Gift suggestions for friends in Cape Town

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Aug 7th, 2005, 10:20 AM
  #1
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Gift suggestions for friends in Cape Town

When I was in Prague, I met a couple who live in Cape Town. Long story short, they have invited me to dine in their home and sample local wines when I am in Cape Town in a few weeks. Any suggestions on a suitable hostess gift? I am not very good at this sort of thing. Would something from the my home country (US) be appropriate or should I pick up something local once I am there?
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Aug 7th, 2005, 10:53 AM
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I think something from the US would be a much more thoughtful gift.

Where in the US are you from - I would suggest something related to that region - for example maple candy from Vermont etc.
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Aug 7th, 2005, 11:12 AM
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I am currently from Ohio (near Amish country) but not a native of Ohio. I am originally from farm country in Illinois, and prior to moving to Ohio, was in Chicago for 15 years. I would like to think of something suitable yet unique. Any ideas are appreciated. Thanks!
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Aug 7th, 2005, 11:46 AM
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Hmmm... that's a toughie - tomato juice isn't a really exciting gift!

Foodie/ drink gifts are always nice because they don't take space up in the home, you don't have to worry so much about the host's tastes either as somebody in the family will hopefully like the item and it's quickly consumed and they can be a talking point in terms of traditions from both places.

Are there any other traditional consumable items from Ohio that would be readily transportable?

If not, how about a coffee table photo book about your state or area?
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Aug 7th, 2005, 01:45 PM
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Ohio is known for glass, isn't it? If you can find something that's small enough to pack and not too fragile to transport, a piece or two of locally-made glass might be nice (since they're into wine, maybe something wine-related like a wine decanter -- or a pretty picture frame or glass ornament or decorative item). Locally-made fruit preserves or honey or candies...if they like to cook then maybe locally-made ingredients or condiments like fancy mustards, or a cookbook of Ohio recipes...Amish handicrafts...or since you know they like wine and probably like to travel, maybe a Wine Atlas (there are several such books, showing wine-growing regions around the world and describing the grapes grown in each region, etc.).

And yes, a nice bottle of wine from the US would be good, preferably something good but not so easy to find in South Africa...when I was in Cape Town there were lots of stores with California wines (at huge markups), but I didn't see any Oregon or Washington State wines, many of which are fantastic...maybe a lovely Oregon Pinot Noir or a sparkling wine from Washington State or something along those lines...(or a California wine that would be really expensive for them to buy in Cape Town).
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Aug 7th, 2005, 01:55 PM
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Glass sounds lovely - maybe some beautiful bottle stops which would likely be easy items to carry without breakage too...
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Aug 7th, 2005, 02:55 PM
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I had no idea that Ohio was known for glass. Learn something every day. I appreciate the suggestions and will look into what I can find to take along. Thanks!
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Aug 7th, 2005, 07:39 PM
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Several times when I asked friends what I could bring them, several said "DARK CHOCOLATE!" but they were in Bots and Kenya, not South Africa. In both cases they wanted European chocolates, which you might be able to pick up if you are changing planes in Europe. Does anyone know if this is difficult to get or expensive in Cape Town?
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Aug 14th, 2005, 11:21 PM
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I'm a dark chocolate fan. But European brands are now pretty common in S.A., even the common-or-garden supermarkets have them, alongside the local chocs. (Which also include dark chocolae.)

The imported brands include Cote d'Or (Belgium) and Lindt (Switzerland). I don't know how prices compare, but my guess is that they are much the same as in their home country, if not better. I know that (for example) the only place I've found After Eights at a better than S.A. price in the UK is the (seemingly permanent) LHR duty-free specials.
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Aug 15th, 2005, 12:56 PM
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I love all Lisa's ideas! My South African friends have liked calendars with prints from central Illinois, showing snow scenes in the winter months, corn growing in the summer, and so forth. Another gift I've given that was really well received was a cookbook of Midwest recipes.

I recently saw some lovely candles made from soy bean oil, which is certainly an Illinois product. I think you find them in specialty stores here in Illinois; probably not in Ohio.

If you like to bring flowers when you're invited to dinner, it's really easy in Cape Town -- there are people selling them at most intersections.

Enjoy your dinner!
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Aug 15th, 2005, 01:52 PM
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A lot of great suggestions. I will work on trying to get something really appropriate. This board is great!
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Aug 28th, 2005, 08:23 AM
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Okay, here's an update. Since I live in Amish country, I got a little book on the Amish and a 2006 calendar with pictures of Amish life. That should travel easily and be informative to the recipients, and something they would probably not find in South Africa.
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Aug 29th, 2005, 02:30 AM
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Sounds great!
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