There are a zillion reasons why the internet is a wonderful thing, but indulge me for a moment with the one I’m going to focus on right now. It wasn’t actually all that long ago that if you discovered that your favorite candy bar in the whole wide world was only available in – let’s say – England, you’d have to suffer through long periods of time without that candy bar before you set foot in England again. Nowadays, thanks to the internet, you can find just about every little treat you ever wanted to – without having to buy a plane ticket. And that’s not just reserved to food, either. So when you’re looking for London gift ideas for the Anglophile in your life (or just hoping to find a few London goodies for your own stash), you need look no further than your nearest computer.
Here are 29 London gift ideas that would delight any London lover, whether they’re planning a trip or just hoping to bring a little bit of London into their own homes.
- Sticky Toffee Pudding – The English sure do love to put things in cans, don’t they? And this sticky toffee pudding is no exception. Look, it’s even microwaveable!
- Mushy Peas – Of all the things the English like to put in cans, seems to me that mushy peas have got to be the one that actually shouldn’t come in any other container.
- Marmite – England’s answer to Australia’s Vegemite is definitely an acquired taste, but chances are good you won’t have to worry about anyone wanting to steal your Marmite.
- Curly Wurly Bar – Cadbury’s Curly Wurly bars are a caramel-and-chocolate treat that’s definitely worth buying by the case.
- High Tea – Is there anything more quintessentially English than high tea? You can get everything you’ll need to re-create a high tea in your own kitchen (or parlor, should you have one). There’s the silver plated tea strainer, the crumpets, and the English Double Devon cream. And if you’re lazy but still want a pseudo-high tea, then go with the PG Tips teabags instead.
- Toast Rack – Don’t let your toast go all soggy on one side while it sits on your plate waiting to be buttered. Keep it crispy the English way with this English style toast rack.
- Digestive Biscuits – And after all those London indulgences, if your stomach isn’t feeling particularly happy, you can quiet it with McVities Digestive Biscuits (which proudly declare they’re the originals). You can pretend they’re dessert with the chocolate digestive biscuits, too.
- London Guidebook – The perfect gift for any London lover who’ll be making a trip to the city is a good London guide. I’m fond of Rick Steves London and Lonely Planet London, but if your London-o-phile has been to the city before and is making a return trip then this Moleskine City Notebook: London is a great way for them to make a customized guide to the London they love.
- British Slang Dictionary – The people in London might technically speak the same language as the people in the United States, but there are enough differences that it’s not a bad idea to consult a dictionary of British slang. And the fact that some of the slang is hysterical is a bonus.
- Walking London – Sure, you can walk all over London without this book, but “Walking London: Thirty Original Walks In and Around London” will undoubtedly give you a different perspective on the city.
- Secret London – Another great companion to the London lover who’s hoping to see more than just the same tourist attractions is “Secret London: Exploring the Hidden City, With Original Walks And Unusual Places to Visit.”
- Underground London – While every London tourist rides The Tube at one point or another, it takes a book like “Underground London: Travels Beneath the City Streets” to really give you some perspective on this famous subway.
- This is London – For the junior Anglophile in your life, the “This is London” book is a fun way to get to know the monuments of this famous city. It’s a bit old, so some of the landmarks aren’t the same anymore, but this is a great gift for any kid who’ll be going with the family to London.
- My Fair Lady – The 1964 film “My Fair Lady,” set in London, retold the Pygmalion story with a contemporary twist. And any film featuring the great Audrey Hepburn is worth watching again and again.
- Sliding Doors – Gwyneth Paltrow stars in the 1998 film “Sliding Doors,” which not only takes place in London but features a pivotal scene on the London Underground.
- A Hard Day’s Night – Whatever you think of the 1964 film by The Beatles “A Hard Day’s Night,” it provides a great look at the city of London.
- Notting Hill – The 1999 romantic comedy “Notting Hill” takes place in the London neighborhood of the same name.
- Bridget Jones’s Diary – The loveable (if quite flawed) heroine of 2001′s “Bridget Jones’s Diary” makes this movie worth watching, but the fact that it’s set mostly in London makes it even better.
- An American Werewolf in London – I can’t make a list of London movies without putting “An American Werewolf in London” on it. I just can’t.
- The Beatles: Abbey Road – Yes, The Beatles got their start in (and are synonymous with) the city of Liverpool, but they spent years in London and made the street outside their London recording studio famous with this cover of Abbey Road.
- Music for London – This compilation, Music for London, is something of an audio tour of the famous city.
- Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex Pistols – And then, of course, there are the Sex Pistols, one of London’s most famous punk exports.
- Big Ben Construction Kit – Bring a little bit of London into your life by building this wooden model of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.
- Double Decker Bus Charm – Add to your London (or travel) inspired charm bracelet with this cute double decker bus charm.
- London Underground Cufflinks – Guys, you’re not left out in the London-themed jewelry department, because you can wear these fun London Underground cufflinks to your next fancy party.
- Matchbox Double Decker Bus – The kid inside each and every London fan out there would love to have this Matchbox double decker bus on their desk.
- Mind the Gap Board Game – The Mind the Gap Board Game takes you on a trip around London, and the story centers on the famous ravens that inhabit the Tower of London.
- London PopOut Map – Is your London lover headed to the city itself for a visit? Then get them this excellent London PopOut Map so they can always have a London map ready without needing an advanced degree in map folding.
- London Skyline Poster – If you frame this London skyline poster and hang it someplace you’ll see it every day, it just might make you stop wishing you were in London and actually buy a plane ticket.
original photo at the top by sjdunphy