Christmas may be a time of selfless giving and — sometimes too much — quality family time, but, let’s face it, it’s mostly about the food. And it doesn’t come much more festive or decadent than a good old Christmas hamper. We’ve been hard at work testing (ok, eating) the best of the hampers on offer this year to bring you 12 fit for any foodie, whether you’re an adventurous cook, a coffee addict or simply looking to take some of the effort out of Christmas afternoon.
1. Waitrose Night Before Christmas Hamper: £45, Waitrose
This family-friendly hamper is sure to go down a treat. Enjoy cheese biscuits, shortbread and mince pies (leave one for Santa) and wash them down with mulled wine for the adults and hot chocolate and marshmallows for the kids.
2. Ottolenghi The Cook’s Hamper: £75, Ottolenghi
Packed with luxury and hard-to-find ingredients from freekeh and z’atar to dried barberries and pumpkin seed oil, Ottolenghi’s offering is an ideal gift for the adventurous cook, who’ll be inspired by the recipe cards included.
3. Fortnum & Mason Christmas Tea Hamper: £165, Fortnum & Mason
Only Fortnum & Mason would serve chocolate macadamia nut biscuits in a music-box tin. You’ll find everything you need for high tea, including Assam loose-leaf tea and Christmas cake.
4. John Lewis Party Time Hamper: £125, John Lewis
All the booze, nibbles and crackers you need for that Christmas drinks party. The fare is contemporary – think sweet and salty popcorn, paprika chilli olives and Prosecco – and not a mince pie in sight.
5. Whittard of Chelsea Coffee Connoisseur’s Hamper: £40, Whittard of Chelsea
The perfect gift for a coffee connoisseur or just what you need for a much-needed post-Christmas lunch pick-me-up. Includes a light-bodied ground espresso and a dark roast Indian coffee, plus chocolate-coated coffee beans and a cafetière.
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6. Hotel Chocolat Luxury Christmas Hamper: £150, Hotel Chocolat
Impress a chocoholic with this smart box filled with the luxury brand’s creative twists on festive treats, including a chocolate wreath, along with Prosecco and a spicy Portuguese red.
7. Abel and Cole Big Christmas Hamper: £150, Abel & Cole
From the purveyor of organic fruit and veg boxes comes a hamper for the foodie who likes their produce pesticide-free. It is like a pop-up Boxing Day meal, with everything from smoked salmon and Stilton to mince pies and rioja.
8. Daylesford Ultimate Cheese Hamper: £100, Daylesford
Daylesford makes award-winning cheeses, and in this hamper you get six of their best including Double and Single Gloucester. It also comes with chutneys, biscuits and a slate board and knife.
9. Brindisa Un Abrazo Hamper: £55, Brindisa
This box of goodies is ideal for those who have trouble deciding on their favourite tapas. There’s a little bit of everything from the Spanish gourmet store’s lines – from Iberico ham and Manchego to Manzanilla sherry.
10. Lakeland Rydal Hamper: £70, Lakeland
Here in the UK, we produce some tasty goodies and this is a lot of the best of them. There’s an emphasis on sweet treats (lime and chilli chocolate anyone?) as well as traditional chutney and jam. You get bird-patterned china serving plate, too.
11. Christmas Moments Hamper: £65, Prestat
A perfect gift for a mother or sister, this colourful collection of goodies boasts Prestat’s award winning Sea Salt Caramels, mini mince pies, cinnamon hot chocolate flakes and a bauble filled with red velvet truffles.
12. Enchanting Indulgences Hamper: £250, Selfridges
This large hamper is packed with a variety of sweet and savoury items, from all-butter shortbread, jams, Christmas pudding and panettone to Boxing Day Chutney, plus four bottles of wine including Champagne and Port.
Verdict: If you’re looking to get the best bang for your buck, the Party Time Hamper would be our choice, though Lakeland’s Rydal is also a good bet if you can’t stomach the £125 John Lewis price tag. But for a more unusual Christmas meal, get adventurous with Ottolenghi or Brindisa.
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