My recently divorced father and I have been invited to visit with his old college friends in New York City. We were going to stay in a hotel but they are insisting that we stay with them in their large apartment. What would be a good hostess present from a father and daughter to our hosts who have everything?
–NS, Barrington, RI
Send a white orchid plant from the greenhouses at Venamy Orchids, at email@example.com, in Brewster, NY. They make two delivery trips a week into Manhattan and, despite a small charge deliver, the quality and cost of the plant far surpasses expectation.
An orchid plant might be better than flowers if you don’t know if they are going away after your stay. The orchid will still be in blooming when they return.
- Orchid plants need little care; two ice cubes can be placed on top of the moss every two weeks.
- Also, with flowers if you don’t know their colors, they may be finicky about colors.
Handcrafted chocolates are also a huge hit. In that case you would arrive with the chocolates, perhaps from La Maison du Chocolat at 1018 Madison Avenue, online at lamaisonduchchocolat.us, where there are delicious assortments.
A coffee table book is also good, but it has to be of interest to your hosts. And, recently printed, such as BILL JACKLIN’s NEW YORK.
- As a houseguest you would arrive with something in your hand to present upon your arrival. A beautifully wrapped book or handcrafted chocolates are always welcome.
- Orchids or flowers should be delivered.
If you decide on a floral arrangement, two of the best florists in New York City are Miho Kosuda, Ltd for exotic flowers from foreign countries and Belle Fleur, which uses only fragrant garden roses as opposed to warehoused roses.
For a more conventional arrangement, Renny & Reed, at 505 Park Avenue, are well-known and well-respected.
- The arrangement shouldn’t be over-whelming in height or girth or be designed as a long centerpiece.
- Ask for a coffee table or end table size.
Steer clear of giving tabletop linens that may not fit the decor, or the size of the table.
Scented candles can also be tricky when your hosts are not keen on the scent of tuberose or patchouli.
Also, wines, ports, and handcrafted bourbons are challenging. You don’t want to make your host feel he has to open that expensive wine that doesn’t jibe with the dinner menu.
- In other words, if you don’t know wines and spirits, or exactly what your host likes, don’t guess.
- For instance good friends bring my husband a bottle of handcrafted bourbon made in small batches because he really appreciates them.
The key to giving the perfect present is to give your host something they really enjoy and not something you think they should have. They like orchids, give them a splendid orchid, they like good bourbon, give them the best.
It is also welcomed words to the host who is presented chocolates or wine to be let off the hook when the guest says, “Please, know that you can save this for another occasion.”
Enjoy this post? Share it with others.
Accepting A Compliment