BEST FOR ITALIAN FARE: Angela Hartnett
This year, Michelin-starred Angela Hartnett has created three hampers, each filled with her favourite Italian ingredients. The ‘Pasta Hamper’ is packed full of produce that adds a tasty finishing touch – think Bread Tree pepperoncino chilli paste, La Micchia capers in sea salt, Hartnett’s own olive oil and Rockfish Mounts Bay sardines in olive oil. The ‘Sweet Hamper’ contains a range of treats including Barbero dark chocolate grissini from Piemonte, buttery pastry cigarrillos from a bakery in Tolosa, and biscotti by Antonion Mattei. Meanwhile, the ‘Ultimate Foodie Hamper’ is filled with ingredients from both of the previous options, alongside eight-year Giuseppe Giusti balsamic vinegar, black truffle oil, Perello gordal picante olives and a biodynamic Tuscan red wine. Perfect for presents.
BEST FOR VARIETY: Dishpatch
Finish-at-home meal kit specialists Dishpatch has launched an array of festive menus created by celebrated chefs and restaurateurs. Our highlight is Café Murano’s ‘Italian Celebration Box’, which comes with Angela Hartnett’s famous risotto milanese and osso bucco, served alongside porcini and truffle arancini and a truly astonishing panettone bread-and-butter pudding with pistachio crème anglaise. Elsewhere, Parsons has designed a festive fish supper using sustainable British produce, including a Steelhead sea trout en croute centrepiece with lobster bisque and freshly landed Scottish scallops. The ‘Beef Banquet Box’ from 10 Greek Street also sounds special – think six courses of the likes of braised beef shin stuffed with onion, sirloin steak and spiced ginger cake. Each box can come with premium add-ons, such as St John wine pairings exclusive to Dishpatch and a cheese selection from Neal’s Yard Dairy. All boxes will be delivered nationwide from 3rd December up to Christmas Day.
BEST FOR EASY COOKING: Farmison & Co
Three-time-winner of Online Butcher Of The Year, Farmison & Co is the place to look for pre-prepared festive staples such as treacle-cured beef brisket; Balmoral Swaledale mutton; chestnut, sage and apricot pigs in blankets; and wild venison and air-dried ham wellington. Pulled together by Michelin-starred exec chef Jeff Baker and always made using free-range, naturally fed heritage breeds, Farmison offers everything from a ready-to-cook party range to all the trimmings on the day itself. Best of all, the dishes only require placing in the oven or a quick assembly job – ideal if you want to make an impact with minimal fuss. Standout dishes include the family-sized pork and caramelised red onion sausage roll; a huge gratin dauphinoise; wild venison cocktail sausages; hand-carved smoked salmon; and duck galentine with drunken winter fruits.
BEST FOR MINCE PIES: Melrose & Morgan
Melrose & Morgan has created a huge range of festive staples this year (we can personally vouch for the team’s award-wining mince pies and mulled wine syrup). Perfected by founders Nick Selby and Ian James since opening their two North London shops in 2004, the deli’s hampers offer something for every event. Highlights include the ‘Festive Artisan Tea’, which sees a luxury cane hamper filled with Great Taste award-winning mince pies, fiery gingerbread, chocolate coins and brandy butter tinged with Somerset cider brandy, while the savoury ‘Festive Cheeseboard’ includes a selection of four festive cheeses from La Fromagerie accompanied by hand-baked spelt squares, buttermilk crackers and a jar of full-bodied, savoury port and red onion marmalade.
BEST FOR CHEESEBOARDS: La Fromagerie
La Fromagerie, the award-winning cheese shop, is at the top of many people’s list when it comes to stocking up for the annual festive cheeseboard. If you’re not sure what to go for, we suggest looking to the cheesemonger’s selection boxes. The ‘Signature Box’ comes with Beaufort Chalet d’Alpage, a box of La Fromagerie rye biscuits and a canvas bag; the ‘Cheese & Champagne Box’ is filled with Chaource and Fourme d’Ambert cheese, plus P. Louis Martin NV brut champagne and La Fromagerie cheese biscuits; while the ‘Fondue Savoyarde Box’ is filled with Beaufort Chalet d’Alpage, Comte d’Estive and Emmental Francais Grand Cru cheese, alongside wine from the Alpes and a fondue baker – perfect if you’ve got friends coming round.
