Foodie London: Decadent Christmas Hampers from the Capital
From London’s leading retailers and iconic brands to independent businesses and restaurants, there’s a hamper out there that gifts a bit of love from you and the capital – whatever your tastes may be. Here, The Resident picks out some of the best Christmas hampers from London for Christmas this year…
Photo: Claridges Mayfair Christmas Hamper
1 Fortnum & Mason
Fortnum & Mason was the founder of the hamper trend, kicking off the indulgent holiday tradition in the 17th century. As the Queen’s greengrocer, they literally create hampers fit for royalty, with the most elaborate – The Sovereign Hamper – priced £2,500. This crowning beauty features every biscuit, butter and bauble you’ll ever need nestled in a wicker basket, as well as champagnes, Christmas puddings, preserves, teas and teaware. Other premium treats include The Christmas Feast Hamper (£1,000), The Monarch Hamper (£750), The Vintage Champagne Hamper (£500) – which we’d like to call the ‘champer hamper’ – and The Christmas Day Hamper (£500). For a hamper to end all hampers, The Imperial Hamper will set you back a deposit for a home outside of London (£6,000), however at the other end of the price scale is The Tea Basket (£60) and The Taste of Fortnum’s Hamper (£60).
New Italian food emporium Eataly marks its first Christmas in the UK with a selection of hampers offering up value for money, Italian tastes and affordable price points. Ranging from £129.90 to £29.90, hampers are filled with goodies like fine Italian chocolates, rich or fruity extra virgin olive oils, and many regional specialties such as pistachios from Bronte, famous pasta from Gragnano in countless shapes, and 36 months-aged Parmigiano Reggiano DOP. Of course, no Italian hamper is complete without the King of Italian Christmas: panettone – choose from a variety of these sweet eggy breads such as pistachio and chocolate panettone, pear and chocolate or traditional Christmas panettone. You can also make your own bespoke hamper by choosing from the 6,000-odd Eataly products.
From elaborate Christmas hampers to Mini Vegan Cheese Board gift boxes, there’s tonnes of choice at Selfridges, whatever your budget. The hugely impressive Best Of Selfridges Hamper (priced a whopping £5,000) includes the likes of panettone, figgy pudding, marmalade with gold glitter, mince pies, Christmas cake, smoked salmon, Wiltshire ham, Beluga caviar, Stilton cheese, multiple bottles of wine, whisky, champagne, port and accessories like a Boska wood and stainless steel cheese set, Tom Dixon glass decanter and LSA champagne saucers. There’s also an Alcohol-Free Christmas Hamper (£125), Ultimate Treats Hamper with teas, preserves and sweeties (£100). There’s also hampers for vegans, cocktail lovers and for those who just want a bit of pampering too.
4 Petersham Nurseries
Petersham Nurseries have a new collection of hampers this year including the bellini hamper and luxury food hamper. The Luxury Gift Hamper (£650) has a mix of edible, drinkable and readable gifts as well as a handblown glass Locchi Botticelli decanter, linen towels, handmade pinch pits, incense and candles. Unsurprisingly, there’s also a hamper for the green fingers (£390) and this one has got a gardener’s journal, wildflower seed gift box, honey salt hand scrub and a hand-forged trowel and fork amongst other gardening treats.
This year, Knightsbridge legend Harrods has a selection of hampers ranged between a relatively modest £1000 and a totally achievable £35. At the top end, The Wine Expert’s Hamper is for those who know and like their tipples and includes six bottles of red, white, rose and sparkling wine encased in a wicker basket. For those who like their booze, but also their savings, there are several other boozy hampers at various price points. There’s also hampers for new mums, sweet-tooths, and general festive hampers.
6 Flory Bakery
The Borough Market bakery has mince pie kits for a festive food gift that’s a little bit different (£45 for 12 or £19 for 6). Each mince pie kit includes mincemeat or ‘quincemeat’, made with either aged beef from Jersey dairy cows or roast quince, homemade pastry, and tins to bake them in. Each box makes 12 pies and comes with a recipe card for how to prepare and finish them at home. Of course, if you just want to gift mince or quince pies that have already been made, you can do this too (£19 for a box of six).
