Design Classic: Fortnum & Mason hamper

Time to indulge...

Designer

Anonymous.

Details

2019 Christmas hampers, from £60.

Background

Dating back to the 1700s, Fortnum’s first hampers were created to meet the demands of well-heeled folk returning to their country estates after sojourns in London.

In fact, Piccadilly – Fortnum & Mason’s home in the capital since the early 18th century – was once filled with coaching inns, but the fare on offer was often poor. So wicker baskets containing pies, Scotch eggs, cheese, fruit and cake – not to mention flagons of beer and wine – were expertly prepared by the specialist grocer.

As the British Empire grew, so did the demand for Fortnum’s hampers. From the Congo to the Punjab, soldiers, civil servants, engineers and clerics gratefully received reminders of home in the shape of biscuits, jam, chutney and marmalade.

Today, the range extends from the Tea Basket, a scrummy festive scone tea for one, to the Imperial, a thoroughly indulgent (not to mention expensive) suite of hampers overflowing with the finest food and drink Fortnum’s can offer. The ultimate basketful of goodies…

See these Christmas table ideas.

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