Thursday, Oct. 02, 2008

Houses of Parliament Mementos

If kitsch is your bag, then London's tacky souvenir shops piled high with plastic facsimiles of old-fashioned bobbies' helmets should be right up your cobbled alley. Otherwise, you'll find a better class of tourist memento on sale in the Houses of Parliament including wines and spirits, chocolates, playing cards, pens, mugs, cuff links and scarves branded with the famous portcullis logo. The hitch: To visit this exclusive retail outlet you have to gain access to the seat of British government. But that's no hardship. Tours for overseas visitors are allowed in summer months when Parliament is in recess; U.K. residents can arrange visits throughout the year by contacting their local Member of Parliament. N.B.: A limited selection of the same souvenirs is also available at the nearby Parliamentary Bookshop.