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Gift for English Friend?

My English ex-coworker, good friend, is buying tickets for my daughter and me to go to Bath and is hosting a get-together with other friends for us. I asked if there was anything he wanted anything from the States, and he said "no", but I'd like to bring something for him. I live in Northern California and was thinking maybe a good local bottle of wine (if I carefully pack it and check my bag), but I'm not sure if he's a wine drinker. Anyone have any other ideas of something I could take over that can't be readily found in UK (London area)??

Posted by
178 posts

The wine sounds like a wonderful idea. We had friends living in England a few years ago, and they always asked everyone coming over to bring peanut butter. Just a thought. :):):):) How about an assortment of flavored coffees?

Could you ask a fellow co-worker if he/she knows some of your friends preferences?

Posted by
1455 posts

I had the same problem and brought Trader Joe's Nuts. I was going to bring wine but didn't want the bottle to break. My London friends were Disney collectors, and frequent DLR Paris, so I got some pins from Disneyland that were limited and only exclusive to Anaheim.

This has been a frequently discussed topic. Some people have suggested calendars, apron, or things exclusive to your area.

Posted by
17 posts

I wouldn't bring wine, always the possibility the bottle might break. Someone from the States gave me a bag of peanut butter M&M's last year. Apparently you can't get them here, which I didn't know. Very nice they were too! So maybe a selection of edible goodies like that might be an idea.

Or maybe some cotton goods? Polo shirts, napkins, tray cloths or tablecloth? In Florida last year we found such items to be of excellent quality. Easy to pack too.

Posted by
40 posts

Thank you, Betty! That's what I'm looking for, something not readily available in UK.

Posted by
30 posts

My husband and I are going to England in a week and a half and are staying with friends of the family for part of the trip. We're from Florida, so I bought them a cookbook of typical Floridian recipes. I know they won't be able to get all of the ingredients in England, but if nothing else they can have a good laugh at some of our more bizarre dishes (e.g. alligator fritters). The book I got has little bits of trivia about the state and some of the bigger cities as well, which I thought would be fun to read. I'll let you know they liked it when we get back!

Posted by
445 posts

I alaways bring a bottle of gin as that's whay my UK friends wants....all those G and Ts!!!!! I usually buy it at the duty free shop at Newark Airport and it is delivered to you just before boarding so it circumvents ghe no liquids rule! Or if I forget, there is a small duty free shop upn arrival at go through it after you disembark. But the prices are better in the USA!!

Used to bring cigarettes but everyone has quit! Don't bring peanut is readily available in the UK. Sometimes in the past I have brought books on my town (very historic and very old), tea towels of local interest, university sweatshirts (kids seem to like these). I always mean to bake some cookies (my special recipe) but always seem to run out of time! Occasionally, my friend will look at the website of a company in the USA and indicate to me what she would like (last year she did Sierra Trading for clothes for her walking tour in Slovenia). SHe is a very good friend!!

Posted by
5 posts

We're Northern Californians too, and we brought our English friends lemons from the tree in our back yard. If you don't grow your own produce, you could bring something that's produced locally in your area, like almonds.

Posted by
40 posts

Great ideas! I think I'll stay away from the food products, although am considering a good wine from my region (there are actually some great California wines outside of Napa Valley :-)). I did ask another English friend what he might like and she also made the wine suggestion. And I think the car calendar idea is a good one. My UK friends are always fascinated with all the cars we Americans have. Mostly I wanted to think of something they couldn't get there.

Posted by
808 posts

There could be a problem with wine and nuts and nut products, unless you know the recipient well.

Wine is fine unless the recipient is an obstainer or in AA. Nuts could be a problem if the recipient has a nut allergy. (Sorry, I had to mention that - I'm EMS (and IC F/A)

I know you're in CA so maybe you could think of something native to your hometown.
I'm thinking along the lines of "California Girl" novelty or American Cars. A 2008/9 Calandar of American Cars could be a hit among the Guys. The New Chevy Malibu is NA Car of the Year. (You know, Malibu - the California connection) They are giving out free calandars at GM/Chevy Dealers. They are easy to pack and don't take up much space.

Or crisp new $1 Bills would be neat for Kids. (They do still make those, right?) I always take a roll of brand new Loonie Coins. Kids like those. Or Cdn (American) Flag key chains from the Dollar Store.

As a Canadian, I always take Red Rose Tea. I'm often asked to bring it. The commercial sports two British Upper Crusters in the UK and goes something like "Only in Canada, eh?" What a pity!"

Not such a good suggestion for an American, but I'm sure you'll think of something creative!

Posted by
103 posts

I brought a friend living in London some ketchup and peanut butter. Someone else on my flight had four jumbo-size boxes of Cheerios.

Strangely, what my friend wanted most was lunch from Taco Bell or Chipotle... but that doesn't travel so well. Mexican food isn't nearly as common in London as it is here.