Holiday parties will soon be creeping up on the calendar so we have rounded up 10 things we love, and would love to get in return! And special bonus: all can be found at local Bay Area places. So shop these gems and be prepared ahead of time to bring your host or hostess the perfect thank you gift as you arrive. Whether it be a bottle of wine to share, or an outing to a class taught by an artist-in-residence at the de Young Museum, check out these great things to bring for the next long-planned soiree you attend, or last-minute, festive get-together.
01. BROC CELLARS ZINFANDEL – We first tried this delicious Zin at San Francisco restaurant, Commonwealth, and are now hooked. Head over to Berkeley-based, Broc Cellars, to sip and shop.
02. FLOWERS: Send a “bloombox” the day of your event (or even a few days before) from Matilda’s Magnolias. Each box come with freshly cut, seasonal blooms that are sourced locally, and they even include tips on how to arrange and care for your new bouquet.
03. BRING DESSERT: Tell your host(ess) to take dessert off her/his plate, and bring it yourself. Need a great option? Try Oakland’s Natty Cakes, which operates out of the Kitchener. We are excited to try this salted caramel apple pie. And she is already taking holiday orders!
o4. GET SALTY: March in San Francisco is known for their stunning tabletop and serving pieces, but try this salt trio gift set.
05. LOCAL COFFEE: This blend from Oakland Coffee, founded by East Bayers, Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt (yes you know their band), has the richness of a dark roast and is smooth at the same time. They are doing amazing work to support the communities from where their coffee originates, plus they have coffee pods that are compostable (!). Read more here.
06. COOKBOOK: We can’t put this one down. Beautiful images and insights on integrating healing herbs into cooking, this book can be found at Whole Foods in Oakland and Lafayette.
07. ANCIENT OLIVE TREES OIL & VINEGAR: The Tiburon-based company that has been delivering ancient olive trees to homes, is also delivering their own olive oil. Pelago in Montclair carries their archival balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.
08. CHEESE PLATE: We posted a feature on Maker’s Common a few weeks ago, and this is your reminder: they do amazing catering. Bring a cheese plate from people who know what they are doing.
09. GET CRAFTY: Use your host(ess) gift as a chance to sign you and your friend up for this cool upcoming class, Paper Japanese Form Peony, at the East Bay’s Handcraft Studio. Taught by Tiffanie Turner, an artist and architect, she was the artist-in-residence last May at the de Young Museum. Check out her beautiful book here.
10. TOWEL UPGRADE: Your host(ess) will really love, and never forget you, if you show up with new organic hand towels from San Francisco-based, Coyuchi.