There’s little more festive than a Christmas hamper – a luxury wicker box filled with deliciously decadent goodies for the yuletide period.
Whether it’s a gift for your festive host, or something for the food-lover in your life, they’re perfect for that person who just has everything. The contents are either edible or drinkable, so they won’t be hanging around after 25 December.
Hampers are also full of extravagant luxuries that people often won’t buy themselves, which makes them exciting gifts. Wicker-style baskets, meanwhile, can be reused for years, and many of the tins inside them will find permanent homes holding biscuits or tea bags.
And we’re sure that you – or whoever you deem lucky enough to send one to – will find some new favourite brands and goodies among the hamper’s contents, from chocolates by artisan makers to little pots of olives you simply have to have in the cupboard.
But with so many to choose from, and so many newer brands getting in on the action, it can be hard to know which ones are actually worth buying. So we’ve done the hard work for you, and given them all a try.
How we tested
Our army of testers had the arduous task of tasting, cooking and sharing out the wonderful snacks, sweet treats and savoury items in these hampers, as well as drinking copious amounts of tea, coffee, cocktails and wine – whether mulled or sparkling – along the way.
We considered the quality of the products in the hamper, the breadth of selection and the presentation of the whole thing. There were also extra points for plastic-free packaging or other eco-credentials. One of the most important factors we considered was how useful the items were, and whether or not they’d only gather dust at the back of a cupboard for years to come. And lastly, of course, the price. No one wants to feel like they’ve overpaid for a wicker basket.
The best Christmas hampers for 2021 are:
Best for Boxing Day – Rick Stein luxury Boxing Day hamper: £199, Rickstein.com
Best value hamper – Pantree luxury gourmet hamper with negroni and bubbly: £145, Pantree.co
Best-looking hamper – Liberty heritage strawberry thief hamper: £110, Libertylondon.com
Best selection of goodies – Daylesford pantry hamper: £235, Daylesford.com
Best organic hamper – Delicario joyful Christmas hamper: £150, Delicario.com
Best for breakfast – Harvey Nichols champagne breakfast hamper: £95, Harveynichols.com
Best for supporting local – Brixton Village x Good Sixty Guzzl food and drink selection hamper, large: £115, Goodsixty.co.uk
Best crowd-pleaser – Panzer’s Christmas connoisseur hamper: £135, Panzers.co.uk
Best vegan hamper – Selfridges vegan Christmas hamper: £120, Selfridges.com
Best affordable vegan hamper – Mindful Bites classic vegan hamper box: £39.99, Mindfulbites.co.uk
Best for seasonal British produce – Crowley’s of Suffolk the holiday deluxe hamper: £350, Crowleysofsuffolk.com
Best café delicacies – The Wolseley medium hamper: £115, Thewolseley.com
Best small Christmas hamper – Selfridges selection mini classic Christmas hamper: £75, Selfridges.com
Best artisan veggie hamper – Flourish and Rye after hours food hamper: £130, Flourishandrye.co.uk
Best luxury veggie hamper – Cutter & Squidge food and wine Christmas hamper: £250, Cutterandsquidge.com
Best budget-friendly veggie hamper – Asda extra special champagne hamper: £80, Asda.com
Best gourmet bakes – Le Pain Quotidien festive hamper: £90, Lepainquotidien.com
Best for families – Hampers.com family Christmas hamper: £125, Hampers.com
Rick Stein luxury Boxing Day hamper
Best: For Boxing Day
Number of products: 14
Last orders for Christmas: 22 December
As one of the seven food hampers on offer from the TV chef’s online shop, this large selection shows off plenty of the brand’s produce from Cornwall and beyond, and is packed full of things to up your Boxing Day feast.
From savoury oat biscuits that are perfect for the cheeseboard, to piccalilli, chutneys, jams and olives that will zing up your leftover meat, there’s everything you need – even a jar of poached pears for an easy pudding. There are also two little tins of pilchards (one in olive oil, one in tomatoes) from the Pilchard Works, based in Newlyn, one of Cornwall’s biggest fishing ports – both of which make a great and easy breakfast.
