…to eat like all your waistbands are elasticated – cue East Lothian’s Lewis & Clarke’s Christmas hampers and festive afternoon teas to help you do just that.
The concept of hampers originally started in France and the baskets full of treats were introduced to Britain in the 11th century. But it was not until the Victorian era that giving such gifts became popular. The massive development of the railways in the 1800s made it much easier to send perishable goods to friends and family around the country and it became something of a tradition to send hampers at Christmas.
Let’s face it, who wouldn’t be happy with a giant hamper full of delicious food and drink, packaged beautifully and delivered to your door, at a time of year when you can never have enough food? Yet, many hampers can leave you as lukewarm as brandy butter left out in the winter sun! This is where a hamper from Lewis & Clarke differs. Veronica Clarke explains; “The Christmas hamper is a thoughtful gift, but often you end up with items you don’t need and they end up languishing at the back of your store cupboard. We wanted our hampers to be different with products you actually use.” Opening a Lewis & Clarke Hamper is like opening Mary Poppins’ handbag (albeit a wee bit more stylish), a relentless discovery of handmade treats and products made by local artisan producers. Ranging from as little as £15 to as much as £150, hampers can include sweet treats such as their own homemade harling (caramelised popcorn and honeycomb) and salted caramel sauce, products from local artisan suppliers; Bonnie Sauce, East Coast Cure charcuterie, Aye Pickles and Back & Gold Oil, coffee from Glen Lyon, a bottle of bio or organic wine or a mini bottle of Fidra Gin. Throw in a gorgeous festive candle from Laura Thomas Co, and you’ve a hamper which will spread a lot of Christmas cheer. Veronica adds; “We offer both ready-made and bespoke hampers, but if that’s all a bit too much, we have gift packs of local products too.”
Gift chosen, help expand your waistband further by indulging in a sumptuous Christmas afternoon tea at Lewis & Clarke’s Gifford café. With its stunning interior, think retro charm – reclaimed scaffold boards, East Lothian potato boxes and vintage 50s school chairs, this place is all about life’s simple and genuine pleasures, afternoon tea being one of them. On Thursdays to Sundays throughout December, they serve a traditional afternoon tea with a unique Lewis & Clarke Christmas twist; a selection of freshly prepared festive savouries and sandwiches, homemade scones and stunning Christmas-themed patisserie. If you’re still looking for a way to spread festive cheer, then Lewis & Clarke are open some evenings in December. With menus which show an exceptional understanding of food trends and flavours, you can share seasonal cheer and gastronomic delights with your family and friends this Christmas.
LEWIS & CLARKE
Tue-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 9am-4pm, closed Mon
2a Main St, Gifford, Haddington EH41 4QH | t:01620 811001 | www.lcartisan.co.uk