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A taste of Christmas: The best hampers from around the country

Katy McGuinness rounds up some of the seasonal delights on sale from our talented local artisan food and drink producers


Clever Women hamper

Clever Women hamper

Clever Women hamper

Abbert, Tuam various prices, Instagram: abbert_lifestyle_and_grocery

Sisters Aoife and Siobhan Flaherty have just turned their Gather restaurant into a lifestyle and grocery store, and will put together hampers featuring their own sweet and savoury goods as well as Irish artisan food and drink products (including cult favourite, Harry’s Nut Butter), candles, pottery, socks and skincare.

alltaBOX Everything In Between €195, 

allta’s Christmas provisions box is designed to feed 3 – 4 people generously in one sitting, or to be enjoyed by 2 people over a few days. It includes a selection of allta’s house charcuterie, their shiitake miso butter, a country terrine, damson & crab apple jelly, plus Christmas dinner stuffings, glazes, gravy and more. There’s also a pain perdu panettone with Teelings custard, Young Buck cheese, apple & pear chutney and a bottle of JM Gobillard Brut Premier Cru Champagne. A box of six Christmas wines can be added for €150, and a Booze BOX (€75) includes four Fierce Thirsty beers – a seasonal collaboration between allta, Big Romance and Whiplash, an allta cocktail (4 servings), Eric Bordelet sidre brut and a naggin of Teelings Whiskey. Available to order November 20th for delivery on December 23rd or 24th.

Ardkeen Stores, Waterford The Helvick, €50, www.ardkeen.com

Family-owned Ardkeen Stores has a brilliant range of hampers and can create bespoke versions and ship them anywhere in the world. The Helvick includes coffee from Coffee House Lane and spiced pear and date chutney from Befani’s of Clonmel, alongside a host of other products including lemon curd, elderflower and orange jam, and elderberry cordial, all from Irish artisan producers.

Blas Box from Blas na hÉireann, €110, info@irishfoodawards.com

Containing a selection of Blas-winning products from over the years, representing the best of Irish food and drink from the annual awards in Dingle, the Blas Box includes Christmas larder essentials from boozy drinks to hot drinks, sweet treats and savoury goodies. The Little Blas Box €20 includes two of the 2020 Blas winners, Velo Coffee from Cork and Clotilde’s Handmade Boozy Truffles from Co. Sligo.

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Brown Bag Cocktails, from €16, www.thetwelvehotel.ie

For those missing the buzz of a busy Pins Bar at The Twelve in Galway, there is a weekly cocktail selection that includes tipples such as Gorse Flower Margarita, The Twelve Old Fashioned, Daddy Cool Manhattan, a Porn Star Martini or a classic Espresso Martini. All Brown Bag Cocktails serve two people and come vacuum-packed with instructions on how to serve. A good stocking filler.

Bucket O’ Crisps, Keogh’s Farm, Co. Dublin, €18.99, www.keoghs.ie

As an alternative to the traditional selection box, those of more of a savoury inclination may prefer a limited edition tin containing 18 25g packets of crisps in three flavours including seasonal Turkey & Secret Stuffing, Cheese and Red Onion, and Atlantic Sea Salt.

Dunnes Stores Simply Better Hampers, from €50, www.dunnesstores.com

The Dunnes Stores Simply Better range continues to go from strength to strength and this year its hampers are available to order online from next month with free delivery nationwide, and to pick up in store. The €50 version includes essentials such as mince pies and Christmas cake, and a bottle of Pinot Grigio. There is a €100 version too.

Dromoland Castle Box, €195, www.dromoland.ie

This humdinger of a hamper includes everything from preserves and jams to bread in a bottle, hot chocolate, a Christmas pudding, chocolate truffles, fudge, spiced olive oil, chutneys, the Dromoland cookery book and even a Dromoland teddy bear. If you are ordering for someone who lives in Clare, you can opt for white-glove delivery by Dromoland’s own concierge team.

Farmgate, English Market, Cork, from €60, www.farmgatecork.ie

Mother and daughter Kay and Rebecca Harte of the Farmgate Café have small and large hampers on offer, with the smaller version including their own plum pudding, zingy cranberry sauce, mincemeat, cranberry and pistachio fudge, homemade Jameson whiskey ham glaze and sea salt and thyme oat biscuits, made with Macroom oats.

FX Buckley Victualler & Grocer Gourmet Hamper, €190, shop@fxbuckley.ie

Presented in a woven wicker basket, this luxurious hamper includes the new F.X Buckley Par Excellence Cookbook, a bottle each of Chateau Beaumont 2015 Haut Medoc and a Sancerre Paul Prieur along with Egan’s organic smoked salmon, Sheridan’s crackers and chutney, Hegarty’s Cheddar, Cashel Blue Mature, Gubbeen and Edam, honey from the Dublin Honey Project honey, Skellig chocolate brittle, West Cork Baci Di Dama biscuits and The Merrion Hotel’s Christmas Pudding with brandy butter. Smaller versions are available.

