We've been the Home of the Hamper since the mid-1700s, when our first hand-packed wickers were dispatched from Piccadilly. But why are our hampers so extraordinary?
#1 Because they've been fuelling adventures for centuries
Our hampers have done a little more than just stand the test of time - they've scaled mountains, crossed deserts and sailed oceans too.Built for adventure and packed with essential and delicious provisions, Sir John Franklin took us to Everest, Henry Morton Stanley to Africa, and Howard Carter to Egypt. We sent hampers to the adventurous suffragettes arrested for smashing our windows, too. Not bad going, for a little tuck box.
#2: Because a Fortnum's hamper is a life-long keepsake
Our famous wickers are not just for Christmas, either - each year, we hear stories of newly-weds being packed off on honeymoon with a Fortnum's hamper, of sons and daughters leaving the nest with a wicker in tow, of birthdays, retirements, new houses, new jobs, new beginnings and new arrivals all being celebrated with an F&M monogrammed gift.But best of all is the fact our wickers remain a part of people's lives: re-used for their intended purpose, yes - but also used as coffee tables, bed-end trunks, as storage for books, linens, children's toys - and even, temporarily, because it makes an incredibly cute picture - for newborns themselves.
#3: Because of the wonderful (and unexpected) things inside
Centuries of experience has made us experts in the art of hamper-building. With so many delicious things at our disposal, we have a headstart in creating exceptional hampers, but we don't just scoop up great armfuls of fantastic treats and cram them haphazardly into any appropriately-sized wicker.Our buyers are always thinking - ahem - outside the box, when it comes to what products are selected, and inventive ways they might be enjoyed. For example: we know that our marmalade isn't just extraordinary on toast - it also makes a wonderful glaze on sausages. And now so do you.
#4: Because they are ALWAYS worth the expense
The simplest point on this list, but perhaps the most important: we always ensure our hampers cost less than the total cost of buying each product, including the hamper itself, individually. Good, isn't it?
#5: Because we're constantly innovating
Fortnum's has a long history of innovation - we invented the Scotch Egg, we were the first people to stock tins of Heinz baked beans, among many other things - and that same spirit of experimentation and adventure applies to hampers too.We're always trying to find new ways to make our hampers even more special: come Valentine's, customers can replace our iconic 'F&M' with their own initials, at Halloween, our hampers have turned black & orange, and at Christmas, they're packed full of every festive thing you could possibly conceive of.
#6: Because they're the world's most-beautiful hampers
The buckles. The straps. The handle. The lid. The expertly-stencilled monogram. The wicker. Those simple ingredients - and the delicious things that make it inside each hamper too - are what make ours the most extraordinary in the world. Long live the Fortnum's hamper!