If convention’s too confining, then SS Homme’s handcrafted wooden bow ties are just the thing for you. Perfect as gifts and souvenirs, these quirky limited-edition accessories are available in various styles: from chequered coffee coloured ties to basic chocolate brown ones. At `5,500. Shipped to all the major metros.
If you are heading to Brazil to watch the World Cup, don’t come back without these adorable Fuleco slippers. Fashioned on the tournament mascot, the Brazilian three-banded armadillo, the polyester slippers are priced at Rs. 1,811. Details: shop.fifa.com
We just can’t get over how cute these little rice crackers are. With the face and clothing of Japan’s traditional hostesses, the Geishas, these will make great gifts for your little one’s friends back home. Pick up these delicious treats at the Narita International Airport or at any of the 100 yen shops in Tokyo.
Ditch the keychains and fridge magnets in favour of some interesting memorabilia to remember the world’s most iconic police force, the NYPD, and New York City. Mugs to show off in the office and cute teddy bears for younger family members are all on offer, but our personal favourite is the branded notepad. Take the most inconsequential notes and feel like you’re investigating crime on behalf of the people of Manhattan.
A sign of nobility and a mark of authority in many regions across the African continent, the horse tail fly whisk is both easy to find and makes for a beautiful decorative piece. They come in varying sizes. Look for the most striking options that come with carved bonne handles native to the Maasai tribe, often with beaded trimming or inlay work. Their price varies according to quality, with most priced around Rs. 1,000.
A trip to Barcelona is overwhelmingly laden with the works and architecture of the great artist, Antoni Gaudi, through his signature ceramic mosaic work. The Gaudi & Barcelona Shop, at most tourist spots around the city, is the official creator and seller of replicas of Gaudi’s work with jewellery, apparel and decorative merchandise that make for a colourful and quirky keepsake of Gaudí and Barcelona. Rs. 500 upwards. Details: gaudibarcelonashop.com
Here’s a souvenir that pops: the rubber stunt Webley “Tower Bulldog” pistol used in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. A high quality casting from a real Webley revolver, it features the weapon’s original stampings. At Rs. 48,000. At the Prop Store in Los Angeles. Details: propstore.com
Dare we ask you to give wooden fans and kimonos a miss and, instead, pick up something that the Japanese are totally in love with? KitKat bars! They gobble up these chocolate-covered wafers by the dozen, but go for unique flavours like green tea, chilli, edamame, wasabi and cheese. We also love their red bean toast, mandarin-lemon, cinnamon and sweet potato. Available at most supermarkets, from Rs. 100 onwards.
We are not asking you to tilt at windmills, but a visit to Spain calls for a stopover at Toledo, the sword-making hub of the country. Famous for its unusually hard steel (once wielded by Hannibal in the Punic Wars), it now creates blades mostly for tourists. Pick up hand-crafted daggers and broadswords, from Rs. 16,000 onwards.
No trip to London is complete without a little bit of Royal spotting. But stan-ding outside Buckingham Palace or hanging around Kensington Gardens, hoping to catch a glimpse of Their Royal Highnesses is so pre-royal wedding. The past few years have seen an explosion in London of the sale of celebrity look-a-like masks, meaning that you can have your photo taken with the Queen or Kate Middleton outside all of London’s landmarks. Tacky? Perhaps. Entertaining? Definitely!