Elegantly filled with all manner of delights, nothing beats a gourmet hamper as the ultimate Christmas gift. It’s easy to buy great hampers, but it’s just not the same as putting one together yourself. Here are a few of my tips on how to create an exceptional hamper this Christmas.
Choose items you’ve discovered and fallen in love with on your travels. Be it that Reblochon cheese you tried in the French Alps or the full-bodied Montepulciano you sipped in Tuscany.
Balance is Key
Ensure you have a balance of sweet and savoury, and of solid and liquid items. Consider who you are giving it to and make sure there’s an item in there for everyone, young and old.
It’s a Present, so…
You’ve bought wonderful food items so don’t make presentation an afterthought. Be sure to pick a really elegant wicker hamper and carefully line the inside with an attractive filling like crepe or straw to neatly pack your items.
My Dream Christmas Hamper
Fulvio Pierangelini's balsamic vinegar, Verdura Resort
This is aged for a long time in the same bottle which gives it its concentrated flavour and sweetness. It doesn’t contain any colourings or sweeteners and is the best I've ever tasted.
Cheeses from Paxton & Whitfield, London
Paxton & Whitfield are the UK’s best cheesemongers and source amazing cheeses from the UK and Europe.
Smoked salmon from The Balmoral, Edinburgh
The Balmoral’s head chef works with local smokehouse, Belhaven to create an exclusive recipe. The salmon is cold smoked over whisky barrel chippings from Scottish distilleries, which gives it a unique flavour.
Chocolates from Pierre Marcolini, Brussels
I love master chocolatier, Pierre Marcolini’s Brussels store. He creates the most imaginative, delicious confections.
Glühwein from The Charles Hotel, Munich
The Charles Hotel’s homemade glühwein (German mulled wine) is wonderfully aromatic and authentic.
Cold cuts from Roscioli, Rome
From bresaola to prosciutto, family-run gourmet deli, Roscioli supply superior meats in Rome.
Olive Oil from Societa Agricola, Verdura Resort
This wonderful hand-picked and cold pressed oil comes from Verdura Resort’s own estate in Sicily.
Image credit: Roscioli © Maurizio Camagna & Paxton & Whitfield cheese © Paxton & Whitfield