Christmas presents for drinks lovers

by Stewart 4. November 2013 18:46

There are so many different luxury tipples out there that it can be hard to decide on just one. If you want to buy someone an extra special bottle this year then we can help; here are our five favourite wines, ports and champagnes:

1.     Don Ramos Rioja 2010
This is a fabulous rioja for wine drinkers that aren’t familiar with the Spanish rioja. Described on the label as an ‘approachable’ wine it embodies the classic characteristics of a Tempranillo.

You can expect to taste strawberries and spice while drinking, making this the perfect wine for Christmas time.

2. Ventisquero Pinot Noir Reserva
A high quality red with a complex taste; this pinot noir has a fresh taste with notes of cherry and vanilla.

The finish is long and smooth with notes of spice and fresh red fruits.

This pinot noir should be served at 12-15oC and should be enjoyed alongside game, white meat, steamed fish or pasta.

3. Castell Llord Cava Brut
A fantastic festive treat is on the cards with this beautiful bubbly.

Made from local Spanish grape varieties this is a clean cava made by the traditional methods with second fermentation occurring in the bottle.

The wine lover in your life will enjoy sharp citrus flavours and a satisfyingly dry finish.

4. Taylor's Fine Ruby Port
Taylor’s port is the perfect after dinner drink for the wine lover at Christmas time.

A smooth and elegant drink that remains fruity and intense it epitomises the Christmas drink.

It is fantastic when served with blue cheese or dark chocolate and berries.

5. Bollinger Champagne
If you really want to treat the wine lover in your life then a bottle of Bollinger is the most luxurious Christmas gift you can buy.

The tastes of pear, brioche and fresh walnut are the most notable as well as a hint of spice.

This is the perfect tipple for Christmas morning.

For more sumptuous beverages have a look at our port, wine and cheese hampers.



Secret santa gifts for the boss

by Stewart 31. October 2013 19:21

When buying a secret santa for the boss there’s always the potential for disaster but this needn’t be the case. In fact, you can have a lot of fun buying a super Christmas gift for those in charge!
Here’s how:

1. An inspiring biography

If he or she is a real business mogul then a biography of one of the world’s best businessmen or women is a fantastic present and might really please your boss.

Try Richard Branson’s “Losing my Virginity” or “Wild Company” by Mel and Patricia Ziegler.

2.  A great bottle of wine

If your boss is over eighteen then a bottle of wine is likely to hit the spot. From riojas to viogners there’s a vast selection of choices for both taste and price.

If you want to jazz up your present then why not personalise the bottle with their name and a Christmas message.

3. A smartphone cover

A great cheap present that is functional too.

You can choose to go funny and have a picture of your boss or a particular catchphrase of theirs written on the cover.

4. A gift hamper

If your boss is hard to buy for then a hamper filled with Christmas goodies is just the thing.

You can add luxury mince pies, a bottle of red or white wine, chocolates and even a slate cheeseboard to your gift to make it even more special.

5. Office snacks gift box

A subscription to some healthy office snacks is a wonderful idea and one that a health conscious boss is sure to appreciate.

With so many companies delivering direct to your office door all you have to do is choose your treats and click send.

For a wealth of Christmas hamper ideas and inspiration have a look at our Luxury Christmas Hampers page.

Surprise office Christmas gifts

by Stewart 25. October 2013 02:08

If your office is lacking Christmas cheer and festive spirit then a surprise present is a fabulous way to add some much needed sparkle to everyone’s day.
Small presents for everyone can turn Christmas at work into a really special occasion.
Here are our five favourite surprise Christmas gifts for the office:
1. Cupcakes
A box of Christmassy cupcakes will go down a storm amongst your colleagues and surprising them with a sweet treat with their cuppa is a thoughtful gesture. 

There are many great places to purchase cupcakes these days – from cupcake boutique to locally bakeries - but there is something extra special about homemade goodies.
2. Coffees
Surprises don’t need to be expensive or showy; giving everyone a festive coffee from the local shop is a lovely idea and may even warm the heart of the office Grinch! 

