The diet can wait until January, because Christmas is the time for indulging in lots of good food, and lots of good drink. Here, we’ve rounded up the best collections of the stuff, all packaged up and ready to be delivered directly to your front door.
We’ve got all bases covered, from classic Christmas fare (think mini Christmas puddings and brandy butter) to the more unorthodox, including all-vegan selections and those with a Mediterranean twist.
Whichever you choose, make sure to check delivery dates to avoid disappointment. Our advice would be to get in early, as many of the products included will save until the 25th if they remain unopened. Hampers containing perishable products will be delivered closer to Christmas Day, but you can reserve your slot much sooner.
1. Abel & Cole The Really Big Christmas Hamper: £175, Abel & Cole
If you prefer your food organic, you can’t go wrong with this bumper hamper. There’s everything you need – bar the turkey – for a Christmas feast, from sliced ham to truffled salami, smoked salmon, generous portions of Godminster vintage cheddar and Cropwell Bishop blue stilton, plus chutney, oatcakes, and basil and garlic olives. Finish the meal with Christmas pudding, mince pies, brandy cream, shortbread stars and delectable Booja Booja truffles. The contents is top quality, with tastefully selected wines – Chablis and Crozes-Hermitage. There’s 10 per cent off if you order before 18 November.
2. Forman & Field Christmas Essentials Hamper: £134.95, Forman & Field
IndyBest’s food writers consider Forman & Field’s smoked salmon to be some of the very best out there – and, as luck would have it, you’ll find some of it inside this wicker hamper. There are some Christmas classics in there too – the brandy butter goes beautifully over mince pies, while the Christmas pudding is big enough to feed to whole family. The Artisan du Chocolat truffles are an ideal after dinner treat (if you’ve got any space left), and a special mention goes to the Cropwell Bishop Stilton, which was delicious.
3. Harvey Nichols The Crowd Pleaser: £300, Harvey Nichols
Harvey Nichols’ smart black hampers are the utmost sophistication and this has the stylishly-packaged contents to match: green olives with garlic, roasted nuts, Fine Cheese Co crackers and a generous box of chocolates. The Crowd Pleaser lives up to its name; it’s packed with treats to please the entire family, and friends – so packed, in fact, that the wine arrives in a separate box. There are chocolate coins, hot chocolate and toffee for the kids, and there’s plenty of partying to be had with the array of alcohol – Mozart chocolate liqueur, vintage port, damson gin, Champagne, Chablis and a Portuguese red. There’s every condiment you could need for the meal with brandy butter, cranberry sauce, chutney, mustard, plus Christmas pudding and panettone. The Charades box is a nice touch, too.
4. Belazu Christmas Hamper: £45, Belazu
British brand Belazu supplies Michelin-starred restaurants with its delicious antipasti, pastes, oils and vinegars, so you know this hamper is going to be full of appetising extras that will make your dinners that little bit more special. Ideal for those who love to cook, there are 11 ingredients including tagine paste, chilli-infused extra virgin olive oil and Beldi preserved lemons (great in couscous). The packaging gives you handy hints on what to use each one with and there are plenty of recipes on the website too. Our favourites were the Rose Harissa, as a chicken marinade, and the balsamic pearls dropped into a salad. With the products valued at over £60, you’re also getting value for money.
5. Prestat Christmas Pleasure: £105, Prestat
There are enough goodies packed into this gift box to make any chocoholic slip into a state of cocoa-induced bliss. Prestat is a London institution has been chocolatier to the queen on no less than two occasions, so there’s an understandable sense of luxury to the collection. We particularly enjoyed the tangy, just-chewy-enough Florentines, while the milk, dark and white truffles were delicious. Mini mince pies and a bauble full of milk truffles add a dash of festivity, while the hand-dipped orange slices, the chocolate spread and chocolate lollies are certainly welcome additions.
