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Dinner parties are a great opportunity to socialise, relax, partake in some interesting conversations and perhaps some healthy debates, and (hopefully!) enjoy good food and whisky drinks.

All dinner parties are different, but one thing remains the same: you’ll always need to bring a gift for the host. It’s just simple good manners. 

Although it’s the one constant in a world of diverse dinner parties, be it a garden dinner party, brunch get together, or an evening soirée, we bet that many of you still leave gift buying to the last minute. This leads to a mad dash to the nearest supermarket to pick a gift that isn’t all that personal or exciting.

It doesn’t have to be this way. If you’re going to spend money on a gift, it may as well be a thoughtful item that impresses your host and that causes you less stress!

We’ve put together a list of simple yet special dinner party gifts to help you avoid the pre-dinner party panic, and be sure that you’re spending your hard earned cash wisely. Read this, and you’ll never wonder what to bring to a dinner party again…

Dinner party gifts

A gift for the host shows your appreciation for the invitation and meal. So don’t arrive empty handed – instead bring a thoughtful gift that goes beyond a classic bottle of wine.

Flowers or a plant (with longevity)

This gift for a dinner party is nothing groundbreaking, but it’s worth pointing out some botanical gifts are superior to others.

We’re sure you’re accustomed to grabbing a cheap and cheerful bouquet of flowers at the local shop, and although this gift will be welcome, they’re destined for the bin within a few days.

A better option is something with longevity – a dinner party gift that the host can enjoy for a long time to come, such as a dried flower bouquet.

Dried flowers can last one to two years when kept in the right conditions. There are tons of styles available, from classy neutral arrangements to super bright dyed bunches, so you can pick a bouquet that reflects your host’s personality to a tee.

Or if the host isn’t much of a flower lover, opt for an easy-to-care-for plant, such as a spider plant, cactus or money plant. You could even help get them started with their own cocktail herb garden by gifting them a trio of mint, lavender, and basil. 

Plants look great in all homes and will be a welcome dinner party gift, especially if you pair it with an attractive pot. Bonus points if you can provide your guest with some simple instructions on how to take care of their new botanical baby.

A bottle of The Glenlivet

We truly believe you can’t go wrong with a bottle of The Glenlivet as a dinner party gift.

The Glenlivet is the iconic single malt whisky with a two hundred year history. Quality whisky is a classic gift that any drinks lover or foodie will love, and we reckon if the recipient is hosting a dinner party, they’ll most likely fall into these categories.

You’re sure to impress the host with whatever bottle of The Glenlivet you pick, whether you opt for the old gold richness of The Glenlivet 18 Year Old, or the subtly topical Caribbean Reserve, but we recommend going for our signature allrounder, Founder’s Reserve

If you’re lucky, the host may even let you have a taste of your whisky gift over dessert.

Something special for their pet

If you’re wondering what to bring to a dinner party and the host has a furry (or scaly) friend, consider bringing something for their pet. 

Any pet owner would be thrilled to receive something special for their non-human baby. There are lots of luxury pet toy and treat brands these days, so with a bit of time and research, you’ll be able to find something really special. 

Whether you bring along some doggy ice cream, a cosy cat bed, or even a pretty addition to their fish bowl, a thoughtful gift for the host’s pet is guaranteed to get people talking and put a big smile on the host’s face.

After all, their pet may not be invited to the table as such, but they deserve to be included in the dinner party, too!

A favourite board or card game

We’re going to end with a good ol’ board or card game in our list of what to bring to a dinner party. 

This makes a good gift choice, especially if you know the host has a competitive streak or enjoys nights in at home.

Choose a board or card game that you’ve played before – that way you can be sure that you’re giving a good dinner party gift, and you’ll be able to explain the rules.

The options are endless when it comes to games – you could stick with something classic like Scrabble or Cluedo if you don’t know the host all that well, or go for something a little cheeky such as Cards Against Humanity if they have a playful side.

Games are the perfect way to enjoy a glass or two of whisky after the meal, and break the ice with new friends.

What not to bring to a dinner party

There’s plenty of great gifts to give your dinner party host. But there’s also some to avoid:

A joke or prank: unless you know the host well, you might not get the tone of a prank gift right.

A part of the meal: don’t bring a dish unless agreed with the host prior. Some hosts might ask someone to bring dessert, but otherwise avoid bringing food that might not work alongside the rest of the meal.

Something too extravagant: stay away from gifts that are too over the top and expensive as it might seem out of place.

Something controversial: gifts for dinner party hosts should be thoughtful and simple. Avoid anything that might spark confusion or debate.

What else to bring to a dinner party

A gift is a thoughtful gesture. But don’t forget that beyond tangible items, your presence and politeness are key.

A polite arrival

Politeness starts by showing up on time. Not too early – ensuring the host is prepared for your arrival – and definitely not too late.

Whilst lateness can sometimes be unavoidable, make travel plans in advance to avoid delaying the dinner.

It also goes without saying that you shouldn’t bring an uninvited plus one or turn up if you’d originally declined the invitation.


Whether you’re making a first impression or socialising with old friends, manners are everything.

From how you eat (mouth closed please!) to using your pleases and thank yous, don’t forget to be on your best behaviour to guarantee a repeat invite.


General chit chat is encouraged at dinner parties so don’t be shy. Also think on how you can spark conversation with thoughtful questions about other guests that go beyond a general ‘how are you?’

Show interest in others as well as telling anecdotes, and remember that religion and politics are often tricky subjects to discuss.

Is it your turn to host? Get prepared with our collection of whisky cocktail recipes including 2-ingredient whisky drinks and Old Fashioned variations.