Combine preserves and cheeses, aromatherapy oils and cookies, deli meats and wines or stick to an all-fruit basket or a platter of chocolate. When it comes to gift hampers, giving is only half the fun, the real kick comes with deciding what goes in. By doing the rounds of the best on offer in the Capital and Mumbai, we’ve done some of the work for you; now all you have to do is pick the best basket.
You’re in charge at this store. Pick a combination from their chocolate menu, which includes the Classics (Rs2,500 per kg) such as plain milk chocolate, milk chocolate with almonds, or dark chocolate with pistachios, and the Deluxe category (Rs2,800 per kg) with its milk chocolate with wafers, pralines or nougat, all wrapped in gold, silver or bronze foil.
At Patchi, combine classics with deluxe selections
Patchi is renowned for its decorative items, so give your chocolate platter a trimming of Ganesha figurines or the Diwali-inspired diya.
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You can pick from five hampers at Sante, our favourite deli in Bandra. Director Milan Jagtiani says she hasn’t priced the unusual hampers yet but they are likely to cost between Rs5,000 and Rs10,000. “Everything here is tailor-made and we try to keep both spectrums of the budget in mind.” So prices vary depending on what you pick, say Colombian coffee versus Lavazza. Our favourite is the hamper that is contained in a mini fridge (approx. Rs10,000) that works on electricity at home and on your lighter battery in the car.
Sante’s hamper in a fridge
The fridge includes lots of goodies such as caviar, foie gras, the wine of your choice, glasses and a corkscrew. There is also La Fete de Mer—a seafood hamper of fresh oysters, lobster, crabs, shrimps and wasabi sauce on a reusable glass platter. Other gift ideas are a tea hamper (with a breakfast-in-bed tray), a coffee hamper and a picnic hamper.
Pick from two sizes of cane baskets and start filling. We picked the bigger one and began loading the in-house delicacies—mustard, chutney, olive oil, jam, balsamic vinegar, pasta, Arborio rice—and rung up a total of Rs4,680. Of course there’s more to choose from— brownies, a variety of cheeses, et cetera.
Choose from a red or white Larouche in the Indigo Deli wine box
They even have an elegant “wine box”—a bottle of Chardonnay 2004, Michel Larouche SOF or a Merlot VDP D’OC 2003, Larouche SOF with two glasses—for Rs2,139.
There’s also a maple wood Screwpull limited-edition cigar box with wine and cigar accessories and a humidor compartment for Rs19,130. Plus they have gifts of Le Creuset cookware, Lindt chocolates and a Tea Taster set.
Sugar & Spice, Taj President
The hampers at this store combine healthy treats with goodies from their racks of gourmet foods. The largest hamper on offer includes an Evander fragrance candle, strawberry preserve, Lindsay olives, Brunswick tuna, pink and red salmon, Thai mango, dragon fruit and Dorset cereal for Rs3,750.
Taj President’s Diwali hamper combines healthy treats with goodies
The Oberoi Gourmet Shoppe, The Oberoi
The Oberoi Gourmet Shoppe has three different-sized hampers on offer—small, medium and large.
The hamper from the Oberoi Gourmet Shoppe, Mumbai has beauty and spa products and goodies like wine and nuts too.
Each has varying quantities of a combination of therapeutic oils from the Oberoi Spa, Kama Ayurveda beauty products such as soaps and masks, assorted macaroons and nuts, a Ganesha tea box, and wine. The cost of the medium-sized goodie basket is Rs4,000, while the large combination is for Rs6,000.
Gourmet Store, Grand Hyatt
Sweets, lights and aroma are the theme of the Diwali basket that’s on offer at this Grand Hyatt outlet. The hamper comes with ethnic toran, sparklers, incense sticks and diyas, offset by a choice of chocolates, mithai and dry fruits, all combined in a traditionally outfitted basket that costs Rs2,750.
Sidewalk, Hyatt Regency
This confectionery shop has done away with the traditional “basket” hampers, and that is a good thing. The chefs have worked on the two most important things that a hamper must contain—shelf life and variety—and focused on presentation. The specially designed hamper boxes are nifty and their size can be easily manipulated.
Diwali hampers from The Hyatt, New Delhi
Traditional Diwali items such as diyas, salted nuts and mithai (can be replaced with chocolates) are combined with items such as assorted chocolate truffles, sesame grissini, apricot jam and coconut cookies, fig and almond tarte, marble cake and raspberry macaroons. Choose from four sizes, the smallest is for Rs1,250, plus taxes, while the largest costs Rs2,600, plus taxes.
Ye Olde Bakery, The Claridges
The Diwali hampers come in two sizes and, once again, are a mix of traditional Diwali festivity and signature items from the bakery. From a box of their Claridges signature chocolates with champagne and hazel nut filling, to a large chocolate brownie, this hamper has been created keeping in mind that it must showcase the best from the house.
Diwali hamper from The Claridges, New Delhi
A bottle of sparkling wine, olives, assorted Indian sweets (which can be replaced), Brazil nut chocolates, exotic tea and a Ganesh box are the other ingredients. You have the option of customizing the hampers and can even order sugar-free goodies (in advance). The hampers are priced at Rs3,000, plus taxes, and Rs3,500, plus taxes (you get whisky in a golf ball with this one).
The Chocolate Box, Radisson MBD, Noida
It is a chocolate extravaganza. The Chocolate Box has two options: You can either order a ‘chocolates only’ hamper which has one layer of liquor chocolates, one of chocolate cookies and the last of chocolate truffles, specially packed in a handcrafted teak box (Rs3,500, including service tax, for a three-tier box).
The potlis from Radisson MBD, Noida are a mix of cookies, chocolates, marshmellows
If only chocolates is not your idea of a Diwali hamper, opt for a mix of Swiss chocolates, cookies, brandied date cake, and vanilla marshmallows in a leather basket or a cloth potli hamper, which start at Rs1,750, including service tax.
Gourmet Shoppe, The Oberoi
Counted among the best in the Capital, it is not surprising to know that Diwali hamper orders are already pouring in at this confectionery. From the famous handmade pralines, the Oberoi blend tea, chocolate chip madeleines to candied orange and almond cake, a chocolate chip cookie, apricot and almond bar, and rose marshmallows, the hamper is a mix of tradition and modernity. It is a showcase for the Gourmet Shoppe and caters to its regular clientele, mainly foreign nationals. Priced at Rs2,750 and Rs3,250, the hamper could use some creative presentation.
The Diwali hamper the Oberoi, New Delhi is a showcase for the Gourmet Shoppe’s products
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