Ginger, mint and even Christmas pudding flavoured coffees are available if you’d like to add some extra sparkle to your gift.
3. Christmas cards
In the digital age sometimes it can feel as if people have forgotten the real traditions of Christmas.

Receiving a Christmas card from a colleague is a lovely feeling and will make everyone smile, especially if they are handmade…get the kids to help!
4. Chutneys
A small jar of chutney for a Christmas cheese board would be a unique surprise gift for your workmates. 

You can buy jam, chutney and other preserves in mini jars which will make the gift less expensive but extra special.
5. If all else fails give wine
If you are out of ideas then a bottle of wine for each of your colleagues is sure to make them smile.


Arriving on the final day of work with surprise bottles of wine for everyone will get all of you in the mood for Christmas. 

For more office Christmas gifts have a look at our Corporate Hamper Range.

5 little known Christmas facts

by Stewart 25. October 2013 02:04

At Christmas Hamper we love Christmas! So much so that we’ve discovered these five little known festive facts:

1. Christmas crackers were inspired by fire
In 1840, Thomas Smith brought the bon bon from Paris to the UK and sold it wrapped in tissue paper from his stall in London.

One night while sitting by the fire, Thomas heard the crackling and was inspired to add a little festive bang to his paper bon bons.

Seven years later and Thomas had developed his idea into the Christmas cracker we all know and love.

2. Christmas was once cancelled!
In 1647, the English parliament passed a law that made Christmas illegal. Puritan Oliver Cromwell banned the holiday believing that feasting and celebrating on a holy day was immoral.

Any person caught celebrating Christmas between 1647 and 1660 was arrested; the ban was only overturned when the Puritans lost power in 1660.

3. What are “colley birds”?
The popular Christmas song “12 days of Christmas” features “four calling birds” but this lyric was originally “four colley birds”.

Colleys are ye olde English for the blackbirds that we find in our gardens throughout the year and one of the most common birds in Britain.

4. Oh deer Rudolph
Rudolph the red nosed reindeer is a lovely story but the origins of this much loved Christmas character isn’t so child-friendly.

Norwegian scientists have theorized that this peculiar condition probably came from a parasitic infection of the reindeer’s nervous system which caused nasal inflammation.

Definitely not a story for the kids!

5. How tall?
According to the Guinness World Book of Records the tallest Christmas tree ever displayed was the 221-foot Douglas Fir that was placed in the Northgate Shopping Centre in Seattle, Washington for Christmas 1950.

That’s higher than Scotland’s tallest tree which measured in at 209ft in 2009!

For a Scottish Christmas without the record-breaking tree visit our Scottish Christmas Hamper page.

Christmas gifts for staff and their families

by Stewart 21. October 2013 19:46

Showing staff that you think of their life outside of work is a great way to demonstrate your thanks.

Choosing gifts for families can be a lot of fun and there are many different options to consider.

Here are our top 5 gifts for staff and their families:

 1. A day out

A day out with the whole family can become expensive so your staff will really appreciate tickets for the local theme park or a trip to a Christmas panto.

Such a great experience will mean that staff feel truly appreciated by their employers and are more likely to perform well.

 2. A board game

Cranium, Pictionary and Monopoly are great for wiling away the time at Christmas.

When mum and dad are busy in the kitchen or wrapping presents, an exciting new board game will be a great addition to any household.

3. A membership

A family membership to the zoo or cinema is a gift that keeps on giving.

Whether it’s during the long summer holidays or on a rainy weekend, your staff will thank you for putting the thought into this one.

4. A gift hamper

A hamper filled with treats for the whole family is a fantastic present for staff and their families.

Pop in a bottle of wine for mum and dad as well as some biccies for the kids and maybe a selection of hot chocolates for everyone to share.

5. A donation

If you think your employees and their families would appreciate a gift of good will then make a donation to charity in their name.

You could even sponsor an animal at the zoo, buy mosquito nets for Oxfam or donate to a charity of your staff’s choice.

