What to bring for friends in London

Oct 13th, 2010, 05:42 AM
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Well, you don't say where either of you are from... but if it's the Northeastern US, maybe she's missing a taste for some Tastykake's Krimpets and Kandy Kakes.

joannyc is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 05:48 AM
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Is there any type of issues bringing any of these items into the UK? I'm thinking the food stuff like maple syrup or skippy peanut butter or ranch dressing or canned pumpkin. I know there are rules about brining foodstuffs into the UK (or into the USA) but I'm not sure what would be allowed or not.
RonDace is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 05:57 AM
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BKP - I loved your list. I'll trade you candy corn for Roses or Knorr ham cubes which you can't get in the US.
adrienne is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 06:02 AM
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If you want to pay 6 times the US price then by all means you can get Skippy at Partridges.

I don't know what any of that means, just had a feeling I'd seen a lot in shops that was Canadian, but couldn't swear to the detail of it.....I thought that Skippy was a kangaroo....can I buy him too?
alihutch is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 06:05 AM
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Hmm, when we visited my cousin and his wife in Dublin my father gave him some stamps (British postmarked in Ireland), but obviously we knew he was a stamp collector, and knew what he liked. We bought his wife a piece of jewelry while we were there, and would have liked to have been able to do that in the US, but didn't know her taste. We also took them to dinner and brought some small things (mostly Mets oriented). However, they had us for 12 days.

I think anything sealed is okay to bring for foodstuffs.
persimmondeb is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 06:08 AM
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<< I'm missing Brach's candy corn and mellowcreme pumpkins. American candy (not chocolate). Apple cider mix. Maple syrup. Ranch seasoning. You could be thinking about American holidays coming up, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Lots of American make their stuffing with cornbread mix, another unavailable product.>>

The problem is these lists are so peculiar that no one with any sense would bring such products to someone as a gift unless they knew they wanted them. The above products make me sick at the thought of even eating them. Ugh, who eats crap like candy corn, anyway, which is some revolting processed sugar product. Americans do not routinely pine for such garbage, let alone foreigners. I also never eat peanut butter, actually, nor rarely use maple syrup, which has hardly any uses. I detest pumpkin, and many people do not like its taste at all.
Christina is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 06:14 AM
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I think canned or jarred stuff is okay -- I wouldn't try to bring in anything fresh -- meat, fruit, veg, etc.

alihutch -- Maple syrup is different in the UK than in the US. I've never bought it in Canada so I don't know about that. I buy a tiny jar from Waitrose occasionally, when I'm desperate for blueberry pancakes w/ maple syrup! I can't tell if it's higher or lower quality -- all I know is it's just not what I'm used to! Peanut butter is the same way. I bought a jar and it tasted like . . . ground peanuts! Shocking, I know. American PB is a bit sweeter. I'm sure you can buy a kangaroo in London. I've heard you can buy ANYTHING there!

adrienne -- I've been here 3 years and don't know anything about Knorr ham cubes. Are they like pork bouillon cubs?

lizzie -- your list looks familiar. Although, to counter your tylenol cold, I'll throw in nurofen plus -- the plus is codeine! That stuff is amazing!
BKP is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 06:54 AM
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You sound like a lot of fun to visit, Christina. You should put some Midol on your wish list!
lizziea06 is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 06:57 AM
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Rondace - to answer your question, every item on the list that I've mentioned has been brought to me in the UK or I have friends who have gotten it brought to them from visitors. I think it's fine as long as it's canned or packaged.

Another item I just thought of - Hormel Turkey Pepperoni. The legality of bringing it into the UK is debatable, however, I've never had an problem. All the Yanks in my office get very excited when someone brings it in.
lizziea06 is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 07:13 AM
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Suggestion: on any posts that have a UK/US focus, ignore the outliers - FlannerUK, because he's never met a topic about the U.S. that he could respond to with anything other than disdain and churlish putdowns - and walkinaround, for having similar views about the U.K. (although walkinaround hasn't shown up on this thread yet).

Is your friend American? or British? How about a small gift from Tiffany's - maybe the pink earthenware bunny bank? With a couple of mint silver dollars from 2009 (the year Baby was born) to get her little bank started.

