With the amazing celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympic Games this year, the United Kingdom has really been in the spotlight. But one popular British tradition was never mentioned and that’s the giving and receiving of hampers in the UK.
If you aren’t from the UK, you might think of hampers as wicker baskets to put clothes in. But it has a completely different meaning in the United Kingdom. Hampers are basically lidded, wicker baskets filled with a variety of gourmet foods, treats and drinks that are given as gifts to family, friends or clients. Once a hamper is filled, it’s carefully packed with colourful shredded paper or wood wool and secured with by it’s leather straps. To add a final touch, it’s then wrapped in beautiful ribbons & bows, boxed up and delivered to the doorstep of one lucky recipient. Hampers are similar to gift baskets, as they really are food baskets, with the main emphasis on a variety of British foods tucked into a wicker hamper.
What makes hampers in the UK so special is really the choice of foods that go into the hampers. The selection can be quite pleasingly overwhelming and you might even think you’ve struck a culinary gold mine, the first time you open one. If it tastes good, it goes into the hamper…that’s the motto. Not only will you find many traditional British food favourites in a hamper, you might even find a few surprises. When we say surprises, we mean an award winning, sticky toffee pudding for two from a supplier well known in the North or a handmade carrot cake with frosting to die for from a superb place in Wales! These foods won’t be found in your local supermarket, so you really are giving something special as a gift.
The absolute next time you need to send a gift to a friend, family member or business client and haven’t really found anything inspiring, you need to seriously think about sending them a fabulous hamper from The Hamper and Gift People. Don’t be surprised if you receive the odd phone call from them saying “Where did you find that hamper company? The food was fantastic!” It’ll give your heart a warm glow knowing that your gift was so loved and appreciated that they actually took the time to phone and thank you. That’s what sending hampers in the UK is all about, making someone that you really care about feel extra special.
To explain in simple terms, food hampers are traditional wicker baskets filled with various types of foods and drinks, wrapped up and presented as gifts to family, friends and clients. Here’s how they originated and became what they are today.
Food hampers as we know them presently, date back to Victorian times and even beyond that. Typically at Christmas, wealthy Victorian families throughout England would package up seasonal foods in lidded wicker hampers and give them as gifts to their hired staff. These food hampers would have the necessary foods required to create a festive feast for their own families. During these times, it was a very lovely gift to recieve and the Victorians were known to be quite generous to their staff at Christmas time. There was also evidence of hampers given by charitable organisations that contained donated second hand clothing, household cleaning products and vegetables that helped needy families through financially difficult times.
As the industrial revolution expanded and railroads became more accessible throughout England and Europe, people found it easier to send food hampers by rail. Hence, the concept of sending food hampers from a distance was born. First on the commercial scene, was a small London retail shop that came up with the idea of sending food hampers as gifts for Christmas. The brainstorm caught on well and became an incredibly popular way of delivering gifts at Christmas in England. Other countries like the United States, Canada and Australia heard of this marvelous gift giving concept at Christmas and soon created their own versions of food hampers and gift baskets.
Hampers have come a long way since the Victorian times. From traditonal wicker baskets with loafs of bread, hard cheeses, seasonal fruit and vegetables to what’s available now, they’ve really become the smart gift to give. With the help of the industrial revolution, food & packaging innovations and the internet, today’s food hampers are the best ever. If you’re short of time you can choose from pre-selected hamper baskets that contain a wide variety of foods, chocolates, puddings and drinks. If that’s not what you’re after, you can also create your own hamper online in just a few minutes. This has proved to be a popular way to send hampers. With a wide selection of food categories to choose from, you simply pick the food items you want and go to checkout to complete your transaction. Add the delivery name & address and a personal message and you’re done. Within a short time, you’ll receive a confirmation of your order by email and estimated delivery date. Best of all, you’ve done this online in only a few minutes. The hassle of driving, parking and time it takes to shop has been completely removed. That’s convenience. Give it a try and take the stress out of your gift giving.