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Make Room at the Table

by Stephanie March

Make Room at the Table

Hanging out with the ladies at Textura.

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 Textura 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.

Textura (Cuida Tu Planeta)
5 Avenida Norte, # 33
Antigua, Guatemala 03001

Stephanie, a Fathom contributing editor, is an actor, activist, and chronic wanderer. You can follow her at @marchstephanie on Twitter and Instagram. She travels for the sheer animal pleasure of seeing something new.

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