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Top 10 Things to Buy In Chicago

| Uncategorized | February 28, 2019

There are lots of fun and unique products to buy for yourself or bring home as gifts to friends and family from Chicago.

Souvenirs are one of the best ways to tell your friends and family that you are thinking about them while traveling. And it’s also something that’s fun to buy for yourself as a memory from your trip.

So, do you want to know what Chicago gifts to buy? Then continue reading below, because here’s a list of the top 10 things to buy in Chicago!


1.Chicago Christmas Ornament

One of the most popular Chicago souvenirs to buy during Christmas time is a Chicago-themed Christmas ornament. The most classic would be to buy a Christmas ornament that looks like the famous Chicago Bean.

Buying Christmas ornaments as souvenirs are always fun since when you’ll look at your Christmas tree, you’ll be reminded of all the cool places you’ve visited!

2. Garrett Popcorn – One of the yummiest Chicago gifts!

While strolling around Chicago, you’ll know right away when you’re near a Garrett Popcorn shop since you’ll feel the smell of cheese and caramel, + you’ll probably see a long link snaked around the block since it’s so popular.

Garrett Popcorn is a must if you’re looking for some yummy Chicago gifts! My recommendation is to try the Sweet-and-Salty Chicago Mix, which is a combination of caramel and cheddar cheese flavored popcorn.

souvenirs in Chicago

3. Chicago Poster

If you’re interested in art I can recommend buying a vintage Chicago-themed poster. You can buy a limited edition poster for around 80 USD, and a custom framed poster costs around 230 USD.

Poster Plus has a wide range of Chicago posters, both original vintage, and collectible posters. The shop is located on 30 E. Adams St, just a block from the Art Institute.

Poster Plus is open from Tuesday to Saturday 10 am – 6 pm.

4. Tiffany Elsa Peretti Bean Collection – One of the most beautiful Chicago souvenirs!

In the center of Millennium Park, you’ll find the Cloud Gate, also known as ”the bean”. It’s one of the most famous spots in the city, which makes this souvenir very special.

At Tiffany & Co you can buy a miniature bean and wear around your neck. It’s in collaboration with Elsa Peretti that they’ve created this 9-millimeter sterling silver bean pendant.

The necklace costs 100 USD and will make a perfect souvenir that will remind you of your trip to Chicago every time you wear it.

The bean necklace from Tiffany & Co. is definitely one of the prettiest Chicago souvenirs you can buy in the city!

5. Wild Blossom Mead

In the Chicago area they harvest lots of honey, and from the honey they make mead. Mead is created by fermenting honey, which is one of the oldest methods of making alcoholic beverages. The production of mead started 8000 years ago.

Wild Blossom Meadery & Winery produces award-winning mead that’s a must to taste and buy while visiting Chicago.

Just like wine, mead comes in dry and fruity varieties. They sell both pomegranate, blueberry, and apple cinnamon mead – there are so many flavors to choose from! They also sell a delicious green apple Riesling if you don’t fancy mead that much.

A bottle of mead starts at around 15 USD, and are available for purchase at several wine retailers around the city. You can get it at Fox and Obel Market, and also at Binny’s Beverage Depot.

6. LEGO Willis Tower – One of the most popular Chicago souvenirs for kids!

If you’re planning to buy a souvenir for a child, then I can recommend buying a LEGO Willis Tower kit.

The Willis Tower (also known as Sears Tower) was the tallest building in the world when it was completed 1973, and is still today the tallest building in the US.

This is a fun souvenir for the kids who like to play with LEGO since they can build up a miniature version of the Chicago Willis Tower.

7. Foursided – Store with lots of fun Chicago souvenirs

If you’re looking for a shop with a variety of Chicago souvenirs, then Foursided is the place to go!

The first shop was opened in 2001 in Lake view, and now there are three North Side locations where you can buy these Chicago gifts. Here you can shop both greeting cards, skyline necklaces, posters, and prints of iconic buildings and locations in Chicago.

8. Cubs Team Store – Best Chicago gifts for the sports fans!

If you’re a fan of baseball, then you simply have to go to one of Cubs games while you’re in Chicago. Before the game, make sure the visit the Cubs Team Store and buy yourself a jersey or a baseball hat.

This will not only be fun to wear at the game to blend in will all the supporters, but it will also be a fun souvenir to bring back home.

This is no doubt one of the best Chicago souvenirs for the sports fans!

Chicago gifts

9.The Spice House’s Ethnic Chicago Neighborhood Spice Boxes

If you want to bring some Chicago flavors with you back home, then I can recommend buying a Spice House spice blend gift box. Each box includes their Old World Central Street Seasoning, Old Taylor Street Cheese Sprinkle, Lake Shore Drive Seasoning, and Bronzville Rib Rub.

Address:

The Spice House
1512 North Wells Street

10. Up in The Air Somewhere – Local Ceramics

If you’re looking for some beautiful, unique and local ceramics, then you have to check out Up in The Air Somewhere’s website. The Chicago-based artists Susan created beautiful handmade ceramics and papier-mache goods with beautiful gold patterns.

I don’t know if there’s a store in Chicago where you can buy these or not. But you can buy these Chicago souvenirs online. Go visit their website for more information.

Top 10 Things To Buy In Stockholm, Sweden

| Uncategorized | February 27, 2019

Stockholm

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and the most populous city in the Nordic countries. Stockholm is a mixture of historic and dynamic modern architecture.

Spread over 14 islands, this fascinating city has preserved its Gamla stan historic center, with its winding, cobblestone streets, while the modern part of the city features world-class art galleries and museums displaying everything from Viking treasures to ABBA stage props.

The city also hosts Skansen, an open-air museum and zoo on the island of Djurgården. The city has amazing style, with stores selling beautiful textiles, fashions and bags, handmade ceramics and local arts and crafts.

Restaurants serve an amazing range of international and local cuisine. Of course, one of the best aspects of Stockholm is that most of the locals speak English, making shopping and dining easier to navigate. With so much to choose from, scroll below to find out what to buy in Stockholm, Sweden. Most are conveniently sized for your flight home!

1. Pärlan’s Konfektyr – Candy and preserves

Pärlan’s Konfektyr is a dream come true for anyone with the proverbial sweet tooth. All candy and fudge on offer are made from handed-down, age-old recipes, using only the most natural ingredients. Taste-test the latest offerings before making your purchase or enjoy the jazz music playing in the store while you queue or relax with a good cup of coffee. There are also tasty preserves and jams to buy.

Pärlan’s Konfektyr

Address: Nytorgsgatan 38 ,Stockholm, Sweden

WebsitePärlan’s Konfektyr

2. Lovikkavantar – Handmade traditional mittens

Lovikkavantar
Source: Wikimedia

Lovikkavante is an iconic Swedish handmade mitten which originated from the village of Lovikka in Northern Sweden. The mittens bear the original design and pattern of their creator, Erika Aittamaa, who designed them for the colder climate of Northern Sweden, in 1892. The village itself has a museum which covers the design and history of the cozy and warm mittens. One of the best places to purchase the Lovikkavante is Swedish Handicraft, along with other interesting items.

