The Ten Best Hampers
Marks and Spencer 149
Ready meals aside, M&S does well-regarded food, and boasts perhaps the best-quality range of booze on the high-street. The Food Lover, from their range of hampers, contains a good mix of puddings, pies, and plonk.
www.marksandspencer.com; 0845 302 1234
Fortnum & Mason 200
Fortnums are retailer of choice to foodies who prefer understated luxury. The Family Christmas Hamper contains enough wine, biscuits, booze and chocolate to sink a posh battleship.
www.fortnumandmason.co.uk; 020-7734 8040
Olives Et Al 85
The Dorset-based firm has been importing the Mediterranean's finest titbits for almost 15 years, and their Big Huge Gift Box contains enough antipasti to see the most active host through their Christmas party season.
www.olivesetal.co.uk; 01258 474 300
Abel & Cole 120
The Gift Hamper, from this cult organic food firm comes in a re-usable wooden box and contains a plethora of eco-friendly swag along with a veg-delivery voucher to kick-start a healthy New Year.
www.abel-cole.co.uk; 0845 262 6262
Daylesford Organics 210
Daylesford, an organic "grocer-to-the-stars", can't be beat for upmarket meat. For something different, try the Three Bird Roast: a goose, stuffed with a chicken, stuffed with a pheasant.
www.daylesfordorganic.com; 0800 083 1233
Turnham Green 90
Some of my favourite foodie treats are included in this Winter Spice Hamper, an inventive offering from this new ethical luxury firm. Big Tom's spicy tomato juice is so good it's used by Her Majesty the Queen.
www.turnham-green.co.uk; 0797 221 6693
Waitrose stands out from the crowd with a generously-filled range of festive treats. This option, The Wonder of Christmas, lives up to its name when else would you actually drink mulled wine and bucks fizz?
www.waitrose.com; 0800 188 884
The Chairman's Selection is an exercise in old-fashioned excess. Full of luxury food and booze treats, it arrives in a theatrical cardboard box, containing a wicker basket that can later be converted into a magazine rack.
www.harrods.com; 0870 732 1234
Inverawe Smokehouse 125
Inverawe's "Ben Nevis" selection combines puddings and cakes with packet after packet of home-smoked trout, salmon, venison and pate, all produced from a family smokehouse in the Argyll Highlands.
www.smokedsalmon.co.uk; 0870 423 0236
The multi award-winning Spanish food specialist Brindisa offers an incredible range of Tapas-filled festive food baskets. But for sheer, unadulterated wow-factor, go for one of their amazing, entire hams.
www.brindisa.com; 020-8772 1600
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