Host With the Most

SOUTHBAY magazine contributing lifestyle guru Valerie Sartini shares her favorite local items that make the best hostess gifts.

The naturally flavored, locally grown extra virgin olive oils from Oliovera on Pier Ave. in Hermosa Beach are a gourmet food lover’s delight. Empty glass bottles in three different sizes allow you to choose from infused flavors like basil or garlic oils. The staff hand fills and seals your bottle and can customize a message on the outside for you (Get cookin’ is a favorite). The 18-year-old aged balsamic has the consistency and sweetness of syrup and transports you to the Tuscan countryside. $5.50-$30

Oliovera, 200 Pier Ave. #206 in Hermosa Beach, 424-250-0540

Just up the street from Oliovera, you’ll find Gum Tree, a wonderful source for hostess gifts and beyond. Encourage your host to enjoy the last bit of summer with these chic and impeccably designed picnic or outdoor pieces—perfect for a starry night at the Hollywood Bowl or a concert on the beach in Hermosa.
Fruitwood Cheese Board $39 and knives 2/$18
Folding Picnic Knife $26
Plastic Wine Glasses $4 each

Gum Tree, 238 Pier Ave. in Hermosa Beach, 310-376-8744

Christie in Manhattan Beach isn’t only the best place in town to buy stationary. They carry a darling assortment of gifts. Charm your hostess with these fun and colorful cocktail napkin caddies fabricated from recycled aluminum. $44

Christie, 1219 Highland Ave. in Manhattan Beach, 310-545-1707

Magpie in Manhattan Beach is another wonderful source for one-of-a kind gifts. Beauty and function come together in these colorful, hand-blown glass salt and pepper shakers. I collect these little gems and they are always a conversation starter. A set of these elevates any table setting. Small $38. Large $60

Magpie, 1141 Highland Ave. in Manhattan Beach, 310-546-5132

Anthropologie is full of sensory delights and inspirations. Fill this clever and adorable stoneware farmer’s market basket with delicious seasonal berries from the Manhattan or Hermosa farmers market, wrap in cellophane with a pretty bow and head to your party! Small $14. Large $20
And their whimsical tea towels, all color and fringe, will tickle the fancy of any hostess you visit. Around $16 each

Anthropologie at Plaza El Segundo, 800 South Sepulveda Blvd, 310-414-0066

Finally, I love these fun and fanciful glass birdhouses. Admittedly, these are delicate and must be hung with care. But their aesthetic and fun-to-watch quality make them a unique and lovely surprise gift. Birdseed not included. $68

Available through Treasures Interior Design, 310-545-9404

Next month, The Best Halloween Haunts in the South Bay!

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