Etiquette Corner: Going the Extra Mile

By: Erin Newkirk

Dear Erin,

I have some very good friends who allowed me to stay in their flat for an entire week while I was in London. I want to send them something to stay 'thank you' now that I am back in the US, but they were so accommodating that a card just doesn't seem like enough. I was thinking along the lines of having flowers or a gift basket of gourmet food delivered, but the things I've found online are not very inspiring. Any ideas? Thanks!


Dear Alex,

A week in London at your good friend's flat? How marvelous! Though I can easily see why a thoughtful person like yourself was extended the invitation in the first place. :)

While all kind gestures are grand, my favorite gift to give a generous host is something memorable from the trip and/or something they love to do in their everyday life. A gift card to a favorite restaurant/pub, a delivery from a local bakery/florist, a surprise credit at their favorite store...something that makes their city special to you, them and/or highlights a memory you shared while together. Think local, fresh, and one-of-a-kind and suddenly your gesture become exponentially more inspiring.

The local element is also helpful when sending internationally so you can avoid all those tariffs and duties that might turn into a hidden cost for your recipient. {Gasp!} And regarding costs, local and one-of-a-kind doesn't have to be expensive, but think about all the money they saved you along the way and make sure you aren't penny wise, pound foolish.

Thank you SO much for your question, Alex. A pleasure!

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(image via pretty stuff)