As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I’m a bit of a travel buff. Going to new parts of the world and exploring different cultures just scratches a certain itch for me – I guess I have a deep rooted case of wanderlust. Ever since I opened the store that I co-own with my fiance, I haven’t been able to get out and travel as much as I’ve grown accustomed to doing. When I heard about Escape Monthly – “A vacation in a box”, I immediately had to subscribe and find out if it could be a replacement for a foreign adventure.
When I got home after a long day of work, I was downright stoked to find this box sitting on my front step. I had been really anticipating this one, and I tore into it like an animal.
This month’s theme was London, a city I have been to more times than I can recall. The box was crammed with treats (always a good sign). The first thing I noticed was that everything was a little bit… oily. The first item had leaked all over the box.
Orico Rush Hour Vibrant Dry Body Oil – $7.00 – The first item I took out was the Orico Dry Body Oil, which appeared to have a little case of its own wanderlust, as it had traveled all over the rest of the box. According to the card they included in the box (which I always appreciate), this oil contains rosehip, macadamia, and baobab oils. I think this is a really cool contribution to the box. I love that they included products that are off the beaten path.
Walkers Nonsuch English Creamy Toffees – $4.00 – Next up we had some tasty treats. The first one I pulled out was a bag of toffees – AWESOME. Toffees totally scream British to me, and I’m really glad they included these. I’ve had Walkers Nonsuch before, and they are definitely one of the better commercial toffees I’ve had. They’re soft but chewy, sweet but not cloying. We ate these over the course of a few days and enjoyed them thoroughly!
Corkers Natural British Crunch (Pork Sausage & English Mustard flavor) – $3.00 – This bag of chips (I guess I should say crisps) was really different, in a good way. The British have always had some crazy snack flavors (hello, prawn crisps), but they always somehow manage to taste really good. Weird, but good. Pork sausage and mustard tastes good when that is what you’re eating, and surprisingly it translates well to chip flavoring as well. I recently tried all of the test batch flavors from Lays lined up next to each other, and these tasted way better than any of those (especially the Cappuccino flavor, which is an abomination). We shared these with a friend of ours and we all sat there munching and commenting on how good they were.
Hill Custard Creams – $3.00 – Of course they included a package of custard creams. They’re like the Oreos of England. Just like Oreos, they’re delicious and indulgent and we polished off the entire pack in 48 hours. I have no regrets. Or self control.
Westminster Caddy of English Breakfast Tea – $11.00 – What trip to London would be complete without a proper cup of English breakfast tea? This tin is packed with 14 bags of tea just waiting to be steeped. My dad is a huge tea drinker, and this will be going in his Christmas stocking. I’d drink it myself, but I have a lot of tea sitting in my cupboard, not being consumed. It’s better to gift this one.
Soapsmith 3-Piece London Soap Sampler – $8.00 – The only thing I love more than bath products is expensive, hand made bath products. This is another item that I’m glad they included, because it gives local businesses a chance to shine among the big boys that everyone knows about already. This little box included three slices of different soaps that smell SO GOOD. The box is adorable and would make a good gift for someone, but I will be keeping (and enjoying) this one myself.
Rick Steves’ London Travel Guide – $19.99 – This is one of the two items included in this box that I (and most people, I’d imagine) have no use for. I think it’s a cool idea that Escape Monthly includes a travel guide to the theme location in each box, but it’s not necessary. This is the most expensive item in the box, and it’s going to sit on a shelf not being used. First off, I don’t use travel guides. Second, it’s London, not the Amazon. You don’t really need a travel guide for one of the most traveled cities in the world. This is not a cheap subscription box ($49.95/month!!), and it would appear that a large part of that cost goes to putting travel guides in there which, in my not so humble opinion, is a waste.
London Diecast Taxi – $12.00 – I saved the best for last. Ladies and gentlemen, the second most expensive item in this box is a toy car. London’s taxis are pretty iconic and you can spot them everywhere, but I don’t need a toy replica of them. A google search would suffice if I ever needed a reminder of what a black cab looks like. As a 32 year old woman, I don’t really need a toy car.
I am going to rate this box a B-, as it was above average but far from perfect. I have been to London many times, and this did bring back some memories of touring the city, and I loved that they included items that were specifically local to London but not overhyped. However, there were certain things that I just have no use for, like the pocket guide and the toy taxi. For me, the price of this box is fairly steep for a subscription box ($49.95/month). When I break it down, the total retail value of this box is $67.99, which is only $18 above what I paid, and $31.99 of it is stuff I don’t want. Since I receive a lot of subscription boxes, this one just doesn’t have the value that I need to continue subscribing to it.
I’d be more interested in purchasing this box again if it ran like Hampton’s Lane, where you can preview the box before buying it. This is definitely a fun box, and I look forward to seeing what new places they’ll curate from. I can think of a few countries that would interest me enough that I would throw down some cash just to see what they send me, so we’ll see!