When I started reading England As You Like It, I was struck by how dated some of it is. Written in 1995, the book tells you how to find information about a destination, and how to find good maps to buy - all with no reference to the internet.
But then I hit the chapter entitled A Supermarket of Souvenirs - and I started smiling. Here's (part of) the first paragraph:
Searching for affordable souvenirs in England is not always easy. Friends and relatives often expect something, but what? ... A skirt length of Harris tweed or Scotch tartan might, for a cost-conscious tourist, involve giving up a long-awaited tea at the Dorchester. (And who do you know who wants a tartan skirt?) Most of the fairly inexpensive trinkets at street stands ... are either flimsy or gaudy, or both.While I don't entirely agree with author Susan Allen Toth about the need to bring back gifts for folks, I do resonate with her clutter-avoiding solution: consumables, which she suggests buying at the grocery store. She recommends everything from Highland Oatcakes to Frank Coopers Fine Cut Oxford Marmalade to Patum Peperium. And I love this one - even if, like Toth, I'm not sure who I'd give it to:
For sheer uniqueness as an English souvenir, I did not think I could surpass a compact oval container of lovage and celandine deodorant.Update: Be sure to note the caution about prohibited items in the comments; not all items are acceptable for import to the U.S., and I imagine other countries have similar regulations.