Sending gift baskets to the UK?
December 10, 2012 8:12 AM   Subscribe

Can you recommend any gourmet gift basket companies that ship to the UK?

I'm in the US and thinking of sending a food gift to someone in England. If I were sending a gift to someone in the US, I'd go with somewhere like Zingerman's or Harry and David, but the former doesn't ship internationally and the latter charges $30. Google returns a lot of results for UK-based gift basket companies, but since I’m unfamiliar with all of them, I'd really like to hear personal recommendations so I know I'm not sending crap.

Anywhere you can recommend? Either US or UK companies would be fine, though it'd be nice to send them some American treats. I'd vastly prefer online ordering, and I'd like to keep the total cost (including shipping) under $75 or so.

Thanks in advance!
posted by Metroid Baby to Shopping (4 answers total)
The Hamper People are close to me and have a decent reputation. They have a wide range of hampers, though I have never bought one.

I buy American stuff from Melbury and Appleton - the link goes to their hampers and baskets page. You can decide what to put in and then add the hamper for an additional charge.

Waitrose supermarkets have also been pushing hard on hampers this season. I am sure I have received some codes for discounts up to 25%.
posted by sagwalla at 8:23 AM on December 10, 2012

Fortnum and Mason are sort of the old guard for this sort of thing.

I'm going to say this, although you didn't ask. I got two of these things so far this year and they are such a waste of money.

They are however, suitable for re-gifting which is where mine are going.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:31 AM on December 10, 2012 [2 favorites]

Don't bother shipping heavy foods from the US to the UK. For gift baskets, go to:

- Fortnums (expensive, as are Partridges and Harvey Nicks and Harrods and Daylesford and Selfridges)
- Loch Fyne, Inverawe, Forman (salmon)
- Waitrose, M&S (upmarket, mainstream supermarkets)
- L'Artisan du Chocolat, Rococo (especially lovely), William Curley (expensive but good quality chocs, unlike Hotel Chocolat, which is expensive and not good quality IMHO).
- Lakeland
- NotOnTheHighSt

All are reputable.

Protip: supermarket ones will be best value for no let up in quality. With the expensive ones you pay for the name and the quality of the basket itself. By and large the rest are all overpriced although the chocolate ones will have lovely chocolate and salmon ones will contain good quality salmon. You can also send someone a side of smoked salmon (see Loch Fyne, Inverawe) or bradan rost, which is delightful and not that bad value.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:50 AM on December 10, 2012

To clarify: all hampers are expensive for what they contain. The expensive ones especially so and are sold largely for snob value and often by companies to clients.

I'd highly recommend getting a side of salmon or bradan rost, which I've ordered before for people and it always goes down well. It turns up in an insulated polystyrene container and will happily last a day outside in the UK winter. They are very good quality and do not attract a Christmas premium. Rococo does delicious, whimsical and unusual chocs although the other two I've named are also good quality. Lakeland is a homewares company with very, very good customer service that does hampers as a sideline. M&S will be your most downmarket, but still acceptable, of the lot, but don't expect anything super special. Ditto Waitrose. I haven't tried NotOnTheHighSt before, although I've ordered from them before - their business model is to source quirky suppliers so sell good quality and less common stuff.

Also - bear in mind that in lots of big UK cities people do not have garages so if you send it to their home address it may have to be signed for (in which case it will either have to be redelivered or they'll have to go and pick it up from the depot) or it will be left with a neighbour (who they may not know) or it *should* be placed somewhere discreet but not always secure. Most, but not all retailers will allow you to leave some delivery instructions but they don't always get followed. If you're not ordering something massive, consider sending it to their work address. Better still, if it doesn't ruin the surprise, ask the recipient the best place to send it.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:09 AM on December 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

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