Today a funny feeling overcame me almost the very moment after I donned my winter knitwear for the first time this year (yes, it’s November, but I was cold and all my other jumpers were in the wash or somewhere on my bedroom floor under a mountainous pile of clothes).  I started getting VERY EXCITED ABOUT CHRISTMAS. I wanted to watch Love Actually, immediately. I got impatient because my family hadn’t completed their Christmas lists, unlike me who, as per usual had added the obligatory ‘horse’,‘pug’ and at least 10 other gift ideas faster than you can say ‘But it’s still November!!’ (as the youngest of four, old habits die hard). And I started thinking about Christmas food and drink. Mmmm. Because, like a lot of people, the most important things about Christmas for me are: spending time with my family, buying people presents and devouring lots of festive food and booze.

And when it comes to Christmas sustenance, there is nothing quite as intoxicating to the senses as a lot of delicious, exquisitely-packaged and probably over-priced food and drink all nestled together in a wicker hamper/box/large tin/fancy bag. I very much doubt that I’ll actually receive a Christmas hamper this year, or for that matter buy anyone one. But having spent the entire evening salivating onto my laptop keyboard during the course of let’s be honest, fairly pointless, ‘hamper research’, I thought I’d share a few of the winning compilations that have made it into my Christmas daydreams:

The Ottolenghi Christmas Hamper

otto xmas hamper

I consider Ottolenghi to be a god among men. If my house was burning down, I’d rescue all three of my Ottolenghi recipe books, and I’ve dreamt about marrying him and having his daughter (yes, weird, and yes, I know I’m not strictly his type). So it comes as little surprise to me that this lovely man has created a Christmas hamper that sounds pretty incredible, a balanced mix of traditional Christmas items and coveted Ottolenghi pantry-essentials. There’s also the option of adding extra items from the online Ottolenghi shop to your hamper for an extra cost.

  • Items in Hamper (12):
    • Ottolenghi Christmas Cake
    • Ottolenghi Cranberry and Apple Relish
    • Ottolenghi Dark Chocolate, Pistachio and Raspberry Brittle
    • Ottolenghi Lemon Salt
    • Ottolenghi Gingerbread Pigs
    • Ottolenghi Jam
    • Ottolenghi Mince Pies
    • Moon Valley Olive oil, 250ml
    • Palestinian za’atar and Sumac
    • Panettone Classico
    • Ottolenghi Rosemary Spiced Nuts
    • Ottolenghi Shortbread
    • How much does it cost?: £95.00 (and free delivery for all UK orders of £50 or more)
    • Is there any alcohol included?: No
    • Where can I buy it?: From the Ottolenghi online shop. There is a further range of pretty delicious-looking hampers in the Christmas section of the store too.

Planet Organic Christmas Luxury Hamper

I only went to Planet Organic for the first time a couple of days ago (as a part-time vegan, kale- loving health food obsessive, I’m shaking my own head and tutting at myself as I write this), and it’s bloody great. For those who don’t know, Planet Organic is an organic supermarket. Kind of like Whole Foods but with fewer hippy middle-class parents dancing with their toddlers to reggae at the tills and snooty people berating the staff for stocking only one type of black quinoa.  Anyway, my Sunday afternoon experience of Planet Organic was very enjoyable, so I was delighted to see that they offer a range of Christmas hampers. They have sixteen to choose from, ranging from kids hampers to the bells and whistles Christmas luxury hamper. And it’s not just about food  – there are also two natural beauty Christmas hampers tucked in there too. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for that special vegan/gluten-intolerant/organic food geek/raw foodie in your life, this is the place to come. Like I say, there are a lot of incredible-looking hampers, which makes it really hard to pick out just one, but I’m going to go for the Christmas Luxury Hamper as in addition to lots of mouth-watering gourmet items, it also includes a Christmas decoration, a candle and some Neal’s Yard goodies – winner.

