1. Wine is standard operating procedure for parties—or maybe you want to try old-school entertaining with brandy après dinner. Either way, serve your selections in an eye-catching antique decanter like this one, finished in leather with sterling silver accents. $50. Bonnell’s Boutique & Winery, 101 W. Venice Ave., Suite 3, Venice, (941) 451-8365.
2. Hostess Tip No. 23: Have water at the ready for refills and show your concern for the environment with a glass carafe like this one with a clever quip. Stock up and have more than a couple chilling as backup. $18.75, Ralph’s Interiors, 528 E. Venice Ave., Venice, (941) 488-3991.
3. Imagine the delight of your guests when they find a fresh appetizer of wild-caught Alaskan sockeye salmon ceviche topped with lime zest, or light bites of chunked salmon, crème fraîche and chives on Terra Chips. $13.95/lb., Cypress Creek wild Alaska salmon, Englewood Farmer’s Market on Thursdays or cypresscreeksalmon.com, (941) 926-1064.
4. Send your guests on their way with a box of handcrafted sweet treats. Kilwins’ caramels are topped with a sampling of sea salts like Bali Pyramid, Himalayan Pink and Cyprus Mediterranean Flake, then dipped in milk or dark chocolate. 12-piece box, $14.50. Kilwins, 207 W. Venice Ave., Venice, (941) 485-5900.
5. Pop a top at your next football party with these game fish bottle openers crafted by artisans. Weighted and perfectly balanced, they’re created with a hand-carved mold, then poured with a durable zinc alloy and finished off with hand-painted nickel plating. $24 each, Captain’s Landing, 243 W. Venice Ave., Venice, (866) 463-1643.
6. Give your tablescape texture and warmth with this hand-carved wooden bowl by the Florida artist known as Captain Leonard. Think everything from favorite dips and nuts to guacamole and salsa. $32. Mother’s Cupboard Spice Shoppe, 208 Miami Ave. W., Venice, (941) 525-8041.
7. This ocean whale tray is certain to start some conversation. You can chill, bake or serve in this piece that’s oven and freezer friendly. Handmade from recycled, high-quality aluminum, it never needs polishing. $68. Seaside Chic, 217 W. Venice Ave., Venice, (941) 483-1177.