We are total basket cases when it comes to Christmas! Not mad, just obsessed with hampers. We’ve more wicker in our office than in a Wicker Man cult and the floor is strewn with more straw than a local petting zoo. And the result? Jams, Champagnes, chocolate truffles and assorted delicatessen galore, that’s what. Here are some of the hampers we’d suggest you tuck into this Christmas.
When it comes to hamperism, Fortnum & Mason are always the first port-of-call. With a hamper for almost all budgets and needs, their wicker wares are renowned the world over and, if you’re after a hamper that fully encapsulates Christmas then you need to get your hands on the Classic Christmas Hamper. Crammed with Christmas treats, the hamper balances boozy with bountiful; biscuits and cognac butter vye with Champagne and Champagne truffles.
Harrod’s, it’s a class act, from the gold-plated Dodi Diana memorial to the Father Christmas that only millionaires are allowed to visit. But when it comes to hampers, all is forgiven because they really are jolly smart. At the cheaper end of the scale, The Leyburn contains a range of seasonal treats including tomato and olive bread thins, chocolate chunk biscuits and fine cut English breakfast marmalade.
The McCartney to Harrods’ Lennon, Harvey Nichols goes toe-to-toe with its illustrious neighbour and comes up trumps with the All Wrapped Up hamper. Featuring not only Harvey Nichols Mulled Wine, the hamper also comes with their own brand Champagne and a South African Chenin Blanc, and that’s before you factor in the plethora of Harvey Nick-nacks packed into the hamper from jams to snacks to chocs.
I know it’s cheesy, but nothing beats a good visit to Paxton & Whitfield. The Jermyn Street fromagerie is infamous for its pongy scent and its incredible range of cheeses. But now you can give a bit of this magical, if smelly, shop away in hamper form. The Windsor comes with everything you might need for a post-prandial sampling session, red and white wine along with crackers, pickles and, of course, cheeses.
There’s more to Christmas at John Lewis than tear-jerking adverts, there’s hampers too. The Silver Celebration Christmas Hamper is a great option for anyone looking for a reasonably priced (in Hamper World, at least) hamper that’s packed to the brim with luxuries. Along with Prosecco, Merlot and Pinot Grigio enjoy roasted coffee, crackers, Christmas pudding, shortbread and much beside.
The best bit about any hamper is generally the single box of chocolates lurking somewhere near the bottom of the basket. Well skip straight to the best bit, by ordering a Charbonnel & Walker hamper, it’s all chocolate! From the port and cranberry truffles to mint chocolate thins to the pair of crackers containing truffles and, of course, the Dress Circle Hamper offers a great selection from one of London’s best chocolatiers.
Bringing the countryside into town, Daylesford is forever classy and their white basket is no exception at all. And packed with treats, the Christmas Larder Hamper is one of our favourites this Christmas. Four bottles of wine, Christmas cake and all the obligatory chutneys and biscuits, it’s an all-round classic. And, of course, almost everything is organic!
Jewish deli and grocery Panzer’s produce a range of hampery treats for the perfect Christmas celebration. Designed as a ‘hamper for one’ (awww!) their entry point hamper is perfect for everyone from divorcees, bachelors and cat ladies to anyone with a sharing problem. Containing mince pies, a mini Christmas cake, a chocolate bar and nuts it’s ideal for Christmas snacking.
Michelin star garden centre Petersham Nurseries has put together a small selection of hampers, including one for gardners (comes with a trowel) and one for afternoon tea fans. Meanwhile, the Luxury Christmas Hamper contains everything for a truly indulgent Christmas, with an Italian twist. The sweet and savoury hamper includes carious jams and chutneys, truffles, shortbreads, teas, booze in the form of Prosecco and chianti, even panettone and extra virgin olive oil.
The Strawberry Thief Hamper is named after Liberty’s famous William Morris print by the same name. Part of an 1883 group of designs incorporating animals with flowers, the motif sums up the hamper as it’s packed with all the perfect items you’d want at a stylish picnic or garden party, including wine from the South West, milk chocolate from Suffolk, jams and marmalade from the Yorkshire Dales and piccalilli from Cambridgeshire and brown sauce from the Lake District.