At Great British Food, we love a good hamper. What better way of showing someone your appreciation than by giving them a big basket of luxurious treats?
Of course, there is a big difference between a good hamper and a great one; the finestones get the biggest reactions and contain the best food and drink, specially chosen with that person in mind.
We spoke to Clare Underwood, founder of luxury hamper company Under Fine Wraps, for her advice on what to include in the perfect hamper.
Every great hamper needs a bottle (or two) of the finest wine. Nothing screams luxury quite like a bottle of the good stuff. Ideally you want something classy that tastes great but also goes with a lot of different meals. This way, the recipient of your hamper has a bottle of wine they can go to for almost every meal.
Now, you can either choose one bottle of white, one bottle of red, or one of each. For those white wine enthusiasts, Clare suggests a premium Australian white; Murphy Vineyards Unoaked Chardonnay is a very popular choice amongst her customers. It’s got a lovely fresh taste that’s not too overpowering – perfect to have with white meat dishes such as chicken.
If you’re looking for a quality red wine, then you need to turn your attention to France. Clare recommend a wonderful Chateauneuf du Pape from the Rhone Valley region. It’s full-bodied and bursting with flavour – an ideal addition to any wine-themed hamper
Everyone loves a good curry, and you can bring the takeaway right into your home by including some delicious curry sauces in a hamper. You have a whole range of choices at your disposal with many different curry bases from luxury brands such as Punjaban. These sauces are full of flavour and taste like an authentic Indian curry. If you feel like braving the heat, Clare recommends the Naga Chilli Extra Hot curry sauce. For anyone with milder tastes, there is an authentic mild curry sauce as well.
Not only do you get the curry sauce, but you can also at some chutney, naan bread, and rice kits too. The sweet mango chutney from Punjaban goes brilliantly with any curry as it provides some additional sweetness.
A delicious bottle of beer is a must-have item for every great hamper – it’s especially good for Father’s Day. The key is ensuring you choose a beer that’s a little bit unique and not something you can get from a supermarket.
If we’re talking about great beers, what better place to go than Germany? Clare suggests one from the top premium brand in Germany, Krombacher. For fans of bitter lagers, you should choose the Krombacher Pilsner which is very aromatic as well as having a slight bitterness. Then, there’s the Krombacher Dark which is definitely for the beer connoisseurs out there. It’s got such a complexity of flavours, you can spend hours deliberating over what it tastes like. Finally, there’s the fruity Krombacher Weizen, a wheat beer that’s ever so refreshing.
Few things scream ‘celebration’ quite like a bottle of prosecco, and the hamper experts at Under Fine Wraps are adamant you include one in your hamper. The mere sight of a prosecco bottle immediately lifts the look of a hamper and makes it seem more luxurious. Plus, it’s a great drink to crack open for a celebration, and as most hampers are given as gifts it’s a match made in heaven!
Clare says the choice of Prosecco is very important as you can taste the difference between a cheap one and a luxurious one. She recommends a premium bottle of Castello 4357 Prosecco Brut Fabiano. It’s yellow in colour with some lovely floral notes and the sneakiest hint of apple. A real premium brand straight from the stunning Verona region of Italy.
Chocolate is, of course, a must-have item. It’s always a crowd-pleaser and there are some seriously gourmet varieties out there. According to Clare, truffles are always a great option.
“You can’t order truffles if they’re not from Belgium. Belflair Chocolates Assorted Truffles are to die for. They’re handcrafted from artisan Belgian chocolatiers to give them really authentic taste. Plus, they’re packaged very cutely too,” she says.
Finally, Clare’s sixth item for a great hamper is cheese; the question is, what to include? Of course, there are so many cheeses to choose from, but you’re really looking for a premium cheese that will last a long time. Clare says it’s a good idea to have a little cheeseboard including various different varieties. She says a Cropwell Bishop Stilton, Sparkenhoe Red Leicester, and Lincolnshire Poacher all go brilliantly together. Combine with some Stag Stornoway water biscuits and Vivia Crump’s chutney for the ultimate hamper feast.
For more information on the perfect hamper visit underfinewraps.co.uk