My favorite vacation souvenir is a little something special for my house. This is because I am over 30 — shot glasses, crude magnets, and ironic T-shirts are no longer becoming.
Something festive for the table is a much better (and more useful) purchase, and almost every culture has a unique item to distinguish its repast. Think tagines from Morocco, casuelas from Mexico, or linen napkins from Belgium. The list is endless.
On a recent trip to Antigua, Guatemala, I discovered a gorgeous textile shop called that is owned and operated by four very charming ladies. I walked in and fell down the rabbit hole. Two hours later, I emerged with a dozen hand-embroidered cotton napkins, twelve manta placemats, and a custom-size tablecloth in saturated peacock-blue. When I got back to the hotel, I spread it across the bed and nearly dove right into it. It was not cheap but it was certainly less than it would be in the States. I supported a local, artisanal effort, and I have a table setting that would make any buyer at ABC Carpet & Home drool.
The next time you want a souvenir and you are choosing between a tchotchke and local headwear (rarely cute outside of the mother country), think about your kitchen table instead. As nice as it is to have a keepsake from a trip, it's even nicer to have a keepsake over which you can make a toast.
FIND IT →
(Cuida Tu Planeta)
5 Avenida Norte, # 33
Antigua, Guatemala 03001