Everyone loves a good hamper, don’t they? And with this being the season of giving, what’s better than the gift of food? Christmas is a time for indulging…forget about the diets, its all about letting go, undoing the top button on your jeans or unzipping your skirt and diving head first into the cheese, chocolate and wine and not coming out the other end until January. (You can worry about how tight your clothes are later).
So with that in mind, here is a round up of some of the best Christmas food hampers on offer from London’s restaurants and shops…
QUALITY CHOP HOUSE, FARRINGDON
The wonderful Quality Chop House in Farringdon has a whole host of gift ideas for food lovers, be it vouchers, cooking classes of food hampers. Their Christmas hampers start from £20 and are filled with their most popular products and QCH-made produce along with a few house-made festive classics. Hampers are available for purchase in the shop and can be pre-ordered by calling on 0203 490 6228 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
I love their QCH Classic Christmas Hamper (£75) which includes QCH Pork pies (x2), a jar of QCH Piccalilli, a jar of QCH parfait, a packet of QCH confit potatoes, a bag of Qrunchies a QCH Christmas pudding, QCH brandy butter, QCH mince pies (x4), a QCH mulled wine spice bag and a QCH jute bag.
Quality Chop House, 88-94 Farringdon Rd, London EC1R 3EA (just around the corner from Exmouth Market)
If you’re after a Spanish twist to your Christmas hamper, look no further than Brindisa who have a selection of Spanish Food Hampers including The Gastronome’s Box for £100. This hamper is stuffed full of Brindisa’s finest cured meats, cheese, fish, olives, wine, nuts and savoury biscuits, showcasing some of their most loved treasures. This is the perfect way to create a fabulous Iberian feast.
Brindisa, 18-20 Southwark St, London SE1 1TJ | 41-43 Atlantic Rd, London SW9 8JL
NOPI has a fabulous selection of hampers and gifts starting from £14. The NOPI Hamper is yours for £100 and is filled with the pantry favourites of both Yotam Ottolenghi and NOPI head chef Ramael Scully. From the dried rose petals and barberries of Iran to the Tamarind pulp and Black glutinous rice of South East Asia, this really is a treasure-trove of delights from the world over. Red pepper paste from Korea, Japanese 7-spice mix, Valdespino sherry vinegar from Spain, the NOPI hamper is the beginning of one great big adventure. A signed copy of NOPI: The Cookbook is also included.
NOPI, 21-22 Warwick St, London W1B 5NE
LES DEUX SALONS, CHARING CROSS
This Christmas, Les Deux Salons has partnered with exclusive French brand, Maxim’s to offer a range of bespoke hampers, offering the best of delicatessen products. The hampers come in all shapes and sizes, with one of the more luxurious options being the ‘Rouge Maxim’. Full of indulgent chocolate treats and special Christmas gifts, including artisanal coffee and biscuits, all housed in a beautiful, festive rouge box, the hamper is available for £100.
The hampers will be available over the Christmas period, until February 2016. The full range will include five hampers, offering a variety of different products, making them the perfect Christmas gift for anyone. Empty hampers are also available, allowing people to create their own bespoke hamper from Maxim’s full range of products, stocked in the Les Deux Salons èpicerie. Hampers can be ordered by emailing email@example.com or calling 020 7420 2050.
Les Deux Salons, 40-42 King William IV Street, WC2
Get into the spirit of Christmas with Benares’ Indian influence on the classic Christmas hamper. Benares, the Michelin-Starred Indian Restaurant and Bar in the heart of Mayfair offers a Luxury Hamper, featuring a variety of gifts including a Benares signed cookbook, a large scented candle, Chef de Patron, Atul Kochhar’s, own signed wine, a bottle of champagne and the ‘Benares Experience’ voucher – which allows you to enjoy a bottle of champagne and a bar platter for two in the lounge area.
This luxurious hamper is presented in a bamboo tray hamper basket with a selection of carefully curated hamper fillers including Holy Lama handmade soap, a Holy Lama handmade Christmas card, Holy Lama Spice Drops, Julius Meinl Coffee Whole Beans, Jing Chai Whole Leaf Ceylon Black Tea with Spices, and a portable Benares handbag hook. The Benares Luxury Hamper is available online for £269.
