It was 20% of the value plus £8 handling fee from Royal Mail. A complete rip off!
Twenty per cent would be the VAT, £8 is what Royal Mail charges for collecting the VAT from you and passing it to HMRC. However, larger orders might also be liable to customs duties as well as VAT - and, presumably, still are.
Some good news though. A further post this morning suggests that Khurasan may be able to supply smaller orders if these are placed through e-bay. A test order is being sent today and we should have an idea whether or not this works in a week or so's time.
That sounds positive at least. I remember one time my Dad sent a gift to family in the UK (from Australia) only to learn that the recipients were charged 40% of the value due to VAT and something else. He wasn't thrilled.
The £135 minimum order is so that he can ship as a freight export and therefore does not have to register for UK VAT & pay the HMRC. You will pay the VAT and fees on import. Just wait until 01 July when the EU does the same. Things may change.