Mandy and Mary Ourisman
Best give: Caviar.
Best get: Caviar.
and George Stephanopoulos
Best give: A basket of embroidered French hand towels, soaps and candles.
Best get: A box of Maine lobsters.
If you are thinking of a similar gift, call 1-800-LIVE-LOB, orgo to www.livelob.com. Their Lobster Gram Deluxe Packagefor Two, has two live Maine lobsters, a reusable cooking pot,ceramic butter warmer, long-stem candle and candleholder,fresh lemon and butter, plus two steel shell crackers and seafoodforks, two lobster bibs and wet naps, and a fully illustrated cooking manual.
Best give: Never the same. Fine wine for those who like it or a sampler ofimported beluga, sevruga, and ossetta. Or something in the way of Americanor Central and Eastern European crafts.
Best get: Always flowers and/or a book.
Dean and Deluca in Georgetown has an extensive collection ofcaviar, as does their website, www.deandeluca.com, includingthe Russian Caviar Sampler, a trio of Beluga, Osetra and Sevruga.
Best give: A book, preferably one that is about a subject of interestto the host/hostess. (And, if it is written by one of my clients, all the better.)
Best get: Kind words in the guest book.
Suzanne Kent Cooke
Best give: Floral arrangements that I create, because it’s morefun and personal for the host. My favorite are peonies for their effusivefragrance throughout the flowering stages.
Best get: Anything relating to gardening, especially English boxwoods.
Aniko Gaal Schott
Best give: I like to surprise people. WhenI visited friends in Wyoming, I like to bringa little caviar, something they wouldn’t buy themselves.
Best get: Anything unexpected, it’s always a surprise, the spontaneityis what is so charming. The best present I ever received is a wonderfulBrazilian carved tourmaline bowl. It’s absolutely awesome.
Best give: A leather photo album. I usually arrive with a gift in hand,afterwards I only have to worry about a thank you note and don’t have tomail a gift too.
Best get: A manicure and a pedicure, [for] the next weekend
A Mano, at 1677 Wisconsin Ave., NW, has a wide selection ofleather photo albums, including our favorite, the Window Frames version.
Best give: “A large assortment of gourmet cheeses, several packages of gourmetcrackers, several packages of gourmet nuts, and several packages of Trailmix. This meansinstant munching food for anyone who comes to the house during my husband’sand my visit, and for cocktail guests to come!”
Best get: “An enormous piece of prosciutto (Italian smoked ham) and severalripe cantaloupes and honeydew melons. It happens to be my favoritefood combination in the world, which these guests knew from our Italiandays. We had melons for breakfast, and melon and prosciutto for every lunchthereafter until it was all gone!”
Best give: Caviar, books, CDs, photo albums
Best get: The complete set of Frank Sinatra albums, complete set ofHorowitz piano recordings, and See’s candies.
Best give: I send a three-dozen rose explosion.
Best get: A Jay Strongwater frame that matches my home’s décor.