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October 6, 2011 3:27 PM   Subscribe

Gift/Souvenir ideas from the UK?

Leaving the UK for New Zealand soon and need to take back some gifts for the family. Need presents for

21 yo brother
12 yo sister

Preferably under £20 each!
posted by midnightbarber to Shopping (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There's a lot of Olympics merchandise around, if your family are into that kind of stuff. John Lewis has a large selection of Olympic knick-knacks.

I'm not sure what is or isn't available in NZ, but I bring my family a lot of biscuits & sweets when I visit the states - Digestive biscuits, teacakes, jelly babies, that kind of thing. Of course, that doesn't work if it's not a novelty so YMMV.
posted by Gordafarin at 3:38 PM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

I usually take a selection of small whisky bottles when I head back to America (those can range from £5-15)
posted by nangua at 3:39 PM on October 6, 2011

posted by roofus at 3:52 PM on October 6, 2011

A little commemorative Will & Kate dish or other knick-knack would probably make your Mum (and maybe little sister) smile.
posted by argonauta at 4:01 PM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

I asked for (and received!) a t-shirt that had the Tube map on it.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 4:41 PM on October 6, 2011

Books, if your family are readers, considering how expensive they seem to be in NZ.

NZ Customs are on the cautious side, I believe. Will you be allowed to bring food into the country? If so, Kendal mint cake doesn't seem to be easily found abroad, really good fudge is always nice, and you could startle them with how different British Dairy Milk tastes from the antipodean kind.

Aside from that - if it were me, I'd wander round a craft market and see if anything caught my eye (though, again, Customs regulations might be an issue with some things). I'd look in museum shops too, and maybe National Trust shops.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 4:50 PM on October 6, 2011

Harrods has a bunch of cute and delicious knick-knacks within your budget. They have a bunch of shops in Heathrow.
posted by falameufilho at 8:52 PM on October 6, 2011

We lived in England for years and it is the food that we miss the most. I really appreciate it when visitors from the UK bring us:
Fortnum and Mason jam and or cookie in those lovely tins
Harrods Jam
Fortnum and Masons afternoon tea in a nice tin or Harrods
Clotted cream - oh how lovely but often difficult to bring with you
Walkers shortbread in a decorative tin - the nicest variety I've seen is at Harrods
A Harrods teddy bear - they were on a good sale a couple of weeks back

For the 12 year old go to Hamleys and get something called "astrojax" - is the newest toy craze OR go to the Harrods toy floor and get the nail art pens. They are tubes with nail polish in them and the tube has the option of being a nail polish brush or a custom pen for doing nail art - my nearly 12 year old daughter LOVES these. My 12 year old girl also loved all the Boots products especially the face masks and cleaning products.

The Cool Britainia store at Piccadilly Circus has loads of neat things - I like the double decker bus and mind the gap magnets from there.

Have fun.
posted by YukonQuirm at 10:05 PM on October 6, 2011

Seconding National Trust shops, and also if you are in London the Transport Museum Store has an awesome selection of UK-themed gifts.

I wouldn't go with food - packaged stuff is usually okay, but as others have pointed out, customs can be pretty strict at times. Wouldn't be worth risking it.
posted by Megami at 12:37 AM on October 7, 2011

It's not cheap, but you can find some British-themed gifts at Pedlars and Not on the High St.

Personally, I'd avoid Harrods if you can because everything they sell has a huge mark up for the privilege of having the Harrods name on it.

For your 21yo brother, look at Firebox and IWantOneofThose, both of which are gadgety websites but also have some Brit-themed stuff.

For Mum, Jo Malone is a fantastic British perfume shop not available in NZ, I think. They are at some of the Heathrow terminals. Expect to pay about £35 for a small bottle of perfume.

Dad: you could get him a bottle of Islay Gin. Rare, very good. Around the £25 mark. Note - heavy bottle though.
posted by MuffinMan at 2:01 AM on October 7, 2011

I'm in Canada, and I really miss Branston pickle. Do you have that already in NZ?
posted by Gor-ella at 6:10 AM on October 7, 2011

FYI Jo Malone is in Auckland now... I think food could be a great bet if you follow the rules. I've recently moved to the UK from NZ and food food food is all I seem to think about! Also, some good Brit magazines/literary journals/books if they're into that?
posted by teststrip at 12:38 PM on October 9, 2011

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