For more Christmas present inspiration head to our Christmas Hampers page.

Personalised office Christmas gifts

by Stewart 21. October 2013 19:28

Christmas is almost upon us and the list of presents to buy just keeps growing!
Buying gifts for colleagues can be great though, especially if you add a bit of fun to each present.

Personalising Christmas gifts is a good idea and add a little extra razzmatazz to traditional gifting.

Here are our favourite personalised gifts for colleagues:

1. Wine or champagne

An easy present with a thoughtful twist; these bottles can be personalised with the recipient’s name and even an image if you’d like.

With bottles of red and white as well as champagne there is a tipple to fit the biggest and smallest of budgets as well as personal preference.

2. Mouse mats

You can personalise almost anything these days and one of our favourite ideas has to be putting pictures of family and friends on a mouse mat!

You can upload your pictures online and have the finished articles delivered to your door. Simple as that.

3. Mugs

There is nothing stranger than the obsessive feelings people have for their coffee mug at work and nothing worse than spotting a colleague drinking from your cup.

Solve the problem by purchasing a personalised mug for everyone; from simple initials to embarrassing photos, you can have some fun here.

4. An office calendar

If you can gather enough evidence - sorry, photographs - to compile a calendar then you are on to a winner.

An embarrassing photo for each month will provide the whole office with a laugh for the rest of the year.

5. Notebooks

Bin the boring stationary and give everyone a notebook with their name embossed.

From luxurious brown leather to bright pink and fluffy there is a multitude of options and a choice for all budgets.

This way no-one will mix up your important project with their weekly shopping list!

If you’d like more office Christmas gift inspiration visit our Christmas Gifts page.

Christmas gifts for male colleagues

by Stewart 21. October 2013 18:46

Men may be tough to buy for but we have compiled a definitive guide to gifts for male colleagues to help you cope during the secret Santa season.

Here are our five suggestions for success:

1. Wine and cheese

A lovely bottle of red wine and some seriously flavoursome blue cheese is a great idea; especially for recipients to take home and share with their partner.

If he doesn’t like cheese then why not add some chocolates to his present for a gift nobody can resist.

2. A good book

Books are a pastime that everyone can enjoy; whether he is a fan of sci-fi or enjoys travelling, there will be a read out there that suits his interest.

With so much reading now done online, there's something a little luxurious about reading a traditionally bound, hardback book.

3. Memorabilia

Most men have a hidden inner geek; at some point in his life he’s sure to have hidden behind the sofa enjoying episodes of Dr Who or spent hours gaming on a Sega Mega Drive!

If you know what his passion is then why not buy him a gift to suit. Dr Who Monopoly could be a great place to start.

4. A bottle of whisky

If you know that your recipient enjoys a wee dram, then a bottle of whisky is the answer to your Christmas gifting prayers.

To show that you’ve put in extra effort, why not have his name printed on the bottle label for a gift that becomes a keepsake?

5. Gadgets and toys

It’s true that men are just big kids so any kind of gadgetry will be a sure fire winner at Christmas.

A miniature remote controlled helicopter will provide hours of fun around the office and a classic rubix cube is still as challenging as it was in the 80s!

If you think cheese and wine are his thing then pop over to our cheese and wine hampers page for more inspiration.

Office Christmas gifts to share

by Stewart 17. October 2013 21:04

Whether you’re working in a big office or a tiny one it’s important to spread the Christmas cheer during the festive season.

A gift that everyone in the office can share is a great idea and one that will be sure to put you in the good books amongst your colleagues.

Here are our top five sharing gift ideas:

1. Chocolates
It seems like an obvious choice but chocolates really are the common denominator for most people!

A box of high quality choccies will please everyone and you can even give a selection including diabetic-friendly and lactose free treats.

2. Home baking
If you fancy yourself as the next Mary Berry then whip something up in the kitchen and package it nicely for a gift that goes the extra mile.

You could even personalise your baking for each of your colleagues by icing their name or producing a handmade gift tag.

