the strategist

The 9 Best Hostess Gifts, According to Professional Party Attenders

A weeklong series on the art of entertaining, for women who are too busy for Pinterest.

Ice and Lillet Blanc
“People only buy bags of ice when they’re having a rager, but even if they’re just having people over for drinks I find that they run out all the time. I’d also get Lillet Blanc. Drink that on ice with a slice of lemon peel — it’s mad delicious. Such a good spring-summer drink.”  — Jonah Reider, chef
$27 at

Bower Table Tiles Coasters
“I’ve been giving these out the past couple of months. They’re printed on beechwood and they’re really graphic and nicely made.” — Emmanuel Platt, Director of Merchandising at MoMA
$18 at East Dane

Marimekko Unikko Teapot
“This bright-red flower print is my favorite from Marimekko. I usually see it as a tablecloth, but I love that it comes on a teapot.” — Wendy Goodman, New York design editor
$103 at Amara

Feu de Bois Scented Candle
“I just got my friend this candle, which basically means fire in the woods. It smells incredible and I would happily bring it to anyone’s house. If you’re really good friends, you get the big one, and if you’re just chill you bring the small one.” — Brendan Fallis, DJ and entrepreneur
$32 for 2.4oz, or $62 for 6.5oz at Diptyque

Astier de Villate Aoyama Incense
“Depending on the host, I think a properly rolled joint is a very nice gift. If not that, I usually go with incense. A bottle of Champagne is kind of played out, so it’s nice to bring something different and surprise them a bit.” — Chris Black, founder of Done to Death Projects and author of I Know You Think You Know It All
$50 at ABC Home

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Basil Plant in a Terra-cotta Clay Pot
“I love to bring plants because they’ll have it around for a long time and if you’re going to someone’s apartment it doesn’t have to be big. Bring a pot of basil and whenever they see it they’ll say, Oh, so-and-so gave it to me.” — Cornelia Guest, socialite and author of Cornelia Guest’s Simple Pleasures: Healthy Seasonal Cooking and Easy Entertaining
$9 (for the pot) at Home Depot

Whispering Angel Rose
“In the summer I always do rosé. Clos Beyless is my favorite because it comes in a beautiful blue bottle, but it sells out fast, so I’ll usually get Whispering Angel. If it’s a close friend I’ll buy them a case.” — Ramona Singer, Real Housewives of New York
$25 at

Hello Kitty Easy Set Pool
“Now that it’s getting warmer I’ve been buying people baby pools to fill with water, ice, and drinks like beers, Champagne, and chilled wines. It works for rooftop parties, garden parties — we even put one in the house the other day. I’ve been getting funny ones depending on the person, but I’ll mostly stick to Hello Kitty.” — Naomi Shimada, model
$27 at Amazon

Mylar Wine Bags
“It’s fun to get wine or Champagne, but it’s even nicer in a metallic gift bag. It’s a super simple and easy way to make something look special.” — Nicholas Anderson, co-founder of Confetti System
$25 for 100 bags at Amazon

The 9 Best Hostess Gifts