They say life is all about first impressions so when you’re next invited into someone’s home for a BBQ or a weekend stay, make sure you bring along a wonderful host/hostess gift.
One ever-reliable option is a candle, but don’t go with a forgettable run-of-the-mill one. Instead, opt for Kat Burki’s Cosmos Collection. Burki did extensive research to find out what scents each astrological sign respond to most favorably and developed candles around them; the colors of the tins each of the candles come in also tie into astrological preferences ($24 at www.katburki.com). Olfactory senses can be similarly tickled with Thymes’ new Mandarin Coriander Reed Diffuser ($48 at Hampton Maid, 259 East Montauk Highway Hampton Bays).
Summers in the Hamptons usually involve outdoor entertaining, and while traditional wine is always a welcome addition – and to that end, choose one of Wölffer’s varietals (139 Sagg Road Sagaponack) or opt for a tasting kit from the Tasting Room (www.tastingroom.com) – for a more original option, go for TY KU’s Sake Bomb Kit, which comes with a 720 ml bottle of Super Premium Junmai Ginjo TY KU Sake, a sleek black TY KU sake cup, and 2 stirrers ($30 at Zabi Spirits 74A County Road 39 Southampton). If you’re anticipating heavy, calorific fare, go with limoncello, traditionally served chilled as a digestivo. Pallini Limoncello, the only premium limoncello on the market, is made using hand-picked Sfusato lemons grown on Italy’s Amalfi coast. Refreshing on its own, the versatile liqueur also pairs well with anything from gin to tequila ($25 at www.astorwines.com).
When it comes to edible treats, one would be remiss not to mention the melt-in-your-mouth delicious ones from Levain. Famed for their Oprah-approved six-ounce cookies ($22 for a 4-cookie gift set at Levain Bakery, 354 Montauk Highway, Wainscott), they’re gooey heaven on a plate. For the more health-conscious, try the delicious raw-vegan treats from Hail Merry, which include Vanilla Almonds, Chocolate Macaroons, and a to-die-for Chocolate Miracle Tart (Provisions, 7 Main Street Sag Harbor). For a gift to counteract any delicious overindulging, give your host a gift card to SoulCycle, an indoor cycling studio favored by everyone from Kelly Ripa to Bill Clinton (multiple locations including East Hampton and Bridgehampton, see www.soul-cycle.com).
For home gifts, odds are you never thought you could come bearing a Tiffany bag for just $30, but with the iconic store’s Playing Cards you can (at Tiffany & Co., 53 Main Street East Hampton). For $50 you can buy a Lush’s limited edition, reusable tin designed by Brit cartoonist Jon Burgerman. Filled with the brand’s signature bath bombs, it’s sure to please (at www.lushusa.com).
For the most personal touch, The Elegant Setting (27 West Main Street, Southampton) will custom embroider and monogram everything from linens to tote bags to towels, while The Gallery at East Hampton Restoration Hardware (69 Main Street East Hampton) stocks personalized coir and rubber frame doormats that will literally help your host/hostess set the groundwork for future first impressions ($79-109). [/expand]