The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Escape - - WELCOME FORTNUM & MASON, LONDON -

Ev­ery morn­ing I use a sou­venir spoon – or more ac­cu­rately a tea scoop – with a Canberra crest on it to make a pot of tea. It in­trigues me for a few rea­sons, mostly be­cause it be­longed to my grand­par­ents who lived in our na­tion’s cap­i­tal so didn’t need a keep­sake to re­mind them of their home town. Se­condly, the whole no­tion of com­mem­o­ra­tive cut­lery.

A lit­tle sleuthing tells me that the gen­e­sis of the com­mem­o­ra­tive spoon came in the 1800s. They were made not just for trav­ellers want­ing a me­mento of a jour­ney, but to cel­e­brate events and oc­ca­sions. They were ini­tially made by sil­ver­smiths and ex­pen­sively priced un­til im­proved mass pro­duc­tion meth­ods made them more af­ford­able.

An­other of my favourite sou­venirs is a framed menu from a bistro in Paris I kept af­ter a din­ner when I was back­pack­ing in the early ’90s. It came to be af­ter I called my par­ents (re­verse charge, of course) lament­ing the cru­elty of only be­ing able to af­ford Laugh­ing Cow cheese in a coun­try where there was a fro­magerie on nearly ev­ery block; they kindly rose to the hint and of­fered to pay for a din­ner for me and my two trav­el­ling bud­dies.

In hon­our of the royal nup­tials, I’ve pulled out my royal sou­venirs: one is a sil­ver and enamel charm bought by my Nan and Pa when they trav­elled to the UK dur­ing Queen El­iz­a­beth’s Sil­ver Ju­bilee in 1977. The other two I bought from the Buck­ing­ham Palace gift shop on a re­cent visit to Lon­don. They in­clude a crys­tal re­pro­duc­tion of the Queen’s di­a­mond star brooch and a tea cup cel­e­brat­ing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wed­ding.

What are the best sou­venirs you’ve bought or been given? I’d love to hear from you.


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