Swedish Handicraft

Address: Norrlandsgatan 20, 43 Stockholm, Sweden

3. Julbock – Traditional straw Christmas goat

Julbock
Source: Wikipedia

The Julbock is the traditional Christmas straw goat, used ornamentally throughout Scandinavian history. The origin of the goat dates back to ancient Pagan festivals, where the last sheaf of straw taken during the harvest was bundled up for good luck and saved for the festivities. On a visit to Stockholm, you might not want to buy one as large as the Julbock pictured here. They come in all sizes, perfect as an ornament on your Christmas tree or a pretty addition to a shelf in the home. They are readily available in handcraft shops and Christmas markets in the city.

4. Cheese slicer

Cheese slicer
Source: Wikipedia

This innovative kitchen tool is available in houseware stores throughout Stockholm. It is a simple, but genius tool that makes it easy to slice cheese for sandwiches. Not only is this a great idea for your own kitchen, but it makes a perfect souvenir to take home to friends and family members who love cheese.

5. Swedish salty licorice

Salty licorice
Source: Wikipedia

This licorice treat is different from your normal, everyday candy. The confectionary is flavored with Salmiak salt to add a special tang. Most salty licorice pastilles or candy are black or dark brown in color. Many people find the flavor a little strong or “tongue-numbing,” so it’s definitely an acquired taste, but one that should be experienced when visiting Stockholm.

6. Swedish snaps

Swedish snaps
Source: Wikipedia

For those who enjoy shots, Swedish Snaps is a strong alcoholic beverage, drunk in small glasses during a meal. The traditional drink is particularly enjoyed at Easter, Midsummer and Christmas, where families down the drink and shout out “Skål!” which is the Swedish version of cheers. The alcoholic drink can only be bought at System Bolaget, a government-owned chain of liquor stores in Stockholm, as long as you are 20 years of age or older.

System Bolaget

WebsiteSystem Bolaget

7. Swedish Butter Knife

Butter knife
Source: Wikipedia

This elegantly simple design is perfect when using good Swedish butter. The knife is carved completely from wood and it slides through butter, well, like a knife through butter! The Swedish butter knives are available in all household stores throughout Stockholm. They are the perfect, light and small souvenir to take home for everyone in the family, without paying excess luggage.

8. Hafi Lingonberry Preserves

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Elan Durham@europabridge1


HAFI Swedish Lingonberry preserves in place of cranberries this year … Recommendations for #teapigs included! 110:10 PM – Dec 24, 2015See Elan Durham’s other TweetsTwitter Ads info and privacy
Hafi Lingonberry Preserves are made from a berry, which is similar to the cranberry. The tart preserve is the perfect, traditional accompaniment to pancakes or the iconic Swedish köttbullar meatballs. The preserves are available from most grocery outlets throughout Stockholm. Take it home to use wherever you would normally use a cranberry preserve, for something a little different.

9. Swedish Dishcloths

Swedish dishcloths are colorful and wonderfully absorbent, ideal to replace regular cloths in the kitchen. The cloths are made from 30 percent cotton and 70 percent cellulose and are fully washable. When you’ve finally finished using them, they can be added to the compost, as they are totally natural. Of course, the colorful design will add a beautifully Scandinavian look to the kitchen. They are available in any store in Stockholm, which sells kitchen and houseware goods.

10. Swedish hand-bound brushes

Swedish hand-bound brushes date back to the late 1900s in Stockholm. Each brush is made by hand by visually impaired craftsmen. All have exclusive designs and are crafted from mostly natural materials. They make the perfect gift to take home for a loved one and are available in Iris Hantverk and other houseware stores throughout Stockholm.

Iris Hantverk

Address: Kungsgatan 55, Stockholm, Sweden

WebsiteIris Hantverk

10 Things You Can Only Buy in Paris

| Uncategorized | February 26, 2019

Beautiful Paris

Discover these unique items you can only buy in Paris, from original antiquarian books to delicious confectionery and chocolate, which reflect Paris’s captivating flavors, textures, and unique tastes.

1. Angelina Chocolate

In 1903 the confectioner Antoine Rumpelmayer founded Angelina, which he named after his daughter-in-law. For over a century this Paris tearoom has built a reputation as a place of sophistication and indulgence, selling its products exclusively in Paris. As soon as it opened, Angelina became the place to be among the Parisian aristocracy. Proust and Coco Chanel rubbed shoulders with the biggest names in fashion in Angelina’s salons, so who knows who you’ll bump into when you’re buying your chocolate.

2. Buly Soap

Jean-Vincent Bully has been known for his talents as a distiller, perfumer, and cosmetician on Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris since 1803, often using exotic flowers. These perfumes inspired Balzac in 1837 when depicting scenes of Parisian life in La Comédie Humaine. Nowadays, this famous beauty shop continues its travels in the spirit of conquest and innovation. Imagined in Paris, formulated in a French laboratory, and fed on the advances of contemporary cosmetics while being faithful to ancient recipes, Buly offers care using the virtues of natural ingredients.

3.Bouquins of Paris

The Bouquinistes of Paris are booksellers of antiquarian books who ply their trade along large sections of the banks of the Seine. They span from the right bank of the Pont Marie to the Quai du Louvre, and on the left bank from the Quai de la Tournelle to Quai Voltaire, selling a fascinating selection of secondhand literary wonders. There’s a certain magic to shopping for books along the Seine, being described as “the only river in the world that runs between two bookshelves.”

4. Bellota-Bellota Hams

Since its creation, Byzance has been praised for three exceptional products: caviar, Iberian ham, and smoked salmon. The sensory experience lets loose a whole world of flavors, textures, and unique tastes, with Bellota-Bellota hams boasting a passport guaranteeing full traceability. They specify everything from the percentage of Iberian breed and Finca origin right through to feed. This gives the percentage of oleic acid and the number of days in Montanera, indicating the amount of acorns eaten. There also notes on the maturation period since its origin.

photo_73149_221246

Exquisite meat |Courtesy of Bellota Bellota

Bellota-Bellota All Bellota-Bellota hams are hand-sliced by professional, fully trained Master Cortadors under the mantra that only precise slicing can lead to a superior sensory experience.

