As someone who has previously owned a cottage, and now a vacation home in Florida, I know how many people love to visit. I do love to entertain, and I am always much happier with a full house. But just as you may have favorite holiday homes to be invited to, I have a favorite kind of weekend guest. One thing I can tell you is, never arrive empty handled or sit idle. People often phone and say "is there anything I can bring?" Usually the shopping's been done and meals planned, so there's nothing really "necessary" to pick up. It's also awkward for the host to suggest something to bring. Who really wants to tell a guest to bring a 40 ounce-er of Southern Comfort. So, to help you out, Every now and then, I'm going to feature "Perfect Guest Fare", so you can get some tips and get invited back.
One thing I go through a ton of is soap. Many people = Many showers and I hate having soggy messes of wilted soap. Lovely fresh bars in both the powder room and main bath are a welcoming treat. My choice would be handmade bars such as these above (look at farmers and craft markets) or organic vegetable based bars from the health food store. Buy a stack...not just one or two. Bunch them together with a ribbon, or toss them casually into a re-used wicker basket and arrive with your fragrant gift and several bottles of wine and you're sure to have made a welcome entrance.