Benares, 12a Berkeley Square House, London, W1J 6BS | 020 7629 8886
THE MODERN PANTRY, CLERKENWELL & FINSBURY SQUARE
The Modern Pantry, Anna Hansen’s celebrated restaurant and pantry in Clerkenwell have created a selection of Christmas hampers that can be tailored to include any selection of The Pantry’s delicious homemade jams, pickles, relishes and spice blends, as well as the decadent truffles and treats including cinder toffee and biscotti. Copies of The Modern Pantry Cookbook, signed by Anna Hansen, vouchers for Afternoon Tea in the restaurant, and a huge range of wine are also all available as Christmas gifts.
The Modern Pantry, 47-48 St John’s Square, London, EC1V 4JJ | 020 7553 9210
Known and loved for stocking the best of British produce, Albion have handpicked a selection of their best-selling products to create a luxury Christmas hamper. Featuring Albion Gin, Albion Malbec, Albion Viognier, Taylors of Harrogate spiced Christmas leaf tea, a Prestat truffle stocking, Fine Cheese Company pickled walnuts and Fine Cheese Company biscuits for cheese, Mulled Wine spices by Suma and Albion’s boozy Christmas Pudding, Albion’s Christmas hamper includes everything you need for an artisanal Christmas. Albion’s Christmas hamper is priced at £125.
Albion, 2-4 Boundary Street, London, E2 7DD | 020 7729 1051
CAFE MURANO’S PASTIFICIO, COVENT GARDEN
Cafe Murano’s Pastificio in Covent Garden are offering Christmas hampers stocked full of Angela Hartnett’s favourite Italian offerings, as well as some quality London produce perfect for filling larders. Hampers are priced from £25 to £150.
The £40 Hamper includes Harneys Earl Grey tea, Café Murano blend ground coffee, Cantuccini biscuits, England Preserves Strawberry Jam, Bell Heather Honey, Brutti ma Buoni biscuits and Panforte marabissi margherita (traditional Italian cake from Sienna).
Cafe Murano Pastificio, 34 Tavistock Street, London, WC2E 7PB | 020 3535 7884
CARLUCCIO’S, VARIOUS LOCATIONS
Fill your cupboards with an array of Italian flavours selected from independent suppliers throughout Italy…via Carluccio’s. You can buy their ready-made hampers from £20 up to £235, or you can create your own hamper here. I rather like the look of the Il Massimo Hamper (£125) which contains Sardinian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Matured Balsamic Vinegar from Modena, Cuttlefish ink Spaghetti, Orecchiette pasta, Clam Sauce, Tomato, Chilli & Basil Sauce, Napoli Espresso Ground Coffee, Dark Chocolate Truffles and Gianduiotti chocolates from Turin which can all be washed down with Santa Sara Prosecco whilst reading Antonio Carluccio’s book ‘The Collection’.
COMPAGNIE DES VINS SURNATURELS, COVENT GARDEN
Covent Garden wine bar, Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, is giving customers the chance to create their own Christmas hampers from an incredible selection of wines from around the world plus fine foods including truffled ham, sardines, Casanova olive oil, charcuterie and cheese to take away. Alternatively the team offer prepared hampers, designed by head sommelier Julia Oudill, starting from £37.
Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, 8-10 Neal’s Yard London WC2H 9DP | 020 7734 7737
For Italian lovers, Lina Stores in Soho has everything you could need for Christmas. This wonderful Italian deli is offering a series of hampers and gifts, available throughout the festive period. Hampers are available in three different styles from £35 to £100, and come filled with the very best sweet and savoury Italian produce. A range of Italian Christmas tins containing ingredients to make an authentic Italian pasta, risotto or polenta dish, will also be on offer, starting from £15.
Lina Stores, 18 Brewer St, London W1F 0SH | 020 7437 6482
And of course, you can’t mention hampers without including Fortnum & Mason and their iconic F&M stamped baskets, who have everything from The Winter Warmer Hamper for £55 to The Imperial Hamper at £5000. Yes, FIVE THOUSAND POUNDS! It includes Smoked Salmon, Beluga Caviar, Foie Gras en Croute, 100-year-old Balsamic Vinegar, Ibérico Ham, not one but three types of cheese including Truffled Brie and Marc de Champagne Truffles. Wash it all down with a bottle of Louis Roederer Cristal or perhaps some Vintage Port?
Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly, London, W1A 1ER | 020 7734 8040