In the spirit of the London Olympics, let's talk about one of the most important concerns travelers have when they visit England's capital — what kind of noncheesy souvenirs can be brought home as gifts. Whatever you do, avoid bringing home a "all I got was this stupid t-shirt" souvenir for your pals back home. Be creative and thoughtful when you're buying gifts for your loved ones! Here are some very British items that will give others a taste of London:
- Tea and tea-related accessories. Afternoon teatime is so quintessentially British that purchasing something related to that time-honored British tradition would be a perfect gift for friends back home. Check out bigger retailers like Harrods or small independent shops for tea options.
- Brass rubbing. Make your own brass rubbing at one of the hot tourist spots in London that provide that service and frame it up as a special gift for yourself or someone. Brass rubbings are created by placing a paper on top of a brass portrait and rubbing it down with crayons or other writing implements. They were very popular during the medieval period in Britain.
- Marmalade. Marmalade is such an iconic British breakfast item that it'll be the perfect souvenir to bring home. It's basically a fruit preserve made from citrus fruits.
- Street market knickknacks. Purchase a knickknack from one of the stalls at the Portobello Road Market, one of the most well-known street markets in the world.
- Beautiful stationery. One of the most famous stationery retailers is Smythson. You can even personalize leather goods and books at Smythson with names or initials stamped in gold.
- British author souvenirs. If you're doing a tour of a museum dedicated to a famous British author, like Jane Austen, be sure to buy an item from the museum shop for a bookworm pal.
- Biscuits. British biscuits go hand in hand with tea, so consider buying some of these baked goods to bring back home. Chocolate-covered Hobnobs are popular snacks!