Location:

Bellota-Bellota Tour Eiffel 18 rue Jean Nicot 75007 Paris

5. Parisian Tea

A selection of Comptoirs Richard‘s organically perfumed bio tea, themed along the lines of the best landmarks of Paris, is sold from just 11.00€ at eight stores all located in Paris. From Place de la Bastille to Champ de Mars, where the famous Eiffel Tower is located, to the Latin Quarter and L’arc de Triomphe, you can take home a drinkable reminder of your favorite place in Paris.

photo_98309_296808

Café bio Champs Elysées ville de Paris 250g |Courtesy of COMPTOIRS RICHARD

Location:

Comptoirs Richard – Expresso & Brew Bar 145, rue Saint-Dominique 75007 PARIS

6. Thïonade

Sold in Paris’s trendy 11th arrondissement of Paris but hand-crafted in Provence, the Tioniade of Papi Jean offers a unique blend of olives, tomatoes, and garlic to complement the tuna; it is perfect on a crispy baguette. With no preservatives, no coloring, and no artificial flavors, this jar of wonder is crammed full of artisanal goodness.

photo_89108_270759

Location:

Restaurant, Bar, Épicerie 7, rue Lacharrière 75011 Paris

7. Parisian Chocolate

Another specialty of Comptoir Richard’s unique landmark-themed products is chocolate. With gorgeous artwork scenes of people having picnics by the River Seine and delicious flavors like almond caramel on offer starting from only 4.95€, it’s a great souvenir or artisan snack to pick up while in Paris.

8. Rive Gauche, Rive Droite Tote Bags

This collection of gorgeous tote bags is hand-painted, reversible, and made entirely in Paris. With tiny collections of only 15 to 25 pieces, her unique hand-crafted Paris-themed bags are comparable to pieces of art work that “sell out and then they’re gone.” Having just launched her new Downtown collection, they are reminiscent of the colors and energy of downtown New York City, but with a Parisian twist. They’re a minimalist representation of the left and right banks of the River Seine.

9. Boîte Gourmande de Paris

A boîte gourmande de Paris is a fabulous gift idea, as almost everyone loves artisan biscuits. What’s more is that you can buy them in a stylish re-usable tin with Tour Eiffel and other landmark designs, starting from 26.00€ for 270g of the delicious snack.

10. Home-Made Perfume

Studio des Parums in Paris offers the unique chance to discover the magic world of perfume making by crafting your own fragrance. With 150 scented bases of exceptional quality, carefully selected from the world of custom cologne, you can create an authentic fragrance in the tradition of French luxury perfume. The craft has been honed over ten years in the heart of the fashion district of Paris, le Marais.

10 things to buy from paris

Bonus: Antique Treasure

If you just can’t bring yourself to cave to the clichés of wine, chocolates, and key rings, go to a flea market and get your hands on a one-off piece of Parisian history. Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen is perfect for those who love exploring and trying something new, as it’s not only the prettiest place to spend an authentic Parisian day, but also a treasure trove, with all manner of quirky and unique souvenirs; things which will remind you of your Parisian trip for years to come.

Marché aux Puces de St Ouen, 138/140 Rue des Rosiers, Saint-Ouen, France +33 1 40 11 77 36

Top 10 Souvenirs You Can Buy in Cape Town

| Uncategorized | February 25, 2019

Zulu ceremonial spoons at Greenmarket Square in Cape Town. Photo: Edwin Remsberg/Getty Images

It’s easy to spend money on “authentic” one-of-a-kind beaded rhinos and painted throws in Cape Town — only to find out later you can buy those things in markets all over Africa. (Sorry to break it to you, but most of them are mass-produced in China.) For ultralocal, uniquely South African souvenirs, we asked our insider pals to share some of their favorite collectibles.

1. Zulu ceremonial spoons 
“These make a perfect souvenir. For starters, they work beautifully across multiple décors and signify the Ubuntu spirit of the South African people. Zulu spoons are commonly found in curio stores, but I get mine from Africa Nova, where they are sold mounted on stands [$124].” —Hamzeh Alfarahneh, artist, designer, and founder of accessories brand Blac and art exhibitionNot Just a Comb

2. Local leather backpack
“South African leather is amazing, and Freedom of Movement makes really durable pieces. I bought a backpack [$166] there before shooting my travel series Girl Eat World and that piece was used in all of the press images before coming with me around the world. They also have eyewear, which are hot property [from $166].” —Kamini Pather, TV chef and winner ofMasterChef South Africa: Season 2

3. Old World wine“Get a bottle of Vin de Constance from Klein Constantia [available at the vineyard and online; $82], a wine estate in the suburb of Constantia, the oldest wine region in South Africa. This sweet wine is world-famous; even Napoleon was a big fan.” —Barbara Lenhard, co-founder ofOpulent Livingconcept store and gallery

4. Africa-shaped pendant
“I love the Africa-shaped pendant made from recycled flattened protea flowers set in sterling silver from African Fynbosgems [available at the Watershed Market; $42]. I’m the ultimate upcycler and recycler, and the protea is my favorite flower, so I think this is a great way of keeping the protea alive and useful for much longer.” —Charmaine Taylor, founder and designer of Legacy Collection jewelry

5. Rooibos Tea
“Translated to ‘red bush’ tea from Afrikaans, rooibos is a member of the endemic fynbos species that can only grow in the Cederberg region of the Western Cape. It’s well-known for its antioxidant properties and had a mild, earthy flavor. I always pack a stash when I travel — for my own consumption and as gifts. Get boxes of organic, fair-practice loose-leaf rooibos, including mixes made with vanilla and rose petals, from Lady Bonin’s Tea on Long Street [from $6].” —Ishay Govender-Ypma, author of Curry: Stories and Recipes Across South Africa

6. Kalahari salt
“Salt is at the top of my list when I bring back food items from trips and I like to gift it, too. It’s a practical item, used by all cooks (give or take) and speaks directly of a place. I’m fond of the Oryx Desert salt range [available at delis and supermarkets; $3.50], sourced from the Kalahari salt pan, which engages with and gives back to the Khomani San and Mier communities from the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.” —Ishay Govender-Ypma

7. Pichulik earrings
“Get a set of Harvest tassel earnings from Pichulik [available at the Watershed Market; $339]; the length and the gold detailing sets these apart from other similar styles and Pichulik is a statement South African brand.” —Kelly Withey, owner of concept shopMaison Mara

8. Pink Lady gin
“My favorite local gin brand is the Cape Town Gin Company. Their Pink Lady, inspired by the iconic Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, is infused with hibiscus flowers and rose petals [and available at liquor stores and grocery stores; $28]. They also do a rooibos tea-infused gin.” —Zoë Brown,  TV presenter and radio host

9. Yswara Cape Town candle
“As well as making your living room smell amazing, this soy-based candle [available at Merchants on Long for $62] can be used as an oil on the skin. Composed of cinnamon and red fruits, it’a a great way to take a piece of Cape Town home with you.” —Kelly Withey

10. Missibaba leather bags
Missibaba is the brainchild of Chloe Townsend, a designer, creator and artist who perfectly embodies both the trend toward cultural hybridity and of blurring the boundaries between art, design, fashion, and materiality.  We love how her products [leather bags from $91] often exude the unique flamboyance of the Cape Malay culture, a community with a rich history dating back to the founding of the Cape Colony.” —Talita Swarts and Tamlyn Martin, art consultantsand owners of art tour companyArt Route

10 things to buy from Barcelona

| Uncategorized | February 22, 2019

Barcelona’s popularity as a tourist destination has boomed in recent years. Barcelona is the capital of the Catalonia region, containing some Roman remains and medieval quarters. Barcelona is well known as a cultural city and is home to several museums, exhibitions, open-air sculptures and many plays and theater events. When in Barcelona, it is definitely good to buy back some of the best things the city is known for. There are so many things that one can get from Barcelona, some of them being the cheapest in Spain. Continue reading below to find out some of the best things that are uniquely Spanish and probably best found in the country.

