For the avid entertainer and home cook, no gift is more exciting than a new piece of servingware to use at the next dinner party or to bring fresh color to their everyday table. From colorful crystal cocktail glasses to traditional Mexican platters, these 15 gifts are sure to please your favorite host or hostess.
See all our perfect present ideas in the 2012 Holiday Gift Guide »
Ethiopian Cotton Napkins
Durable, soft, and ethically made, these rustic-chic napkins are perfect for everyday use.
Ethiopian Cotton Napkins, $21 each at Canvashomestore.com
Mexican Talavera Platters
The mesmerizing geometric patterns and bold colors of traditional hand-painted Mexican Talavera make stunning centerpieces for serving everything from cookies to roasts on.
Mexican Talavera Platters, $79–259 each at Lafuente.com
Trio of Resin Bowls on Dish
Tina Frey Designs’ handcrafted resin dishes are surprisingly lightweight, and gorgeously luminescent–we love the way they feel in our hands.
Trio of Resin Bowls on Dish, $175 at Barneys.com
Sukat Makkarella Footed Bowl
With the name translating to “socks rolled down” in Finnish, this hand-blown and hand-made dessert bowl from Marimekko is both unconventionally fun and perfectly elegant.
Sukat Makkarella Turquoise Footed Bowl, $49 at Crateandbarrel.com
Waterford Mixology Crystal Tumblers
A mix-and-match array of bold colors and distinctive patterns brings contemporary elegance to traditional crystal barware.
Waterford Mixology Tumblers Set of 2, $175 at Waterford.com
Whale Wood Tongs
Part of the profits from these playful jamjuree wood serving tongs by Design House Stockholm are donated to Save the Whales.
Whale Wood Tongs, $50 at Horne.com
Sold individually, these colorful powder-coated steel trays from designer Clara von Zweigbergk are modular, stackable, and infinitely versatile, lending a brightly retro sculptural element to any table.
Kaleido Trays, $16.00-$78.00 at DWR.com
Mosser Glass Ware
Sleek modern black meets charming vintage shapes in three covetable tabletop pieces, hand-pressed by Mosser Glass in Ohio.
Mosser Glass Ware, $12-25 at Schoolhouseelectric.com
Mango Wood Shallow Bowl
This stunning serving piece, hand-forged in Thailand from sustainably harvested mango wood, makes for a quintessential salad bowl or durable vessel for popcorn.
Mango Wood Shallow Bowl, $50 at Thetravelerscollection.com
Chilewich Boucle Runner & Place Mat
You’ve seen them at restaurants, but these durable, modern woven place mats and runners can give your everyday dining table a sleek, streamlined look worthy of the pros.
Chilwich Boucle Runner & Place Mat, $15-50 at chilewich.com
Oval Oak Wine Carafe
Every wine-lover needs a good decanter, and we’re partial to the simple and functional elegance of this one, topped off with a rustic oak sphere.
Oval Oak Wine Carafe, $36 at Uncommongoods.com
Laguiole Cheese Knives Set
For your favorite hostess, a set of classic French cheese knives is the perfect gift.
Laguile Cheese Knives, $39 for a set of three at Westelm.com
Sorgente Blue Highball Glasses
With whimsical organic shapes, Bormioli Rocco’s Italian glasses make drinking your morning juice or evening cocktail a little more fun.
Sorgente Blue Highball Glasses, $25 for a set of four at Macys.com
Oven-to-Table Entertainment Plate
So much lovelier than a hot plate, the natural temperature-retaining quality of soapstone allow this tray to keep whatever you’re serving warm or cool: simply pre-heat it in the oven or pre-chill it in the freezer.
SPARQ Oven-to Table Entertainment Plate, $45 at Sparqusa.com
dolsot bowls can withstand temperatures as high as 615°F and stay hot for a long time–use them for making Korean bibimbap, stews, or for serving soup in to keep it warm.
Korean Dolsot Bowl, $29.60 at Aliaexpress.com