Planet OrganicIf you needed a further push, this hamper is organic and vegetarian, and best of all – includes a box of vegan-friendly Booja Booja chocolate truffles, which are AMAZING. Here are the details:

  • Items in Hamper (16):
    • Plush Christmas Robin with Chocolate Buttons
    • Plush Handpainted Tree Decoration
    • Seggiano Baked Fig Ball
    • Crayves Christmas Cake
    • The Organic Collection Organic Chestnuts
    • The Organic Collection Organic Stollen
    • Rochester Mulled Berry Punch (non-alcoholic)
    • De Rit Gouda Cheese Hearts
    • Green & Blacks Conversations
    • Booja Booja Special Edition Champagne Truffles
    • Roots & Wings Toffee & Caramel Biscuits
    • Roots & Wings Chocolate Covered Ginger Biscuits
    • Happy People Milk Chocolate Almonds
    • Cocoa Loco Dark Chocolate Covered Mango
    • Bee Fayre Winterscents Candle
    • Neal’s Yard Ginger and Vanilla Bodycare set
    • How much does it cost?: £125.00 (and free delivery for all UK orders of £30 or more)
    • Is there any alcohol included?: No
    • Where can I buy it?: Online at (or, I would imagine in one of their six London stores)

Fortnum & Mason Classic Christmas Hamper



If you were playing a game of Mallet’s Mallet and your rival blurted out ‘Christmas Hamper!!’, chances are you’d probably hit back with ‘Fortnum & Mason!!’. Or if Family Fortunes asked 100 people to ‘name a company that makes Christmas hampers’, a hefty whack of them would probably answer ‘Fortnum’s’.  You get my point – F&M are synonymous with festive wicker baskets of gourmet delight. And fair play to them, their hampers are the BOMB. Now I was incredibly tempted to feature their FIVE THOUSAND POUND Imperial Hamper purely for the fact that it’s so ridiculously extravagant that I am unlikely to ever be in receipt of one, or for that matter even touch one during my life, and I just wanted to type out all of those dreamy-sounding contents, in the futile hope that it would bring me one step closer to owning them. Indeed, this hamper is apparently ‘an experience you will never forget’, where ‘aged balsamic vinegar and white truffle oil rub shoulders with Beluga caviar and foie gras with truffles’ (the white truffle oil in Fortnum’s is so posh that it has shoulders?!?). But enough of imperialism! For the purposes of this blog post, I’m going to keep things under the £200 mark, so without further ado, here is the equally delicious-sounding but much much cheaper Classic Christmas Hamper:

  • Items in Hamper (14):
    • Mulled wine spice bag
    • St. James Christmas pudding
    • Cognac Butter
    • Damson & Claret Extra Jam Preserve
    • Monarch Full-bodied vintage Marmalade
    • A decorative caddy of Christmas tea, covered in gambolling cherubs*
    • A bottle of Fortnum’s Blanc de Blancs Brut N.V, Hostomme (aka champagne)
    • Marc de Champagne truffles
    • Cranberry Sauce
    • Bottle of Fortnum’s Côtes du Rhône, Andre Brunel (aka red wine)
    • Bottle of Fortnum’s Touraine Sauvignon, Domaine de la Presle (aka white wine)
    • Carnevale Roasted nuts
    • Icy mints
    • A jolly musical biscuit tin which plays Jingle Bells as you munch on the biscuits*

*Fortnum’s words, not mine. But gambolling is a good word. And that tin does sound quite jolly.

  • How much does it cost?: £150.00 (with a £6.95 delivery cost, or you can pick it up for free from the store’s collection point)
  • Is there any alcohol included?: Yes
  • Where can I buy it?: Online at Fortnum & Mason, or in store (there’s the flagship at 181 Piccadilly, and a new store has just opened in Kings Cross St Pancras).