1. Caganer figurines

Caganer pages

As you stroll the streets of Barcelona, especially souvenir shops, you will notice that there are some shops which sell unusual figurines. These figurines will make you stop and take a second look. There are many designs; a man with his pants down, a man squatting over his poop and so on. As much as this may seem weird, this man is a crucial part of Catalan tradition. El Caganer is a ceramic doll which blesses people with a prosperous year. In any case, whether or not one really believes that Caganer will actually make a difference in their luck, it is simply because he brings a smile to people’s faces that it is so popular. If you plan to get a Caganer for yourself or as a gift, then visit one of the many souvenir shops in Barcelona. There are plenty of them and a large variety to select from.

Caganer figurines

Where to buy: Las Ramblas and inside the Gothic neighbourhood

Cost: 5 USD to 23 USDs

2. Blue wine

Blue wine is a famous type of alcohol found in Spain. It is produced by Spanish company Gïk and is probably the world’s first blue-coloured wine. This wine is made from a combination of red and white grapes using natural pigments and flavours. Blue wine is commonly available in wine shops across Spain. Restaurants also carry this drink in their menu. If you are interested in getting a bottle for yourself, you could even play around with your cocktails.

Blue wine

Where to buy: Major supermarkets

Cost: From 10 USD

3. Spanish sweet treat — Turrón

Turr c3 b3n  28casa mira 29

Source: Wikimedia

Turrón is a famous sweet treat that is made from a combination of honey, eggs, sugar and most importantly, toasted nuts. Almonds are used in the making of turrón although sometimes, pistachios can be used. Turrón comes in a number of types and flavours, depending on the ingredients that have been used to make them. Some turróns are hard and brittle while some others are soft and chewy. Turrón is a traditional Christmas candy in Spain and can be found in abundance, especially during Christmas. These candies come in nice boxes which make for good gifts to take back to family and friends.

Turrón

Where to buy: Planelles Donat, La Campana, Torrons Vicens

Cost: About 18 USD

4. Sea cucumber, Espardenyes

Edible sea cucumber  28holothuria edulis 29

Source: Wikimedia

Yes, we are talking about sea cucumbers as being one of the best things to buy when in Barcelona. Known as espardenyes in Catalonia and Valencia, these succulent sea cucumbers are a Mediterranean speciality. These sea cucumbers have a subtle and earthy taste, making for a perfect accompaniment to dishes such as seafood paella. They are highly prized creatures and are served in selected restaurants.

Espardenyes

Where to buy: Paco Meralgo and Cheriff in Barceloneta

Cost: 23 USD for a plate of six or seven creatures

5. Spanish Cava

Cava  285303223614 29

Source: Wikimedia

There is never a wrong time to celebrate with a bubbly. In Spain, cava is probably the most toast-worthy bubbly. In fact, it is said that during festive periods, Spaniards drink cava the most. This popular drink, cava, is the Catalan word for ‘cellar.’ Once corks were invented, winemakers, especially those in the northeastern Mediterranean region of Catalonia began making Cava. Spain produces almost a quarter billion bottles of this bubbly which have become the unofficial beverage of the holidays. As this is a typically Spanish drink, it is something which is worth buying as either for yourself or as a gift for someone.

Spanish cava

Where to buy: L’Anima Del Vi, Els Sortidors del ParlamentF

Cost: From 17 USD

6. Orujo

Orujo de hierbas 2

Source: Wikimedia

Origins of Orujo stems from Northwestern Spain. The local people of Galicia from this region pride themselves in first starting the famous tradition of making distilled liqueurs with high alcoholic content, with Orujo being the most famous one. Orujo is a strong liqueur which has an alcohol content of between 37 to 45 percent. It can be consumed raw or be used to make a traditional Galician drink called Queimada. This drink contains pieces of lemon peel, sugar, and ground coffee. These are put into a clay pot, after which Orujo is poured in. The pot is lit on fire until the flame turns blue. This is something different which one could consider buying to impress people back home.

Orujo

Where to buy: Major supermarkets

Cost: From 9 USD

7. Rabitos

Rabitos are chocolate covered figs and are considered a delicacy. These chocolates originate from Extremadura and are probably the most preferred chocolates from Spain. Tender young figs are picked and then filled with a mousse made of dark chocolate and a hint of brandy. Each one is then dipped into dark chocolate sauce and then finally packed in a foil cover. These chocolates have been won the Best Confection in Show honour at the Fancy Food Show in New York. This should already tell how famous and delicious these chocolates are. Boxes of Rabitos makes a good alternative to the regular chocolates one would otherwise buy. Get these chocolates as gifts now for friends and family.

Rabitos

Where to buy: Supermarkets and souvenir stores

 See our full list of recommended Hotels in Barcelona  and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Barcelona 

8. Spanish fans

Spanish fans  2828893286644 29

Source: Wikimedia

Spanish fans may seem like simple gifts to buy for people back home. However, these fans, or abanicos, are a Spanish tradition. Come to Spain during summer and you will definitely come across middle-aged Spanish women cooling themselves down with these Spanish fans. Abanicos in Spain originated around the same time that Flamenco dancing became popular. In fact, these fans are used as props by performers and nobility. They are easily found around the streets in Barcelona and come in many designs.

Spanish fans

Where to buy: Portal de l’Angel, Portaferrisa and Pelayo

Cost: From 3.50 USD

9. Customised FC Barcelona shirts

Maillots fc barcelone

Source: Wikimedia

When in Barcelona, one will inevitably think of football. If you are a die-hard FC Barcelona fan, then you might be interested in purchasing an original FC Barcelona shirt for yourself. What about if you are able to customise a shirt for yourself? There are many shops in Barcelona which will do this customisation for you. Choose the name of the player if you want on the shirt and get it personalised for you to take home as a souvenir. This makes a nice gift for someone who is an FC Barcelona fan.

Customised FC Barcelona shirts

Where to buy: Nike stores

Cost: From 75 USD

10. Coral jewellery

Bijoux en corail rouge

Source: Wikimedia

Jewellery found in Spain is unique and worth collecting as a souvenir. Just like the diversity among the Spanish people, Spain’s jewellery is also an interesting mix of regional, historical and cultural influences. The designs are highly inspirational and much sought-after. In particular, coral jewellery is famous in the country and a wide range of designs can be found in Barcelona. There is a much Christian influence in the designs of Spanish coral jewellery. Walk along the streets of Barcelona and you will definitely find a large number of options if you are looking to buy coral jewellery as a takeaway from this beautiful city.

