfect book.

7. A New Napa Cuisine by Christopher Kostrow
A stunning, artful gift, this thoughtful cookbook by Napa Valley chef Christopher Kostrow subtly compliments your host’s skills in the kitchen.


tuenight gift guide helen jane hearn hostess milk bar life

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8. Milk Bar Life – Recipes and Stories by Christina Tosi

NYC’s famous Milk Bar’s savory side is highlighted in this creative party-food and snacks cookbook.


tuenight gift guide helen jane hearn hostess food lab

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9. The Food Lab – Better Cooking through Science by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt
From Serious Eats to the New York Times bestseller list, this book lays out the scientific basics for the best food you’ll ever taste. It’s great for the geekiest food enthusiast.$27.47,

tuenight gift guide helen jane hearn hostess advice from john

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10. Advice from John by Samantha Smith
This comprehensive collection of the world’s best bathroom graffiti is a racy addition to your host’s guest bathroom.


Filed under: Eat + Drink, Gifts


Helen Jane Hearn

Helen Jane has written at since 1998. An entertaining enthusiast, Helen Jane is also a certified specialist of wine and founder of Cheesewhizzes, a nation-wide cheese tasting club (featured in Food & Wine magazine). Helen Jane has spoken at SXSW, the Foodbuzz Festival, Mom 2.0 and was a keynote speaker at the 2011 EVO conference. Helen Jane is also captain of her bocce team, Joanie Loves Bocce. She lives and plays in Napa Valley with her husband and tweets at @helenjane.

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