Tip: Create your own bespoke Christmas Hamper

Sometimes it’s hard to know what to give parents, friends or older relatives at Christmas. I always think that Christmas hampers are a lovely present that last well into the New Year. Searching through the catalogues to pick the right hamper can be difficult and if you leave it too late you may well find that the hamper you wanted has sold out.  So I was really pleased earlier this week when one of our readers contacted me to point out that Waitrose are doing a “Create your own Gift Crate” service this year for just £5.

Waitrose build your own crate

Waitrose build your own crate 2015

They seem to have a couple of designs but at the time of writing the one shown above is the only one currently in stock. Click here to see it.

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Waitrose Christmas Delivered Brochure 2015

I picked up a copy of the new Waitrose Christmas Delivered brochure while I was waiting at the checkout this morning. It’s a useful overview of all the products and services available from Waitrose online this Christmas:

Waitrose Christmas Delivered Brochure 2015 Front Cover

Their gift guide includes hampers and over food and drink items. So todays tip from me is….. if you think you want to buy someone a hamper for Christmas this year, order it early. I’ve often found that the most popular hampers sell out early at Waitrose and John Lewis and probably most other stores.

I’ve scanned a few more pages from the Waitrose 2015 Christmas Delivered Brochure and you can see these online.  Over the coming days I hope to pick out a few favourite items to feature on the blog.  Have a look through and let me know what you like.

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Waitrose Christmas Harvest 2013 Booklet

I received a copy of Waitrose Christmas Harvest 2013 Booklet at the weekend and it’s a really well put together free mini Christmas cookbook full of ideas.

Waitrose Christmas 2013 Harvest Booklet

Waitrose Christmas 2013 Harvest Booklet

The front cover reads “Waitrose Christmas Harvest 2013. Celebrate the very best of the season’s fruit and vegetables” and in the top righthand corner it says “32 festive recipes inside”.  Waitrose produce a number of leaflets, booklets and brochures each Christmas.  ‘Harvest’ is their monthly or b-monthly booklet or magazine looking at what great British foods are in season that month.

It’s a good quality and well put together little booklet and well worth getting your hands on for a copy.  The recipes include:

  • Festive Negroni
  • Spiced Christmas Cup
  • Cauliflower bhajis with raita
  • Mini welsh rarebits
  • Beetroot Croustades
  • Chicory Scoops
  • Iced Snowballs
  • Sweet Santa’s hats
  • Mixed mushrooms on toasted focaccia
  • Roast turkey with citrus & herb butter
  • Mixed vegetables & Nut Roast Loaf
  • Turkey Gravy
  • Honey Glazed Roast Carrots & Parsnips
  • Crunchy roast potatoes
  • Classic Brussels Sprouts
  • Apricot & Pecan stuffing balls
  • Creamy Bread Sauce
  • Easy Cranberry Sauce
  • Cranberry & Limoncello Semifreddo
  • Christmas Pudding
  • Root vegetable & Rice Galette
  • Beetroot & Cabbage slaw
  • Orange, onion & chicory salad
  • Mulled clementine jellies with chocolate ganache
  • Roasted butternut squash with lentils & sage
  • Carrot, cumin & beetroot crumble
  • Rib of beef with port jus
  • Roasted shallots
  • Port-braised spiced red cabbage
  • Pecan & bourbon tart

My husband particularly liked the look of the Pecan & bourbon tart so no doubt we’ll be trying that recipe soon.



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Advent Calendar on sale before we’ve even had Halloween.

I know we say it every year, but the shops seem to get ready for Christmas a little bit earlier every year.  As far as I’m concerned selling advent calendars before we’ve even had Halloween is ridiculous.  Although I normally love Waitrose  I was disappointed to stand in line at the checkout this morning and find myself looking at a display of Advent Calendars.

Advent Calendar on sale before we've even had Halloween.


Who seriously went out shopping on Saturday the 6th of October, stood inline at the checkout, spotted these advent calendars and thought to themselves, fantastic that’s just what I needed and bought one?  I’d love to know how many Waitrose sold on 6th October.  Advent doesn’t even start until 2nd December this year!  Sorry to pick on Waitrose, I’m sure the other supermarkets were doing similar but that’s where I was shopping this morning and to be honest I expect better from them.

Let me know what you think and if you’ve seen any similar examples this early in the year.


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