7 Harvey Nichols
Harvey Nichols has beauty hampers as well as foodie hampers this year, but it’s the Harvey Nichols Festive Feast Hamper (£1,900) that’s got our attention. The indulgent selection contained 50 items when first launched, but 2021’s version features a staggering 156 different items – and don’t we deserve a massive treat after the past two years? Containing practically the whole Foodmarket, you’ll find something for every course and from every corner of the globe, from a full bar of gin, mulled wine and champagne to Christmas preserves, naughty nibbles, chocolate truffles, cake, crackers, panettone, Christmas pud and more. At the less pricey end of the spectrum is the Ultimate Italian Christmas Hamper (£275), Winter Warmer Hamper (£115) and Champagne Breakfast Hamper (£95).
Of course Ottolenghi has a range of smashing Christmas hampers and of course, many of them are themed around one of his many brilliant cookbooks. Ranging from £70 to £280, there’s a Jerusalem hamper with Middle-eastern pantry essentials such as baharat spice mix, whole Iranian limes, freekah and pomegranate molasses; Plenty and Plenty More hampers packed with herbivore treats; as well as a Falastin, Simple, Flavour, NOPI, Test Kitchen and Sweet hamper, each with a signed copy of the book. There’s also a a selection of general festive hampers with shortbread, panettone, Christmas cake, nuts, rubs and biscuits.
Fenwick, and its Kingston outpost Bentalls, have sourced some of the finest British produce, homegrown carefully crafted treats and rich pickings for its 29-strong collection of 2021 Christmas hampers. Top of the range are the Great British Spirits Hamper, Sommeliers Celebration Hamper and The Grand York Hamper, which include treats like tea, chocolate ginger, demerara shortbread rounds, Belgian chocolate fudge, Taittinger champagne, pine-needle infused Douglas fir Vodka and Smeaton’s Bristol Gin. There are also hampers and gift sets from Cartwright & Butler and Daylesford, as well as a more wallet-friendly Festive Favourites Hamper (£80).
Choose from three decadent Christmas Hampers this December. The Mayfair, Davies and Mews hampers are all great choices, filled with wine sweets and food galore at three different price points. The Mayfair Hamper is top of the range, priced £750 and filled with specially selected products from their home-made Christmas pudding to Claridge’s: The Cookbook and plenty of biscuits and booze. The Davies hamper is priced £495 and the Mews hamper is a more accessible £150, featuring a bottle of Sancerre, champagne truffles, shortbread biscuits, chocolate covered hazelnuts, strawberry preserve and Claridge’s blend tea.
Chelsea-based Partridges, another favourite of Her Majesty The Queen, has been creating luxury festive hampers for nearly 50 years. Ranging in price from £500 to £75, the hampers champion the essence of Chelsea, including some local brands. The top of the range hamper is the Buckingham, with a fine selection of wines and spirits, Alderton ham, wild smoked salmon and Stilton cheese in a ceramic jar. Local patriots should check out the Cadogan Hamper (£165), with crackers from Belgravia’s The Fine Cheese Co and Partridges’ own Christmas pudding, or the Chelsea Flower Gift Hamper (£110), with goodies from Partridges’ own Chelsea Flower collection, including gin, vanilla and geranium fudge, and honey and lavender butter biscuits.
Head to Italy this December with help from Carluccio’s hamper selection. There’s a huge selection available, priced from £365 to £17.95, with the most elaborate being the Grandioso and La Collezione. The former comes with the very best of artisanal Italian produce, including a 1kg panettone, while the latter comes with Carluccio’s most-loved larder products to see you through from aperitivo hour through to dinner and digestivo, plus a recipe folder. There’s also a Spritzmas collection, created in collaboration with Aperol.
13 Borough Market
Borough Market has a ranges of hampers and gift bags filled with Christmas cheer and yumminess. Packaged in a reusable Borough Market bag, the items range from warming mulled wine ingredients to sweet treats and festive suppertime staples. Top of the range is The Borough Market 12 Days of Christmas Hamper (£135) containing the likes of Greek pine honey with honeycomb, Spice Mountain Pomegranate molasses, Oliveology Dulce de leche and Pimento Hill Salted capers. The Luxe Christmas Hamper (£103.99) includes Bath Soft Cheese, Italian charcuterie from The Parma Ham & Mozzarella Stand, ginger thins from Karaway Bakery, mince pie scrolls from Karaway Bakery and almond & orange brittle from Food & Forest.