In the lead up to King Charles III’s coronation the best hampers – whether from famous department stores or online specialists – are proving more popular than ever. “People are gifting celebratory hampers for their friends to enjoy over the Bank Holiday, either at a street party or private gathering,” explains Annabel Lui, founder of Cutter and Squidge, a London-based bakery which has seen hamper sales quadruple.
Many sales are doubtless down to the coronation memorabilia some hampers contain – tea towels, bunting, mugs and so on – but indulgent food and drink are the stars of the show. Fortnum and Mason’s Holly Hughes-Metcalf first noticed a renewed interest in edible gifts during the pandemic. “Sending food became a love language once again and sales have been very strong ever since,” she explains.
At £500, Fortnum’s King of Picnics is the most expensive coronation hamper, but there are options for every taste and budget, from M&S and other great British brands. From scones to scotch eggs and strawberry jam, all contents are unashamedly British and some are even curated to reflect the tastes of the new king himself.
You can read my guide to the best King Charles coronation hampers below, but if you’re in a hurry, here’s a quick look at my top five:
Which are the best hampers to celebrate King Charles’ coronation? At a glance
What should be in a King Charles coronation hamper?
A hamper, by definition, contains a lovingly curated selection of treats you wouldn’t find in your weekly supermarket shop. “They’re for sharing and everyone should get excited about every item; nothing will be left abandoned at the back of the cupboard,” Hughes-Metcalf says.
According to Hughes-Metcalf, a coronation hamper should ideally include freshly prepared items to enjoy over the holiday weekend as well as treats with a longer shelf life for the weeks to come – along with a commemorative tea towel, tin or basket to be passed down to future generations.
Faced with such a vast selection, Lui advises shoppers to consider the quality of the individual contents and their size. “A hamper is a reflection of your tastes, so the products should speak for themselves,” she says.