Hostess/Thank-You Gift Ideas, Please

Old Aug 23rd, 2020, 12:23 PM
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Hostess/Thank-You Gift Ideas, Please

Dear Fodorites,

DD attends Trinity College Dublin. One of her Uni friends has invited her to spend a long weekend before classes begin next month at Friend's Grandmother's house on Achill Island, and I am seeking suggestions on what DD might bring along in appreciation of the invitation. The two will travel by IrishRail and then by bus to reach Grandma's house, so something less fragile than, say, flowers would be preferred. A local honey is often my go-to in these instances, but Friend's Grandmother makes her own. Of course she does.

I can send DD to procure something in Dublin, but, what; and there is time for me to send something from the U.S. to DD, but again, what might I send across the pond? What might an Irish Grandmother living on a Wild Atlantic Way Island enjoy?

Thank you, in advance.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2020, 03:40 PM
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Butler's Irish Chocolates, tea from Bewleys. They have beautiful tins. Hope she gets to bike to Westport one day.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2020, 03:48 PM
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There are 'Grandmother's', 'Nana's', and 'GRANDmothers' . . . Any idea which this one is?

Since you live in the SE and if there is time I'd maybe send some sort of gourmet product from home and not something 'Irish'. (However, postal services are semi-disrupted because of covid so you might not have enough time. I'm getting things pretty quick from the UK but things I've sent the other way seem to be taking 7-10 days longer than usual)

My best suggestion is for your DD to ask her friend what sorts of things her grandmother might like/be able to use.

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Old Aug 23rd, 2020, 04:26 PM
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Macross, thank you. The tea is a great idea. In our weekly FT chat today DD mentioned something about biking on the Island, though I don't think it included the 50 or so kilometers to/fro Westport. Perhaps on the next visit.

janisj, thank you, as well. No idea about the Grandmother status; though, DD is traveling with A BOY to visit the Grandmother (and all of the family will be there as well). Asking a burgeoning 20-something to ask another burgeoning 20-something any etiquette question is, well...there is still a (little) bit of time to quiz both of them. Though, I do wonder how an Irish Grandmother might receive a bottle of Nashville Hot sauce?

Last edited by fourfortravel; Aug 23rd, 2020 at 04:30 PM.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2020, 04:54 PM
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. . . I dunno -- Mexican food is one of the most popular cuisines in the Republic. (and coffee is generally more popular than tea these days) Maybe the boy won't know exactly what gift to give (though he might surprise you) but at least he'll know what sort of things she enjoys or her hobbies or if she is a tea drinker or some clue at least. When I don't know the person at all I usually fall back on gourmet chocolates - but that is a last resort.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2020, 05:05 PM
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janisj, your response is why this is so hard for me/DD. I'm dealing with two on-the-cusp 20-something Astrophysics majors (DD and The Boy), so even though I speak Nerd I feel like I am at a loss. Chocolates can never fail, I agree.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2020, 05:38 PM
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Another thought - if 'The Boy' is student nerdy and doesn't know which end is up . . . maybe DD and 'The Boy' can together contact his mom/dad (whom ever the Grandma is parent of) and ask for guidance??

Since she makes her own honey she likely is at least on a small holding if not a full on farm.

. . . OR just fall back on Chocolates from Ladurée or Leonidas (both in Dublin)
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Old Aug 23rd, 2020, 06:54 PM
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I have been giving people small sets of essential oils. Here you can buy sets of oils based on plants from the Australian bush (which I have been giving), but I think most people would like a present like that no matter where your oils come from. They are also very packable. A fancy pack of tea might also be well received. We have tea blends named after the city at one fancy tea chain, which makes it sort of 'local'.

Lavandula
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Old Aug 23rd, 2020, 07:09 PM
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https://www.wildatlanticway.com/thin...stern-greenway You can even do it one-way f you rent bikes. They drive you back. Bewley's and Butler's sell coffee, tea, and chocolate. Something for everyone. Keep it simple.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2020, 11:33 PM
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Dublin has some wonderful shops. Tea (not bags) and Coffee. Maybe a nice tea strainer. I like the idea of asking the boy’s parents. I did mail a gift from the US once to Ireland. The lady collected cookbooks and wanted one from a US chef. So, there might be something particular she would like. If she gardens, quite likely, some seeds would be nice, or new garden tools and gloves, but your DD would have to get them there.
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Old Aug 24th, 2020, 06:48 AM
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Does your daughter go to Fallon and Byrne on Exchequer Street? It is my closest grocery at our apartment but they have a food hall that is amazing. 10 euro meals and we always buy to have in the frig for late night dining. They have a good cheese shop and I love the tea brack. I am missing Dublin.
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Old Aug 24th, 2020, 09:24 AM
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Updates.

Grandmother doesn't "garden," per se. The bees keep her busy. She's "not a fussy woman," according to The Boy, and loves tea. Also, Grandmother walks "all the time."

So. DD decided to knit a small scarf for Grandmother (in her favorite color) to wear on her walkabouts. And, tomorrow she and The Boy are going to investigate Fallon and Byrne for lunch and perhaps pick up a tea blend for Grandmother.

Macross, thank you for the cycling link; I forwarded it to DD.

Sassafras, I like the cookbook idea and have filed that one away for future use.

Lavandula, would never have thought about oils. Filing that one away, as well.
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Old Aug 24th, 2020, 09:55 AM
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If the g-mother happens to be a knitter, a couple of skeins of a novelty yarn or a luxury fiber yarn (merino, alpaca, silk, blends, etc.). I remember stopping at a couple of really nice yarn stores in Dublin.
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Old Aug 24th, 2020, 10:02 AM
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fourfortravel, I didn't see your last post... Knitting a scarf for the g-mother is a wonderful gift!!
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Old Aug 24th, 2020, 12:00 PM
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Love the scarf idea!
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Old Aug 24th, 2020, 12:56 PM
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Regarding TEA: I wouldn't. Tea drinkers are very particular about their brand so even if the tin is nice it could be less-appreciated, though I'm sure you'd never know. Nice chocolates are certainly preferable, easier to feed to other people even if it turns out to not be their personal favorite. Continuing, by the time we're that age most of us have more stuff than we wish we did, so food is always a winner, it disappears.
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Old Aug 24th, 2020, 01:14 PM
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That is so nice. A handmade gift is very nice. The food hall has the best Beef Bourguignon with a side for 10 euro. They heat it up for you or you take it to go cold. I want a loaf of their tea brack.
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Old Aug 28th, 2020, 06:24 PM
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Macross, I read recently that Bewley's in Dublin has permanently closed. I remembered it very fondly from my trip to Ireland in the early 1970's, and visited it again last year. It was as wonderful as I had remembered. Very sad to hear it is closed.
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Old Aug 28th, 2020, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by enewell View Post
Macross, I read recently that Bewley's in Dublin has permanently closed. I remembered it very fondly from my trip to Ireland in the early 1970's, and visited it again last year. It was as wonderful as I had remembered. Very sad to hear it is closed.
I think the Mayor interceded and they shamed the owner into cutting them some slack. Unbelievable amount of rent. They have re-opened with social distancing now. The Irish Times had an article yesterday. I am thrilled because it is always a great stop on Grafton for tea or coffee and the best scones.
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Old Aug 29th, 2020, 04:10 AM
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chocolate or/and booze
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