Coral jewellery

Where to buy: Rabat, Solà Joiers, Daniel Vior

Cost: From 70 USD onwards

Buy like a local

Pexels photo 1388030

Source: PexelsWhen shopping in Barcelona, do not make the mistake of falling into tourist traps. Before making a purchase, check around a few stores to compare the costs and designs. As much as it is tempting to buy everything, do be mindful also about the amount of space you have in your suitcase.

10 Unique Things You Must Buy in Tokyo

| Uncategorized | February 21, 2019

Tokyo
Tokyo


Discover unique things you can buy on your trip to Tokyo.


1. A high-quality Japanese knife.  

Japanese knives are renowned for their incredible quality and craftsmanship. Whether you’re looking for a utility chef’s knife or a specialty sashimi knife, Kama Asa on Kappabashi Street is an excellent place to find the one.

A helpful English-speaking staff can guide you through their wall-to-wall selection of stainless and carbon steel knives. You can also get your knives engraved in either English or Japanese characters. Chef’s knives start at around $90.

Kama Asa
Location :
2 Chome-24-1 Matsugaya, Taitō-ku, Tōkyō-to 111-0036TripAdvisor | Google Maps

2. Green tea Kit Kats.

Credit: saechang

Green tea Kit Kats are the perfect souvenir for friends, family, and coworkers: They’re novel, tasty, cheap, and easy to find. The discount chain store Don Quixote or a konbini (Japanese convenience store) always have candy bags of green tea Kit Kats in stock.

If you want to give away individual boxes as gifts, I recommend purchasing them at the airport on your way out of Japan. They’re packaged in cuter sets, and you can pick from unique and seasonally available flavors, like sakura (cherry blossom), wasabi, strawberry cheesecake, adzuki bean, etc. Taro is my favorite if you can find it!

Don Quixote
Location : 3 Chome-14-10 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032, Japan
Google Maps

3. Super-soft Imabari towels.

From o-shibori (hand towels that you’re given before you eat) to sento (towels used in Japanese bath houses), towels are kind of a big deal in Japan. And the city of Imabari makes the best of the best. It’s said that the climate—combined with the extra-pure Sojagawa River water—brings out the softness of the cotton.

Imabari even offers a towel sommelier exam so that one can certify themselves as a towel expert! These high quality towels are expensive, but they’d make a lovely gift for someone who loves to host, or, you know—yourself. 

Imabari Aoyama
Location :
ROM-1st 2F 203, 5-3-10, Minami-aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0062, JAPAN
www.imabaritowel.jp | Google Maps

4. Unique kitchenware and ceramics.

Credit: 66321334@N00

Kappabashi Street is a chef’s paradise. This restaurant and kitchen supply district, located between Ueno and Asakusa, sells everything from industrial-size pots and pans to fake plastic foods.

You’ll find amazing gifts for any chef friends, like a specialized cookware like a taiyaki (fish-shaped waffle) maker, a ceramic hot pot, or a tabletop shichirin grill. (We own both a hot pot and grill, and love making sukiyaki / yakiniku at home.)

You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see a giant chef’s head peering out on the southern end of the street. 

Kitchen Town at Kappabashi Street
Location :
3-8-12 Matsugaya, Taito 111-0036, Tokyo Prefecture
TripAdvisor | Google Maps

5. All the MUJI things.

This “no brand” brand sells simple, beautifully designed products that’ll make any minimalist’s heart sing. Prices in Japan are cheaper than you’ll find in their international store locations, and the selection is much larger than what I’ve seen in New York or San Francisco.

I love decanting my beauty and skincare products into their travel-size containers. The homewares are gorgeous, and their skincare line has legions of fans. Even their cleaning products are beautiful! At the flagship store, there’s even a cafe, bookstore, bicycle rentals, etc.


MUJI Yurakucho
Location : 1-3F, 3-8-3 Marunouchi, 100-0005 Infos Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Google Maps

6. Barware at Bar Times Store.

Recently, we started experimenting with making cocktails at home, and as a result, have started collecting unique items for our own bar. As with most things they try, the Japanese have taken cocktails and elevated them to another level of precise quality and craftsmanship.  

Bar Times Tokyo has an incredible assortment of the most beautiful bar tools and glassware—shakers, strainers, spoons, coupes, and more. On Mike’s last trip, he picked up a gold hexagon-shaped jigger and a clear shaker with a gold cap that look gorgeous left out on our countertop.

(If you love cocktails, visit Bar Trench, Bar High Five, and Bar Gen Yamamoto in Tokyo for the best cocktails in the city.) 

Bar Times Store Tokyo
Location :
2 Chome-2-10 Koraku, Bunkyō, Tokyo, Japan
www.bar-times-store.tokyo | Google Maps

7. Drugstore makeup and skincare products.

A Japanese drugstore is a heaven for a beauty junkie: You can buy high quality cosmetics products—mascara, eyeliner, face wash, sunscreen, and more—for great prices. My favorite drugstore to visit is Matsumoto Kiyoshi because they have a huge selection, but most drugstore beauty aisles are worth a quick browse.

Matsumoto Kiyoshi
(more locations included at the link below) 

SEE ALSO:
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO THE BEST JAPANESE
DRUGSTORE BEAUTY PRODUCTS

8. Fun fashion accessories.

Credit: abzisse

Get your kawaii on in the neighborhood of Harajuku. The main road, Takeshita Street, is chock full of shops for kitschy gifts and fast-fashion, like excessively large polka dot headbands, outrageous phone cases, or streetwear featuring Engrish sayings.

Kutsushitaya is a fun stop for all the socks: if it’s striped leg warmers or lace socks with cat faces that you’re looking for, this is your jam.

Takeshita Street
Location :
1, Jingumae, Shibuya 150-0001, Tokyo Prefecture
TripAdvisor | Google Maps

9. Quality pens and stationary.

Credit: jonolist

C

Prices for Japanese brands like Pilot and Platinum are typically lower than you’d find elsewhere. My favorite place is Tokyu Hands, a one-stop shop Japanese department store (think Target where you can buy anything and everything—toiletries, luggage, toys, electronics, plants, etc). Check out Tsunaga Japan’s complete guide to Japanese stationery for ideas on stationery items to purchase.

Tokyu Hands
Location : 12-18 Udagawacho, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0042, Japan
Google Maps 

10. Tax-free designer goods in Ginza and Omotesando.

Credit: h4ck

The neighborhoods of Ginza and Omotesando are home to the most elegant of designer shops and boutiques. Prices on premium designer goods fluctuate depending on the exchange rate and whether brands have adjusted accordingly, so do your homework if you’re making a big purchase. I love window shopping in the huge Chanel store. Don’t forget to show your passport for purchases over 5,000 yen to get your tax refund.