To the sweet things, which include drinking chocolate, cookies and branded Rick Stein chocolate bars. We particularly liked the box of truffles from local and award-winning chocolatier Nicky Grant, as well as the florentines, which are new to the hampers this year. They’re sticky, crunchy and sweet, just as they should be, and are perfect to nibble on.
But our favourite? The Kewpie mayonnaise, which you may have seen doing the rounds on TikTok, which is famed for its creamy flavour, instantly recognisable packaging and squeezy bottle. Apparently it’s Rick’s favourite mayo too.
There’s also a Rick Stein white and blue lobster printed tea towel that will bring a little touch of Padstow to any kitchen. It’s a well thought out box, perfect for someone who loves to remember good times in Cornwall through its local produce. Plus, there’s nothing that will sit at the back of your cupboard, unused.
Buy now £199.00, Rickstein.com
Pantree luxury gourmet hamper with negroni and bubbly
Best: Value hamper
Number of products: 15
Last orders for Christmas: 23 December
Set up during the pandemic by husband and wife duo Anna and Mark, Pantree makes shopping small easier. Describing itself as an Amazon challenger, it allows you to buy lots of items from small businesses all in one place, with one delivery charge.
With a whopping 15 products included here, it’s hard to know where to start. We were impressed with Forty Hall’s sparkling brut, which comes from the 10-acre community vineyard in north London’s Enfield. The hamper also includes four different types of charcuterie from Crown & Queue, also based in London, which uses only lovingly raised British Heritage pork. Cheese comes in the form of a classic Cropwell Bishop stilton pot and a winsdale, which is like camembert, but better. Other preserves include ChimiLove’s mayonnaise, which is vegan and has a South American twist to it, and The Preservation Society’s apple and ale chutney. Our favourite? The sea salt dark truffles from Wicked & Wonderful. They’re little cubes of heaven that we’re going to be stocking up on.
Considering the amount of items you get in this one, which is almost double some others for the same price, we think it’s great value, especially considering the excellent quality of the products. To top it all off, everything is shipped in eco-friendly packaging (including a wicker basket without a lid, which can be reused as storage) and carbon emissions are offset through the WWF’s Gold Standard programme, supporting food-related initiatives across the globe. Hats off to you, Pantree.
Buy now £145.00, Pantree.co
Liberty heritage strawberry thief hamper
Best: Looking hamper
Number of products: 9
Last orders for Christmas: 22 December
Coming in a cuter than cute little suitcase, adorned with the famous William Morris Strawberry Thief print, this hamper immediately sets itself apart from the wicker ilk. It’s topped off with a convenient metal handle to carry it around, as who wouldn’t want to use this beauty in some form afterwards?
Inside is just as good, as it’s filled with some of the most-loved treats from the department store’s mini food hall. Each item is selected from artisanal producers around the country and then packaged in some of Liberty’s signature prints.
Featuring dried goods only, this one’s for the chocolate and tea lovers among us. Including tins of earl grey and breakfast loose leaf (again, both printed with the same Strawberry Thief pattern), while chocolate fans will rejoice over three slabs and a box of truffles. Made in Dorset, our favourite of the chocolate selection was the sea salt caramel – need we say more? There are also two tins of shortbread, which is soft and buttery – we especially liked the fruit-filled version – and a little jar of strawberry jam. All of the tins are reusable, and they’re simply far too beautiful not to.
For any Liberty, William Morris or tea and chocolate fan, this is a perfect gift – and for those who love all of the above, it’s a no-brainer. Plus, you can keep the suitcase forc hildren’s toys or dressing up.
Buy now £110.00, Libertylondon.com
Daylesford pantry hamper
Best: Selection of goodies
Number of products: 17
Last orders for Christmas: 18 December for 20 December delivery
There are big hampers, and then there’s this one, complete with no less than 17 items from the organic Daylesford farm shop. It all comes inside the brand’s (huge) white wicker hamper, complete with leather straps and a linen lining. We actually tried the very similar Christmas pantry hamper (£295, Daylesford.com), which has now sold out and is more festive-themed, but this pantry hamper is very similar.
