The Handbook
The Handbook

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“I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to send her a hamper.” It’s true. You might be celebrating the most romantic day of the year with the person you’ve spent three lockdowns with (nothing says true love like endless rows over the washing up and what TV series to binge watch). Or perhaps you’ve been forced apart by coronavirus and only communicate with your other half through handwritten letters.

Either way, we know you need a little something to reignite the romance and show that you care. The best way to do that? With a hamper. The reason being that if you send it to someone in your bubble, you get to enjoy it too. And if you send it to your locked-down lover, you’ll gain a ridiculous amount of brownie points for when you’re reunited.

But which one, which one? Fortnum & Mason has nearly 60 to choose from. So we’ve narrowed it down and matched your type on paper, with their type of hamper. (We also highly recommend dropping this link into a subtle text or email to your partner, just to help them out).

For the… perfect match

It’s indulgent. It’s calorific. It’s… perfect. This wicker wonder is bursting with sweet treats and plenty of surprises, to make even the most unthoughtful person look ridiculously generous.

We’ll help you unpack it. First, start with a personalised bottle of Blanc de Blancs Champagne and some toast topped with orange and champagne marmalade, strawberry and champagne preserve, as well as a frame of British honeycomb. For something a little sweeter, tuck into the gold and silver sugared almonds. Finally, press play on a romcom and snuggle up to watch your favourite flick with piles of biscuits and tea. If you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right.

The Perfect Match Hamper, £300

For the… locked-down lover

“All byyyyy my seeeeelf….” Wait. Oh no you’re not. You’re sitting next to a giant hamper of goodies. Now that’s what we call a good time to lock yourself in your home. Although be ready to pace yourself. Whether you’re sending this, or receiving it, this has to be one of the best Valentine’s gifts out there. 

Light some candles, let Frank Sinatra do the talking, and snuggle up with this feast. There are crackers and stilton to pair with a warming Côtes du Rhône and chocolate-covered raspberries to wash down with a glass (or bottle) of Pays d’oc Blanc. Follow this with dark chocolate macadamia nut biscuits and a heart-shaped box of chocolates for a final flourish of romance. If he didn’t have you at hello, he has you now.

The Lockdown Lovers’ Hamper, £175

For the… totally smitten date

This has your date’s name on it. Literally. It contains a bottle of Laurent Hostomme Blanc de Blancs Champagne that you can personalise with a message on the label. “I love you, hun,” ought to do it.

Then when your date has finished swooning, you can crack open the goodies. We’re talking bountiful sweet treats here: miniature heart chocolate truffles, decadent Valentine’s chocolate-coated raspberries, and chocolate and macadamia nut biscuits. You can wash this all down with a thoughtfully-romantic rose pouchong tea. Your date will be eating out the palm of your hand… literally.

The Utterly Smitten Hamper, £150

For the… chocoholic

Where to begin. Oh that’s right, with a hamper filled with chocolate. Most people get a cupcake or a bar of the stuff – think again and send your Valentine a whole hamper of choccies.

It’s like Mary Poppins has flown it in herself. Spoonfuls of sugar everywhere. Chocolate pralines, chocolate ganache, chocolate caramels, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, giant chocolate coins, chocolate Napolitains, a bar of chocolate filled with Marc de Champagne, chocolate biscuits…. Oh and there’s some Fortnum & Mason tea, too. If you can’t win someone’s heart with this, we don’t know what will work.

The Chocolate Lover’s Hamper, £150
Or take it down a notch with the Chocolate Adventure Hamper, £60

For the… ‘let’s open another bottle’ date

Wine. Because no great love story ever started with someone eating a salad. Well, that’s what we think anyway. And this box of beautiful bottles will have you celebrating every special occasion in your relationship. While you may not be physically allowed to travel, each of these vintages has been hand-picked to deliver a journey for your tastebuds.

Start in Italy with the Franciacorta Brut, then fly over to New Zealand with a rich Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Back again to Europe with a dry and delicate Fino Sherry from Spain, then France with a silky Saint Emilion from Bordeaux and a Joseph Drouhin Saint Véran.

You think we’ve stopped there? Think again. There’s a rich black cherry port, an intense sweet wine and and a light rosé. This is one helluva romantic trip.

The Wine Cellar Hamper, £300
Or for a smaller journey go for The Wine Tasting Wicker, £140

For the… ‘we should’ve been married by now’ date

It’s been a hard year for engaged couples. Weddings have been postponed, re-organised, and postponed again. So forget the actual party you were going to have and celebrate a mini wedding together. The place to start? The wedding breakfast.

Serve yourself a loose leaf tea blend when you wake up, but then head straight for bubbles in bed with the elegant Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Champagne N.V. There’s only one way to make a toast and that’s by slathering it (the toast that is, see what we did there?) in a jar of Fortnum & Mason’s Strawberry & Champagne Preserve.

You can continue on the merriment for the rest of the day with rose petal biscuits, gold and silver sugared almonds, and Marc De Champagne truffles.

The Wedding Day Hamper, £150

For the… baby mama

It’s been a tough gig for parents in recent months. And when you’re juggling newborns and romance, the latter is often put on the back-burner. But not today!

It’s time to revel in being a proud new parent and being blissfully in love. True indulgence can still happen with 0% alcohol rosé sparkling tea and matching Marc de Champagne truffles. A cute biscuit selection and an all-singing Mini Merry Go Round Tin will entertain you both and the little one. And the calming camomile and bee pollen tea will have you all snuggled up on the sofa in no time. (The baby will be extra comfy in the super soft G.H. Hurt & Son shawl tucked in the hamper).

The Bundle of Joy Hamper, £150

For the… food fanatic

It’s always nice when you can spend the day with your true love. And ours is food. Which is why, we’re really hoping our secret Valentine will send us one of these (pretty please).

It’s stocked to the brim with all the delicious things we want to eat from the Fortnum & Mason food hall, from sauces and pickles and mustards to platters of meat and fish. And there’s cheese, crackers and a bottle of wine for you to while away an evening with your love interest of choice (ours is George Clooney, we’re still waiting for his call actually).

The Fortnum’s Foodhall Hamper, £125


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