GDAD is very good for accompaniment especially in the keys of D and G. It is what James Fagan uses and he is a very accomplished player of both accompaniment and melody. When tuned this way you get some lovely drones which you won't get tuned GDAE.
Something else to try is ADAD but this pins you down a bit.
For accompaniment octave or unison stringing will work, for melody, unison is best otherwise the melody sounds a bit confusing going across the strings. Also octave strung will start challenging the intonation of the instrument as you go higher up the neck du to the angle of the bridge.
BTW - Nice present!