Drinks are Italian, from prosecco to a white rosso (we also had a red falerio and a small bottle of slow gin in our hamper too) and all are delicious. In our hamper we had plenty of snacks, from chili nut mixes that are great for picking at, to decadent dark chocolate salt thins. There’s also red onion marmalade and piccalilli that will effortlessly uplift your cheeseboard, along with more traditional pantry items, such as English mustard, tins of beans, chickpeas, chopped tomatoes, dried pasta, tomato and olive sauce and pea and basil dressing – so you won’t have to nip out to the shops during the "Twixmas" period to whip up a quick non-turkey meal.
Other essentials include a caddy of organic loose breakfast tea and a bag of organic ground coffee, along with savoury biscuits that come in the signature Daylesford reusable tins.
Daylesford also gives back: for every hamper sold the brand plants a native broadleaf tree which helps to promote biodiversity and restore natural habitats.
Buy now £235.00, Daylesford.com
Delicario joyful Christmas hamper
Best: Organic hamper
Number of products: 8
Last orders for Christmas: 22, 23 or 24 December, depending on your location
Encased in a classic wicker number with brown faux leather straps and a cotton lining, this hamper is from the online delicatessen Delicario, which specialises in items from small-scale sustainable producers around Europe that follow a farm-to-table approach.
We loved seeing a generously sized classic Italian panettone inside, which is, in our opinion, a much better option than a Christmas pudding. And this one comes from one of the most highly awarded bakeries in Italy. Inside there are also snacks and sweet treats to keep guests entertained, from pistachio biscotti to hazelnuts in honey and handmade Belgian truffles, while the chilli preserve is another instant cheeseboard winner.
It’s all topped off with a bottle of brut champagne from a French family vineyard, which is a blend of chardonnay, pinot noir and meunier grapes. It’s creamy, fruity and fresh – just what you need at this time of year. We love the excellent quality of the products here and feel like we’ve taken a little trip to Italy. It is expensive for eight products, compared to some other hampers we’ve tested, but we still think it’s worth it.
Buy now £150.00, Delicario.com
Harvery Nichols champagne breakfast hamper
Best: For breakfast
Number of products: 7
Last orders for Christmas: 3pm on 17th December (named weekday delivery)
Christmas morning is one of the most exciting breakfasts going. We think it calls for champagne, and quite frankly, going all out. To help us do just that, this hamper has all the essential ingredients.
Inside the distinctive black wicker hamper is the department store’s own-brand premier cru brut champagne. Made with pinot noir and pinot meunier grapes, it’s produced for Harvey Nichols by the well-established Lombard & Medot. And if the morning is too early for you, it will also go perfectly with canapés and nibbles later in the day.
This hamper offers up a lighter bite, but adds a little decadence along the way with its preserves. Enter the strawberry jam with champagne, orange and cranberry marmalade and the orange blossom honey, all of which is perfect for slathering on toast, pastries and anything else that takes your fancy.
Non-alcoholic drinks have not been forgotten either, as the hamper features a generous pack of house blend coarse ground coffee, as well as a box of 20 English teabags, so there’s plenty to go around if you’re hosting a lot of family members this year. And if that’s not enough to satisfy your tum first thing, and you need a little something to tide you over until the main event, there are also some white chocolate shortbread biscuits. This makes a perfect gift for the host if you’re staying at someone’s house this Christmas, and helps take the pressure of the morning if they’re otherwise engaged with a bird and an oven.
Buy now £95.00, Harveynichols.com
Brixton Village x Good Sixty Guzzl food and drink selection hamper, large
Best: For supporting local
Number of products: 8
Good Sixty, an independent food-delivery service, has partners with London’s Brixton market to showcase some of its truly excellent produce. The service operates in London, Bristol, Bath, Oxford and Exter, offering the convenience of online shopping, but with the ability to buy plenty of local products in one go.
Featuring items from Guzzl, a food shop based in Brixton Village since 2017 which is full of small but mighty brands, you can choose from small (£57), medium (£86) or large (£115) hampers. You then choose between a cardboard box or two styles of wicker hamper.
