Aug 27, 2009

Score! Orla Kiely & Bewleys Tea Caddy

I can't be sure sometimes if I'm a travel writer with a shopping problem or a shopping writer with a travel problem, but suffice to say I combine my two favorite hobbies whenever I can. If I have one piece of advice for other traveling-shoppers/shopping-travelers, it's to shop like a local. Sure, the markets are great for local arts and crafts, and the touristy stores are grand when it comes to generic touristy stuff for your inlaws and coworkers, but I'm telling you, you'll find your best and cheapest souvenirs at the local supermarket.
I always make time to visit Dunnes Stores and Tesco when I'm in Ireland; fun-packs of sweets, tins of biscuits, salad cream, HP sauce, and tea bags, all make for interesting and affordable gifts for friends and family on this side of the Atlantic.

On a recent trip, I was lucky enough to score an Orla Kiely & Bewleys tea caddy. I spotted the Kiely trademark scribble stem pattern from half an aisle away, and gasped aloud at its gift potential; Orla Kiely is hot stuff on this side of the Atlantic, and a tea caddy in a luxurious red and cream color combo filled with 160 good strong Irish Bewleys tea bags is a killer gift-combo! I can't remember now what I paid for it, but it was about 4 euro–a great deal, and so much cheaper than a Kiely handbag.

Note: I was so happy with my find that I actually couldn't part with it when I got back to Brooklyn. I had my aunt score me a second one when she was coming back from Ireland, and after I wrestled it away from her, I had all the best intentions of actually gifting it this time, but the Gollum in me– "my precious!"–won over; I now have two!

Be sure to nip to the local shop for a few goodies/gifts if you're in Ireland, or visit Orla's website and get yourself a less-bargainous (
£15.00) caddy.

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