It's time to wave goodbye to the client Christmas gift hamper and support UK small independent businesses.
We hate to break it to you, but it’s a minority that really gets the feels for a Christmas hamper. Not only is it a little impersonal, a little hackneyed, but that jaunty red and yellow tin of sardines is guaranteed to break any home’s personal ‘best before’ larder record, and the lavender and lime chocolate bar won’t even tempt those with the most serious of sugar cravings.
Then there’s the packaging. Cellophane and faux hay does nothing for your business’s sustainability credentials, not to mention the air miles and diesel each one of those jars of piccalilli, hunks of Madeira cake, or bottles of elderberry wine racks up.
We can do better people. No great gift is ever relegated to the depths of a little-visited cupboard. Your clients want to be surprised and delighted. They want thoughtful. They want responsible. (And there’s no need to spend a fortune, or they’ll be questioning whether they’re paying you too much!).
Here are our top picks for client Christmas gifts in 2021, which all support UK small and independent businesses.
Buy beautiful, hand-iced biscuits in illustrated keepsake tins from London-based Biscuiteers which launched in 2007. You can have your own company-branded biscuits designed and posted to your best clients and customers, but we like the generous Christmas-themed sharing tins for £35-£58. There are vegan and gluten-free options, and orders placed now will still be fresh well into the New Year. Shop here.
West Sussex-based designer Kerrie Powell’s work can be found in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco. She has quite the eye and has reimagined the Christmas hamper, curating the contents of 12 elegant tubes. The carefully chosen items may be practical or simply aesthetically pleasing, they may be pocket-sized or pieces of substance. Whatever they are, they are carefully crafted objects of beauty.
Each 'Curated Tube' suits a different personality or occasion, from tea and coffee lovers and home cooks to those with wanderlust, the green-fingered, and new parents, too. The range is also largely plastic-free. Prices range from £100 to £240. Shop here.
Did you know there are 700 vineyards in Britain? English vineyards are consistently making internationally award-winning traditional method sparkling wines that regularly beat Champagne in blind tastings, but lesser-known are emerging quality still whites and even the odd red.
Why not find your client’s closest winery on a map, then visit the website and order a bottle or two from the cellar door. Not only will you cut down on the carbon footprint of delivery, you’ll also be supporting a younthful and vibrant UK industry - and one that’s just had a pretty tough year with frost and especially wet conditions to contend with. Or many vineyards offer vouchers for tours and tastings.
For exciting mixed cases, and excellent tasting notes, try Cambridge small business Grape Britannia which specialises in homegrown wines from UK terroir. Shop here
In remote glens, farms and forests you might find sustainably-minded cooks doing clever things with fire - from unique feasts to foraging, cookery and craft workshops.
The Salt Box, based in South Nutfield, Surrey offers a wide range of courses and dining events, in the great outdoors surrounded by crackling fires. More here.
Nomadic offers magical, hidden woodland feasts inspired by nature in Buckinghamshire. More here.
Fire + Wild near Lewes in East Sussex offers wood-fired cooking experiences which includes a guided foraging walk, game butchery and a fire skills workshop. More here.
Gift vouchers are available, or book a feast for something special and memorable to do with your client.
If you live near a Papersmiths shop (Brighton, Chelsea, Kings Cross) it's hard not to be a regular visitor. Browsing its range of desktop and wall planners, magazines, motivational books from the likes of School of Life, and paper diaries is nothing short of analogue joy. For there's little more satisfying than the crisp, unmarked pages of new stationery, and never-before-used pens in assorted rainbow colours - especially in a world of touchscreen and blue light glare. It's probably why the shop assistants are always so chipper.
Papersmiths began in Bristol in 2013 when two graphic designers working from a studio space in the arts quarter didn’t have enough client work. With just £500 they turned half their studio into a flourishing stationery shop.
Gift wrapping and free next day delivery to the whole of the UK when you spend over £30. Shop here.