August 8, 2012 2:40 pm
Visiting a friend this Summer? Want to be invited back? Be sure to show up at the door bestowing a thoughtful gift of thanks. Bring something unexpected that will leave an impression long after you’ve gone. From a locally made item to a vintage find to a gift that’ll last a lifetime, here are some of the more memorable gifts I’ve received…and given.
1. A Beautiful Blanket - Friends brought us a piquet vintage blanket from India in the most fantastic colors. One side is bright orange and the other is gray/blue. It’s a spectacular keepsake. While they’re not vintage, the beautiful Indian blankets by Slowcolor are crafted with centuries-old techniques and an ideal gift for the hostess with the mostest.
2. A Tree - The ultimate in green gift giving, a tree will last long after the fresh flowers have wilted or chocolates have been consumed. One of the most special gifts Shirin and I have ever received were 300-year old olive trees from Spain. We are planting them around our new property in Provence, and will be able to enjoy them, and the fruit they yield, year after year. Of course, you need not show up with an olive grove for the party giver—a small rosemary tree or lavender plant make great gifts that keep on growing.
3. An Ice Bucket - Give a gift you know will be put to good use. We received a large stainless steel Taittinger ice bucket as a present from friends, which we pull out every time we entertain. I also love this leather-handled bucket by Tina Frey. Go one step further and throw in a nice bottle of bubbly.
4. Turkish Towels - Ideal for the beach, the bath or used as a throw, lightweight Turkish towels are a gift any hostess will gush over. And they won’t take up much room in your suitcase. I love the striped seersucker ones from Steven Alan.
5. A Gift for the Guests - Why not give your guests a gift that says thanks for coming?To all of our friends who have visited us in Provence this Summer we’ve given brightly colored espadrilles—in colors like green, yellow, and denim—which we buy at a local store in town near the marché. Soludos.com has a great selection of the jute-soled shoes in wonderful colors and whimsical patterns.