3. A Christmas hamper
You can find Christmas hampers to suit any size of office; a basket filled with luxury biscuits and mince pies is a great gift to bring along to your office party and doesn’t need to cost the earth.

4. A bottle of wine
If it’s your last day in the office before the

Christmas break then bringing a bottle of wine to work is perfectly acceptable.

A glass at the end of the day is a lovely way to say goodbye to each other for Christmas; just remember the soft drinks for the drivers!

5. A board game
Our office is full of fun around Christmas and sometimes it’s great to just embrace the festive season!

A classic game such as Charades or Pictionary will get everyone involved.

Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, twister is a hilarious game to play with your colleagues.

For more gifts for the whole office visit our Corporate Christmas gifts page.

Christmas gifts for co-workers you don't know

by Stewart 12. October 2013 00:23

Ever been faced with the potentially awkward situation of gifting to a co-worker you don’t know very well, if at all?

Whether you’re taking part in a secret Santa or required to buy gifts on behalf of a more senior member of staff, purchasing for someone you’ve never met can be an exciting challenge.

Here are our five favourite tips to make the seemingly unachievable, achievable:

1. Consider Etiquette

Ethical, cultural and religious persuasions are worth bearing in mind when purchasing a gift.

Politically charged or potentially controversial gifts are a no-no; it pays to err on the side of caution when buying for someone you may not know.

2. Avoid a gift card or voucher

Nothing screams ‘I didn’t know what to get you’ like a gift voucher. Although it may be tempting, gift cards aren’t memorable gifts.

What’s more, your recipient will be able to put an immediate monetary amount on their Christmas gift and how much you value them as well.

3. Stay away from smellies

A handmade bar of soap or luxury body wash might be the perfect present for a friend but for someone with sensitive skin or allergies, skincare items are best avoided; unless you can speak to someone who knows the recipient and is able to recommend their favourite perfume.

In which case you’re onto a winner!

4. The gift of giving

Having something to share – such as chocolates – can be a fantastic ice breaker in a social situation.

If your recipient is opening their gifts with others, why not consider a present that can be shared with the group?

A gift bag full of foodie treats is a fail safe and memorable way to delight your recipient and their friends.

5. Homemade charm

If you have the time to do so, a homemade gift is one way of going the extra mile. 

How about buying a coffee mug, popping in a bag of artisan coffee and making your own ‘coffee spoons’ – wooden spoons dipped in chocolate and rolled in chopped nuts and sprinkles?

Still stuck for ideas? Our selection of staff Christmas hampers are a fantastic gift for recipients you have yet to meet as well as those you know well.

Christmas gifts for cheese lovers

by Stewart 11. October 2013 23:52

If you’ve got a long Christmas list then you’ll no doubt be thinking of gift ideas already.

Knowing what your friends and family’s interests are is a great first step towards Christmas present success! Identifying a love of one particular product is the way to really guarantee a great present.

Here are our gift ideas for cheese lovers:

Larder goodies

Cheese is a fantastic treat as it goes with so many wonderful tastes. The perfect gift for cheese lovers is a selection of products for the larder that will make their cheese board extra special.

Beautiful handmade chutneys are a great place to start as they can elevate a normal snack to a luxury treat, which is what we all deserve at Christmas.

High quality oatcakes and crackers as well as some tasty pate will complete your gift selection.

A cheese knife

With prices varying hugely from tens to hundreds there is definitely a cheese knife out there to suit every budget and it is the perfect choice for a real cheese addict.

If you suspect that everyone else might buy the recipient a luxury cheese and other edibles then this is the perfect option for you.

If your cheese lover is really dedicated, why not have the knife engraved with a personalised message for a truly special memento.

A cheese making kit

If you think that the recipient might be interested in how cheese is made then a 'make your own cheese' kit is a fantastic present and one that the whole family can get involved with.

Kits for both hard and soft cheeses are available so you can tailor your choice specifically to your recipient for a Christmas present that will really be remembered.

For more ideas for cheese lovers visit our Cheese & Wine Gifts page.

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