It’s August. High season in Newport for houseguests, a beloved summer ritual. What are you giving your hostess/host this year? Do you “come bearing gifts” or expect to pick one up on a planned, or impromptu (the best kind) shopping spree?
Either way, indulge yourself in the images below and be inspired. These gift ideas have been selected from many considered sources – the 80+ boutiques that grace the lawns of Rosecliff during the Newport Flower Show in late June, the private trunk shows that are peppered across our calendars come August and the various and colorful established retail shops in Newport…plus the welcome pop up stores!
After years as both a hostess and a houseguest, and loving both, here are some fun ideas that will satisfy any houseguest’s best intentions; I’ve either received them or have been given them…or have them on my wish list.
French Provencal tablecloths – coated for practicality! These wonderfully charming patterns are at home anywhere. Traditional Jacquard-weave (treated with Teflon® to resist stains and spills.) “Seurgette” pattern, 63″ x 63″, $90 (rectangular cloths, and additional patterns, also available.) (La Cigale)
One can never have enough of these…and Tory Burch appreciates this point. Love the two-tone colors for separate compartments and their durable nylon fabric. Approximately 8″ x 5″ x 5″ $115. (Michael Hayes, Newport, Rhode Island)
For the Gardener
Now this would be a compliment for your host or hostess…and you’re also providing a piece of history. The English Haws watering can, designed nearly a century ago, is made from heavy gauge steel, coated with galvanized zinc to prevent rusting and then painted; holds up to 2.4 gallons of water. There’s also a very utilitarian spigot that holds the sprinkling head when not in use. I’ve never seen this before but certainly feel like I’ve been missing out. $140 (Haws Watering Cans)
How to be practical and chic at the same time. That wonderful Melamine (we never call it “plastique”) in colors and patterns that immediately become the centerpiece of a picnic or garden party. Allegra Turquoise plate $13, and Antiqua Blue plate $17; both available as a dessert plate or a lunch plate. (Pomegranate Seeds)
For the Bedrooms…Especially the Guest Room
No matter how many hangers I have, I always need more. Truly pretty, feminine hangers are scarce, especially in yummy colors. Pair them with the coordinating accent pillows to decorate the bed. Beautiful and restorative at the same time, the pillows (and hangers) are in luxurious raw silk filled with crushed lavender and detailed with carved stone medallions. Rectangular pillows, 8 1/4″ x 5″ $68; neck roll pillows, 10 1/2″ x 3″ $39; hangers $28.50. (Cynthia Alexander)
What hostess wouldn’t want to be flattered by a sparkly piece of jewelry? Oh, go ahead and get a pair for yourself, too! Interchangeable grosgrain ribbon bracelets are adorned with Swarovski Crystals, from $29 to $59. (Michael Hayes, Newport, Rhode Island)
The “Whatever” Basket, made in France…and the “whatever” is a long list. I have one, in coordinating fabrics, in every room…for guest’s jewelry, to hold notepads and paper by the phone, for cosmetics on a shelf. $18 (La Cigale)
For the Collector
Beautifully crafted ceramics can always find a place in one’s home, even if the hostess/host doesn’t think of themselves as “collectors.” Aside from the tantalizing subject matter (inspired by antique English Delftware pottery) the shapes of Wanderlust Ceramics’ plates are a stand-out (the secret? She uses old silver pieces as molds.) The “Well Bred” platter 13″ x 8.5″ $45; the “Garden Variety” platter 14″ x 11″ $60 and the “All Together Now” platter 14.5″ x 11″ $30.
Additional note…bringing local art to your hostess personalizes the thought even more!
For Her Wardrobe
With Newport’s cool nights, 70% cashmere/30% silk shawls are indispensable, an elegant addition to her wardrobe while being practical at the same time. Exquisitely hand painted, they now have become a fashion statement (these are made to order in Nepal, where this small business supports the livelihood of its local village.) 28″ x 78″ $325
It only makes sense…one of the best gift categories is one with a “limited shelf life,” whether it be food, wine, or candles. They’ll thank you forever.
Allen Brothers lamb loin chops; 12- 9 ounce chops, 2/5″ thick. $251.95
Case of Veuve Clicquot, approximately $683.88.
Precious and Personal
A petit antique sterling silver basket “rings holder” for the hostess’s beside table; priceless. AMW
Dressing Up Your Home
A new coffee table book is definitely an answer for the “person who has everything.”
Or, an out-of-stock vintage selection.
Put on your thinking caps…what’s your favorite hostess gift, to give or receive?