Fluffy white snow may be heading to the UK this year if slightly absurd news outlets are to be believed. In such an eventuality would it make sense to order Christmas in a box, like Margot and Jerry did in the memorable episode of ‘The Good Life’. Well. . . theirs wasn't such a good idea, but with modern day express delivery is it a festive winner? Spicers of Hythe certainly think so, with sales of over 175,000 hampers last year alone. And we have a sampling of a beautifully styled split willow hamper aimed to be a more gifty affair, named the Winter Wonders Gift Basket. So here’s our trial of the quality and service.
What do you get?
Upon undoing the real leather straps (no magnets here) we see that Spicers of Hythe are generous when filling their hampers and do not leave dead space consumed by plastics and packaging like so many offerings often do. For your £50 you find a bottle of Captain's Table Shiraz Cabernet, a packet of Eternal Grocer Chocolate Coated Nuts & Raisins, a box of Guylian Opus Artisanal Belgian Chocolates, a small jar of Mrs Bridges Orange & Cranberry Christmas Marmalade, a box of Grandma Wild's Milk Chocolate Cranberry Biscuits, a Radfords Christmas Pudding Fudge bag, some Taste Hand Baked Rich Fruit Mince Pies and a box of Taste Savoury Cheese & Chive Biscuits. Totalling 8 products.
How Does it Taste?
Products are almost exclusively artisan in this hamper, and for good reason as our tongues have been pretty well entirely impressed with this bundle of unique treats. Let's start with the Shiraz Cabernet - this south eastern Australian wine is a special offering with fruity character and notes of citrus and cinnamon intertwined. A particularly palatable wine whether consumed with the savoury dry cheese & chive biscuits, or a sweeter offering such as the comforting crunchy Grandma Wild's cranberry biscuits lathered in milk chocolate.
Also we enjoyed the very traditional christmassy box of chocolate coated nuts & raisins which were a bit too moreish (oops) with chocolate that was notably creamy. Fudge can be too hard and too sweet. Well the Radfords Christmas Pudding fudge could have been crumblier for our liking, but everything else was spot on, with the mixed fruit and spices awarding each cube a unique winter warming passion. Similarly the Mrs Bridges Orange & Cranberry Christmas Marmalade isn't too sweet, with a firm texture and notes of flattering cranberry alongside a tangy orange aroma.
For us the most anticipated item within the Spicers of Hythe Winter Wonders Gift Basket were the large Taste Hand Baked Rich Fruit Mince Pies. They are indeed exquisitely rich, with a good ratio of extremely fruity mincemeat to light buttery shortcrust pastry. Meanwhile a box of Guylian chocolates were an unexpected addition in this artisan affair of products. But we couldn't refuse their melt in the mouth pleasure of unique flavours!
Spicers are trying hard to tempt those late last minute gift buyers, offering next day or named day delivery for their intended recipients within the UK for £9.14, or standard delivery within 1-5 working days for £7.14.
Stuck to find a gift for friends and family members this year? A hamper could be the answer. They’re charming but some can be full of false hope. This small taste of Christmas dressed in a luxury wicker hamper from Spicers of Hythe, called the Winter Wonders Gift Basket, hosts a tasty non-gimmicky flavoursome bundle which has a reasonably expansive selection of produce.