Neat Pairings: The Best Gift Combos for People You Fancy

Close up of dried flowers and colourful vases at Crushes

Valentine’s Day or a regular Tuesday, romantic interest or platonic pals – treating the people we love is a 365-day affair in our books.

Words by: Maggie Worthington

Photos by: Anna Briggs, Nancy Zhou, Ashleigh Vermaak & Supplied

We’ve worked our way from the top to the bottom of Aotearoa to bring together perfect gift pairings for those who deserve to be spoiled, from jars of PB and candles to luxury accommodation and doughy delicacies. 

Auckland: Takeaway Cocktails + Locally Made Goods

While we love to sit at a bar and sip away at a well-made aperitif, the possibility of pouring one from our own fridge is just as alluring. Norma Taps offers 750ml takeaway bottles of negroni, margarita, ginger mule and more, making them the perfect gift for the cocktail lover in your life. Pop around the corner to Crushes on Karangahape Road to pair the tipple with a NZ-made goodie, whether that’s a candle, ceramic mug or very nice pair of socks.

Hamilton: Bouquets + Baked Goods

They’re nothing new in the gift department, but Wild River & Co definitely adds something unique to a bunch of flowers. With a diverse range of florals on hand, the team here can help you create a one-of-a-kind arrangement. To really win someone over, order a box of the best pastries in town from Rüdi’s Bakehouse to complement the bouquet.

Hastings: Artisan Spirits + French Pastries

For a perfect last-minute gift, swap out your usual liquor store for Hastings Distillers. As New Zealand’s only producer of certified organic artisan spirits and liqueurs, we promise you’ll find something special here. Cross the road to Cupple & Ya Bon to check out what goods they’ve got in their cabinet (or head online to make an order).

Palmerston North: Handcrafted Jewellery + Carbs

Ask most people, and they’ll agree there’s nothing more thoughtful than receiving a bespoke piece of jewellery. Whether you have a design in mind for someone or you’re happy choosing from existing one-of-a-kind beauties, Cameron Jewellery should be top of your list. As with most gifts, things can only be made better with carby delights. Our advice? Get a box of buttery treats from BABCO.

Kāpiti: Glamping + Dutch Sweets

Surprising someone with a weekend of traditional camping might not always go down well. On the other hand, a Dreamscape Glamping getaway? Impossible to go wrong. Overlooking Waikanae the Kāpiti Island, this luxurious accommodation comes complete with a king sized bed, pizza oven, outdoor baths for stargazing and so much more. On the way out, make sure you stop by Montfoort for a box of Poffertjes and Stroopwafels (stupidly delicious Dutch sweets).

Wellington: Beans + Donuts

Deny the cliché all you like, but we know there’s just one thing you Wellingtonians are hoping is under the wrapping. Whether you’re treating a friend, family member or looking to take your situationship to the next level, a bag of organic and Fairtrade coffee from Peoples Coffee Roastery will be happily received. And what could go better with a fresh cup of coffee than Tomboy desserts on the side? 

Nelson: Cabins + Top-Tier Snacks

Oh to be whisked away to a remote piece of paradise… Whenever the occasion arises, we implore you to lean into your romantic side and book one of four cabins at ​​Maitai Whare Iti. Nestled into the native bush, these lush lodgings are perfect for those seeking biking and hiking adventures, or a weekend of books, board games and birdsong. Stock up on special pantry items at Old Factory Corner in Appleby, with stores offering coffee, chocolate, cheese, wine and more.

Christchurch: Patisserie + Florals

There’s pastries and then there’s French-inspired pastries from BUTTER. Make someone’s day with glossy canelés and madeleines, intricate tarts topped with torched meringue or a mirror-glazed centrepiece. With the sweet treats unlikely to hang around for very long, order some beautiful blooms from Harakeke Florist in Sumner to add some extra shelf life to your gift.

Ōamaru: Slow Fashion + Cheese

If you’re all clued up on someone’s sense of style, then consider gifting an outfit they’ll treasure for a long time to come. Located in Kurow just out of Ōamaru, In Good Company stocks a range of conscious clothing brands – including made-to-order pieces from the shop owner’s own label, Jessica Flora. And because we love to dress well for wine and cheese gatherings, we suggest adding a few creamy Whitestone Cheese wedges into the mix. 

A breakfast of champs from Bay Rd.

Dunedin: PB + Homeware

Whether they love to spread it on toast or go straight in with a spoon, Bay Rd Peanut Butter is a top-notch gift for PB nutters. The jars of crunchy or smooth goodness are made locally in Dunedin and can be ordered online or picked up from their flagship store on Roberts Street. Though an excellent treat on its own, you may like to elevate this gift further with a thoughtfully designed piece from Moi on George – whether that’s skincare, an eye-catching vase or perhaps a ceramic plate to hold their slice of peanut butter toast.

Wānaka: Paperbacks + Pastries

Not to drop any hints here, but if someone asked us our idea of the perfect gift, it would most likely involve a page-turner and pain au chocolat in bed. Know someone who might feel the same? Pop into The Next Chapter to find their next literary adventure, from the latest releases to classics you’ve spotted on their to-read list. Back to the flaky pastries: you’ll find an endless supply at Pembroke Pâtisserie, so make sure you get a bit of everything boxed up.