Ad Feature by Robinson’s Fresh Foods
Ah, the merry bells of Christmastime have begun to toll, and with them, as sure as eggs are eggnog, so too has the creaking of wicker, the rustle of shredded tissue paper, and the satisfying pop of a jar of spiced chutney being opened: it’s officially hamper season.
Having lived in the consumerist conveyor belt that is London for close to ten years, I’ve always wondered who exactly receives a Waitrose Moses basket of mass-produced pickle, factory shortbread, and budget wine – a cornucopia of festive Food Hall favourites – with an orgasmic shudder: this year’s Harrods’ Ultimate Christmas Hamper will set you back a measly £5,000 for a sagging crate of champagne, cognac, and stilton, because which peasant doesn’t scoff caviar and truffles on Christmas Day morning?
Flipping through hamper brochures is usually guaranteed to leave me as uninspired as a Live, Laugh, Love refrigerator magnet. But, unlike the Big Smoke who whacks out Christmas hampers with Pavlovian repetition, the Isle of Man has a secret weapon when it comes to putting together the very best bespoke hampers: our local producers and artisans.
Robinson’s is one of the Isle of Man’s oldest family businesses, with humble beginnings as a small market stall. Now in its fifth generation, they’ve been serving a wide variety of products and services to consumers and businesses throughout the Isle of Man and the UK for over 125 years, sourcing Manx produce and promoting the excellent produce that is available on the Island.
The local artisan food movement has really kicked off in the past decade, and the longevity of Manx farmers, growers, producers, and manufacturers is essential for maintaining the Island’s landscape and indelible identity. That’s why when you send a hamper from IOM Hampers by Robinson’s you’re essentially sending a little piece of the Isle of Man and making some local producer do a tiny fist-pump-dance-of- excitement that they’ve shifted another unit of their dream, of which, months of blood, sweat, and hard work have gone into.
Robinson’s range of hampers are proud to be promoting some of the Isle of Man’s finest produce supplied by companies who, like Robinson’s, are family-run businesses dedicated to quality, reliability, and customer service.
Unlike the mass-produced hampers of anonymous, faceless corporations (whose hampers are, quite frankly, like walking around one of those faux farmers’ markets that are dominated by overpriced jars of chilli oil and jam purporting to have been made by a nun who’s been hand-pressing moon-picked raspberries through a length of hessian), Robinson’s range of hampers – which are priced from £27.50 – £250 – showcase the very best that the Isle of Man has to offer: distinctively creamy cheeses matured for up to 14 months and made with milk produced by local dairy farms; kippers oak-smoked the traditional way to ensure and retain their unique flavour; quality teas and coffees blended especially to suit the soft waters of the Isle of Man; traditional handmade chocolates and truffles prepared using only the finest ingredients; a selection of traditionally brewed beers; and luxury locally smoked salmon.
The Manannan Hamper is perhaps the selection’s most luxurious offering. Of the 23 products you’ll find beneath its wicker lid, not one of them has been produced off-Island, and features more familiar names than you can shake a proverbial stick at: Fynoderee, Seven Kingdoms, Close Leece Farm, Isle of Man Creamery, Davison’s, Paula’s Kitchen, O’Kells, and Bushy’s, to name a few.
I know at least three of my mates who have either just moved, have a new baby, or are celebrating Christmas by themselves for the first time – for whom one of these hampers would be the most appreciated and useful gift to ever walk the gem of God’s earth.
Order your hamper online at www.isleofmanhampers.com. A hamper from IOM Hampers also makes the perfect corporate gift. For details of our bespoke corporate gifting programme call 01624 662410 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.