6. The Goodness Project Vegan Snack Attack Hamper Gift Box: £45.95, The Goodness Project
While this box lacks the sheer indulgence of, say, the Prestat or Cartwright & Butler hampers, it makes up it for in sheer variety. It’s literally packed to the brim with snacks, from chocolate chip flapjacks and juicy fruit bars to chocolate almond fudge and flavoured cashews. What’s more, everything in the box is entirely vegan – which is refreshing at a time of year so much food-wise is geared towards non-vegans. You can leave a personalised note inside, too.
7. Cartwright & Butler Taste of Christmas Hamper: £125, Waitrose
Cartwright & Butler specialises in high-quality produce and this hamper doesn’t disappoint. It’s full to the brim with tasty biscuits, chutneys, preserves and flatbreads. There’s even some English breakfast tea and rich-flavoured coffee for those who can’t wake up without a brew. The treats are delivered in a large, pale pink picnic hamper, which can easily be used after you’ve polished off what’s inside (although that may take a while). Our favourites were the cheddar cheese crumbles – you could easily eat them in one sitting, they’re so moreish – and the wholegrain mustard with its strong, rich flavour. Enjoy.
8. Fortnum & Mason St Nicholas Hamper: £300, Fortnum & Mason
This hamper is the ultimate festive decadence. The stunningly packaged buck’s fizz marmalade and shimmering strawberry preserve comes alongside unusual fare, such as marmalade vodka butter, all of which will make breakfast on the 25th very lavish indeed. A spectacular selection of sweet treats include a cognac and cranberry cake, mincemeat shortbread, pink Marc de Champagne truffles, rose and lemon Turkish Delight and divine dark Chocolossus biscuits, best enjoyed with the rich 2013 Chianti. There’s also a bottle of Sancerre to accompany the turkey, cream sherry for the Christmas pud and reserve Louis Roederer Champagne.
9. Brindisa The Gastronome’s Box: £115, Brindisa
For something a bit different from the usual Christmas pud, mince pies and condiments offerings, opt for this hamper’s selection of the best – and most typical – food and drink from the upmarket Spanish brand. The savoury contents will suit the less sweet-toothed, and, for the price, it’s laden with items including rich, creamy Torta Canarejal cheese, manchego, hand-carved jamon Iberico de Bellota, chorizo, nuts, anchovies, tapenade and olives. Wash it all down with Rioja Crianza, white wine and Manzanilla sherry. And it comes in a box rather than hamper which means more produce for the money.
10. John Lewis Winter Warmer Hamper: £75, John Lewis
You can always trust John Lewis when it comes to finding gifts and this reasonably priced hamper will certainly impress whoever you’re buying for. The theme is “winter warmer”, so there’s Belvoir mulled winter punch and Little’s Christmas-flavoured ground coffee to keep you toasty on a cold night, but there’s also a dose of Christmas cheer with the mini crackers, fruit cake and Christmas pickle. For anyone with a sweet tooth, there’s a selection of delicious shortbreads and fudge too. If you’re after a real mix of tempting treats, then this one is worth considering.
11. Aldi The Exquisite Hamper: £98.37, Aldi
Positioned as a budget alternative to other luxury hampers on the market this Christmas, the German supermarket has come up trumps with its hamper – which, unlike a lot of its products, you can buy online. Aldi wine is renowned for it’s quality and value for money, and there are three bottles of the stuff here, along with a delicious bottle of vintage Blanc de Blanc champagne. We also enjoyed the posh-looking truffles. You get nine pretty pieces in subtle but distinct flavours ranging from cranberry to coconut, as well as some boozy offerings like Marc de Champagne. There’s also space for all-butter biscuits, crackers and flavoured chocolate slabs.
The Verdict: Christmas hampers
You can be sure of a Christmas feast, whichever of these hampers you opt for. If it’s sheer indulgence you’re after, then the Harvey Nichols hamper will go down a treat. For the more budget conscious, the John Lewis offering is a fine choice. But our top pick goes to the Abel & Cole hamper, thanks to its delicious contents and variety.
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