10 Things You Should Buy from Dubai

| Uncategorized | February 20, 2019

Dubai Shopping Guide: 10 Things You Should Buy from Dubai

Most of those who have traveled to Dubai will agree that Dubai is a shopping heaven. With hundreds of shopping malls and souks to shop at, Dubai offers both modern and traditional shopping experience.

The city hosts one of the largest festivals of its kind – Dubai Shopping Festival – each year which attracts a large number of visitors from all over the world.

There’s probably nothing you can’t buy in Dubai but if you ask me to list ten things you should buy from Dubai, I will suggest you the following items.

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1. Perfumes / Oud / Bukhoor

Since old days, perfumes have been an important part of the Arab world. Go anywhere in the Middle East and you will find locals wearing some really nice perfume.

Dubai has a perfume market where hundreds of shops offer a large number of fragrances to choose from. This includes branded perfumes that you can find in other parts of the world, too. If you wish to pleasure yourself with any of those perfume brands at (probably) lower price, Dubai is the place you are looking for.

Shopping Arabian Bakhoor - Dubai

Dubai is, however, known for its offerings of Arabian Oud and Bukhoor.

Oud, also referred to as Oudh, is one of the rarest and thus, costliest fragrances in the world. It comes from the wood of the Southeast Asian agar tree (Agarwood). I would suggest you try a few traditional Oud scents and if you can handle its strong fragrance (many don’t like it for the same reason), you should definitely buy some.

When talking about Oud, another thing that quickly hits my mind is Bukhoor. In simple term, Bukhoor means scented bricks. You burn a small piece of this ‘brick’ in a burner and give your house a touch of luxurious smell. These sticks slowly burn and leave a rich fragrance in your room.

Like Oud, Bakhoor is also an important part of Arabic tradition. It is used not only at homes, but at social functions like weddings, too. Wish to create a romantic atmosphere in your bedroom? You got to try some Bakhoor!

Exotic perfumes, Oud or Bakhoor can be a perfect gift for your special ones.

2. Gold and Diamond Jewelry

One thing Dubai is known for besides its stock of oil is gold. Dubai has so much gold to offer that they refer to it as the ‘city of gold.’ Dubai is a paradise for gold shoppers from all over the world. The best place to buy gold is Dubai’s gold souk where about 10 tons of gold is present at any given time!

Dubai Gold Souk

Just walk into the gold souk and the sparkling jewelry made of gold will catch your attention. You will feel like you’ve found the treasure of an old emperor and you would want to take it all home.

Of course, gold is a costly metal and you will not be able to ‘take it all home.’ But Dubai offers this precious metal at relatively lower price — thanks to its tax policies. You would definitely want to buy some gold before you head back home.

In addition to gold, you can also buy diamond and platinum jewelry from Dubai.

3. Electronic Items

Dubai’s tax policies also make electronic items cheaper. This includes smartphones, tablets, laptops, cameras, gaming consoles, etc. You can buy these and many other electronic items at relatively cheaper prices than other countries. I’m not sure if Dubai offers electronics at the ‘cheapest’ rates, but yes, prices are lower than many markets, indeed.

Where to buy electronic items from in Dubai, you ask? Head over to the Al-Fahidi Street in Bur Dubai area. You can also walk into a Sharaf DG store or other electronics store in a mall.

Sharaf DG Store Dubai

Shopping Tip: Make sure to convert prices in your local currency and compare. If you are not getting much benefit than in your home country, it’s probably not worth it. Many brands don’t provide worldwide warranty and it can be a headache if your gadget fails.

4. Chocolates

Dubai has become a global hub of business in past few years. Expats and businesses from all over the world have made Dubai their home. Similarly, Dubai is also a hub of chocolates and chocolates from around the world can be found in the city.

I know there’s no connection between these two but Dubai offers a vast collection of chocolates. You can go anywhere in Dubai, you will find best chocolates to choose from. Be it local chocolate brands or popular international brands – take your pick.

Buying Chocolates in Dubai

These chocolates are cheap and there are too many to choose from. They can be a perfect gift to take back home. Trust me, I’ve seen people buying a whole bag full of chocolates!

Head over to any supermarket, grocery store, mall or Dubai Duty Free shop to find best chocolates from all over the globe.

Shopping Tip: Try your hands on Dubai’s local chocolate brand – Chocodate. ‘Chocodates’ are nothing but a nut inside a date which is covered in chocolate. They sure taste amazing, if you ask me.

5. Dates

Believe it or not, dates have been around for thousands of years. They have been cultivated for more than 6000 years in the Middle East. In fact, dates are referred to as the oldest cultivated fruit. Fossil records suggest that date palm has existed for about 50 million years!

So, when you are in any Middle Eastern country – leave alone UAE – dates can not be ignored. Dates have played important role in the Arabian history. It is eaten raw, used in desserts, served with coffee, used to make non-alcoholic beverages or gifted on festivals. Muslims all over the world observe the holy month of Ramadan and end their fast preferably with a date.

Dates from Dubai

In addition to a long, rich history, dates have many health benefits, too. Dates are rich source of iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, copper, phosphorous, sulfur and manganese. They can help your body fight with conditions like anemia, heart problems, abdominal cancer, constipation etc. to name a few.

Long story short, dates are good for your health. They have been around for thousands of years and they are produced mostly in Middle Eastern countries.

Walk into a mall or a souk and you will find a number of varieties of dates. They differ in color, structure, taste, nutrition values and price. Taste a few before you buy them and take some along your way back home.

6. Dried Fruits and Nuts

Dried fruit such as dates, raisins, figs, apricots and apples have deep roots in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries. They have been used for different purpose in different traditions around the world.

Buying Dry Fruits in Dubai

Dried fruits are now produced and consumed all over the world. You can buy them at varying prices in different regions. The same goes with nuts, too.

If you are in Dubai, you will find best of quality dried fruits and nuts imported from around the world. You might find them cheaper, too.

7. Clothes, Shoes, Watches

The emirate of Dubai is one of the best places to pleasure yourself with the latest fashion at best price. Dubai’s malls are full of major international clothing and lifestyle brands and you will find hundreds of different styles to select from.

While you will find Dubai a bit conservative in the way locals dress themselves, you will be surprised to see clothing collection in those huge stores. Cotton, silk, denim, leather – you name it. Clothes are available in all fabrics, colors, shapes and sizes.

Shopping Clothes in Dubai

The same goes with other items such as watches, shoes, lingeries and other accessories, too.

Best time to shop clothes in Dubai? It’s during Dubai Shopping Festival in January and Dubai Summer Surprises between July and August every year. Major brands offer discounts as deep as 80% during these festivals, I have heard.

8. Pashmina

I want to admit that I find this term very beautiful yet confusing. ‘Pashmina’ is a fine type ‘cashmere wool,’ and the term means ‘made of wool.’ Pashmina is also a name given to a girl child in some parts of the world.

My confusion comes from the amount of ‘fakes’ available in market. The amount of silk and cashmere wool used in a pashmina item can vary and so does its quality and price. It’s not easy to find the finest quality of pashmina that it worth its price.

