At some point in your late twenties or early thirties, when your friends replace falling into a beer coma every weekend with new interests like the modern history of architecture, kale & quinoa or wining and dining, you will start to find dinner party invitations in your facebook events (or the mail). Or, even more frightening, a dinner party invitation from your boss.
Next to the other landmines of dress code, how drunk you can acceptably get, when to leave and whether you can/should bring someone, you also have to think about what gifts to bring.
Any foodie and host will tell you that planning a dinner party, a menu, cooking, paying for all the ingredients (potentially also the drinks) even for only four people is pretty intense and expensive. So, bringing a small and thoughtful gift will show how much you appreciate their effort.
The main rule of thumb is to match the present to the occasion and the amount of work/money put in. This is a bit difficult to know in advance but, in general, a dinner party with a dress code or four-course menu will require a bigger gift than those at which the host just cooks some coq au vin for their besties.
When you get invitations for relaxed dinners from your best friends, ask whether you should bring some wine first and find out what they are cooking. If they love champagne, bring that – it is always a good aperitif. If they are taking care of the drinks, bring some flowers (always works for girls).
For invitations to bigger and/or more formal dinners, you might want to consider bringing an actual gift rather than just your presence. Here, small deco items and delicatessen are great solutions. For delicatessen, check your local shops if they have gift boxes of cheese, jams etc., depending on your hosts preferences. The gift should obviously be at least a bit personal, so, if you have a better idea than ours, go for that!
HAY Candle holder – This is one of the prettiest candle holders we could find and a gem of Scandinavian design
Get it here: HAY
Dyptique – a classic and beautiful gift and decor element every woman will be thankful for (might not impress men so much).
Get it here: Dyptique
Aesop Resurrection Handwash – While we normally would not recommend to bring soap, this one is just too great
Get it here: Aesop Handwash
A chocolate fondue set – will probably melt every foodie’s heart
Get it here: Finnish Design
This magic garden – will blossom during the dinner and looks incredibly sweet. Also great for guys who like to play
Get it here: Amazon