The English capital is one of the most visited cities in the world and as such, it’s no surprise there’s a load of stores selling London souvenirs to tourists everywhere you look. (Tip: don’t buy anything from the stores in Camden or nearby the biggest landmarks. They’ll charge you a kidney.) Leave the postcards and London bus teapot to the side and go for something a little different, check out some suggestions below.
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Forget the red telephone tea tins and packs of Duty Free teas, the gourmet Fortnum & Mason brews really take the classic British staples to another level. Whether you’re keen on a fancy royal blend or want a scented herbal cuppa, there’s lots of choices on offer as well as coffees, hampers and other nibbles. One thing remains though – if you decide to grab something from them, you need to head over to their gigantic Piccadilly store. Take a well-earned shopping break and treat yourself to Fortnum & Mason’s famous afternoon tea!
Aside from the quintessential Abbey Road shot, a bit of Beatles memorabilia goes a long way. The Beatles Store is probably the best place to pick something up with everything from guitars to rare collectibles for those with a major case of Beatlemania.
Open yourself to a world of culinary delights at the East India Company, where the finest coffees, teas, jams and more are available. Imported from all over the world, you know it’s going to be quality if it comes from the EIC.
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Vintage knick-knacks from Portobello Market
Portobello Market is a treasure trove of hidden finds, with all manner of things on sale from clothing to homeware. Get stuck in and join the fun to find the perfect souvenir of your trip – if anyone spots a cool denim jacket or a pair of brass bookend, let us know.
If you’ve got the money to spend, a high end purchase from an iconic British designer is definitely in the cards. There’s nothing more British than a Burberry trench coat, which is deeply interwoven with English history. Starting off life as a World War 1 military staple, it’s now become a must-have fashion item seen on the catwalk.
Whether you’re travelling with little ones or want to relive your childhood, Hamleys is absolutely magical no matter what age you are. With multiple floors of fantastic and bizarre toys from the standard Star Wars merchandise to gigantic six foot stuffed giraffes, there’s sure to be something that’ll take you way back.
If you’re a secret Potterhead, you can’t go wrong with some magical merchandise. There’s a number of Harry Potter themed stores dotted around London (check out the King’s Cross branch and make a pit stop at Platform 9 ¾), filled with wizard robes, books and even Bertie Bott’s Every Flavoured Beans. Naturally, the store at the Harry Potter Studio Tour is the most impressive with each of the characters’ signature wands. Don’t forget to pop by some of London’s Harry Potter landmarks while visiting!
Venture away from the standard Gordons or Tanquerays and head off to Borough Market, where they sell specialty booze to those passing by. From sloe gin to small batch whiskeys, there’s an endless selection to take home and their helpful staff will be more than willing to help you out. Want to learn more about the gin-making process? Why not join a distillery tour of one of London’s most iconic brands, Beefeater Gin!
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A traditional pub visit is a must in London and most places will generally slip you a disposable coaster for you to pop your pint glass on. If you’re doing a circuit or out for a big one on a proper pub crawl, you can build up a good collection of them to take home – plus, they’re not as expensive as figurines of Big Ben on Oxford Street. We’ve got you covered with a guide to some of the city’s oldest and most historic pubs.
London is one of the fashion capitals of the world and understandably, there’s a number of incredible local designers waiting to be discovered in the city. Dover Street Market and the boutiques along Brick Lane are a great place to start and are generally packed with indie designers, with racks of cutting edge options.
May 3, 2018 by Leisure Pass Blogger
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April 13, 2018 by Megan Hills