Hampergifts review

IMG_5220‘Eat, Drink and be Merry!’ If ever there is a time when this phrase can be said to be true it’s at Christmas. Traditionally we fill our tummies fit to burst and drink wine and punches as we play host to family gatherings. Of course selecting and purchasing many and varying treats can be time consuming, and buying a hamper either for yourself or a friend is the perfect way to relax and enjoy the season. I was lucky enough to be sent a Christmas hamper from the good folks at Hampergifts to review.

IMG_5191While I adore wicker baskets and use them for storage, I’ve never actually bought or received a real food hamper before. So when the Christmas Celebration hamper crossed my threshold I was over the moon! On opening I was greeted by this wondrous beauty filled to the brim with delicious treats and wines.

IMG_5202The hamper itself was beautifully constructed from willow with leather straps and a lined fabric interior. There is something quintessentially British about hampers and to me they conjure up images of the Wind in the Willows with Ratty boating along with his companion Mole. However at the end of the day the contents is just as important as the presentation.IMG_5203

The hamper contained:

  • Bottle of Sandeman Fine Ruby Port 75cl
  • Bottle of Coteaux d Aix-en-Provence, Château de Beaulieu, France, 75cl AWARD WINNER
  • Bottle of Beaujolais La Cle Saint Pierre, France, 75cl
  • Bottle of White Burgundy Bouchard Aîné Fils, France 75cl
  • Baronie Assorted Belgium Pralines 200g
  • Cairnsmhor Crushed Black Pepper Crackers 150g AWARD WINNER
  • Chocolaterie Diane Praline 75g
  • Cottage Delight Cheese Maker’s Pickle 115g AWARD WINNER
  • Edinburgh Preserves Port Wine Jelly For Cheese & Pate 227g
  • Alice McPhersons Petticoat Tails Luxury Shortbread 150g
  • 4 x Deep Filled Iced Mince Pies 300g
  • Dark Chocolate Coated Crystallised Ginger 150g
  • Cherry & Coconut Flapjack 120g
  • The Wooden Spoon Cranberry & Orange Sauce 113g
  • New English Teas English Afternoon Tea x 10 Envelopes
  • Traditional Brandy Christmas Pudding 100g
  • Hand Made Olive & Sesame Biscuits 100g
  • The Wooden Spoon Wholegrain Mustard & Spitfire Ale 42g
  • Triple Chocolate Gourmet Cookies 100g
  • Edinburgh Tea & Coffee Co. Medium Roast Coffee 56g
  • Lewis & Cooper Savoury Mustard & Coriander Biscuits Tin 200g
  • Lindt Excellence Mint Intense 100g
  • Olives Et Al Chilli & Garlic Olives 150g AWARD WINNER


IMG_6314Everything arrived exactly as described on the website, I felt like Christmas morning had already come! I am simply in awe of just how beautiful this hamper is inside and out! The tea is wonderful, the Triple Gourmet Chocolate cookies are amazingly moreish and the shortbread is like Christmas on a plate. I haven’t made it through all of the wine, but the White Burgundy Bouchard Aîné Fils is extremely smooth!IMG_6318

Would I recommend this product?

I fail to see how any recipient could even begin to be disappointed on receiving this hamper and I would whole heartedly recommend it.


Delivery was extremely quick and the hamper was handled with care by a very polite courier.

Value for money

At £135 this hamper may seem a considered purchase, but Hampergifts stocks other festive hampers ranging from £21.50 – £249.95 so cost needn’t be an issue. Saying that I do believe this particular hamper represents good value for money. The hamper basket alone would cost a significant amount elsewhere, when you add in the individual bottles of alcohol the hamper starts to seem like a really brilliant gift.

I’ve also been keeping my eyes open when I’ve spotted hampers elsewhere (such as highstreet stores) and this basket contained significantly more products every time.

Could it be improved in anyway?

I’d love to see a personalised hamper option where I could swap out certain items and replace with others of a similar value. As an example I don’t personally eat mince pies, so it would be wonderful if I could swap them for a Pandoro or Stollen instead.

Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair London!

IMG_4464Last week I was lucky enough to attend the Country Living Magazine press tea celebrating the launch of their Christmas Fair in London. The fair always showcases some amazing creative talent and really gets you in the festive mood.IMG_4465

If you missed the London fair or it’s too far to travel then fear not as the fair is moving first to Glasgow and then onto Harrogate. Full details can be found on the Country Living Fair website. Today I thought I’d showcase some of my favourite stalls, in fact it’s almost a Christmas Wish List as I loved them all so much!IMG_4467


Whinberry & Antler

The first stall that caught my eye was the wonderful Whinberry & Antler. Inspired by the British countryside Whinberry & Antler design and print textiles by hand to create sumptuous furnishings and homeware. As the proud owner of two seriously cute Hedgehogs I immediately fell in love with the Hedgehog print, it’s going on my wish list post haste!

My Aunt Agatha

My Aunt Agatha

My next discovery was My Aunt Agatha. A wonderful stall full of quirky and delightful handmade homeware products. This draft excluder reminds me of my own dog.

