I See London…
We are in full Olympic swing right now, and while I’ve certainly inundated you with some Olympic gift ideas & reads, I thought it might also be nice to zero in on the host city, which also happens to be one of my favourite places in the world, London! Now, as we are all mighty familiar with the 2010 Olympics, typically speaking when you host a major international event, your culture will be boiled down to a few key themes, as disseminated primarily through the Olympic gear that’s produced…see: maple leafs and the colour red for us Canucks. While I think we managed to sidestep (other than our tongue-in-cheek closing ceremonies) most of the other national trademarks – beavers! mounties! eskimos! – there’s nothing wrong with a little simpleton culture adoration every now and again. That my friends, is the idea behind today’s post, as I present to you six very London-inspired picks to gift to your pals that are either in the UK, heading there later this year, or simply wrapped up in the city’s bustling energy as shown on your TV screens.
London Calling Bracelet – $30 @ JewelMint
So technically this is a ‘travel charm’ bracelet, as opposed to specifically about London, but the double decker bus and tennis racket (symbolizing Wimbledon) clearly point to Britain’s capital. If you’re a newer reader, you may not know the scoop on JewelMint so let me fill you in – they are a casual subscription service that curates jewelry picks for you based on your personal style. Every piece is priced at $30, but there are always wonderful deals to make it easy for you to scoop up and extra item or two (and their stock is updated monthly). I like this bracelet because the neutral gold tone makes it an elegant yet playful pick for women of all ages – while a younger girl might simply dig the charms, period.
Olympic London Pillow – $26 @ Design Me My Gift
I could’ve snuck this one onto my Olympic gifts post the other week, but the designers of this cheery suedette pillow really won me over with their marriage of famous London iconography and the classic Olympic colours. Featuring guards, phone boxes, double-decker buses, black cabs, and post boxes, this is a great way to commemorate the games and pay tribute to the city without your screaming in either direction. Plop one as an accent on a black leather chair, or buy a set to complement your rec room where you’re watching the games.
tokidoki Love From London Collection – $17 – $25 @ Sephora
Crazy cute make-up brand tokidoki is showing some London love with these sweet limited-edition pieces that combine the brand’s signature Japanimation artwork with classic London iconography – including a red phone booth eyeshadow palette and a Union Jack-emblazoned make-up bag. I have to tell you on a personal level, tokidoki eyeshadows are incredibly wearable – they range from shimmery to matte, and can be layered on for either a subtle shimmer or an intense colour blast. Both of these make fun birthday gifts, particularly if your giftee is celebrating during the games!
Jack Tea Towel – $16 @ Tobyboo
What’s red, white, and blue and manages to pack in not one, but a bunch of classic London skyline imagery? This fun tea towel, that’s what. With the London Eye, Tower Bridge, and the Parliament buildings, this is a nifty gift for whoever you’re staying with this summer while on hols. A symbolic ode to the games, while still having tons of London flavour for months to come.
I Heart London by Lindsey Kelk – $15.99 @ Indigo
Anyone that loves a good slice of chick lit knows that we owe a heck of a lot to British authors like Sophie Kinsella and Helen Fielding, and if you’re not familiar yet, I’d add Lindsey Kirk to that list as well. The latest entry in her ongoing series following Angela, a gal struck with wanderlust and not the greatest luck in love, puts our heroine back in London – but feeling anything but heroic. As she grapples with the all-too-familiar (including her ex, her best friend’s baby, and her mum), the big question is can Angela get ahead of the old girl she left behind some books ago? A fun summery read for any book lover, that’ll also help put you in the frame of mind of walking through the streets of foggy London town when watching the Olympics.
London Sole Olympic Henrietta Ballet Flats – $230 @ Net A La Mode
Sometimes you just want to shout from the rooftops how much you love Britannica, and these shoes will certainly help you do that. London Sole is one of the world’s premiere flats makers – in fact, they are often credited for bringing ballet flats back in style over the last decade. This limited-edition pair features the iconic Union Jack, along with the year emblazoned on the sole. If you’re thinking these are a regular part of London Sole’s line-up, think again – they are specifically dedicated to the country for its Olympic festivities, and to the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton herself. Are they a splurge? Yes. But imagine how happy your daughter or wife or girlfriend will when she slips these babies on.