Riverford Organic Farms Complete Christmas Dinner Hamper


riverford organic


If it’s less of a gift that you’re after, and more of an ‘all you need for Christmas dinner plus a couple of treats, in a box’, then take a look at Riverford Organic Farms’ Christmas hampers. Ok, this hamper is the most expensive one that I’ve featured, but when you consider that it contains everything you need for a Christmas dinner, including a turkey, gammon, chipolatas, Christmas Pudding, two bottles of wine, 10 different types of veg and much more, it’s not bad at all. With Riverford priding themselves on their delicious organic produce (and quite rightly so, I can attest that it’s great), you can pretty much guarantee that your Christmas dinner will taste amazing, and there’s no need to worry about squabbling over the last Turkey in the supermarket or fretting over not having enough clementines (there’s a whole kilo here!). Riverford also do a Christmas Dinner Hamper minus the meat, and a few other mouth-watering hamper options.

  • Items in Hamper (23 – including veg):
    • Les Piliers St. Emilion Red Wine 75cl
    • Crazy By Nature Shotberry Chardonnay White Wine 75cl
    • 1kg clementines
    • 2 x packs mince pies (6 in each)
    • Christmas Pudding
    • Cantuccini (almond biscotti)
    • Cranberry Sauce
    • Pimhill Oatcakes
    • Cropwell Bishop Stilton
    • Medium turket (5.6 – 6.5kg)
    • Gammon (1.5kg)
    • Chipolatas
    • Smokes streaky bacon
    • Vegbox including:
      • Potatoes, onions, carrots, leeks, Brussels sprouts, red cabbage, mushrooms, parsnips, calabrese broccoli, swede
      • How much does it cost?: £195.00 (free delivery)
      • Is there any alcohol included?: Yes
      • Where can I buy it?: Online at


De Beauvoir Deli – The Angel: London Produce Hamper

The De Beauvoir Deli is a beautiful little deli in – funnily enough De Beauvoir, Hackney. Well, it certainly looks beautiful from the outside when I’ve been past it on the bus, but I am ashamed to say I’ve never been inside. It’s definitely on my ‘places to go to and spend money on things I probably don’t need’ list though. Anyway, fortunately for people like me, they have a range of Christmas Hampers on their website, all named after areas in Islington and Hackney – enough to make people like me who love a good London naming gimmick want to buy them before even knowing what is inside. Thankfully, the contents appear to stand up to the promise. There’s The Stoke Newington – Cooks’ Hamper, full of beautiful oils, spices, vinegars and cupboard classics (perfect if you know a cook who lives in Stoke Newington, which I happen to….), The Hoxton – Breakfast Hamper (coffee, tea, honey, granola, jam, drinking chocolate and a keep cup) and to keep it really local, the Hackney Hamper, consisting of 100% Hackney Produce. However the hamper that really caught my eye was The Angel, which consists of produce sourced exclusively from London.


I read through the listed food and drink and my jaw dropped more at each one until I got to the final item on the list – half a bottle of Sipsmith Gin – and I actually whispered the words ‘Oh my god’, followed by ‘I need this hamper’. So, family and friends, just politely, THIS is what I want for Christmas. Pleeeeeeeease.

  • Items in Hamper (14):
    • Monmouth Coffee
    • Bellevue Tea
    • England Preserves Jam
    • Regent’s Park Honey
    • L’Aquila mushrooms
    • Rococo Drinking Chocolate
    • Monmouth Sugar
    • Charbonnel & Walker Mint thins
    • Rubies & The Rubble Chutney
    • Zaramama’s popping corn
    • Eat 17 Bacon Jam
    • Rococo Jelly Babies
    • Mini Magoo Granola
    • ½ bottle Sipsmith Gin
    • How much does it cost?: £120.00 (plus delivery – £10 for local delivery, £20 for next day UK delivery or same day London delivery or free to collect in store)
    • Is there any alcohol included?: Yes – GIN!
    • Where can I buy it?: Online at or in the Deli itself (98 Southgate Rd, London, N1 3JD). OR you can try and win one – check out the SipSmith competition here.