Five Boston Stores with Perfect Dinner-Party Host Gifts
Stock their wine rack, display shelves, and pantry with wares from these local shops.
For the Craft Connoisseur
Queen of Swords
11 Hawkins St., Somerville, 617-718-0373, shopqueenofswords.com.
Helmed by the talented ladies behind floral-and-event-styling company Forêt Design Studio, the recently opened Queen of Swords celebrates the handmade with an assortment of finely crafted clothing, accessories, and home goods. True to form, many of the indie brands carried by the Insta-worthy shop—which debuted in August—are also female-owned.
Must-Buy: Na Nin “Landslide” handpoured soy candle, $26.
For the Vino Aficionado
Central Bottle Wine + Provisions
196 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-225-0040, centralbottle.com.
Modeled after the enotecas of Venice, this glass-walled Cambridge shop impresses with a robust inventory of small-batch, biodynamic wines, many sourced from Italy and France. Stop in for any of Central Bottle’s free tastings, held three times each week, to find the perfect bottle to pair with your host’s beef braciole or coq au vin. And did we mention the artisanal cheese and salumi selections? You’ll want to peruse those, too.
Must-Buy: Clos Centeilles “La Part des Anges” red wine, $17.
For the Entertainer
343 Watertown St., Newton, 617-244-3510, greentailtable.com.
Teak bar tools. Porcelain appetizer plates. Charming salt-and-pepper shakers in the shape of birds. You’ll find it all at this design-forward Newton boutique, a Scandinavian-inspired ode to all things tabletop. The hardest part of shopping here? Resisting the urge to keep the goodies for yourself.
Must-Buy: Marble serving board with leather strap, $28.
For the Chocoholic
220 Clarendon St., Boston, 617-303-0113; 52 Brattle St., Cambridge, 617-491-4340;
If there’s a candy heaven, we’re pretty sure it’s brimming with the mouthwatering sweets offered by this confectioner,
which marks its 30th anniversary this year. Breathe in the intoxicating aroma of brewing cappuccino from the in-store café while you scour the tidy displays of rich drinking chocolate, handmade bonbons, candy-dipped apricots and thinly sliced pears, and the shop’s signature ganache-filled penguins and mice.
Must-Buy: Signature bonbon assortment, $18 for 11 pieces.
For the Green Thumb
619 Tremont St., Boston, 857-753-4294; 286 Broadway, Cambridge, 857-706-1164; nicheboston.com.
There’s something so soothing about walking into Niche’s cozy South End outpost, where lush houseplants, succulent-filled glass terrariums, and shapely ceramic and terra cotta planters gracefully coexist on wooden shelves. Take your pick of any of the covetable flora you see around the shop, or work one-on-one with staffers to create a custom potted arrangement.
Must-Buy: Aglaonema Stripes in a 6-inch pot, $25.