Gleneely Foods, Irish Cocktail Hamper, €150, www.gleneelyfoods.com

This rather decadent hamper includes a big slab of Bean & Goose Chocolate from Wexford and four Irish farmhouse cheeses – Durrus Og, Milleens, Cashel Wedge and Cooleeney - to enjoy with O’Leary’s Date and Almond Chutney and crackers. Add a choice of handmade cocktails from Dublin’s Bar 1661 - perhaps the 1661 Old Fashioned, an Irish twist on a US classic cocktail, with Jameson black barrel whiskey, spices, sugar and bitters.

Irish Winemaker Six Bottle Gift, €200, www.64wine.ie

This selection of wines include the Roka Blaufrankisch and Roka Furmint made by Liam and Sinead Cabot from Westport in Slovenia; Les Deux Cols, Chemin des Fonts, Rhône, an organic red made by friends Simon Tyrrell, Charles Derain and Gerard Maguire; Roísin Curley, Beaune, Red Burgundy made by the Sligo winemaker; G.n.Guerra, Vino Rosso, Sardinia, an organic red made by Michael O’Connell, MW from Dublin; and Cenerina, Piedmont, Italy, a rare

organic red Slarina made by Deirdre O’Brien.

James Whelan Butchers, Salt-aged Beef Hamper, €200, www.jameswhelanbutchers.com

A joint venture produced by Pat Whelan in collaboration with his friend, Peter Hannon, who has a Himalalyan salt-aging chamber in Northern Ireland, this hamper contains ribs, striploin steaks, rib eyes, cotes de boeuf and the famous beef dripping. An even bigger hamper - The Works (€650) - contains over thirty different products from salt-aged cote de boeuf to sugar-pit bacon rack.

KDFoodCo Artisan Grazing Box, from €35, hello@kdfoodco.ie

These boxes contain a mix of Irish cheeses, cured meats, fruits, nuts, raw honey, chutney and crackers, ideal for a night in front of the fire. Order before Thursday afternoon for delivery in Kilkenny on Friday or Saturday.

Lir Deluxe Hamper, €45, www.lirchocolates.com

Made in Meath, Lir’s Deluxe Hamper includes boxes of hand-crafted truffles (Salted Caramel, Marc de Champagne and Almond and Hazelnut), sharing pouches of salted caramel, milk and dark chocolate truffles plus two chocolate bars.

Lismore Food Company, Waterford, from €30, www.thelismorefoodcompany.com

To complement their existing range of delicious sweet and savoury biscuits, confections and snacks, Lismore has added teas, coffee, jams, marmalades and chutneys as well as cordial, chocolate and hot chocolate, balsamic vinegar, honey and nuts to their range this year. The hampers come in vibrant orange and gold hat boxes, and there are vegan versions available.

Mister S Larder Box, €60, www.misters.ie

A range of condiments, rubs and dressings from the Camden St. restaurant designed to bring a bit of oomph to the domestic kitchen. Included are smoked bacon butter, dill oil, smoked rapeseed oil, burnt onion and garlic salt, fermented hot sauce, charcoal tomato ketchup, house rayu and rubs for red and white meat.

Taste Wexford Clever Women Box, €150, www.tastewexford.ie/hampers

Celebrating the county’s female food and craft producers, this re-usable burnt finish wooden crate contains a 500g slab of Bean & Goose chocolate, a bottle of Naturally Cordial cordial, chutneys and syrup from Wild About, O’Neill’s bacon jam, Wexford honey and jam, Jackford Irish potato gin and Pocher’s tonic, as well as a tote bag and Christmas tree decoration.

Teelings #supportlocal Hamper, €100, www.teelingdistillery.com

As well as Teelings Distillery Exclusive Chinkapin Oak Whiskey, which can be personalised, this gift for a whiskey-lover includes Ollie’s honey from the distillery’s rooftop in Dublin 8, whiskey barrel-aged chocolate from Proper Chocolate, whiskey-smoked Oriel sea salt and extra Teeling bits and pieces.

Wildwood Vinegars Four Seasons Box, €80, www.husseysfarm.com

Mayo-based artist Fionntan Gogarty’s vinegars have been an insider secret for years but word is spreading. This beautiful hamper contains four hand-crafted balsamics (Wild Elderflower and Wild Rose Petal, Wild Mountain Thyme and Wild Fuchsia Blossom, Wild Blackberry, and Wild Elderberry with Star Anise for Winter (aged for 6 years) that will not be available in shops, in a limited edition of 365 boxes.

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