A Scottish Picnic in an English garden

Disclaimer and stuff:  Caledonian hampers sent me this hamper to try, but have not paid me for my time or opinion.  So rest assured, all pictures and words are mine and of those that helped me eat/drink it.

Last week the people at Caledonian Hampers offered me a cider hamper to try and I jumped at the chance.  First of all, because it was Scottish and I love Scotland and secondly because it was free food.  I'm not saying I'll do anything for free food, but I'm saying it's a way of getting me to listen to you.

So let's get down to business.  I asked the fabulous and wonderful Georgie to help me review it, as she loves a good hamper as much as the rest of us.  We all acquainted?  Let's do this.

Since the weather was so beautiful that day, we set up a blanket in my unfinished back garden, and sampled the hampers delights al fresco.  Enjoy.  PREPARE TO SEE A LOT OF TARTAN.

Okay so these pictures are INSIDE, but have you ever tried to take pictures in unmown grass?  Crickets galore, hopping all over everything, flies buzzing in your face.  It's a right pain.

We all know that it isn't just the stuff in your hamper that makes it special, we need a good bit of presentation.  When this arrived at my desk last week, I was impressed.  For a wee food hamper, it came in a decent reusable box, with everything nicely arranged, like so:

Obviously, being the big head that I am, the first thing I loved was the personalised Cider bottle.  What a great gift this would be for someone!  I mean, I have no idea who sent me mine and I already like them a lot.  Fantastic idea for a present, and really makes the whole thing just a little bit more special.

The contents
The contents of a hamper are equally as important as the presentation.  I felt a little pang of nostalgia as those little packets of biscuits were left in our hotel room on our honeymoon.  So what's in this hamper?

  • Giant bottle of personalised cider
  • Apple & Ale Chutney
  • Caramelised red onion chutney
  • Tomato and red pepper chutney
  • Tin of haggis
  • Pack  of oat crunch biscuits
    Pack of belgian chocolate biscuits
  • Scottish Fudge
  • Macaroon
  • Scottish Tablet
  • Cheese oatcakes
  • Plain oatcakes
So how did they go down?

We set up shop in the garden, and got to the hard business of drinking the cider.  It was lovely.  We served it chilled with lots of ice and glaring sunshine on our faces.  Perfect cider drinking weather.  It went down a bit TOO well really.

The first glass was gone in a few minutes.

The second glass went not long after that.

Then we basically just started drinking it straight from the bottle.

Okay, I started drinking it straight from the bottle.

So let's get down to the food.  Everything was of Scottish origin, so naturally I was expecting a bit of tartan, some walkers and something flavoured with haggis.

Wasn't expecting a tin of haggis, but that was well received by Georgie, who took it home with her.

So, I have to go back to the cider, it had a lovely little story on the back that I forgot to photograph.  This specific type of Scottish apples, apparently are known for being the best in Scotland.  I'm really sad that I forgot the story because it was quite sweet.

Everything was very scottish.  I mean, look at the haggis.  


The sweets were traditional fayre.  My husband made good work on those.  The cookies reminded me of my honeymoon, and the macaroon was incredibly tasty (didn't get much of it but I suppose I did hog the cider.)  However, the winner, in my book were the oatcakes and chutneys.  I love a good chutney.  We dipped the plain oatcakes into the caramelised onion one, and it was delicious.  There were hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. (I'm not being a douche, you could really taste those hints and it made a massive difference.)

We shared out the fudge between us all, though I much prefer toffee (and cider apparently.)  I saved the tablet for my dad, that sort of thing is right up his street.

By this time the cider was doing it's work.  Oh look, I'm back talking about the cider again.  Guys, I'm not joking, this cider was lush.  It was a fizzy cider, quite refreshing.  Not overly sweet, which I prefer.  I was pleasantly surprised as I've not been overly impressed with alcohol in hampers before, but I really enjoyed it.  Can you tell?


Anyway, after I had literally drained the bottle of it's glorious elixir, we realised that we had actually made out way through all the food and were a little sad.

So overall, I would recommend these little hampers.  They have a pretty awesome range, and whilst I can't comment on the other alcohols in their range, I can vouch for the cider.


Cheers Caledonian hampers for providing us with a nice afternoon of scottish treats.  If you're interested in checking them out, their website is here

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  1. What a picnic party! The hamper would make a great gift and that personalised cider bottle is definitely the keeper. And yes, I can tell how much you have enjoyed the cider :-)

  2. Quite an interesting twist on the normal scottish hamper. I love the fact you can personalise the bottle too. I didn't notice when I initially saw the picture. Would like to see some rarer products in the hamper though. Some of those are quite common.

    Would like to know what other products they let you personalise.

    1. Good point Hannah, I know for a fact they are looking for small and independent scottish producers / suppliers for their hampers, so hopefully that will start to phase out the bigger stuff. The personalisation is a nice touch.

  3. Hahaha! This is the best hamper review bar none! Love your boozy picnic and your candid pics - and I adore that the bottle was personalised, brilliant gift!! ;) xx

  4. What a great post, Emma! I got a real kick out of the 'Scottish Water' bit haha.

    I would so be in my glories with this hamper. I love the picnic setting...beautiful setting! :D


  5. haha scottish water! Walkers shortbread is so good and that bottle is a keeper! Looks like fun :)

    1. I hoarded walkers shortbread on my honeymoon as we got little packets on our pillows every day. Came home rustling!

  6. I'm so jealous! This looks super! How do I get one :P also as I'm writing this I'm drinking a mug of buttermint tea, was it you that mentioned it in your twinings post? because it's delicious and I'm hooked after finding it today in waitrose!

    1. YES! I love buttermint tea, it's my utter favourite of the moment! Yay!

  7. I totally want to go on a picnic now and I totally want to snack with everything here!

  8. Loved this review. Hilarious. That personalised cider is definitely a great gift idea.

  9. I haven't been on a picnic in years! This looks like such fun and a tasty spread.

  10. Georgina Holden23 July 2014 at 12:32

    The cider was so good! :)

  11. What a wonderful hamper, living in Scotland it was good to see all those sweets from Lee's as they are everywhere up here.


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