The pictures on the website offers an idea of the types of things you might get in yours, as you can either choose them yourself or let the brand do it for you. We did the latter, and we were impressed. Although it’s not outwardly festive, we still think all of it can be used over Christmas at some point, and in our box we received Seggiano organic pasta shells along with a jar of the same brand’s gorgeous tomato pesto sauce, for a quick and easy meal. Other treats included white vanilla hot chocolate from Love Coca (one of our favourite chocolate brands at IndyBest), and organic black pepper oatcakes from Island Bakery on the Isle of Mull.
And three other products have quite rightly been given Great Taste awards. A sour cherry dark chocolate from Wicked & Wonderful (which also features in Pantree‘s offering), comes alongside the Hawkshead Relish Company’s orange and whiskey marmalade, and an incredible jar of sunshine rosemary and garlic olives from Olives Et Al. Quite literally drenched in excellent olive oil, we’re now obsessed with them.
The delivery service has zero emissions and you can choose from meaty or vegan-friendly boxes. It comes in a nifty red cardboard box with a handle, which can easily be reused for another gift, or recycled.
Buy now £115.00, Goodsixty.co.uk
Panzer’s Christmas connoisseur hamper
Number of products: 9
Last orders for Christmas: 22 December
Arriving neatly presented in a sturdy ribbon-tied box rather than traditional wicker, Panzer’s Christmas connoisseur hamper showcases plenty of the best bits from this London-based Jewish deli. Suitably festive decadence is present in the form of 1/2lb smoked salmon and a 15g jar of caviar, but even the less extravagant details are beautifully curated.
The Fine Cheese Co. crackers are good enough to nibble on their own, but all the better for a slither of the enclosed blocks of stilton or montgomery cheddar, which our testers found to be just as delicious stuffed into a cheese toastie on Boxing Day as they would be on the cheeseboard for the main event. Sweet teeth are satisfied by rich Firetree dark chocolate and traditional chocolate-dipped peel. Topped off with a selection of natural nuts and smooth, jammy Delaforce LBV port 2021 to wash down your turkey, this package is a great all-rounder that households of all sizes will love to work their way through.
Buy now £135.00, Panzers.co.uk
Selfridges vegan Christmas hamper
Best: Vegan hamper
Number of items: 7
Last orders for Christmas: 1pm on 22 December, for delivery 23 December
When your gifting calls for a touch of extravagance without animal products, this hamper from Selfridges is as chic as it is scrumptious. Arriving in a dark brown picnic basket with trademark-yellow fastenings, opening it gives that all-important flush of excitement, while the reams of recyclable yellow paper inside, cushioning all the treats, provide a feeling of festive abundance.
Contents-wise, she’s a doozy, with a mix of Christmasy items that are normally vegan (turkish delight; cherry and sherry jam) and those that are not and therefore feel like a real treat – we’re looking at you, salted caramel and chocolate panettone. And the panettone is the star of the show here: it’s light, buttery (somehow) and has big chunks of caramel hovering within the pillowy cakeyness, waiting to ooze salted sweetness when you bite into them. Honestly, it’s exceptional – we had a bunch of non-vegans wholeheartedly agree.
Other highlights include a densely indulgent fruit and nut fudge bar which, if microwaved, results in an absolutely ludicrous ice-cream sauce (yes, we are mavericks). There’s also some lemon-flavoured Turkish delight that sent one of our testers’ mothers into a total spin, and a mulled wine courtesy of a collaboration with boujie retailer Shop Cuvee. The wine was a little nutmeggy for our tastes (not for our mulled wine reviewer, though), but impressed for being miles more interesting than your average pub fare – even when decanted from a Thermos in the middle of a dog walk. The coffee was a little uninspiring, but that can be forgiven considering hampers like these need to have long best-before dates – it’s a small concession in an ultimately fabulous selection of plant-based delights.
Buy now £120.00, Selfridges.com
Mindful Bites classic vegan hamper box
Best: Affordable vegan hamper
Number of items: 5
Last orders for Christmas: 17 December
At the more affordable end of the gifting hamper scale, Mindful Bites makes vegan treats including, at this time of year, fabulous panettones. Although there’s no picnic basket here, there is really festive packaging that feels gifty but not over the top – it’s all easily recycled and won’t put your recipient into a spin about whether or not they need to keep it.
