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Gift for Friends we're staying with?

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New York City, New...
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Gift for Friends we're staying with?

I will be staying with distant friends while in London next month. I am from NYC and would like to bring them a gift to thank them for the hospitality. I thought about a gift card-but then I was concerned that they might not even be able to use it; or it would loose value with the conversion. (Like a Visa or Amex Gift Card)

Maybe something from one of the NY museums? Or I was thinking about a gift set of some sort but I don't even know what to put in it?

Maybe if I could order a Harrods or other popular London store Gift Card and give it to them?

Can anyone suggest some good ideas of what I can bring?

Thanks!

Oxfordshire
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1. Re: Gift for Friends we're staying with?

Harrod's has an appalling image among many Londoners as the kind of tasteless dump only patronised by Russian zillionaire kleptocrats. Unless you know for sure your friends like the place, a gift card from it can easily send entirely the wrong message.

However distant they are as friends, you know a great deal more about them than anyone here. There must be something buyable in New York and Nooyawky (like, say a box of doggie New Yorker cartoons for dog-owners or the NY Times Book of Jewish Cookery for foodies) that'll match their tastes.

The Museum of the City of NY is a much better source for such objects than the Met or the Frick, which mostly have things that are almost interchangeable with the stock of any London museum.

London, UK
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2. Re: Gift for Friends we're staying with?

Do they like food? Dean and Deluca don't deliver to the UK - a friend brought me some truffle salt from there and we're waiting for somebody to get us some more as I've tried all the usual stores in London and, although I can buy other brands, it's nowhere near as good as the D&D stuff. I'm sure there are tons of other fab things from there that you could bring over too.

london
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3. Re: Gift for Friends we're staying with?

Something from NY definitely, not something from here. The museums idea is good.

If it was me, I'd love something interesting that I could use like cool mugs. I saw some great ones from the NY police museum, line drawings of mounted police in front of NY landmarks, that you'd never be able to get here.

I'd also love something from Dean & Deluca (but not anything European in origin, eg Dijon mustard), something like their house blend coffee & a couple of other things packed into one of their slick tote bags that I could use for shopping.

Edited: 15 February 2012, 15:49
Ossett, United...
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4. Re: Gift for Friends we're staying with?

What a kind thought.

Definitely something NYish.

Hershey Bars.

Smores - can you buy smores or is it a recipe? It's something I hear about but have never seen. Never seen Hershey Kisses either.

Maybe a small hamper, self made? A little collection of American things that you like? A mix of foody things like the Hersheys or Am. mustard, Graham crackers, what are they? again, I read them in recipes but have never seen one. Added to a couple of little key chains and just general small Americana. A little goody-bag is a real treat.

I remember when I visited MD many years ago bringing back Poptarts (never heard of them but we get them in the UK now) and solid gel room deododrizers - they were unheard of in the UK then.

A small bagful of America that you've picked yourself would be fantastic.

New York City, New...
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5. Re: Gift for Friends we're staying with?

Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions!!!

I like the idea of the Dean & Deluca coffee and other edible treats! Maybe I'll try to get creative and put together a Hamper that I can pack in my luggage. I also remember when I worked at Crate & Barrel here in NY over the holidays how many tourist from London liked to shop there because there isn't a C&B in London. Maybe I can check there for some great decorative yet universal house decor. vases/candles hopefully if i pack it in my carry on I won't risk any breakage.

Thanks again!!

London, UK
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6. Re: Gift for Friends we're staying with?

If your friends are the type who might enjoy burning fragranced candles in their home, then I can tell you that US candles seem to contain much more scent than British ones and do actually fragrance the room when you burn them. I particularly like the big 3-wick ones sold in Bath & Body Works for $20. I always bring as many as I can reasonably fit in my suitcase back from trips to the US as it's impossible to buy anything comparable here without spending megabucks.

Detroit, Michigan
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7. Re: Gift for Friends we're staying with?

I agree with bringing something representative of NY or the US. You may also want to ask them if there is anything they'd like you to bring them from the US. If they've been to the US, they may have a favorite goody they can't easily get there. A friend of mine likes us to bring her Wintergreen Lifesavers and Aunt Jemima pancake syrup. :)

New York City, New...
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8. Re: Gift for Friends we're staying with?

thanks for the tip on the candles! i like that idea. I just e-mailed my friend to find out anything they might like. I was hoping to surprise them but it's probably best I found out exactly what they would like.

Illinois
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9. Re: Gift for Friends we're staying with?

I smiled at the Hershey bars, as DD and I buy chocolate bars every time we come to London (she likes Wispa bars, although I saw a TV commercial that Hershey is now making something similar) since I am reliably informed by DD that they are better there than here.

Ailidh, S'mores are a recipe (reportedly named because you always want s(ome) more). You toast marshmallows (over a campfire if really doing it properly) and then break a Graham cracker in half, put part of a Hershey bar (3 of the little rectangles usually fit well) on one half, put the toasted marshmallow on top of that, and put the other half of the Graham cracker on top. (I have cheated and toasted the marshmallows in the toaster oven though.)

I'm not really sure how to describe a graham cracker's taste, but here is a picture:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graham_cracker

Brechin, United...
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10. Re: Gift for Friends we're staying with?

Hershey Kisses and Hershey Bars are available in Asda