Lift the lid on a wicker-full of delicious nibbles, bubbles and surprises – from gorgeous coffees, wines and champagne to decadent biscuits, preserves and chocolates …These hampers and gift boxes are guaranteed to leave the recipient feeling appreciated and spoilt rotten!
Featured Image; Lismore Food Company.
1. Heart of Spain, Co Cork
Cork-based Heart of Spain hampers are filled with authentic gourmet food and drink from artisan producers in the Castilla and León region. They are curated by owner Alejandro Garrote, a native of Salamanca. Hampers include the Castilla Y Leon Hamper (Christmas Edition), €150, featuring two bottles of Spanish red wine – a Crianza and a Tempranillo, and a bottle of Verdejo white wine along with a suckling pig ham leg that serves two and comes ready to cook. It also includes a delicious sheep’s cheese, along with duck liver paté with Cognac, an artisan chorizo, two Iberian Cebo de Campo ham slices and a tin of rillettes. Sweet treats include two slabs of Turron, a box of Polvorones cookies, a jar of cherries in grappa syrup, and a jar of pears in wine. There’s also some great quality virgin olive oil and roasted red peppers along with a Heart of Spain apron and a Guide to Castilla Y Leon; www.heartofspain.ie.
2. The Lismore Food Company
The Lismore Food Company hamper range has extended this year and includes “The Dukes Line” – a celebration of the movement of goods in and out of Lismore on the old train line – which was built by the 7th Duke of Devonshire. Known as “The Dukes Line” an array of amazing food, drink, fresh fish, flowers and much more left Lismore to be enjoyed throughout Ireland and abroad! While the goods were placed on board at one end of the platform, all passengers and (it is said) the Duke’s horses boarded at the other end. The train also brought royalty to Lismore when King Edward VI arrived in 1904. This savoury hamper complements the gorgeous hot orange and gold Lismore Hat Boxes filled to the brim with delicious goodies; www.lismorefoodcompany.com.
With handy online orders and contact free delivery nationwide, WineLab, has three gift box options priced at €75 each. Every case offers a variety of three delicious wines, a Christmas card designed by Conor Merriman, and a lovely cheese board. For decisive drinkers, The Home Bird Case is a selection of classic wines such as Bodegas Arrocal. For a pal with a penchant for something a little different, The Adventurer Case (pictured) features a zingy Bodegas Casa Monte Pio. A sibling who fancies themself a sommelier is the ideal match for The Explorer Case, with a lively Succes Vinicola to get the Christmas party started. WineLab also offers the Build Your Own Gift from €53.50; www.winelab.ie.
4. Killruddery’s Farm Shop
Christmas Markets run every Saturday and Sunday at Killruddery, Bray, Co Wicklow (including December 22 and 23). Pick up a coffee in the Dairy Yard before browsing craft, clothing, wellbeing and vintage items from Irish brands such as Saille baskets, McNutts of Donegal, Herb Dublin and Sugarloaf Botanics. Why not order one of the estate’s posh hampers? The Killruddery Breakfast Hamper, €39, includes Brabazon blend coffee, McCabes Irish Breakfast Tea, Olly’s Farm Killruddery honey, preserves and apple juice. Treat yourself to brunch in The Grain Store where a garden-to-plate menu, created by head chef Niall O’Sullivan, is inspired by the produce grown and reared in Killruddery. www.killruddery.com.
It’s all in the details at Avoca – from the hand cut stars on the top of mince pies to the ribbon-tied cakes – which makes it a pleasure to unwrap one of its many Christmas hampers. These are suitable for everyone, from the self-proclaimed chef to the tablescaping expert and are packed with artisanal ingredients and delicious gifts in a range of prices and themes; www.avoca.com.
