14 best Christmas hampers for 2019, from Aldi and Selfridges to Harvey Nichols and Hotel Chocolat

14 best Christmas hampers for 2019, from Aldi and Selfridges to Harvey Nichols and Hotel Chocolat
14 best Christmas hampers for 2019, from Aldi and Selfridges to Harvey Nichols and Hotel Chocolat

There are few Christmas gifts more iconic than a wicker hamper, stuffed to the brim with festive favourites. Whether it’s packed with mince pies and puddings or is more eclectic, drawing on traditions from further afield, it’s a great present for those hard-to-buy-for foodies on your list.

Starting at a purse-friendly £19.99 (with wine!), our round-up includes hampers that go right through to an indulgent £500 – but they’ll have had to be really good for that one.

Most of the hampers feature a mixture of sweet and savoury food and drink, some of which needs to be refrigerated immediately – so do factor that in when planning your delivery.

Many contain wine, be it a warming wintery red or a celebratory bottle of fizz, plus a few contained items you’ll be able to use again and again.

When testing the hampers, not only were we looking for delicious contents, we were also keen to see them presented in reusable or recyclable packaging.

Hampers listed in price order…

The Christmas Favourites Hamper

£19.99, Aldi
Best for: Value

Key Specs: Number of food and drink items included: 5

You might think it impossible to get a hamper for under £20, but you’d be wrong. Not only have Aldi managed it, but this budget-friendly selection even includes a bottle of their warming Australian shiraz, perfect for cracking open on Christmas Day.

The rest of the stylish black box is packed with sweet treats, including a box of florentines, nougat and those all-important after dinner mint creams. This hamper is such good value, it’s worth having one on standby for that inevitable guest you weren’t expecting.

Star Attraction

£24.99, Virginia Hayward
Best for: Festive decoration

Key Specs: Number of food and drink items included: 5

The classic Christmas hamper has been given a festive makeover with goodies packed into a red wicker star basket, which we’ll be repurposing as a festive decoration once we empty it of its contents. At just under £25, the five items are perfect for relatives and include West Country clotted cream fudge, roasted nuts, a bar of milk chocolate tied with a red bow and a mini loaf cake with a toasted marzipan topping depicting a Christmas scene.

And fear not, the packaging peanuts at the bottom of the hamper may look like they’re made out of plastic but are in fact biodegradable maize starch which dissolves in water. Top marks for eco-friendliness there.

Carluccios Fortissimo

£35, Carluccios
Best for: Chilli-lovers

Key Specs: Number of food and drink items included: 5

For those that like their food with a kick, Italian food specialists Carluccio’s are celebrating 20 years in the biz with this new eye-catching orange box stuffed with chilli-spiked hits. We love the rolled filei pasta which has a delicate warmth to it and works well with the chilli pesto or just keep it simple with a drizzle of chilli oil and parmesan.

The hamper also contains a pretty hand-painted terracotta jar containing crushed chilli flakes and chilli seeds for you to try your hand at growing your own.

Available online from 14 November

Classic Christmas Gift Hamper

£49.99, BoroughBox
Best for: Independent brands

Key Specs: Number of food and drink items included: 5

Curators of the best independent food and drink brands, BoroughBox have carefully selected five of their festive favourites for under £50. No Christmas is complete without a traditional fruity pudding smothered in brandy butter, and this one from Lillypuds has picked up a Great Taste Award to boot.

Add to that a pack of eight mince pies from award-winning London grocer Melrose & Morgan, seasonal flavoured truffles from British chocolatier Holdsworth and a bottle of prosecco from Borough Wines, and you’ve got yourself a crowd-pleasing hamper. The packaging is all eco-friendly, too, coming in a branded kraft box as standard. You can also upgrade to a more classic hamper tray or sustainable pine box.

Harvey Nichols Night Before Christmas

£75, Harvey Nichols
Best for: Christmas Eve

Key Specs: Number of food and drink items included: 8

Get in the festive mood early with this super chic black hamper designed to be opened on Christmas Eve. While you’re waiting for Santa, you could be tucking into a whole host of Harvey Nichols food hall favourites. Reasonably priced, this hamper contains both sweet and savoury snacks – like ginger-spiced biscuits dipped in chocolate, ultra-moreish nuts, chilli olives and fig biscuits for your cheese, along with a special Christmas chutney. To wash it all down there’s a bottle of their signature unoaked fruity red and 20 posh biodegradable green teabags.

All of the packaging is gorgeous, too, from the stylish copper biscuit tin to the hamper itself.

Selfridges Selection Vegan Hamper

£90, Selfridges
Best for: Vegan

Key Specs: Number of food and drink items included: 4

Whether this will be their first Christmas following a plant-based diet, or you’re the festive vegan hoping to stock up the pantry with animal-free Christmas treats, there’s no need to miss out on the classics, with this all-vegan Selfridges Selection hamper.

Containing an aromatic pumpkin-spiced Panettone that was as light as air, a cloth-wrapped boozy vegan figgy pudding, chunky chocolate fruit and nut fudge made especially by the Fudge Kitchen and finally, dark chocolate truffles with toasted almond flakes. New for 2019, the scrumptious contents will be packed in a modern grey wicker hamper, complete with those tell-tale Selfridges yellow straps. All the packaging can be recycled.

The Society’s Christmas Hamper

£99, The Wine Society
Best for: Wine

Key Specs: Number of food and drink items included: 13

Containing the all-important French fizz, a food-friendly bottle of claret and a crowd-pleasing New Zealand sauvignon blanc, The Wine Society have collated the perfect drinks for Christmas in one hamper. Alongside the bottles, the traditional wicker basket contains sweet treats – Christmas cake, plum pudding, lemon melts and chocolates – as well as savoury snacks like olives, cheese straws, nuts and salmon terrine.

