Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine

Houseguest Gifts: Washington InsidersShare Their Best Gives and Gets
Summer has arrived and countless Washingtonians will be visiting friends around
the globe. When staying at someone’s home, it is customary to show gratitude
with a present for your host(s). We asked some of Washington’s most notable
residents what they like to give, and what were the best presents they had received as hosts.



Mandy and Mary Ourisman
Best give: Caviar.

Best get: Caviar.

Alexandra Wentworth
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.

Julie Finley
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.

Robert Barnett
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.

Ann Stock
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.

Letitia Baldrige
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!”

Vernon Jordan
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.

Penny Yerks
Best give: I send a three-dozen rose explosion.

Best get: A Jay Strongwater frame that matches my home’s décor.


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