Willow Gromit

Willow Gromit

I couldn’t resist a photo of this fabulous willow Gromit by Fon Cosens, I usually think of Willow as such a traditional material but Fon proved that it’s also incredibly versatile in the right hands.

Lotus Blossom Textiles

Lotus Blossom Textiles

I don’t need a needle case (believe me I have many) and yet strangely I need one of these needle cases from Lotus Blossom Textiles! Or one of her beautiful textile pictures.

Laura Rose Textiles

Laura Rose Textiles

Keeping with textile artistry I also loved these gorgeous fabric pictures from Laura Rose Textiles, Laura can make custom pictures of your favourite memories or scenes and they are fabulous!

Godminster Cheese

Godminster Cheese

I like Cheese at the best of times but this amazing Vintage Organic Cheddar from Godminster was simply heavenly and even better it’s available in a heart shaped piece!

Benji Bennett

Benji Bennett

Next I met the lovely Benji Bennett who is the author of a fabulous range of childrens books inspired by the sudden passing of his 4 year old son Adam. Each book promotes love, laughter and play within families and makes perfect bedtime reading for parents to share with their little ones. I was so impressed with Benji’s books and his use of rhythm and language, I can’t wait to get one to read to my own little peeps.

Santa Claus Book

Santa Claus Book

On the subject of books I also came across this amazing display (it snowed!) of books called ‘Santa Claus: The Book of Secrets’. Perhaps a book for slightly older children as it’s chock full of writing and information, my eldest son is an avid reader and he would adore it.



Twine with a twist! This fabulous Twool garden twine is a British wool alternative to imported Jute, you can craft with it, knit with it, use it for gardening, floristry or gift wrapping and best of all it’s made from Whiteface Dartmoor Sheep wool! It actually makes me quite sad to write about this stall as I fully intended to buy some of their festive coloured twine and completely forgot to go back after I’d finished taking photos (it was a long day!) 🙁

London International Silver Company

London International Silver Company

Tucked away on the Mezzanine level was one of my favourite stalls the London International Silver Company  who made amazing antique handled goods such as magnifying glasses, paper knives, bottle openers and much more. They were so well crafted and unusual, a gift to treasure for years and years!

Daisy's Dog Deli

Daisy’s Dog Deli

Finally I can’t forget Mr Dog this Christmas and I loved the Christmas offerings from Daisy’s Dog Deli.

Advent Calendar Sewing Tutorial

With the festive season fast approaching I decided to share my tutorial to sew your very own advent calendar! I originally wrote this for the Boden Community which has now become the Boden Blog. You might just be able to find it if you scour through the archives, but it seemed far simpler to share it direct with my readers over here.

You Will Need

A hanger (I chose a lovely old wooden one)

2 pieces of fabric to make the background (mine measured 34cm X 48cm but this may vary depending on the size of your hanger)

1 piece of fleece fabric 34cm X 48cm

4 pieces of ribbon approximately 28cm in length

35cm piece of ric rac or ribbon

5 pieces of fabric measuring 12cm X 36cm each

24 mini luggage labels

24 mini gold safety pins

24 Sweets of your choosing.

Step 1

Begin by pinning the two background pieces of fabric together (right sides facing). Then place on top of the fleece fabric (I used an old blanket to cut the fleece from). Sew down one long side, across the bottom and back up the other side, leaving the top free. Iron the pieces together and then trim the fleece back close to your stitches, also trim the corners to aid turning.

Step 2

Turn the fabric the right way out and iron flat again, tuck in approximately 1cm of fabric at the open edge and iron ready for sewing. I chose to hang the calendar using pretty ribbon. Fold the 4 pieces of ribbon in half and tuck into the top open edge of your calendar. Sew across the open edge of the calendar, making sure to catch the ribbon as you go. For a little extra decoration I laid a piece of matching ric rac across my stitches at the top and sewed into place (ribbon would also work). You’ve now completed the background piece.

Step 3

Time to make the pockets! On each piece of fabric turn over 1cm of fabric along one of the longer sides. Iron and then turn another cm over and iron again, this is the top edge of each set of pockets. Now turn each remaining edge over 1cm and iron. Machine stitch just the top edges of the pockets, leaving the other edges free.

Step 4

Position each set of pockets evenly across the background fabric and pin. Machine stitch across the bottom of each pocket and then around the entire edge of the calendar. You will now have 5 large pockets. In my example the first 4 rows have 5 pockets and the final row has 4 larger pockets. To create this you need to machine across each large pocket several times to make smaller pockets. On the first four rows I did this at approximately 6 ½cm intervals. On the final row I sewed at approximately 8cm intervals.

Step 5

To make the calendar numbers I bought some small luggage labels from a Stationary shop. I cut them down just slightly to make them smaller. Using a red and green crayon I then stencilled a number onto each label. These are then pinned to each pocket on the calendar using mini gold safety pins (again picked up from a Stationary shop).

Step 6

Decide who the calendar is for and fill each pocket with an appropriate sweet or gift. It could even serve two or three lucky recipients, just pop a couple of extra sweets in each pocket. Now you have an attractive and reusable advent calendar that should serve you for many years to come.