Pashmina Scarfs in Dubai

Chances are, you are good at identifying the fabric and its quality. If so, you will be able to find the best quality of pashmina shawls, stoles, scarfs etc at a reasonable price. The reason why I’m mentioning pashmina here is simple. It is freely available in the city at varying prices.

Pashmina items – especially the shawls and stoles can be a wonderful gift for your loved ones. Just make sure you pay the right price for it.

Shopping Tip: You will find scarfs and shawls labeled as ‘100% Pashmina. Made in Nepal’ all over UAE. They are sold at 10 dirhams each! They are not the finest quality of pashmina for sure.

9. Sweets

Sweets play an important role in every culture. Different countries and localities have at least one sweet dish associated with them and Middle Eastern countries are no exception.

Baklawa Dish - Buy Sweets in Dubai

Traditional Middle Eastern sweets like Baklawa, Umm Ali, Basbousa, Qatayef are available in different parts of Dubai. To calm your sweet tooth, try any sweet dish at a local shop and on your last day in Dubai, make sure to buy some fresh sweet items to take back home.

You can also head over to a Dubai Duty Free shop at the Dubai International Airport and grab some packet of sweets just before your flight.

10. Rugs/Carpets

I am not sure how travelers take rugs or carpets back home. I mean, they’re big and heavy, aren’t they? But I am sure that Dubai has some finest quality of both rugs and carpets to offer.

Carpets have been present in Arabian history for long. And while you wander around Dubai, make sure you visit local markets (souks) to find carpets at reasonable rates.

Buying Carpets and Rugs from Dubai

Different types of carpets come at varying prices. Machine-made carpets could cost you less than hand-made ones. But hand-made carpets have better quality and they deserve their price tags. Their price also varies depending on the material, quality and amount of work performed on them.

Shopping Tip: Don’t forget to bargain while shopping in local markets. Merchants will most probably try to convince about an item’s value being correct but bargaining will help you settle at a better price for most items.

10 Things You Should Buy from Dubai: Summing Up

There’s no wonder that Dubai is a shopper’s paradise. Dubai’s shopping scene has always something new to offer and it won’t let you leave without surprises.

From perfumes to dates to sweets to carpets, there are so many things available in Dubai. Just make your choice and take home what you like.

That’s it, ladies and gentlemen. This is me – Parvez – signing out from Parvezish. You were reading Dubai Shopping Guide: 10 Things You Should Buy from Dubai. I hope you found this article worth your time.

How was your shopping experience in Dubai? Do you think an item should be added to this list? Do share your thoughts and feedback with me! Did you like this article? Do share it with others.

10 Things to Buy in Budapest

| Uncategorized | February 19, 2019

Once existing as two separate cities, Buda and Pest, this capital of Hungary come as a sweet surprise that always leaves a mark on every traveler. From being home to the third biggest Parliament building in the world and the oldest subway line in Europe’s mainland to housing the second largest synagogue in the whole world, Budapest is very big on art and culture. Apart from being one of Europe’s stunning urban destinations, Budapest is among Europe’s cities with plenty of shopping areas. From gorgeously embroidered textiles to Hungarian wine, you will find lots of souvenirs to buy while here. If you are planning to visit here and wondering what to buy in Budapest, here are top 10 things to buy in Budapest.

1. Hungarian Paprika

Photo: Souvenirfinder.com

Paprika is definitely the perfect souvenir to buy if you are a food lover. Being Hungary’s national spice, this inexpensive spice is used almost everywhere relating to Hungarian cuisine. Apart from being colorful and very delicious, Hungarian paprika is also very rich in antioxidants and vitamins. The best place to buy Hungarian paprika is the Central Market Hall where you will be spoilt for choice, from the sweet ones to more hotter alternatives.

2. Traditional Hungarian Shirts

Photo:Pinterest
Photo: Pinterest

If you are looking for something to upgrade your wardrobe with then this shirt will do the trick. Specifically designed for Hungarian folk dancing events, these shirts are usually white and have some unique designs skilfully embroidered all over them. While women’s clothing consists of kind of flared skirts with petticoats worn with blouses having puffed sleeves, that of gents is generally long-sleeved complimented with a vest or a sash. You can head over to Vaci utca where you will find a host of shops selling these wonderful attires.

3. Unicum

Photo: The Federalist

Unicum is a legendary drink in Hungary that most Hungarians swear by it’s healing properties. Bottled in attractive green bottles, this beautiful, dark, herbal drink is made from more than 40 spices. However, up to date, the recipe used has remained to be a big secret. The best place to buy Unicum is at the Zwack Unicum-Heritage Visitors’ Centre.

4. Porcelain

Photo: Luxury Haven

Budapest boats of Hungarian traditional handcrafted porcelain that has existed for more than a hundred years. Herend porcelain, being the porcelain that signifies royalty, for a long time has been preferred by many royal courts around the world. Although Herend porcelain is not inexpensive, it is worth the price. Since there is so much imitation of Herend products, the best place to buy them is from one of Herend’s showrooms around the city.

5. Painted Eggs

Photo: Pinterest

Being the staple of gift shops in Budapest, painted eggs are the perfect gift that you can get for your loved one. In the traditional days, Hungarian men who visited their loved ones on Easter Monday would sprinkle water on her lover and in return, the lady would gift him with a hand-painted egg. Hungarian painted eggs are available in a wide variety of colors and designs. The designs often depict animals, flowers, and religious symbols. They can be found in almost every store found on the Vaci Street.

6. Palinka (Fruit brandy)

Photo: Trover

Paprika is an ancient fruit brandy which has its roots in the middle ages. During this time, the drink was used mainly for its medicinal properties. Being the most popular drink in Hungary, you will find it in all Hungarian celebrations including dances and weddings. Although you can buy Palinka drink all over Budapest, you can head over to Bacchus Borkereskedes Store where they store all types of palinka with a wide variety of flavors.

7. Traditional Dolls

Photo: Trover

Apart from being wonderful souvenirs, traditional Hungarian dolls also make the best gifts for little girls. Having been exhibited in various museums worldwide, these dolls come with beautiful costumes and embroidered hats that make them a rare gem. The costumes can be either the traditional costumes worn by peasants or the Hungarian’s traditional gowns. From their attractive porcelain-faces to the embroidery and beading on the dresses, every single detail in them is done by hand. The Handicraft and Gift Shop located on Vaci Street is a perfect place to buy these dolls.

8. Hungarian noodles

Photo: Venturists

Just like the normal pasta, these noodles generally come in very many different sizes and shapes. You can buy some from Budapest’s Great Market Hall and head home to cook your own custom Magyar inspired meals. The noodles are made from eggs, flour, and salt and are either grated, pinched, or rolled. You can feature Hungarian noodles in popular dishes and soups including the chicken paprikas.

