Hostess Gifts for the Holidays

It’s the time of the year when gift buying and giving is in full swing. Not only for our children, but also our friends who throw their doors open for holiday parties. When it comes to hostess gifts, nothing beats these very special Portuguese products.

Founded in 1887, Claus Porto is one of the oldest and most revered companies in Portugal. Their scented candles and soaps are known throughout the world for their fresh yet rich scents. Orange amber is a particular favorite of mine, especially in the Musgo Real cologne, which works well for both men and women. The soaps are wrapped in delightful printed papers, which remind me of Portuguese tiles as well as the Liberty fabrics we use at Papo d’Anjo.

Another unique treat is Elvas Plums, which are the original sugar plums of Christmas legend. Picked in July in the region near the southern Spanish border, the plums are soaked in sugar for six weeks then dried in the sun. I can’t find a place in the United States to purchase these delicious sweetmeats, but you can order them from Fortnum and Mason in London.

The Quinta do Vesuvio winery

Finally, what’s better on a cold winter night than a glass of Port? My favorite is Quinta do Vesuvio. Taylor and Graham’s are also reliable brands that are very reasonably priced.

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