If you hadn't noticed, we are currently in the midst of British Food Fortnight, a nationwide celebration of the food and drink produced within these isles.
To mark the occasion, we decided to round-up the hampers and gift boxes which bring together some of our favourite foodie goodies. From a gluten-free feast to everything you need for a good old fashioned English breakfast, this is what we found.
1. M&S Taste of Britain Tuck Box: £25, Marks & Spencer
From Scottish chocolate chip shortbread to Kentish pale ale, Marks & Spencer has assembled some of its favourite treats produced within the British Isles, and shoved them all into one mouth-watering box. The hand-cooked pork, sage and scrumpy cider crisps come in a large 150g bag but took real restraint not to fully devour in one sitting, while the malted milk chocolate was an interesting but welcome twist on the norm.
2. Fortnum & Mason English Essentials Hamper: £130, Fortnum & Mason
Certainly the most extravagant option in our round-up, this from Fortnum and Mason includes only English-made produce. And it’s all delicious – the tin of Chocolate Piccadilly Biscuits was our favourite, but we greatly enjoyed the jams, preserves, condiments, chocolates and mints, too. It all comes packaged within the traditional wicker hamper, which can be used time and time again, although it does push up the overall price.
3. Bettys Tea and Scones Gift Selection: £15, Bettys
Does it get more British than retiring on an afternoon to tuck into some tea and scones? This hamper, from the Yorkshire institution Bettys, is one of the smallest on our list, but it’s ideal for two or three people to enjoy – it features four scrumptious scones, strawberry preserve, a Yorkshire tea loaf and 80 tea bags.
4. Farmison & Co Full English Breakfast Box: £18.95, Farmison & Co
This collection packs in everything you need to cook up an English breakfast for you and three hungry companions. It comprises five supremely flavoursome pork sausages, four rashers of bacon, a ciabatta loaf and black pudding – all of which is sourced from within Yorkshire – as well as vine tomatoes and large mushrooms. It’s all high quality produce and, working out as less than fiver each, great value too.
5. The British Hamper Company Indulgence Gluten Free Hamper: £95, Not On The High Street
There’s no need for people avoiding gluten to miss out on all the indulgence, as every single item in this hamper is coeliac-friendly. It includes foodie goodies from some of Britain’s best known gluten-free brands, including one of our favourites, Kent and Fraser, which contributes moreish lemon butter shortbread and olive, walnut and pimenton toast here. The variety of the rest is excellent, taking you from beetroot and horseradish chutney to milk chocolate and caramel wafers.
6. John Lewis Taste of Britain Hamper: £35, John Lewis
From Yorkshire-made toffee and tea to jams and shortbread, this one feels particularly British – helped in no small part by the Union Jack packaging of the Montezuma’s Great British Eton Mess chocolate bar. It all comes packaged within a real wicker hamper, which you can use either ornamentally or practically once all the goodies have been guzzled.
7. The Artisan British Cheese & Port Hamper: £75, British Fine Foods
We’re big fans of the royally approved Paxton and Whitfield, so we were naturally drawn to this hamper featuring the cheesemonger. The stilton here is beautifully creamy, and it’s in excellent company alongside the quince fruit cheese and Lancashire bomb by Andrew Shorrocks. The port from Berry Bro’s and Rudd is a natural choice to wash everything down with, and there’s a cheese scoop in there too.
The Verdict: British food hampers and gift boxes
The choice of which hamper or gift box to treat someone else (or yourself) of course comes down to personal preference. But in terms of variety, value for money, and just tasting really, really good, our Best Buy goes to the M&S Taste of Britain Tuck Box.
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