If you’ve hosted anybody in your humble abode, you can probably share in reminiscing about the highs and lows of hosting. Not ringing any bells? Let me give you an example. High: Having guests praise your amazing ability to pick out high-brow snacks from Whole Foods AND making them believe that yeah, you totally eat like this all the time. Low: Having everyone turn to you after they devour your perfectly laid out charcuterie board, with that “what’s next?” look in their eyes. A cheese board is an event in and of itself, people!

Really though, hosting is a grab bag. You have to take the good with the bad. Some of its fun (showing off your carefully curated décor), some of it is less than ideal (taking a cold shower in your own home after everybody’s used the hot water). Regardless, if you have hosted, you know that it’s a lot of work. You’re constantly cooking, entertaining, fluffing pillows, and making sure Uncle Pete doesn’t blow up your toilet for real this time (ew). It’s a grind. Which is why when you stay at other peoples homes, you should most certainly come prepared with a little hostess gift.

But, what oh what should that gift be? Luckily, you’ve got options. Here are some local gifts you can find in the DC area that make for the perfect way to say “thanks for having me.”

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Lubanzi Wines

Wine is a classic hostess gift. Plus, if you’re luckily, they’ll pop the cork right out while you’re still there and you’ll get to indulge, too (win-win). Plus, this wine’s got local character to go along with great taste. Lubanzi has two headquarters – one in DC, where they handle all of their business operations, and one in South Africa, where their wine is sourced and made. There mission is to share the beauty that their founders know of South Africa, as well as make a difference to those in that country who work on wine farms. They’ve pledged 50% of their profits back to the Pebbles Project, an NGO that works with the low-income families who live and work on South African wine farms. A bottle will run you $18, and you can find them at various places around town:

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Dish Towels from The Neighborgoods

The Neighborgoods is a small specialty shop run by a local illustrator and designer named Jodi. The shop is mostly foodie themed, with cheesy puns (quite literally the best kind). It’s the perfect place to support local business while simultaneously grabbing something unique that your host is sure to love. My favorite gift of choice would be a few of The Neighborgoods’ gift towels. Personal favorites include “Get FIGGY with it,” “We the PRODUCE,” and “The anatomy of a cheese plate.”

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Green Hat Distilled Gin

Why beat around the bush? Bringing craft gin as a hostess gift lets people know you’re here to do one thing and one thing only –- party. Plus, I’ve never personally been sad about being on the receiving end of nice alcohol. Green Hat is a gin crafted by New Columbia Distillers, a family run business owned by Michael Lowe and his wife, Melissa Kronig and John Uselton and his wife, Elizabeth Lowe. Speaking to their gin, it’s pretty special. As written on their website, it’s a “super-premium gin that excels both in the finest cocktails and with a small cube in the gin-lover’s neat glass.” They offer Classic Gin, and Navy Strength, as well as seasonal blends. Grab a bottle at any of these locations.


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Local flowers from Little Acre

Okay, so flowers are kind of obvious. But for anyone who appreciates an extra ounce of thought here and there, local flowers can be a whole other level of a nice gesture. Little Acre Flowers claims to be DC’s only 100% locally-sourcing florist –– and there’s something really special about that! They get beautiful flowers delivered from nearby local farms daily and then man, do they make beautiful arrangements out of them. Plus, at Little Acre, there’s no need to be overwhelmed by the choices. You simply pick what size arrangement (small, medium, or large), and if you’d prefer it in a vase or as a hand-tied bouquet. Then, the flowers of that day are arranged into something smashing for you to wow your host with! Easy does it…

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You simply can’t ever go wrong with chocolate. Chocolate made right here in the District? Even better! Chocotenango is inspired by the flavors and beans of Antigua, Guatemala, also known as, “the place of chocolate.” It’s been internationally recognized as a bean to bar chocolate and taste tests would confirm that yeah, it’s good! The company offers a few varieties including pure dark chocolate; cardamom in dark chocolate; nutmeg, sea salt, and chili in milk chocolate; and chili in dark chocolate.

The only thing I have left to say is this: Want to come over to my place?

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