There’s nothing quite so British and quite so Christmassy as a Christmas hamper stuffed to the brim with festive treats. I’ve been lucky enough to receive one or two in my time (mostly in a work context) and I can safely say there’s something quite exciting about receiving (and giving) one of these humongous gifts. Perhaps it’s the nod to times gone by, a sense of reliving part of the past again in the days before online shopping and plastic carrier bags, or perhaps it’s the journey of discovery…what will you find nestled amongst the shredded mounds of paper inside?
Anyway I’m conscious that I’m going on a bit and that actually I should get straight to the point which is a round up for you of the best Christmas Hampers for 2015 available to buy right now. We’d love to hear from you lot too, your favourite hampers (past and present) and what you’re most looking forward to receiving at Christmas.
Let’s get started.
One of the first times I ever visited Harrods was actually at Christmastime and the whole store was decked out like something out of a movie. Swathes of holly and fir were draped down staircases, wreaths garlanded any and every available wall space and there was a pervading smell of coffee in the air. I was mesmerised. Perhaps more so by the kids department where the shelves were heaving under the weight of what seemed to me to be hundreds of toys. I remember wondering if this was what Father Christmas’ workshop was like.
I couldn’t not begin then without first seeing what Harrods had to offer on the hamper side of things and the Knightsbridge caught our eye with its traditional leather lidded wicker basket solidly housing a huge array of treats. There are wines and champagne aplenty, special Christmas morning tea and coffee and stacks of treats and chocolates. My favourite product, by a long mile, was the gold cocoa-dusted almonds which tasted as heavenly as they looked. The Knightsbridge has all the condiments boxes ticked as well providing the heavy and luxurious puddings (mince pies, Christmas pudding AND Christmas cake) that are so typical of this time of year.
If you’re looking for something that embodies a traditional Christmas then this folks is the hamper for you. It even comes with a super-sized glistening red bauble for you to hang on your tree!
M&S: £35 & £25
I take my hat off to M&S for creating one of the only gluten free hampers on the market, as far as I can see, for coeliac sufferers. Filled to the brim with a plethora of gluten free Christmas treats, including an iced Christmas cake bar, Christmas pudding and Mince Pies. I’ve got my eyes on the cranberry and orange shortbread which accompanies the bottle of red classic claret Bordeaux nicely.
If you’re more of a whisky woman then this gift set (ok so it’s not so much a hamper) is for you. Included is a bottle of Speyside Whisky and a glass to match and then if you’re feeling in need of an extra cocoa hit then the single malt whisky truffles should hit the spot. Or you could buy it for your grandad and then snaffle the chocs from under his nose when he takes his nap after dinner on Christmas Day..
La Fromagerie: £60
One for the cheese lovers amongst you. This cheese-fest of a hamper comes with riotous mixture of cow, goat and sheep’s produce including, Caprini Tartufo, Piedmont, Robiola Rocchetta, Pecorino Villaneto Rosso, Toma del Maccagno and Gorgonzola Naturale and is topped off with biscuits and an on-brand bag to stash them all in for when you’re on the move. I wouldn’t recommend keeping them out the fridge for too long though 😉
On a serious note, I’ve not had a bad bit of fromage (as the French would say) from this delicatessen so if you’re ever in London then it’s worth a visit. I’m hoping to pop back at some point before Christmas.
Both the hampers I’ve selected from Selfridges retail at £45.00 which I don’t think is a bad price especially if you can bear to hang on until early December when they usually do a Christmas 20% off spectacular if previous years are anything to go by. First up is the Mini treats gift box which I think is perfect for your gran or your mum. Start off with Rose and Elderflower tea with plain and chocolate flavoured Shortbread bites and then indulge in Starflower honey, British Strawberry jam, caramelised onion chutney and mango, lime & chilli chutney. To be fair it will probably keep them going until next Christmas.
If that doesn’t float your boat then go all-out British with the British tea time gift box which is stuffed to the brim with raspberry jam, strawberry jam, afternoon tea bags, English Breakfast tea bags, orange dark chocolate biscuits and all-butter shortbread biscuits from the four corners of the great British isles; perfect for a patriotic relative or two.
Charlotte Tilbury: £150
I wouldn’t be able to share this round-up without a nod to a beauty hamper of sorts. Charlotte Tilbury has taken the traditional advent calendar and the beauty hamper and mashed them in a gorgeous fusion to produce her ‘Book of Make-Up Magic‘ which of course I need in my life right now. With twelve mini make-up cabinets to choose from, the ‘book’ is a mixture of mini and full size versions of all of Charlotte’s time-tested favourites including the not-yet-launched Magic Night Cream. So naturally I’ll be adding this to my Christmas list.
Harvey Nichols: £200
I’m not going to lie; it was actually the name of this Christmas hamper that first grabbed my attention…well that and the copious amounts of alcohol that is included within the very swish all black hamper. The Party Starter says what it does on the tin; there is Gin (happy Lolly), prosecco (even happier Lolly) and wine aplenty. Oh and there’s vodka and wasabi peas and olives to boot. In fact there’s even more than this included but you really don’t want me to list everything line by line do you. Instead you should really hot foot it to HN and buy yourself one of these little gems; trust me you’ll be EVERYONE’S best friend this season.
Daylesford Organic: £30-£195
Trust Daylesford to do something a little bit different. I adore Daylesford and we always get our Christmas turkey from the farmshop so I couldn’t help but take a peek at the gifts on offer at this time of year. For those of you who are into your preserves, your jams and marmalades can I suggest you buy this three preserves gift set which comes in the sweetest hat box! Enjoy lemon & ginger curd, organic Seville orange marmalade and organic fig & balsamic chutney. That’s Christmas Day and Boxing Day sorted then.
Forget your hamper, 2015 is all about the Christmas Crate – I totally just made that up by the way. But if this beauty is anything to go by then I’m sure as hell in with the new trend. Ok so it’s at the higher end of the spend spectrum but I can tell you now that with Daylesford, you most definitely get what you pay for. Of all the products featured in this post, this hamper caters for all requirements; the sweet tooth, the meat connoisseur and the cheese fanatic. Oh and with a dollop of alcohol thrown into the mix to top it off. Oh and Daylesford mince pies? Yummy yum yum!
John Lewis: From £3.95
If you’re a crafty type (I mean creative not sly here) then these build your own hampers for him and for her from John Lewis might be right up your street. Granted you could probably find all the various components for less if you decided to shop around a little bit but frankly with a one year old in tow I barely have time to brush my teeth these days let alone create a hamper to beat all hampers. Instead John Lewis makes it easy for you to look as if you’ve gone all bespoke and personal for your intended at the click of a button or two. Choose from mugs, candles, keyrings and beauty products for her and fountain pens, scrapbooks, hardware sets and leather goods for him.
So there you have it, my round-up for the season. Are any of you hampering it this year? Which one have you gone for? And have any of you considering purchasing one for yourself…you know just because…