Both panettones were delicious, although we found the chocolate one to be a little lighter and more scrumptious – there is a chocolate-only version of the box (£39.99, Mindfulbites.co.uk) should you be willing to sacrifice a touch of Christmassyness. There’s also some very vanilla-y biscotti, that really took us back to our pre-vegan days, and two Mindful Bites chocolate spreads (one with hazelnut, one dark) which will instantly become the most-frequented jars in your larder. We found ourselves reaching for them to enjoy on toast, with desserts, and occasionally just swept over a digestive in an act of biscuit-based anarchy.
It’s a great-value box that we think would be the perfect thing to send the vegan (or just vegan-curious) cake-lover in your life.
Buy now £39.99, Mindfulbites.co.uk
Crowley’s of Suffolk the holiday deluxe hamper
Best: For seasonal British produce
Number of items: 17
Last orders for Christmas: 17 December
If you’re looking for a luxury hamper that celebrates the best of British produce, Crowley’s of Suffolk is the place to shop. Its gourmet boxes are filled with seasonal delights, with a firm focus on homegrown items from Suffolk, and the company works closely with local food suppliers to ensure that only the highest-quality produce is included, and to keep sustainability and ethical farming at the heart of its hampers. The company offers a range of boxes at varying price points, but we plumped for the holiday deluxe hamper, its mid-range offering.
Owing to most of its contents being perishable, Crowley’s of Suffolk’s hampers are always sent via next-day delivery, and we were immediately impressed by how secure the packaging was, ensuring all of its contents were in perfect condition. The meats were vacuum sealed and packed tightly, while the hamper itself was stuffed with wool packaging to avoid any spillages. The brand recently replaced its wicker baskets with wooden boxes to optimise food preservation and to be more sustainable, and we must say that the box feels like an immediate treat upon receiving, and is something you could easily reuse. The food arrives with detailed advice on how to store and prepare it, as well as information on where everything is sourced from.
Now to the good stuff: the food. The deluxe box offers everything you need for a huge festive feast. In the meat department, expect to enjoy a huge 900g slipper ham, two types of bacon, smoked duck breast and smoked salmon, as well as two wonderfully hefty handmade pies. The hamper also includes two award-winning British cheeses, crackers, and four different preserves to slather on top, as well as a nutty turron for afters. One of our favourites was the delectable ham – cured in cider and black treacle, it has a delicious sweetness that’s offset with a smokiness that’s achieved through delicately smoking the meat over oak and beech wood. We also got quite addicted to the homemade chilli jelly, as it paired beautifully with all of the meats and cheeses, and the pie really was one of the best we’d eaten (chef James Martin happens to agree, too). Everything in the hamper is brilliantly thought out and results in a really indulgent experience, and we love the celebration of British produce. It’s the perfect offering for Christmas.
Buy now £350.00, Crowleysofsuffolk.com
The Wolseley medium hamper
Best: Café delicacies
Number of items: 7
Last orders for Christmas: 12pm on 20 December
Thought to be London’s first grand cafe, The Wolseley is something of a British institution and is celebrating its heritage in this newly launched hamper. Anyone who has visited the restaurant will recognise the signature black and gold details and geometric shapes that are echoed in the content’s packaging and wicker basket, and will no doubt be familiar with some of the delicacies included too.
Inside you’ll find loose English breakfast tea and coffee for use in a cafetière, both housed in beautiful jars that we plan to re-purpose, plus plenty of sweet treats from its confectionery selection, all made in-house by its pastry chefs. The salted caramel florentines were dangerously moreish, while the all-butter shortbread fingers had a hint of festive cinnamon sugar that paired wonderfully with a good brew.
Chocolate fans will be relieved to see a box of truffles and a tin of hot chocolate, too. All of these goodies are finished off with the addition of a charming tea towel, adorned with a watercolour illustration of “early morning at The Wolseley”. Sometimes, branded keepsakes can feel a little naff, but we loved this inclusion as it made the hamper feel truly gift-worthy.
