Hostess Cupcakes

Flowers die. Wine’s hardly foolproof. And who needs another candle? With her new Back Bay cupcake boutique, called Sweet, Courtney Forrester—former director of special events for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum—ushers in a return to old-fashioned politesse: baked goods as hostess gift. “I started serving cupcakes at dinner parties,” she says. “Now I take them everywhere.” Forrester’s ready-made and custom treats present a sophisticated aesthetic (none of that cartoonish kids’-birthday stuff) and come in chocolate, vanilla, lemon, cappuccino, and carrot. Minimal lead time on orders (usually 24 hours) and in-town delivery make them ideal for people with places to be. And unlike that bottle of cab—or is it pinot that your host prefers?—these beauties pass through airport security with flying colors.

Signature cupcakes, $3.25 each or 16 for $46, Sweet, 49 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, 617-247-2253, sweetcupcakes.com; vintage luggage, $85 for two-piece set, Bobby from Boston, 19 Thayer St., Boston, 617-423-9299.