The Christmas lights have been switched on, the snow is setting and here comes the shimmering spread of festive cheer. The days seem to fly by as we get closer to the festive holidays, but there is still the opportunity to say thank you to loved ones.
When it comes to festive gifting, what is more thoughtful than a Christmas hamper that has been especially curated by you? From charcuterie to bubbles, one of our favourite catering companies, Rocket, has compiled an essential guide to building your own luxury holiday basket.
A luxury Christmas hamper always starts with a selection of the best cured meats – Cobble Lane Cured is a specialist butcher based in Islington that prides itself in using higher-welfare British beef. We recommend adding to your hamper their Signature Selection that includes a fantastic array of charcuterie like coppa, bresaola and salami, which they cure and smoke themselves in small batches.
Another local delicacy that you can add to your list is Secret Smokehouse’s London Oak-Smoked Salmon, which uses salmon that are sustainably harvested from the cold tidal waters off Scotland. Rocket recommends adding leafy Amalfi lemons from Natoora to go with the salmon – not only does it go hand-in-hand with your fish, but it gives your hamper a beautiful pop of colour and freshness too.
A fantastic cheese selection is a must in any hamper, but La Fromagerie’s cheese varieties can easily elevate the ordinary holiday gift basket to new heights. A mainstay in some of London’s busiest neighbourhoods, the artisan cheesemonger is most well-known for their award-winning cheeses. Go for their British Classics Board, featuring three types of British cheeses perfect for any type of occasion: smooth and earthy Waterloo, nutty Montgomery’s Cheddar, and a complex Colston Basset stilton. Pair your cheese and charcuterie with The Fine Cheese Co.’s Heritage Range Crackers Selection, which includes their signature bath squares, charcoal squares, and wheat rounds, all in one box.
The rule of thumb for creating a memorable festive hamper is to include at least two kinds of preserves and some sort of pickle for additional flavour and sweetness, to balance out the dry and salty cured meats and rich cheeses. Rosebud Preserves’ Pear & Somerset Brandy Jam and Gooseberry & Elderflower Jam are good places to start, while their piquant and crisp Sweet Cucumber Pickles will excellently complement the smoked salmon perfectly. For something more elaborate, Belazu’s Balsamic Pearls are tiny jellied balsamic vinegar spheres that give an exciting burst of acidity and sweetness to any bite.
Any holiday gift basket wouldn’t be complete without pudding. Family-run Lismore Food Company is well-loved for their broad assortment of biscuits. When it comes to chocolate, opt for a box of Artisan du Chocolat’s Gourmet No1 Salted Caramel truffles, or deeply indulgent milk chocolate confections made from silky ganache. For something more classic, Suffolk-based artisan chocolatiers Pump Street creates the most luscious single-origin chocolate. Their Hacienda Limon dark chocolate is made from pure heirloom cacao beans from Samuel von Rutte’s Hacienda Limon farm on the Guantupi River in Ecuador.
For something a little different, begin with a bottle of Gattertop Drinks Co.’s Damson No12, an award-winning and deliciously fragrant British craft vodka liqueur that is steeped in small batches of home-grown organic damsons for a minimum of twelve months. Inspired by Mediterranean-style aperitifs, Belvoir’s Bitter Orange Spritz botanical soda is made with luscious Sicilian blood oranges, rhubarb, bitter gentian root and cinchona bark extracts to provide an exciting bitter and bright sparkling drink.
Finally, another worthwhile addition to your luxury hamper is Gusbourne’s Blanc de Blancs 2018, a refreshing sparkling Chardonnay that has an elegant and fresh finish. It is a fantastic all-rounder and a fail-safe drink if you want to impress.
Whether you decide to curate a hamper of your own to gift to a loved one or simply indulge in some of the luxurious products mentioned above, we wish you all a Happy Holidays and a prosperous New Year.
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