A successful dinner party is the result of military like forethought and precision. There is a silly saying that is true: A successful hostess is like a duck on a pond, seemingly serene on the surface and paddling furiously underneath. She richly deserves a little something to show that you appreciate the investment she has made for your enjoyment. If she (or he, not to discriminate) appears to already have everything, herein a few ideas to be found on Third Street South.
Adam Mahr, owner of A. Mano with shops on Third Street South and in Georgetown in Washington, D.C., is no stranger to party-going and gift giving. He has a regularly updated choice of items ranging from small and amusing to serious and singular. Linen cocktail napkins with tongue-in-cheek phrases, matches with double entendre sayings, deliciously scented candles, and for a major present, stunning glass and crystal pieces. On their website, to simplify your task, they have a section helpfully titled Hostess Gifts, but the in-store shopping is more fun, with the full wit and whimsy of the shopkeeper on display, and all done with taste and a chic sense of style.
St. Tropez Home‘s owner, Katie Frank, has lived in Paris and regularly returns there to bring products from iconic French houses that are exclusively at St. Tropez. Her eye encompasses the traditional and the more contemporary creating a blend that is usually only successfully achieved in Europe where old and new have always co-existed. Arrive for dinner with a small vase, a chic little bowl or an attractive picture frame. Perhaps leave the extraordinary elaborate crystal chandelier for another day.
Of course, if no non-edible gift intrigues you, a bottle of wine is always welcome. Tony’s Off Third, with its 20-plus year history on Third Street South, offers a boutique selection of all varietals and price points. The in-house wine director, Sukie Honeycutt, knows about as much as anyone in the industry, and hand-selects her inventory, guaranteeing there is something for everyone.