Buy now £115.00, Thewolseley.com
Selfridges selection mini classic Christmas hamper
Best: Small Christmas hamper
Number of products: 5
Last orders for Christmas: 1pm on 22 December, for delivery 23 December
Nothing says Christmas quite like a trip to Selfridges – each one of its stores becomes a magical wonderland. To get a taste of the festive spirit, we gave this hamper a whirl in the lead-up to the big day. Each of the items comes neatly packaged in a beautifully branded wicker hamper, nestled among signature yellow packaging.
The selection includes mulled wine, hot chocolate, Christmas pudding, brandy butter, and a salted caramel spread. We particularly liked the mulled wine, which is by Top Cuvée, and was frankly faultless. The perfect drink to sip while putting up the Christmas tree. While the hot chocolate was deliciously creamy and rich, and the perfect antidote to a cold winter’s evening.
The price, £75, does seem a little steep considering the size and number of the goodies included, but to some extent you are buying into the brand and if you’re sending to a friend or loved one, they’ll certainly be in for a treat.
Selfridges has promised us this hamper will be back in stock very soon.
Buy now £75.00, Selfridges.com
Flourish and Rye after hours food hamper
Best: Artisan veggie hamper
Number of items: 13
Last orders for Christmas: 20 December
Flourish and Rye has handpicked luxury and artisan goods from a host of high-quality, small-scale providers to make up its “after hours” hamper – and the black wicker basket is a delight to unpack. We first tucked into a curated trio of British cheeses (all of which are from companies owned or founded by women) that included buffalo blue cheese made from a single herd of Italian water buffalo, St Cera rich cow milk cheese and Wigmore semi-soft cheese – all best paired with the charcoal sourdough crackers that are also inside. The buffalo blue’s punchy flavour was balanced out by the warmer, fig flavours of the St Jude St Cera cheese, while Village Maid Cheese’s wigmore cheese had a deliciously fruity richness.
Helping give the hamper its namesake, the sweet-scented soy wax candle is ideal for unwinding during party season, while the nocellera del belice olives are a real treat. If you’re hosting your own festive soiree, pour yourself a cocktail and treat guests to the trio of premixed bottles that includes lemongrass and gin, a rum old fashioned and classic negroni.
And there’s even the optional addition of a pair of hand-crafted, recycled cocktail glasses thrown in for good measure. Considering the number of quality items you receive from independent and organic companies, the cocktails and the lovely wicker basket packaging, we think it’s great value and would make a lovely gift for the cheese connoisseur or cocktail lover in your life.
Buy now £130.00, Flourishandrye.co.uk
Cutter & Squidge food and wine Christmas hamper
Best: Luxury veggie hamper
Number of items: 14
Last orders for Christmas: 22 December
If you’re after vegetarian luxury, then this is the hamper for you. Chockablock with sweet and savoury snacks, as well as a refreshing black pomegranate candle, uniquely fragranced raspberry and lime diffuser and raspberry and lime bath salts, the handmade hamper is a deliciously indulgent treat.
While there’s more than enough for you to spoil yourself with, there’s also plenty you might like to gift, including a pack of rich mince pies, a beautiful-looking (and tasting) Christmas fruit cake in a postable tin, orange candied ginger and white chocolate strawberry meringue flavours of chocolate bark, a hot chocolate mix tin and a Cutter & Squidge tea towel.
Among our favourites were the distinctly flavoured earl grey lemon shortbread and salted caramel clotted cream fudge, while the two bottles of red malbec wine, prosecco and champagne are the boozy cherries on top. For £250, it may seem steep, but luxury sweet-treat maker Cutter & Squidge specialises in 100 per cent natural ingredients and handmade delights that will make a very delicious delivery to anyone’s doorstep this year. There’s also the option to gift some of its festive items individually, adding to its value for money.
Buy now £250.00, Cutterandsquidge.com
Asda extra special champagne hamper
Best: Budget-friendly veggie hamper
Number of items: 21
Last orders for Christmas: 12 December
You get a lot of bang for your buck with Asda’s veggie Christmas hamper, with 21 delectable festive items inside, all from the supermarket’s extra special range. Once unpacked from the box, you’ll find treats to more than satisfy any sweet tooth, including orange and raspberry dark chocolate bars, handmade clotted cream fudge, chocolate florentines and raspberry jam. Or if you’re more of a savoury fiend, you can tuck into parmesan and garlic twists, halloumi and chili jam tortillas, crisps, chutney and biscuits for cheese that will all make the perfect pairings for your Christmas feast’s leftovers.
