Festive hamper, Gleneagles Best known for its championship golf courses, the five-star Gleneagles hotel has expanded its repertoire to include fine foods – a collaboration with local artisans focusing on Scottish ingredients, sold through its online store. Its first Christmas hamper is presented in a traditional wicker basket and is available in three sizes. The large 20in design has all the ingredients needed to celebrate the season, including three types of chocolate (Scots pine, smoked sea salt and meadowsweet); a bottle of Pommery champagne; traditional shortbread fingers, made by a small family bakery in Edinburgh – plus, of course, a Christmas pudding made to a traditional recipe by the hotel’s executive pastry chef. From £65 to £195, shop.gleneagles.com.
The Kingham, Daylesford The Kingham delivers Christmas in two linen-lined wicker hampers with leather straps brimming with over 60 festive treats – from a marble board and set of three cheese knives to cookery school and spa vouchers. As one might expect, all the essentials required for a fine Christmas dinner are included, and most of the produce from its Cotswold farm shop is organic: from a 6kg turkey and a 1.3kg Gloucestershire ham, to two Scottish salmons, and a 2kg Cheddar truckle. There are refreshments to toast the season and those with a sweet tooth are indulged with dark chocolate-covered golden honeycomb, milk chocolate honeycomb thins and a British honey chunk jar. £2,000, daylesford.com.
Luxury hamper, Belazu Belazu, the purveyor of fine Mediterranean and Middle Eastern ingredients, counts hotels such as The Savoy, The Ritz and The Dorchester as customers, as well as many Michelin-star restaurants – and this hamper promises to delight the hobby chef. Among the festive fare presented in a handmade wicker basket are Belazu specialities including truffle and artichoke pesto – a blend of Parmigiano Reggiano, artichoke and Italian summer truffles, a top-class saffron and a fig-leaf olive oil made from Arbequina olives crushed with young Catalonian fig leaves. £72, belazu.com.
Mayfair hamper, Claridge’s The historic hotel launched its first hamper last year, and for 2018 has created Christmas crackers (£75 for six) containing a culinary gift – which also feature in the largest of its hamper selection entitled the Mayfair. The handmade willow basket is filled with a cuddly toy, apron, copy of the Claridge’s cookbook and set of four bone-china art deco-style mugs. Its culinary treats – homemade and specially selected for the season – include raspberry and rose preserve, Claridge’s blend tea, chocolate almonds, olives and – as a final festive flourish – the Claridge’s Christmas pudding. £795, claridges.co.uk.
Burren Balsamics hamper Burren began developing its range in County Armagh, Northern Ireland in 2014, using local ingredients such as Bramley apple to flavour balsamic vinegar of Modena. Its Ultimate hamper includes some of its most interesting blends: from a cranberry- and orange-infused balsamic presented in a 200ml Christmas tree bottle – which can be used to soak fruit for a pudding or to flavour gravy – to raspberry, truffle or blackberry and thyme versions of the vinegar. The culinary adventure continues with blood orange and cardamom marmalade and balsamic spiced apple chutney, alongside traditional favourites such as Christmas shortbread. £110, burrenbalsamics.com.
Festive Feast, Harvey Nichols This elegant black hamper finished with leather buckles brims with Harvey Nichols’ Own Label products, creating a feast with an international flavour: from German mulled wine and India cream sherry, to festive condiments and cheese accompaniments. For those with a taste for the inventive, the hamper also includes pork and sloe gin; duck and Grand Marnier rillettes; lime mojito curd and Japanese rice crackers with norimaki. Keep the party fizzing with champagne, sparkling chardonnay and rosé. £550, harveynichols.com.
Experience a Taste of Wine School, Berry Bros & Rudd A hamper to lift the festive spirits and raise your wine A-game from Britain’s oldest wine merchant. It includes the book Exploring & Tasting Wine: A Wine Course with Digressions along with the eight bottles needed to complete the first part of the course: burgundy, beaujolais and barolo, a 2014 Ambrosía Viña Unica Argentinian malbec, two riojas, a 2015 Waterford Estate chardonnay from Stellenbosch and 2016 Berry Bros & Rudd Mosel Riesling Kabinett by Selbach-Oster in Germany. £195, bbr.com.
The Supreme, Harrods Christmas arrives in a pair of traditional wicker baskets, which includes 10 wines and spirits to see you through every toast of the season – from a bottle of Moet & Chandon Rosé Imperial NV to Japanese Harmony whisky – and three flavours of preserves, a curd and a marmalade – which range from strawberry to exotic passionfruit and orange. In fact, there’s a fresh gourmet delight to try on each of The 12 Days of Christmas: four cheeses, two salamis, smoked duck, salmon or venison, a charcuterie selection and more. £1,250, harrods.com.
The Wolseley’s Breakfast Hamper It is known as the best meal of the day – a mantra preached at this iconic Piccadilly restaurant, whose perennially popular hamper includes a copy of AA Gill’s book Breakfast at The Wolseley in addition to a Breakfast for Two at The Wolseley gift card. There are plenty of culinary delights to enjoy too: from granola, strawberry jam and orange marmalade to English breakfast loose leaf tea and a cafetière with filter coffee. £150, thewolseleyshop.com.
The River Café gift box Ruth Rogers, chef and founder of The River Café, created this collection of contemporary gift boxes in response to demand from diners. “People are always asking where we source our ingredients,” she says. “These boxes allow our guests to enjoy them at home.” The largest presentation box is a culinary trove of olive oil, Paolo Petrilli tomatoes, Ortiz anchovies, polenta, wild oregano, Volpaia herb vinegar, dried porcini and much more. Added to the mix are kitchen gadgets to aid the home chef: from an Alessi cheese grater and citrus juicer to fine linen napkins, a River Cafe apron and Rogers’ 10 Ingredients limited edition cookbook. £600, rivercafe.co.uk.