A Grand Hamper from Clearwater Hampers

The Grand Hamper from Clearwater Hampers | H is for Home

We’re well into thinking about Christmas now. Festive decorations have started to go up, we’re pencilling in dates to meet up with friends & family, cards and presents have been bought (well, some of them at least)…and we’ve just started picking up all those special food & drink treats. We buy them gradually in various markets and shops – whatever catches our eye – and display them in baskets on a table next to the tree. It’s a lovely sight – and a tempting one too! We’ve just been given an early boost to our haul with this Grand Hamper sent by the lovely folks at Hampers.com. The attractive wicker basket contains a very nice selection of classic Christmas goodies.

Champagne and chocolates in the Grand Hamper from Clearwater Hampers | H is for Home

For starters, many people’s idea of the ultimate treat – champagne & chocolates. Specifically, Autreau Roualet Brut NV Champagne and Hamlet Gold Box assorted chocolates. Will we have the bubbles at breakfast or for a pre-dinner aperitif… decisions, decisions!

Smoked salmon and Serrano ham in the Grand Hamper from Clearwater Hampers | H is for Home

Or perhaps the champagne will be sipped alongside smoked salmon or cured meat canapés – another delicious option. The hamper contains both traditional Scottish smoked salmon and Spanish Serrano ham.

Cheeses in the Grand Hamper from Clearwater Hampers | H is for Home

Next we have some fabulous extra mature cheddar – Black Bomber from Snowdonia in Wales – great name and a great cheese. And what better to accompany it with than the Tracklements damson cheese? This tangy chutney works well with all manner of cheeses. Perfect with pies or the Christmas ham too.

Crackers and shortbread biscuits in the Grand Hamper from Clearwater Hampers | H is for Home

And of course, your cheeseboard will be needing cheese biscuits too. This luxury selection has a variety of textures, flavours and bakes contained within – they’ll work well with those party dips. And sweet biscuits get a look in also with these luxury chocolate and toffee shortbreads. A cup of tea and a shortbread for those little quiet moments in amongst all the Christmas madness perhaps.

It’s a fabulous selection of items – a perfect present to yourself or a loved one. We’re certainly looking forward to ours!

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Christmas gifts of the day: Christmas gift hampers

Christmas gift hampers | H is for Home

A huge part of the Christmas season is all the tasty food & drink that we don’t often see or consume at other times of the year. The special-occasions Champagne and port, mince pies, Christmas pudding and cake and tins of chocolate assortments. You’d rarely go wrong presenting a Christmas gift hamper as a present.

There are hampers available to suit every pocket. From the modest £30+ ‘Christmas Carol’ comprising a bottle of Shiraz, yoghurt coated nuts, Belgian chocolates and savoury biscuits to the blow-the-budget Fortnum’s golden wicker basket of goodies that’s almost big enough to be considered a family Christmas dinner in itself!

  1. A Merry Christmas hamper – £425, Fortnum & Mason
  2. 12 Days of Christmas hamper – £50.34, Christmas Hamper
  3. The Ultimate Great British Selection hamper: £155, Whisk Hampers
  4. Winter Spice hamper: £65, John Lewis
  5. Port & cheese hamper: £45, Clearwater Hampers
  6. The Christmas Carol: £32.50 Hamper Gifts
  7. Christmas Gift hamper: £81.95, iHampers

John Lewis Hamper

Selection of John Lewis Christmas hamper items

Christmas officially arrived chez H is for Home on the day this John Lewis hamper was delivered. It was full of the wonderful food & drink goodies that you buy yourself & loved ones as a festive treat! It seemed a bit naughty trying things in November, but it was all in the interest of research you’ll understand!

tall bottles of infused olive oils from a John Lewis Christmas hamper

We love dipping crusty fresh bread into good quality olive oil & balsamic vinegar. It makes a perfect relaxed pre-dinner snack or starter. These Italian virgin olive oils by Il Boschetto are infused with basil or chilli which will add an exciting twist to the dipping experience. They’re perfect for salad dressings and pasta sauces too.

chutney set from a John Lewis Christmas hamper

One of the little joys of Christmas is that you often have a table of goodies that you can grab something from each time you pass! The cheeseboard is probably our favourite – and these tangy Paxton & Whitefield chutneys give the flavours an extra lift. Really good with cold meats & pork pies as well.

mini mince pies from a John Lewis Christmas hamper

A Christmas hamper wouldn’t be complete without a mince pie. These cute little pies from Cottage Delight have a crunchy almond topping and are really scrummy.

jars of loose teas from a John Lewis Christmas hamper

There are lots of options with which to wash down the mince pies and a nice cup of tea is certainly one. It’s a mug of strong Yorkshire Tea throughout most of the year, but something a little more unusual or delicate for the festive period maybe. These teas from The Lawn fit the bill. One each of a classic English Breakfast Tea and a Rose Garden Fruit Tea with hibiscus, lemon grass, rosebuds & orange flowers.

spiced orange Edinburgh gin from a John Lewis Christmas hamper

Moving onto the strong stuff! This Spiced Orange Edinburgh Gin produced by the Spencerfield Spirit Co is quite exciting. We’re looking forward to trying this – the orange, cinnamon & spice flavours are perfect for Christmas. We think it’s going to be very drinkable on its own – served over ice, sipped & savoured. It will also be perfect mixed with soda for a longer, more refreshing drink. A splash with Champagne or Cava is also going to be delicious.

mulled wine kit from a John Lewis Christmas hamper

The classic mulled wine provides another chance to savour those festive season spices. These mulled wine pouches – again from Cottage Delight Speciality Foods – contain cassia, orange peel, allspice berries and cloves. You just heat a bottle of red wine with one of the pouches for delicious warming mulled wine – and another perfect drink to accompany those mince pies!

Port from a John Lewis Christmas hamper

We always treat ourselves to a bottle of port at Christmas – it’s one of our much-anticipated little indulgences. Snow outside, a winter walk, real fire, glass of port. Life doesn’t get much better than that! We gave it a taste test whilst photographing. It has passed quality control and has been put away until signs of the first snow.

sweets from a John Lewis Christmas hamper

There were sweets & chocolate too of course. We love the chocolate hippo packaging by Baro – and these cute little penguin cookies by Image are charming as well.

sweets from a John Lewis Christmas hamper

Some slightly more grown up confectionery too – chocolate covered pretzels by Hope & greenwood & Holdsworth’s Turkish Delight. Perfect, indulgent Christmas treats.

chocolate bar from a John Lewis Christmas hamper

Items can be bought individually so perfect choose your own selection of goodies – or hampers can be ordered ready made up. You can always rely on John Lewis for a bit of quality – and there’s lovely packaging throughout the range of hamper items –  important when it comes to treats or gifts. So it’s an early Merry Christmas wish from John Lewis and the folks here at H is for Home.

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Cakes & Bakes: Baking Hamper

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Fortnum & Mason's new baking hamper

We’re really taken with this fabulous new baking hamper from Fortnum & Mason. As well as the classic F&M wicker basket you get:

A perfect gift for a Great British Bake Off fan – or even better – treat yourself!