Whether you’re planning a feast for guests (or perhaps just for two), or looking for the ideal gift, a Christmas hamper rarely disappoints. But with so many on the market, it can be hard to decide how much to spend and which to buy – and working out when to order in time for Christmas can be a head-scratcher, too.
We’ve collected our favourite festive food and drink hampers at various prices from £50 all the way up to £2,000, and worked out which offer the best value for money, as well as the tastiest contents.
Packing in everything you need for a delicious Christmas, with traditional fayre nestled alongside some less conventional treats, these attractive options won’t disappoint.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-life testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
John Lewis & Partners Cosy Christmas Hamper: £175, John Lewis
Over the years, John Lewis has established itself as the retailer everyone associates with Christmas cosiness, and this generous hamper has got it baked right in. Presented in a traditional wicker basket with a festive red-and-gold colour theme, grown-up flavours abound.
Savoury lovers will enjoy the oak-smoked chilli crisps, Union Maraba Rwanda Cafetiere Grind and cheese oat bites, while those with a sweet tooth can choose from Christmas spiced butter fudge, Farrah's of Harrogate Mint Humbugs and mince pies to snack on.
A pack of 12 colourful crackers, a Christmas pudding with cider, sherry and liqueur, and bottles of Robert & Reeves Prosecco and Luis Felipe red and white wines round it off. With John Lewis hampers reaching £1,000, this is a great-value hamper that still feels luxurious – and cosy, of course.
Order by 19 December for Christmas delivery.
Luxury Hamper for Two: £49.95, Forman & Field
Although these treats for two come in a box rather than the traditional wicker hamper, the contents, supplied by gourmet food merchants Forman & Field, feel cosily Dickensian.
They include a Mrs King’s Pork Pie, a generous helping of beautifully vibrant H. Forman & Son London Cure Smoked Salmon, and a couple of individual, cloth-wrapped Christmas puddings.
As well as looking the part, it’s good value for the high quality on offer, and well-rounded, too – cheese, brandy butter and a bottle of dangerously delicious honey-flavoured mead are also included.
This is the cheapest of Forman & Field’s hampers, which go up to £1,111, and is ideal for a couple.
Order by 14 December for Christmas delivery.
Christmas Cheer Hamper: £49.99, First4Hampers
For a whisker under £50, this wicker hamper certainly doesn’t scrimp on its contents. Its 11 different festive products err on the sweet side, and everything, from the mince pies to the breakfast marmalade, is dressed in a Christmassy livery of red, black and gold.
Some of the other treats inside include a bottle of Shiraz, chilli nuts, Cheddar biscuits and chocolate caramels. First4Hampers’ Christmas range is priced from £14.99 up to £499.99, and more expensive options include extras such as fizz, crackers and Christmas cake.
All are available to order for delivery, and must be ordered by 1pm on 21 December to arrive in time for Christmas.
The Magic of Christmas Hamper: £65, Virginia Hayward
This hamper may look small on the outside, but it’s a bit like Mary Poppins’ handbag – with a lot packed in, the contents stretch further than expected. Everything that comes in this black rattan basket is stylishly packaged in black and gold, which has a real impact as the layers are gradually revealed.
Its varied range of treats includes classics such as Prosecco, mince pies and Christmas pudding, plus more unusual products, including Orange and Lemon biscuits, a milk chocolate bauble, and some particularly delicious chocolate-coated marshmallows.
Ideal for a sweet tooth (the Gold Crown Chocolate Cake Slab is dark and dense, and goes perfectly with a blob of whipped cream), it also includes a few savoury treats too.
Hampers are priced from £9.99 all the way up to £750, include gluten-free, diabetic and vegan choices, and can be ordered up until 23 December. All of which makes Virginia Hayward a solid choice for Christmas presents.
Il Massimo Hamper: £75, Carluccio's
A great choice if you’re looking for a gift hamper, Carluccio’s knows how to add a bit of Italian flair to a Christmas table.
The Il Massimo Hamper sees the classic blue Carluccio’s box wrapped in a white ribbon and filled with sweet Mediterranean treats, including a gold-wrapped panettone, some crisp, buttery torcetti, apricot biscotti and delicious chocolate clementines.
Nicely topped off with a huge gold Carluccio’s chocolate coin and a bottle of Prosecco, everything is beautifully packaged and generously portioned – the box itself is larger than you might expect, and makes a real impact, giving you proper bang for your buck.
Order by 18 December in time for Christmas.
The Gluten-Free Christmas Hamper: Fortnum & Mason, £75
With 300 years of history, Fortnum’s is the classic choice when it comes to Christmas hampers priced all the way up to £6,000.
This year, in keeping with the times, the store is offering its first-ever gluten-free hamper. Featuring a Christmas pudding and Christmas cake, along with spiced Christmas tea and cranberry butter, our taste testers preferred this hamper’s buttery mince pies to most non-GF rivals.
Delivered in a wicker basket with the iconic F&M sprayed in black on the lid, a Fortnum’s hamper is a sight anyone, gluten-free or otherwise, will be pleased to see on Christmas Day.
With worldwide delivery (excluding Australia and NZ), and a guarantee that all Fortnum’s hampers are cheaper than buying the items individually, it makes a fantastic gift.
Order by 21 December for Christmas delivery – Fortnum’s advises ordering after 5 December for any products that include fresh items.
Waitrose & Partners Indulgent Hamper: Waitrose & Partners, £100
The Waitrose premium range, Waitrose 1, offers a delicious range of high-end and unusual food products, and this hamper – one of 16 on offer from the supermarket, ranging from £30 to £500 – is no exception.