We loved the breakfast tea bags which come with dainty pink tongs. The quintessential Christmas collection.

The Wolseley Christmas Celebration Tote

£99, The Wolseley
Best for: Christmas Crackers

Key Specs: Number of food and drink items included: 3

If you’re looking for a gift under a hundred pounds, you might want to forgo the wicker hamper and plump for The Wolseley Celebration Tote instead which is still adorned in the restaurant’s chic black and white branding but is a lot easier to transport. It contains a bottle of their house champagne, which they serve in both The Wolseley and Café Wolseley – an elegant, fresh fizz which will go down a treat on the big day, along with decadent dark chocolate florentines. A packet of the brand’s gold and black crackers will add the finishing touch to your festive table – and as you might expect, the contents are way more impressive than your average cracker – including a mini grater for shaving chocolate over your espresso martini, metal cookie cutters and a wooden honey server.

Forman & Field Forman’s Finest Hamper

£122.50, Forman & Field
Best for: Fresh produce

Key Specs: Number of food and drink items included: 8

If you’re looking for fresh produce fit for a king, we’ve found just the thing. The Forman family has been curing and smoking fish in the East End of London since 1905, so they know a thing or two about luxury produce.

Naturally, Forman & Field’s signature grade one smoked salmon is at the centre of the hamper, prettily tied with a bow. Other fishy bits include the wild smoked salmon pâté and potted lobster, all presented in reusable glass Kilner jars. Decadent chicken liver & brandy parfait, sliced ham, pork pie, tunworth cheese and caviar make up the rest of the goodies. However due to all the fresh produce, the contents will need refrigerating and consuming promptly. Christmas feasting doesn’t get much more luxurious than this.

The Free From Gluten Christmas Hamper

£150, Fortnum & Mason
Best for: Gluten-free

Key Specs: Number of food and drink items included: 9

Proving a ‘free-from’ diet needn’t mean missing out on luxury this Christmas, Fortnum & Mason have curated a stellar selection, all suitable for consuming if you’re following a gluten-free diet.

It features all the Christmas classics – a gluten-free pudding (which also happens to be booze and nut-free too), a pack of fruity mince pies and a cherry, orange and brandy Christmas fruit cake which comes in a pretty reusable tin.

A dollop of the brand’s cognac butter works well across the range, whilst the selection of teas & biscuits make for a pretty dreamy afternoon of refreshments. A bottle of grand cru champagne made from 100 per cent chardonnay grapes makes this a celebration ready loot. And as if we needed more of an excuse to buy the iconic branded hamper, you’ll actually save money buying products this way rather than individually.

Brindisa Foods Christmas Hamper

£150, Brindisa
Best for: A taste of Spain

Key Specs: Number of food and drink items included: 20

Brindisa has created the ultimate Spanish Christmas feast from its stellar range. Containing a selection of the brand’s best-loved products, expect the likes of sliced serrano ham, black truffle crisps, ortiz tuna and nutty manchego cheese. All of which is perfect alongside the bottle of their creamy yet lively cava. Most of the fresh produce had a long shelf life and with 20 items included, we felt this hamper represents great value for money.

Ottolenghi Ultimate Christmas Hamper

£350, Ottolenghi
Best for: Foodies

Key Specs: Number of food and drink items included: 20

For the true gourmand, few come close to King Ottolenghi. Having revolutionised how we eat and cook with his various books and restaurants, this is a pantry filler for his biggest fans. There are Christmas classics like mince pies, nougat and cake – but they’ve all been given an Ottolenghi twist with fragrant herbs and spices. Other highlights include the tahini caramel which we’ll be eating straight from the jar, Ottolenghi ketchup for Boxing Day bacon sandwiches and chilli and coriander chutney for the cheeseboard.

Most items have a long shelf life, including jams and marmalades, the trio of spice rubs preserved lemon and chilli olives, Palestinian olive oil and a bottle of champagne cuvee de reserve. The pretty wicker basket is padded with straw (not nasty plastic), with the items that need it insulated with ice packs.

Daylesford The Sloane Party Hamper

£500, Daylesford
Best for: Organic

Key Specs: Number of food and drink items included: 24

We think Daylesford may well have managed to cram everything one needs for a perfect Christmas into their iconic white hamper, all of which is, of course, organic. They’ve got the cheeseboard covered with a very generous selection of their award-winning cheddar and blue cheese (1kg of each), along with chutney and biscuits, a chic marble board and set of knives.

Canapes are taken care of with a trio of smoked salmon blinis, best served with a magnum of their sparkling rose. There is also a magnum of red wine to pair with truffle salami, ham hock, olives, artichoke, slow-roasted tomatoes and our favourite – the truffle and pecorino nuts. Daylesford have also included a bottle of their vodka and gin for cocktail hour.

With so much you can keep after the big day, this is a generous gift that keeps on giving.

Hotel Chocolat Christmas Showstopper

£500, Hotel Chocolat
Best for: Chocolate

Key Specs: Number of food and drink items included: 31

One for true chocoholics, this whopper of a hamper contains an impressive 31 items from across the Hotel Chocolat range presented in a wicker hamper. Younger members of the family will love the chocolate coins, gingerbread men and milk Santas, whilst adults will appreciate coffee super slims, the large dark chocolate wreath and plums in port. However, it’s not all chocolate – you’ll also find a bottle of the brand’s

decadent salted caramel vodka, cocoa gin, chocolat liqueur and prosecco, as well as a variety of drinking chocolates. Last year the hamper completely sold out,so if you’re keen we’d recommend moving fast.

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