Christmas came early for the Dyson household when Harrods delivered The Knightsbridge hamper for us to sample for BQ readers, writes Steve Dyson.
The excitement began with the opening of the smart, branded wicker basket, feeling around the dark interior to discover just what treats it contained. It was one of those irresistible experiences and the first thing we fished out was a tin of chocolates, then biscuits, followed by mince pies, almonds, fudge and a jar of chutney.
There was then a flurry of polystyrene packaging flying around the room as what began as a calm rummage turned into a competition about who could find the best.
Hurray! Here’s a whole Christmas cake. Boo! A tin of black tea. Woo-hoo! A Christmas pudding. Oo, hard luck: a small jar of mustard. Then jam, chutney, brandy butter and a large tin of ground coffee.
Whoever packed the hamper knew what they were doing, with the very best saved until last at the bottom of the hamper: champagne, and two bottles of wine.
The Knightsbridge felt like an ever-giving gift, and I’m sure we weren’t the first recipients to start our tastings with the alcohol. The bottle of Harrods Rioja Crianza was delicious with a casserole we were having that evening, delivering a vibrant taste of dark berry fruit with a hint of thyme and a touch of vanilla.
A few nights later we opened the Harrods Sauvignon Blanchette from New Zealand to eat with a pasta dish, and this time were hit with distinctive gooseberry and nettle flavours. But we controlled ourselves and put the bottle of Harrods Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Reserve Champagne away for a special tipple on Christmas Day.
What we did allow ourselves to enjoy over the next few days were the delicious mince pies contained in a rich butter pastry and containing a potent drop of brandy. Next went the tin of assorted chocolates and the box of winter spice chocolate almonds, both shared fairly among family and guests – apart from the one or two that disappeared when someone crept down in the middle of the night.
We also tried the spiced black tea, a rich brew that raised you above the usual Typhoo experience, and the spiced “Omani-grind” coffee, which had us comparing notes to identify the various floral and berry notes it left on our palates. There was enough of both to enjoy again closer to Yuletide.
We were sorely tempted by the rest of the hamper, including the Christmas cake and Christmas pudding, but these and the other “treats” were put away with the champagne to enjoy in December.
The variety and number of the tasty moments was impressive, but the real joy of The Knightsbridge hamper was that moment of delivery, which saw us acting like young children around a Christmas tree, bright-eyed and eager for discovery. And that’s the attraction of Harrods’ hampers for businesses who take marketing seriously – to deliver several weeks’ worth of seasonal warmth to valued clients without breaking the bank. Delicious!
The Knightsbridge Hamper is priced at £250, with other foodie gifts from Harrods ranging from £35 to £5,000. To order call the corporate service at Harrods team on 020 7225 5994 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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