BEST FOR FISH: Rick Stein at Home
Rick Stein has seven hampers available this year, from sweet to savoury. Designed to be delivered as presents or for adding a hint of indulgence to your own gathering, each hamper is presented in a wicker hamper or beautiful wooden box. They almost look as good as what’s inside them: think Rick Stein champagne, smoked salmon from the Severn & Wye smokery, Cornish coppa ham, chutney and gouda in the ‘Savoury Hamper’; caramel florentines and Rick’s classic shortbread in the ‘Sweet Hamper’; and a ‘Dessert Hamper’ that contains Rick’s secret recipe Christmas pudding, Italian dessert wine panettone, Kilner-jarred pears in calvados and more.
BEST FOR MEAT: Coombe Farm Organic
Whether you’re after a huge grazing platter for a party or a three-bird roast for the big day, the team at Coombe Farm Organic in Somerset has got festive feasting covered. The ‘Organic Turkey & Trimmings Box’ is designed to make life simple. This small box feeds six to eight hungry guests and includes an organic 2kg bronze turkey breast, nitrate-free streaky bacon, pigs in blankets, sage and onion sausage meat, poultry gravy and cranberry sauce. If you’re hosting a bigger crowd, the ‘Christmas Feast Box’ includes a large organic whole turkey and two joints – a beef topside joint and nitrate-free gammon joint – plus smoked salmon, chicken liver pâté and all the trimmings.
BEST FOR FARM-GROWN PRODUCE: Made In Oldstead
Chef/owner of Michelin-starred restaurants The Black Swan and Roots Tommy Banks launched Made in Oldstead in the first lockdown, offering a range of premium at-home dining boxes available for nationwide delivery. For those looking for a low-effort but high-impact feast this year, the ‘Oldstead Christmas Hamper’ contains everything you need, all made by Tommy’s team or one of his trusted local suppliers. Treats include cured meats, cold-smoked salmon and Tommy’s root vegetable mince pies along with Courtyard Dairy cheeses, date, fig and apple chutney and homemade eggnog. Trust us, this one is going to be special.
BEST FOR NYE: Simon Rogan At Home
Home by Simon Rogan – the home delivery meals from the multi-Michelin-starred chef behind restaurants including L’Enclume and Aulis – is bringing Christmas dinner to dining tables across the UK this December with a five-course festive feast. Available to pre-order online now, deliveries of the Christmas menu will take place between 22nd-23rd December. Created by Simon’s team in the Lake District, dishes include truffled celeriac soup with confit duck, granny smith apple and chestnut; pine-cured smoked salmon with toasted rye, whipped cod's roe and beetroot; turkey from Goosnargh with all the trimmings; Christmas pudding with brandy custard; and mince pie chocolates. A one-off, multi-course New Year’s Eve menu is also available to pre-order and will be delivered to homes across the UK on 30th December.
BEST FOR PANETTONE: Eataly
This Christmas, Eataly will offer a selection of authentic Italian Christmas hampers – all filled with everything from panettone to prosecco and pasta. A great gift idea or an indulgent way to stock up your shelves ahead of the big day, the brand’s full offering is available in its huge London store and online for nationwide delivery. Of the collection, we like the sound of ‘The Godfather’ hamper, which features extra virgin olive oil, dried pasta, red wine, panettone and parmigiano – a selection the team is calling the ‘holy grail of Italian feasting’.
BEST FOR BREAKFAST IN BED: Corrigan’s Mayfair
Known for using the very best British and Irish produce, chef Richard Corrigan has created his most extravagant Christmas hamper yet. Filled with champagne, ham hock and foie gras terrine, a smoked salmon blini kit and handmade mince pies, this is the ultimate treat for foodies. As an extra treat, two tins of 25g Oscietra caviar will be placed inside two random orders to bring some added festive cheer. The ‘Christmas Breakfast Hamper’ is priced at £90 and serves two people.