A few people have been looking for ideas on how to put their own hampers together, which I think is a great idea. You get to really personalise to the gift recipient’s own tastes, and you can spend what you want to. Here’s some thoughts on ideas for different themes:
For the tea lovers
You could pack into a teapot, or generous mug, all kinds of tea paraphernalia. I’ve already written about the lovely teas from Bellevue Tea, and these would look attractive in a hamper. Whittard have good tea paraphernalia, like a tea infuser or even a tea bag squeezer, not to mention unusual loose teas. Another option for containing all your gifts, or as an add on, is a tea caddy. I like the bright Union Jack one from Emma Bridgewater, or try John Lewis if you want more traditional looking caddies. And you should probably add some lovely biscuits or cake, just to set up the perfect tea drinking treat.
For the BBQ Lover
Assuming that you are not going to pack this inside a Weber BBQ, we’ll think smaller but still useful. If you want an unusual book, I highly recommend Extreme BBQ, definitely one for the enthusiast. I would consider some good sauces and spices, like the chilli sauces from Gringley Gringo, and I really like the spices and seasonings from Steenburgs. I would think of adding in some of the unusual things like the Indian Fish Rub, just for a change. They are bound to need good tongs, and perhaps an oven glove. And then you could add something like bottles of ketchup, a squeezy tomato dispenser, and maybe the madness that is the condiment gun!
For the cake baker
You could wrap all this up in a cake tin, although I don’t suggest the popular caterpillar cake tin for this, too many bumps! I do love silicone cases, both for ease of use and for lovely colours, like the heart shaped ones from Lakeland. All bakers will need more wooden spoons, and you could also add in things like cookie cutters, sprinkles and sugars. I really like Splat who have more of everything than I could ever need! You could also add cake liners, doilies and paper cake cases. This will be a really pretty looking gift.
For the first time foodie
This could be for a foodie in the making, or someone about to leave home for the first time. This isn’t about all the big bits of equipment, more the things you need to help make cooking easier. I would put things in like wooden spoons and measuring spoons, a kitchen timer and an appropriate apron (I still really like the many unique choices at Not On the High Street). You could even go for bales of tea towels and dish cloths, but I would also add some fun stuff like a good beginners cookbook. For students, I would recommend From Pasta to Pancakes, written by a student who loved to cook.
Just four ideas to get you going, a few more to follow pre Christmas. I would say let your imagination run wild, and think of using part of the gift as the container for everything else. Do just remember that you have got to wrap the thing, so don’t make it too awkward a shape!
Photo of one awkward shape to wrap up by harryalverson over on Flickr.