British

A Local's Guide to The Best Souvenirs in London

by:
April 26, 2017

I hope you're still digging into the London package we launched last week. (It's the gift that keeps on giving.) No form of travel is complete without a little something for the road home, to remind you of where you've been—and to inspire your next trip there.

We polled a host of UK-based designers, writers, community members, and friends-of-Food52 to hear their favorite ways to bring a little bit of London home whenever they visit (or whenever they host visitors). Be sure to add these stops to your itinerary.


where to go + what to get

Ottolenghi

“Salad seeds, Ottolenghi granola, dukkah, raspberry and morello cherry jam, salt caramel and chocolate brittle.” —Amanda Brooks

“I’d stop by at an Ottolenghi cafe or restaurant and pick up some preserved lemons, spices (perhaps the chili lovers collection) and some Ottolenghi Raspberry and morello cherry jam. Harrods and Fortnum & Mason treats are also great for London-themed foodie gifts that will fit easily into your suitcase!” —Ren Behan

Clay Collective

“A shared studio space for local ceramic artists, Clay Collective in Hackney Downs has scheduled open days, but they're usually friendly enough to let you in to have a look at their wares.“ —Catherine Verna Bentley, Bentey Hagen Hall

Books for Cooks

“Must go. I usually buy a book or two that I don't mind having in metric or can't resist, but it's just fun to browse.” —healthierkitchen

Liberty of London

"I wouldn't visit London without spending some time in Liberty Of London, where you can grab their latest fabric collections to cover your house in—for eccentric English William Morris vibes." —Catherine Verna Bentley, Bentey Hagen Hall

Fortnum & Mason

“I carted back some excellent cheese from Fortnum & Mason. (Harrod's had the ultimate selection in produce, like fresh pistachios and cob nuts, but those are a no-no to bring back!)” —Panfusine

London Borough of Jam

“The preserves by London Borough of Jam are amazing! I love the elderflower and gooseberry. I have also brought back dark muscovado sugar [and] the absolutely amazing spreads by Pierre Marcolini, which you can find at Selfridges. They have passionfruit, salted caramel, raspberry, and hazelnut praline. They are the best drizzled over toast, oatmeal, or granola!” —All Ingredients Equal

Marks & Spencer

“I always bring back packets of M&S Percy Pigs gummy sweets—and also packets of cheap tights from M&S. Not a food thing, but, honestly, the best. And if I'm anywhere near a charity shop, I buy vintage china tea cups and saucers, especially ones commemorating royal weddings, birthdays, and years on the throne, which I then put the Percy Pigs inside and give as gifts.” —Katherine Knowles

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“High tea and Fortnum and Mason's is really wonderful. I have tried to replicate a few times over the years and had great fun with that. Of course, can't replicate atmosphere...”
— judy
Comment

See the rest of Food52's Guide to London here. What are your favorite spots to grab some trinkets from London? Let us know in the comments.

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7 Comments

D G. December 19, 2017
We brought back reusable shopping bags which we bought at Selfridges Food Hall, Fortnum & Mason, and a Waitrose in Wells. Now whenever I go to the store here at home, I take the bags and am reminded of the good times we had on holiday in the UK. (Next trip I'll add more to the collection!)
 
judy April 27, 2017
Charity shops are great. I have come away with a few great items. The best though was a set of fireplace pokers. The set was Scottish with green enameling on the handles and a pineapple finial on each, brass, I think. My folks had a "fake" fireplace at their home in So. California. they were kept by that fireplace until they passed away. Great item and great conversation piece. High tea and Fortnum and Mason's is really wonderful. I have tried to replicate a few times over the years and had great fun with that. Of course, can't replicate atmosphere...
 
Katherine K. April 27, 2017
Pineapple pokers?! They sound amazing!! Nothing better than a good charity shop rummage!
 
healthierkitchen April 27, 2017
this has been a great series as my daughter is in school in UK so I have been lucky enough to go fairly often. Headed back soon and will make good use of these lists!
 
Nancy April 27, 2017
If you like pewter, get some at Royal Selengor.<br />Classical and modern designs. For drinks, tea/coffee, platters, children's birth gifts.<br />https://ca.royalselangor.com/royal-selangor-kings-road-chelsea/
 
HalfPint April 26, 2017
I like to go to Tesco's or Sainsbury and grab a bunch of Cadbury chocolates, jars of stemmed ginger, demerara sugar, and Kit Kats that aren't the original flavor (every country outside of the US seems to have more/better varieties of Kit Kat). Yes, I'm all about the food souvenir. Much more satisfying then a t-shirt or fridge magnet.
 
Katherine K. April 27, 2017
Yes, Cadburys and KitKats! LOVE! Also, generally biscuits. Especially Penguins, hobnobs, WagonWheels, Mint and Orange Clubs. Good on the Quakers making such good chocolate accompaniments to tea!