Like many New Yorkers I do not own a summer house, or a winter home for that matter. I rely on the generosity of my friends and family to spend my summer weekends gallivanting on these quiet pristine beaches of the Hamptons. For over ten years now, I’ve been traveling to the Hamptons for summer weekends. On occasion I’ll splurge for a hotel or rent a house, but year after year, the invitations keep coming. You might be wondering what my secret is. It’s all in the hostess gifts.
The hostess gifts need to be thoughtful. Listen to your friends/hosts when they talk to you. Notice what they do and don’t have around the home. You can always bring a standard gift like wine or take your host out to dinner while visiting, and then send a more thoughtful gift with a handwritten card as a thank you after your stay. You can never say thank you too many times!
Here are some of the most useful & appreciated hostess gifts I have given to my hosts in the past! (Just remember, not all of these would be a great fit for all hosts…this is where being thoughtful is important!)
1. A Cocktail Kit
A good friend invited me to the Hamptons for her birthday weekend, but we were under no circumstances allowed to say the word birthday. I need a practical, fun, and discrete birthday/hostess gift. I knew her favorite cocktail was a dark and stormy so I scoured the Financial District looking for all of the ingredients necessary to make this popular drink! Now you can order the cocktail kits already assembled and have it delivered right to the house (no schlepping in the summer heat!)!
Cocktail Courier has put together a large selection of fabulous cocktails! Cocktail Courier sent me the Venceremos and it was delivered to my doorstep within just a few hours! The kit comes complete with everything you need to create these cocktails (note some materials might require refrigeration!) Each kit comes complete with directions too, but don’t worry! If you lose the, you can simply pull them up on the website!
I brought the kit to the beach house for Memorial Day Weekend, and it was an absolute hit with the hosts. For one of our dinners in, we worked together to craft the signature cocktail of the evening, and it inspired some other creative drink ideas throughout the weekend!
If you want to try Cocktail Courier for yourself or for your hosts, they’ve provided a discount code for you. Just enter NYCGINGERONTHEGO here to receive $10 off your first cocktail kit!
2. Ice Cream
Ice cream? I don’t mean take your host out for ice cream, but you could do that. Or even better, take their kids out for ice cream and give them a little peace and quiet in their own home. Ordering ice cream from Graters is one of my go to gifts for my hosts.
This is the gift where you need to be really thoughtful. Sending to a bachelor with an empty fridge? Sure. To a family where you know they have a spare freezer and a lot of people to eat it quickly? Perfect. Your friend in a NYC studio? Probably not.
I first discovered Graeter’s Ice Cream when I was working in the Hamptons during college as a summer nanny. My bosses had this ice cream shipped from Ohio on dry ice, by the case. I was afraid to eat it. I assumed it must cost a fortune. The flavors were too tempting though, and as a chocolate addict I dove right in. The flavors are amazing. I have a pretty strict “fruit is not dessert” rule but their blackberry chocolate chip quickly became one of my favorites.
3. Pool Floats
Pool floats can be a great idea, but know your host. When I purchased pool floats for a host it was only after a stay where I noticed the old ones were all torn up and in need of replacement. The host was quite thankful for this much needed gift. I also ordered an air pump for easy inflation. The go to pool floats this season are the unicorn and golden swan!
4. A Beach Towel
Ok, most people don’t want beach towels, so that’s a little misleading. Don’t buy random beach towels. Most people with a Hamptons home have a certain style and decor and they’ve even put thought into their beach towels. The two types of beach towels I have given as gifts are Turkish Towels and Roundies. The recipient of the Turkish towel had expressed interest in them for their multifunctional appeal. And Roundies are the hottest thing to hit the beach. I can’t think of a reason why anyone wouldn’t want one of these beauties!
Finally, if you know your host isn’t watching her waistline for bathing suit season, chocolates can make a great gift. They can be put out after dinner or left around to munch on throughout the lazy summer days. My go to chocolate to give as a gift is Teuscher. These melt in your mouth chocolatey balls of goodness are flown in from Switzerland weekly, guaranteeing a fresh, high quality treat for your host. While I highly recommend the champagne truffles, you can’t go wrong with an assorted box!
Next time you’re invited somewhere for the weekend, try out one of these fabulous hostess gifts. Share your go to hostess gifts in the comments below!