Tiffany is American, but has several branches in the UK (at least that what their web site says), and I'm sure Baby won't mind if Mom (or Mum) quietly exchanges the gift to get something for herself ;-)
MLF611 is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 07:25 AM
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BKP - Ham cubes are bouillon, like chicken or beef, etc. Knorr no longer sells the ham cubes in the US but they are still sold in England. I use them to flavor soups, especially lentil. I'm down to my last packet and using it sparingly as I don't want to ask my English friend to send any more because I don't have any GBPs to send her to pay for them.

You can buy them at Tesco.

adrienne is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 07:51 AM
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Agree with your list lissiea06 (and your commentt),I would like a gift basket assortment from London if someone was coming over to US to visit me. Everyone likes different things. I like those marshmellow bunnies at Easter, but my DH hates them. So find out what they may like.

Christina & Flanneruk should not comment if they are not going to be helpful...or are not feeling well...
Sue878 is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 08:41 AM
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I suggest you bring a gift for the baby, but take the adults out to dinner. They probably don't want more knick knacks, and you don't want to travel with maple syrup!
PeaceOut is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 09:27 AM
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Christina -- your reply was more than rude. If you read my post carefully I suggested the OP ask her friend. My list was to point out a few things that MANY Americans living in the UK miss from the states.

Your comments about my food preferences are absolutely uncalled for. They do not add anything to the thread and only serve as an example of your very unpleasant personality. This thread could be filled with the unusual food cravings of ex pats and the only thing I would find revolting about it are your comments.
BKP is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 09:28 AM
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Everyone has assumed that the friends are Americans living abroad and would relish something from home. Since the OP has not replied we really don't know what the situation is. I lived overseas for eight years and while early on I missed certain items I couldn't get, I soon learned that the country I was living in had substiutes that were just as good or even better.

Personally the last thing I'd want is a bunch of crap that someone else thinks I might be missing. And, why should a person have to ask? If they're very close then I would imagine that they'd already have an idea as to what if anything they would actually like but couldn't get in London.

PeaceOut is right. Buy something for the one year old and take them out to dinner.

Regarding Christina's and flanneruk's comment...sorry, but I think they're spot on. Sometimes a good dose of reality is needed on this site.
historytraveler is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 09:37 AM
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historytraveler -- I agree that we're making a lot of assumptions about the OP. However, I disagree that if they were close they wouldn't have to ask. When my family comes to visit they ask what I miss. Not because we aren't close -- we talk several times a week, but because I try not to whine and moan about home. No one wants to hear a voluntary expat complain about their adopted country or what they miss about their native one.

If someone does have valuable comments or information to share they would be wise to not be so rude. Often times the good gets lost in the rancor.
BKP is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 09:38 AM
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IMO lizziea06 and BKP's lists are fine -- but very, VERY personal/individual. I personally wouldn't miss most of those items (I lived in the UK for 5 years back when fewer international/US consumer items were as widely available)

I think we do need a bit of clarification -- are they expats who are missing home, or are they Brits?

Even if they are expats, they may have converted acquired 'british-taste' for some things and not seriously miss the same old stuff from back home.

That is why is suggested asking them. To be sure -- if I was really craving something special from home and friends brought Crystal Light, Pam or candy corn I'd be pretty disappointed

ask them (unless we all are on the wrong track and they aren't expats)
janisj is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 09:46 AM
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Flanner is an amusing crank, if nothing else, and I enjoy his posts while taking them with a grain of salt. If he was in favor of anything we did or had on this side of the Atlantic I would probably faint from shock.

However, while Christina has a point that these are not items that should be bestowed on someone unless you have a strong inkling that they actually want them, her post left me with the idea that she doesn't like to eat much of anything, which would make her somewhat unreliable on the desirability of food gifts. Not everyone likes everything, but none of the foods mentioned were really strange.

I will agree that a cute little present for the baby, a nice meal, and maybe one or two little things (including typically American foodstuffs if you think they would like them) would probably be your best bet.
persimmondeb is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 10:03 AM
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Flanner has (as usual) rather conveniently forgotten that the "crappy" cigarettes sold in the US taste far better than those ersatz things they sell in Britain..but, of course, we know that nobody here would ever associate with anyone in Europe..oh, excuse me, Flanner..I mean't BRITAIN (big difference) who hauls.
Dukey1 is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 11:25 AM
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Here is a bit more info. I live in California. My friend is from Australia and her husband is from Venezuela. However, they have become British citizens. I did ask my friend what she would like, but no response yet. I had planned on taking them to dinner in addition to bringing a gift. Whew!
enjoyinglife is offline  

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