Items such as lavender Shortbread and Beetroot, Nigella & Three-Seeded Oat Biscuits might not be your traditional Christmas fayre, but they’re ideal for adventurous eaters. They sit alongside more classically festive food and drink such as Cava and a 12-month matured Christmas pudding, for a rounded range.
Presented in a wicker hamper, with a modern splash of colour provided by acid-green straps, orders for Christmas delivery can be made online up to 21 December.
The Hero Christmas Hamper, Organic: Abel & Cole, £120
Kings of all things organic, Abel & Cole is renowned for delivering fresh, delicious organic produce direct to your door – and Christmas is no exception.
This hamper features an organic Cotes du Rhône, some 540-day aged Serrano ham, a selection of cheeses with crackers and chutney, plus festive treats including Italian Prosecco, brandy butter and extremely tasty two-bite mini mince pies, prettily decorated with stars.
Delivered in a fabric-lined hamper that’s ideal for using as a generously sized storage box once you’ve eaten the contents, chilled food is kept cool using bags of wool to cut down on waste.
Although fairly pricey, the quality is outstanding, and makes the perfect gift for organic-friendly foodies.
Order now for deliveries from 10 December, with last deliveries up to Christmas Eve (depending on location).
Panzer’s Festive Hamper: £130, Panzer’s
Panzer’s delicatessen has been supplying residents of St John’s Wood with its groceries from around the world since 1944, and packs its expertise into this beautifully balanced hamper.
Delivered in a smart teal box decorated with a ribbon, it feels modern but is filled with traditional Christmas treats, including a panettone, Christmas pudding with brandy cream, mince pies, a hunk of Stilton, and some Peter’s Yard Crispbread – and a better biscuit for cheese we’ve yet to find.
With free UK delivery from 19 November, and final orders taken on 20 December, this makes a great gift or a stylish way to feed your guests over the festive season.
Partridges' Hamper: Partridges, £195
This hamper is the bestseller at Partridges, the high-end London food shop where well-heeled visitors to the Chelsea Flower Show pick up their picnics. For just under £200, its contents are as refined as you might expect from a grocer with a Royal Warrant, and include some of Partridge’s finest produce.
Inside a wicker basket, you’ll find Champagne, organic coffee, Yorkshire Pennine honey, mini mince pies, smoked salmon, plus a gold-wrapped and ribbon-topped Partridge’s Artisan Panettone.
Although you only get 15 items, five of which are spreads and teas, the quality is top-notch.
Order by 12 December for delivery by Christmas.
The Knightsbridge Hamper: £250, Jeroboams
Although the most expensive of wine merchant Jeroboam’s hampers, The Knightsbridge has everything you need to delight the food connoisseur in your life.
With an unsurprising focus on wines, you’ll find a white burgundy, red Bordeaux, a Rioja and Champagne nestled inside a wicker hamper with leather straps. Alongside are foods mostly suiting a savoury palate, including wild boar pâté, Comté and coulommier cheeses, with mince pies, almond macaroons and truffle honey to tempt anyone with a sweet tooth.
Last order dates for Christmas delivery are 14 December outside the M25, and 19 December within it.
The Ultimate Christmas / Boxing Day Hamper: £350, Fine Food Specialists
With Christmas seeming to last longer every year, it makes sense to pick up a hamper that promises to take you from Christmas Eve through to Boxing Day, at least.
This wicker hamper is packed with fine foods, including indulgent takes on Christmas Day staples: a traditional festive glazed ham, a tangy, creamy potted Stilton and a magnum of Italian Prosecco.
Then, there are plenty of extra treats to satisfy the snacking hoards, including an oozy Vacherin Mont D’or cheese for baking, and a jar of Italian white truffle honey for drizzling on top, plus foie gras and sweet wine jelly with truffles. They’ve thought of everything – and although Fine Food Specialists offer a wide range of hampers, we feel this one delivers the best combination of value and great contents.
Place your order by 11am on 19 December for guaranteed Christmas delivery in the UK.
Harrods The Eaton: £500, Harrods
You can’t think about Christmas hampers without thinking of Harrods, and this year their classic hamper range starts with their tea-and-biscuits hamper The Rutland, at £45, and goes all the way up to The Ultimate, at £5,000 which includes no fewer than 15 wines and spirits, and four tubs of caviar.
At the less eye-watering end of the range, but still luxurious, is The Eaton, which features Harrods own-label treats from the Food Hall, including spiced teas, cocoa-dusted almonds, plum and berry jam, and a Christmas cake. To wash it all down are three red wines, a L’Escoubasso, and a Blanc de Blancs Champagne, topped off with six stylish handmade crackers.
Presented in a Harrods-branded wicker basket, it’s an extremely tasteful choice, and next-day delivery is available (excluding certain postcodes) all the way up to Christmas Day.
Outrageous Christmas Hamper: The Hungry Guest, £2,000
Hampers from this artisan food supplier start at just £25, but if you’re looking for a luxury option, this enormous hamper offers something a little bit different.
Although it includes many of the products you’d expect from a luxury hamper, such as Champagne, single-malt whisky and Beluga caviar, you won’t find a Christmas pudding lurking anywhere in its depths. Instead, its delicacies include a whole truffle, quails’ eggs, Apulpeira octopus tentacles and venison pâté.
Rather than ‘Christmas’, the theme is luxury and quality, making this a delicious option for anyone planning on making haute cuisine the focus of their festivities.
Order by 14 December for Christmas delivery.
The verdict: Christmas hampers
When it comes to Christmas, John Lewis is solidly reliable, and its Cosy Christmas Hamper ticks all the boxes – it looks the part as well as including a great range of festive essentials and treats.