Make someone’s Christmas with one of these bountiful baskets of joy.

Christmas 2020 is going to look a little different; that much we know. But there are certain traditional elements of the festive season that Covid cannot take from us. Chief among these, of course, is the giving and receiving of the Christmas hamper.

The British custom of sending a wicker basket full of treats to loved ones and those in need at Christmas dates back to the 11th century. In those days, charitable folk filled hampers with food, drink and clothing and gave them to the poor. Later, when people began to travel by stagecoach, they filled hampers with food for their journey. When the railway system came into play, people began to send hampers to far-flung relatives as a present to mark the Christmas period.

Our hunger for them hasn’t abated since.

Here, we’ve picked out nine of the cheeriest hampers that 2020 has to offer.

Fortnum & Mason




Nobody does Christmas like Fortnum’s does – and their hampers are the stuff of legend. They say: ‘The Fortnum’s hamper is the world’s best-travelled tuck box. Over the course of 312 years, it’s been dispatched to every possible location, from the slopes of Everest and the battlefields of Iraq to the more welcoming lawns of Twickenham, Henley and Epsom.’ Our favourite is their Classic Christmas Hamper, with its pretty tins and jars of biscuits, tea and chutney, its trio of boozy bottles and its good old Christmas pudding.


Daylesford




Everything that comes from the Daylesford farm empire is imbued with a certain calm. Its hampers are covetable for their white wicker baskets (with leather straps and linen lining) alone. We like the original array of goodies in the Pimlico Hamper, which includes figs in cognac, divine peppermint thins, shortbread hearts and much more.


Liberty




A visit to Liberty, the ancient London department store, always fizzes with colour, creativity and imaginative design. Its hamper selection is no different. Treat somebody deserving to their Forest Road Drinks Hamper this Christmas, and they will never forget it. Lined in Liberty’s Forest Road print, the hamper contains a riot of joyfully packaged artisanal goods from up and down the UK. Chocolate from Suffolk, sparkling wine from Cornwall, tomato ketchup from the Lake District, marmalade from Yorkshire, handmade fudge… the list goes on.


The Beautiful Book Company




This charming book-subscription service puts together Christmas hampers with characteristic flair. We love the Classic Literature Hamper, which comes in a smart grey box and contains six beautiful classic novels, a cool literary print, three notebooks and three bookplates. Just perfect for the bookworm in your life. Their Children’s Classic Novel Hamper’s are a nice idea as well.


Paxton & Whitfield




The cheese lovers in your life need to know about Paxton & Whitfield, London’s leading cheesemonger for over 200 years, if they don’t already. Their extremely classy hampers do not disappoint. We like the Piccadilly Hamper, because of its range of house cheeses (including a pleasing jar of stilton), gorgeous preserves and generous biscuit selection – not to mention the lovely wooden box it all comes in.


Harvey Nichols




Harvey Nichols knows a thing or two about what makes London’s fashion crowd tick. It’s been doing so since 1831, after all. Their hampers are sleek, urban and highly covetable. Our pick this year is the Party Starter Hamper, because God knows we need something to start the party. It had us at the Blood Orange & Clove Negroni. But the prosecco, small batch gin, flavoured premium tonic waters, crisp white wine and olives, nuts and cheese straws – snacks that have been carefully selected to complement the drinks – sound pretty great, too.


The River Cafe




Lunch at The River Café has been harder to come by this year than usual. But fans of the iconic restaurant need not despair. Their online shop might just save the day. We love the funky Large Gift Box (there are small and medium options too), packed full of Tuscan chocolates, a copper based Farinata Pan, exquisite olive oil, Dada’s Christmas Cake, coffee, pasta, perfect jarred tomatoes, Charles Heidsieck Champagne, Guidalberto red wine, Grappa, a River Café tote bag, and even six bright coloured Summerill & Bishop linen napkins. Plus, the box itself is pure joy.
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The White Company




What with one thing and another, self-care has been low down on most people’s priority lists of late. But if anything can change that, it is the Wellness Hamper from the Zen masters at The White Company. The pretty wicker basket comes with a luxurious and nourishing collection of goodies, including a sleep candle, sleep mist, sleep shower foam, Spa Restore Fragrance Oil and Spa Restore Bath Oil. Truly the perfect antidote to 2020. At time of publishing, the hamper has sold out but there is nothing to stop you from recreating this, picking out the products individually and adding a gift box at checkout.

Trullo




Don’t miss the chic new hampers from London’s acclaimed neighbourhood Italian, Trullo. This is the restaurant of which Giles Coren said: “I’ve been twice in the past three days, and I’m going back on Friday. I may review it again next week. I may not bother going anywhere ever again.” Trullo’s response to these challenging times has been exemplary. First, they opened a perfectly stocked shop next to the restaurant, bulging with delicious things. And now they’ve put together a series of smart hampers. We like the large one, with its Trullo tote bag and cookbook, olive oil, Negroni pouch, chutney, biscotti, wine and more.

By Becky Ladenburg
November 2020

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Becky Ladenburg

Features Editor

As the GWG's features editor, Becky has her discerning finger on the cultural pulse. She's also our go-to expert on the property market.

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