6. Brown Thomas
Brown Thomas’ classic hampers serve up extra-large helpings of festive cheer inside chic wicker baskets. Opulent treats such as homemade pralines, panettone, wine, champagne, chocolates, chutneys, and gourmet biscuits can be ordered, as can the iconic hampers from Fortnum & Mason. Not forgetting their hat boxes filled with the finest bottle of Moët Chandon Impérial Brut and not one, but two, impeccable boxes of Charbonnel et Walker truffles. Just the thing to kick-start any festive celebrations; www.brownthomas.com.
7. Fallon & Byrne
If you’re time pressed and bedazzled by choice at Fallon & Byrne, then The Christmas Concierge, located at the entrance to The Food Hall can help organise all your essentials for Christmas as well as hampers for gifting. Wrapped in sustainable and re-usable packing, choose from over 30 hampers with prices starting from €50 to €500, from the Hip Hip Hooray, €160, to the Wine and Cheese Please, €120 and the Absolutely Organic, €115; www.fallonandbyrne.com.
This family owned business has partnered with The Simon Community this Christmas, donating 50 per cent of all online purchases to the homeless charity. That’s an added incentive when perusing and ordering some of the gorgeous gift boxes. The Christmas gift box combines an indulgent range of six preserves. The star of the show is undoubtedly the new Caramel with Irish Cream Liqueur Sauce – made with Irish cream liqueur, Madagascan vanilla and dates. Folláin has also launched its beautifully designed 12 Days of Christmas gift box, containing a surprise mini pot of Folláin preserves hidden behind each seasonally illustrated window. The Folláin Christmas Gift Box includes two limited edition Folláin serving spoons and costs €30. The Folláin 12 Days of Christmas Gift Box comes with a gorgeous tote bag and costs €13.99; www.follain.ie.
9. The English Market, Cork
A foodie delight, The English Market brings together so many artisan food stalls, many of which are offering great hampers at affordable prices. One must visit is to Caroline and Frank Hederman of Belvelly Smokehouse; they are celebrating their fortieth Christmas in business, and the great honour of the Walter Scheel Medaille, a prestigious European award that recognises and rewards dedication to the preservation of local food heritage. Frank Hederman is the first Irish person to have won this medal. An essential part of any Christmas is some smoked salmon: you can find the Hederman’s shop in the fish aisle of the English Market, where they also sell delicious smoked fish pâtés, chowders, fishcakes and top-notch prepared dishes; www.frankhederman.com.
Other stallholders at The English Market offering hampers include The Roughty Foodie which has a Pure Cork gift basket from €25 – €160; www.theroughtyfoodie.ie Also worth investigating is On the Pigs Back, whose tasty hampers from €55 include everything from red onion marmalade and chicken liver pate, to salami plates, chutney and crackers all complimented by a wide variety of cheeses, condiments, chocolates, and a nice bottle of French Wine; www.onthepigsback.ie.
10. Vintage Cocktail Club
This month marks the Vintage Cocktail Club’s tenth anniversary since it opened on Crown Alley in Temple Bar. To mark the occasion, it has teamed up with Glencairn Crystal, Memo Bar Tools and White Collar Cocktail Company to create a chic Cocktail Mixing Kit, €80, as well as its 12 Cocktails of Christmas hamper, €120. This includes all you need to stir up favourite classic cocktail; www.vintagecocktailclub.com.
11. The Butler’s Pantry
The Festive Favourites hamper, €150, has everything needed to get any party started. Did you know The Butler’s Pantry offer a sommelier-curated range of fine wines which can also be delivered nationwide? Provenance is a priority; every bottle sourced is from small, boutique vineyards, which champion organic wines made from lesser known grape varieties. This hamper includes Bonnet Ponson Extra Brut Cuvee Perpetuelle’ Champagne, France; a bottle of rosé from Moulin de Gassac Guilhem, Languedoc, France; two bottles of Odisseia Little Odisseia, Duoro, Portugal, in addition to Garganega – Scuole Nel Vigneto, Veneto, Italy; www.butlerspantry.com.