In the late 90s, Ant returned from a trip to Paris with a souvenir Eiffel Tower sitting on top of the world – and started the L+B tradition of scouring the globe for fabulous tourist tat to display in our staff room on The Shelf of Shame.
Now brought into the 21st century online, we proudly present our most treasured finds for your perusal. From snowglobes in countries that have never seen snow to squirrels on springs, it’s all here. Of course over the years much tat has got away. Oh how Ant regrets not buying the light-up gondola radio in Venice, where you changed channels using the oar. And Jo sadly rejected the Vatican snowglobe which she feared would get nabbed by airport security if she tried to bring it through in hand luggage.
With the launch of the site we are also welcoming contributions. There’s competition, though – since The Shelf’s new lease of life, we’ve observed that a little gentle but determined rivalry has broken out amongst some of our friends and relatives, who seem keen to outdo each other with their latest discoveries.
If you do want to add to our collection – and to confuse your travelling companions as you trawl normally unvisited giftshops and pounce with cries of delight on a particularly fine example – you don’t have to give us the originals. But no cheating with a sneaky snap, please – you should have actually looked the shopkeeper in the eye and experienced that slight raised eyebrow or frank incredulity that someone has finally bought the thing.
(Warning – tat hunting is addictive and we can’t be held responsible if you completely ruin your reputation as a style icon.)