What to Buy That Person Who Has Everything: A British Hamper

What to buy for that person who has everything? I personally think you can’t go wrong with something edible, delicious, and beautifully packaged. All of which is why I am a big advocate for gifting a carefully curated hamper, as it ticks all three boxes at once. 

Hampers are synonymous with British gifting culture – iconic department store and UK institution Fortnum & Mason offered a range of 59 to choose from for Christmas 2023, with the most expensive bearing an eye-watering £6,000 price tag. 

The concept of Hampers has been around for hundreds of years, first making an appearance on our shores in the 11th century. During this time, baskets made from willow were used to transport food and drink on hunting expeditions and William the Conqueror himself is credited with bringing an early iteration into Britain.  

It was the Victorians who made the hamper into the wonderful gifting experience we know it as today as the Industrial Revolution improved transport links, allowing for hampers to be sent far and wide around the country for special occasions. Hampers were also given to servants by their employers, who would pack seasonal produce such as meat and preserved fruits inside, as well as clothing, and hand these out on Boxing Day. This went on to become a widely adopted Christmas tradition, and like so many Victorian festive customs the practise of sending hampers with layer up layer of mysterious gifts has continued up until today. 

In the 20th century hampers moved beyond a Christmas gift to a year-round token of appreciation and even played their part in World War One, when they were donated to the Red Cross and then sent on to soldiers and prisoners of war overseas.

Whilst the concept of a hamper full of surprises is always thrilling, no two are made alike, and the contents can make or break the experience. Until recently the market was flooded with afternoon tea hampers, which whilst charming, only cater for brew-loving customers.

The British Hamper Company is a Lincoln-based family business that are on a mission to design a hamper for every occasion and recipient. On their site you can shop by theme, occasion and dietary requirement, with their diverse offering including everything from ‘The British Beer and Cheese Hamper’, ‘The Friday Night Gin & Tonic Box’, ‘The New Parents Celebration’ and ‘The Artisan British Vegan Gift Basket’. And for those very hard-to-buy-for recipients, there’s even the option to design your own. 

Unlike some hamper companies where the contents can feel like an afterthought – The British Hamper Company only work with the best suppliers. They are proud members of The Guild of Fine Food and seek out the very best in British produce when curating their edits. Each item selected goes through rigorous taste testing with much of the produce award-winning. 

The British Hamper Company sent us the ‘White Wine Delight Hamper’ to review filled with an aromatic South African bottle of wine alongside sweet and savoury treats. All beautifully packaged in a sturdy branded box, tied with a big bow, this was an utter delight to receive – and open.

Inside the layers of shredded stuffing was a collection of delicious snacks including salty nuts, artisan crisps and high-quality olives with a crisp and delicious South African white wine. For the sweet toothed, there was strawberries and cream biscuits plus a bar of Willie’s Cacao white chocolate.

The hamper is priced at £65.97, with the cost of delivery included, which feels like a reasonably priced gift when you consider the value and quality of the contents – and you can also include a personalised notecard for that special touch. What I loved about this hamper was that it encouraged my partner and I to carve out some quality time to enjoy the contents – we enjoyed a cosy Saturday night sipping the exceptional white wine surrounded by snacks for every mood. The snacks by Olives Et Al were a particular highlight – a mix of Kalamata and Amfissa olives bathed in a juicy marinade of rosemary, garlic and tomato – these were no ordinary supermarket affair.

Hampers have undoubtedly come a long way since the Victorians handed them out on Boxing Day a couple of hundred years ago. But what endures is the magical experience of unboxing and discovery – and The British Hamper Company capture this perfectly.


Sophie Green

Sophie Green is PR Manager for a designer flash sale website and part-time fashion blogger, having founded her fashion and shopping blog Lafashionfolie.com in 2012. Finding a passion for the industry at a young age, Sophie studied Fashion Communications at university and has worked in the industry for over a decade, heading up the PR departments of several fashion and fine jewellery brands. Through her fashion blog she has worked on campaigns with brands including UGG Australia, La Redoute and Headmasters and counts sitting opposite Anna Wintour at the Topshop Unique LFW show as a career highlight! Outside of work Sophie likes to unwind by hitting the gym for a boxing class or ‘researching’ the best G&T’s the capital has to offer. Her fashion obsession is sequins, with an entire section of her wardrobe dedicated to all things-sparkly!