The supermarket has also got dessert covered, with its inclusion of a nine-month matured luxury Christmas pudding and brandy-soaked fruit cake complete with a fully iced festive top. Drink wise, fuel your Christmas mornings with the supermarket’s own Columbian ground coffee blends and come evening, pour yourself a glass of the Louise Bernard champagne brut that makes this under £100 hamper even more excellent value for money. In short, Asda has packed a lot in for just £80, and the budget box has plenty to spoil yourself, your family or the foodie in your life without having to spend a fortune.
Buy now £80.00, Asda.com
Le Pain Quotidien festive hamper
Best: Gourmet bakes
Number of items: 9
Last orders for Christmas: 20 December
Fancy high street bakery Le Pain Quotidien has launched its signature festive hamper, which arrives in an austere-looking black box wrapped in a simple yet sophisticated, green ribbon. Inside, the Belgian bread shop has included all of its most popular treats, from gourmet staples such as mince pies and organic jams, to exotic bakes like the fruity stollen and the Belgian speculoos spread. Not had speculoos before? It’s basically Biscoff and it is delicious.
Dig deeper and you hit a rich seam of Christmassy goodness. There’s a snappy gingerbread cookie the size of a plate, snackable chocolate almonds, a bag of Le Pain Quotidien’s winter blend of coffee, rye and charcoal crackers and black olive paste. There are mince pies here too, though these have been made with butter – almost everything in the hamper happens to be vegan.
There are gifts inside that will last long into the new year too. A branded Le Pain Quotidien drinking bowl feels destined to end up at the back of the cupboard, but the cold-pressed Tunisian olive oil sealed with a cork is a real treat for the senses. There’s a £15 gift voucher to spend next time you’re in the bakery, as well as a bottle of merlot that lasted us approximately 45 minutes.
Buy now £90.00, Lepainquotidien.com
Hampers.com family Christmas hamper
Best: For families
Last order date for Christmas: 1pm on 22 December
Gather round the family, pop open the bottle of prosecco or the blackcurrant, plum and liquorice-flavoured port and gorge on festive snacks and delicious treats with this premium Christmas hamper from Hampers.com, which includes no fewer than 20 different nibbles, all packaged in an elegant willow basket.
The family Christmas hamper – as its name suggests – has something for every family member. There’s the tasty caramel-coated popcorn with strong cinnamon and ginger flavouring, perfect for the kids to munch on – or dad, in our case – while Elf plays in the background, as well as cheddar and caramelised onion crisps, chocolate biscuits, a selection of moreish fudge and some jazzies.
We particularly enjoyed the range of spreads and dips on offer, including a gingerbread and caramel spread, a cranberry and port sauce, and a pear, apple and ginger chutney. It all goes exceedingly well with the cheese crackers and black pepper wafers – ideal for a Boxing Day snack – which can be washed down with a cuppa tea courtesy of the New English tea bags inside.
Our favourite items, however, had to be the desserts, with our family devouring them in one sitting, from the fruit cake to the Christmas pudding and, of course, those mince pies. If you want a truly family-friendly hamper, with some cheeky bottles of port and prosecco for you and the grandparents, this one from Hampers.com will delight all.
Buy now £125.00, Hampers.com
The verdict: Christmas hampers
The Rick Stein luxury Boxing Day hamper was our favourite, although it was a tough call. We really liked the focus on local producers, highlighting just some of the excellent foods being made in Cornwall, and the curveball inclusion of Kewpie mayo. The breadth of the selection keeps it interesting and everything in there is easy to use, especially on Boxing Day. We also really liked the ethos of Pantree and Guzzl, both of which are making it easier to shop small brands in one place, and helped us find excellent new producers that we now love.
For the latest offers on food and drink, try the links below:
And for the chocoholic, check out the best chocolate hampers to indulge in this Christmas