9. Tablecloths

Photo: Fiveprime

If you are looking to update your dining table, how about giving it a traditional look with an elegant, hand embroidered tablecloth from Budapest. Although there are several popular embroidery styles in Hungary, coral floral designs and blue on white patterns are the most common. If you are after a more colorful look, you can consider going for the bright red and green floral patterns embroidered on black and white cloths. You will find a huge selection of tablecloths in the stalls at the Nagy Csarnok.

10. Paintings

Photo: latimes

If you are into paintings then you should consider taking a walk along the picturesque Danube River. Here, you will find a large number of Hungarian painters ready with their sketch pads just beside the Danube river. Most of the paintings here are color paintings of this river and the picturesque bridges that ran cross it. There are also pastel drawings and black and white sketches that depict a rather old Budapest. While there are several individual artists that sell their work beside the river, you will also find a wide selection at a lovely antique store situated at 66 Vaci utca.

10 Things You Can Only Buy in London

| Uncategorized | February 18, 2019

The 10 Things You Can Only Buy in London

Umbrella Shop

When you’re planning your visit to London, you’ll want to make sure that you come back with some experiences or souvenirs that you can ONLY get in London – otherwise, what’s the point in going? Apart from the obvious London attractions, like The London Eye, Buckingham Palace, The Shard, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London, there are some other places we recommend visiting if you want a souvenir that is truly unique to the city of London. Read on for 10 things you can only buy in London.

1. An Umbrella from the James Smith & Sons
A short walk from Tottenham Court Road and Holborn tube stations, there is a shop that sells only umbrellas and walking sticks. James Smith and Sons first opened in 1830 and the original Victorian shop front remains largely untouched.

Everyone knows British weather is bad, so it’s hardly surprising that there is a shop dedicated to umbrellas, but did you know that, to this day, they make most of their umbrellas in the workshop below ground level? This shop is a London institution and hands-down the best place to purchase an umbrella or walking stick in the city.

Tea at Fortnum and Mason

2. Tea from Fortnum & Mason
OK, so there are a a few places across the globe that stock Fortnum & Mason’s tea, but nothing comes close to visiting their London store. Situated on Piccadilly, a stone’s throw from Piccadilly Circus, the shop has a wonderful clock that chimes every 15 minutes and again on the hour with an intricate display – the interior is just as impressive. Taking afternoon tea in Fortnum & Mason is one of the ‘must-do’ things in the city, but if you don’t have the time, pick up a selection of their teas from the department store to take home with you.

Oyster Card

3. An Oyster Card
Something you will probably need to get around the city anyway, an oyster card is something unique to London and a wonderful souvenir to remind you of your time here.

4. Anything from Ben’s House
This quaint little shop near Warren Street tube station only sells things that have been brewed, crafted, created or made in London. Here you can buy beer, wine, groceries, cheese, cured meats, homewares and magazines, all of which have been sourced from the great city of London!

Monmouth Coffee

5. A cup of Monmouth Coffee
That Monmouth Coffee is the best in London is a pretty much accepted fact among Londoners. There is always a queue outside their shops, which are situated in Borough (at the edge of foodie haven Borough market),  Bermondsey and Covent Garden (where their shop has stood since 1978). You might be forgiven for thinking that you could pick up a cup of Monmouth Coffee in Monmouth itself (a town in Wales), but you would be wrong – you can only get it in London.

M&Ms World


6. M&Ms from M&Ms World

It might not be the only one in the world but London’s M&Ms World is the only one in Europe, and one of only five in the world (three of which are in the US). Inside you can buy an endless range of M&Ms merchandise, ranging from soft toys to jewellery and bedding. You can also buy personalised M&Ms to impress all your fellow chocolate lovers.

7. A Houses of Commons Notebook
The Houses of Parliament shop sells lots of things branded with the stamp of the UK government, and although they do have an online shop, we think it adds a certain element of authenticity if you actually visit the shop itself, where you can buy branded packs of playing cards and even a hip flask! The shop is opposite Big Ben, just around the corner from Westminster tube station.

Lock and Co

8. A Hat from Lock & Co
Established in 1786, Lock & Co is the oldest hat shop in the world. A hat from here is so much more than a head warmer – it’s a piece of history! Lord Nelson ordered his signature hat from here, Oscar Wilde bought a fedora, Winston Churchill wore a Lock hat on his wedding day and Charlie Chaplin himself bought hats from here. Lock & Co also lay claim to  creating the very first ‘coke’ or bowler hat in 1849.

Liberty London

9. Fabric from Liberty London
Liberty Department Store is a London institution. Originally opening in 1875, it is famous for its fashion, interiors and luxury goods, and above all, it’s in-house range of fabrics and textiles. Liberty have a range of classic designs as well as new ranges each season and are known the world over for their fashion-forward patterns and excellent standard of quality.

Savile Row

10. A Bespoke Suit from Savile Row
Savile Row is a street known the world over for its services to bespoke tailoring. If you need a smart suit for a special occasion like a wedding, or are looking for a suit with an edge, then head to Savile Row. The shops on this street have impeccable reputations for creating suits that are the cutting-edge of style and will know exactly what length and cut will suit your shape, taking measurements to make a suit specifically tailored to your body.

10 things to buy in Istanbul!

| Uncategorized | February 15, 2019

You can find almost everything that you want in Istanbul. But before leaving the city, we suggest you bring these items that will always remind you of your time in Istanbul…

Here are the top 10 things to buy in Istanbul…

1. Bring the desserts you enjoyed with you

For anyone with a sweet tooth Istanbul is a delightful place. Choose from delicious Turkish delights flavoured with rose water and fruits, pistachio filled baklava and more… You can find every type of Turkish dessert in Istanbul.

2. Spices from Bazaars

Herbs and spices with their delicious smells will magnetize you. You can find them at the bazaars.

3. Tea or Coffee?

Whether you prefer coffee or tea, both make excellent gifts. You can buy Turkish tea or coffee.

4. You might not find these in any other country

You can easly find the brightly coloured fabrics and textiles in shops across the city . You can look for hand woven scarves, delicate embroidery and hanmade felt garments.

5. Seramics

When you come to Istanbul, you can see amazing ceramics on every street and in every bulding. In shops you can find little ceramics as a gift.

Grand Bazaar

6. Carpets

Turkey has been a producer of rugs over the centuries. When you come to Istanbul, you can buy one of them.

7. Art from the streets

You can see a local artisan when you are walking on the Istanbul streets. You can buy one of their works, so that you can take home a memento of Istanbul.

8. Evil Eye

In Turkish culture giving a blue and white “evil eye” (in Turkish: Nazar Boncuğu) as a gift is a traditional. And you can find one of them in any souvenir shop.

9. Music of the city

In Istanbul you can hear every kind of music. Jazz to folk and sufi to classical. You can buy a collection of CDs and relive the unique spirit of Istanbul every time you hear the mesmerizing melodies of Turkey.

10. Souvenirs

You can find -really- unique souvenir in Çukurcuma or the Grand Bazaar.