After an A30 tailback and the inevitable numb bum from the long car journey, arriving at your holiday home to a well-stocked hamper is a sight for sore eyes (and rumbling tummies).
But what makes the perfect Cornish hamper? As Cornwall’s food scene continues to grow and gain worldwide recognition, independent companies are often cropping up with new culinary greatness – from chutney to cheese, and eggs to elderflower – the Cornish larder is plentiful. We’ve put together a wish list of some of our favourite insatiable Cornish brands to create an unforgettable hamper for your guests.
A tea is a cup of pure comfort. Like a warm hug, it’s just the pick-me-up you’ll want after arriving at your destination. And when you’re sipping on a cuppa in Cornwall, the choice is simple… it has to be a Cornish Tea. A family run business which started in the 1800s, Cornish Tea is a family run business in Looe. With an ethical approach to blending and roasting a range of teas and coffees from its state-of-the-art, plastic free factory. The popular Smugglers Brew, has been designed to hit the spot as an all day and every day drop, and we concur. It brews well, and offers a strong but oh-so-palatable drop.
Producing sustainably sourced and freshly roasted coffee from a barn just outside of Falmouth, Yallah Coffee still operates from the same HQ from when the company was set up in 2014. Coffee connoisseurs won’t be disappointed in the range the Yallah team has roasted. All of its coffee is single origin and ranges from the more lively exotic finish to a traditional house blend. The house blend is a favourite of ours. A silky smooth finish, there’s delicious hints of chocolate, and toffee notes. Available as beans or ground coffee, the coffee can be ground to suit its execution with very fine, quite fine and course offered. Yallah also champion sustainability, from ensuring the coffee farmers are paid the right price for their coffee to proudly packaging in a new high barrier, paper based and plastic free bag which is fully recyclable. It’s a cup of coffee you won’t forget.
For all of your dairy needs it has to be Trewithen Dairy, who has been crafters of delicious dairy products for over 25 years. Run by the Clarke family, who have owned Greymare Farm in the Glynn Valley between Bodmin and Liskeard since 1976, they started crafting dairy products there in 1994.
From creamy clotted cream and fresh Cornish milk to golden butter and thick natural yoghurt – we’re yet to find a product we don’t love.
What better way to refuel than a square or two of chocolate? Creating chocolate from Callestick Farm outside the Cornwall’s capital, Truro. Josh Parker – the name and face of the brand – set up the business in 2019 after returning to his homeland with his wife Alexa. The brand prides itself on celebrating simple life pleasures of coast and country in Cornwall and the bars are even named after Cornish ongoings, such as ‘Tiptoe Across the Tide’,
‘Ramble in the Woods’ and ‘Barefoot on the Beach’. Almost too good to eat, the packaging is a work of art in itself, with Cornish scenes captured by St Ives based illustrator, Joanne Barry. The sustainably-sourced range consists of eight flavoured bars, gigantic chocolate buttons and hot chocolate stirring spoons. Our favourite? It has to be Weekends on the Water, delicious milk chocolate with Cornish sea salt and caramel.
John Cooper Furniss, opened his Cornish teashop in 1886, and the Furniss brand has been baking biscuits ever since. Still producing its biscuits in Cornwall, Furniss is the only company in the world licensed to make The Original Cornish Fairing, a biscuit traditionally a gift to give to a sweetheart. And for that reason, we think it’s a Cornish hamper staple.
Cornwall is known for its chutneys and jams, so naturally a hamper would be lacking without a heritage saucy number. Self-confessed foodies, local couple Jake and Abi launched The Cornish Larder back in 2018. With a modest start preparing batches in Jake’s parents’ kitchen, it’s now an award-winning brand with a growing range of Cornish preserves, relishes and sauces.
We’re big fans of the Tomato and Chilli Relish with Dead Man’s Fingers Rum, or if you’ve more of a sweet tooth the Strawberry Jam with Tarquins Gin hits the spot.
The gin craze sees no sign of waning, and Cornwall has some rather tasty drops on offer. The home of Porthilly Spirit Distillery is Trefresa Farm, which sits less than a mile from north Cornwall’s rugged coastline. Working alongside some of Cornwall’s award-winning master distillers, the team at Porthilly has developed and produced a small family of drinks.
The Porthilly Cornish Coastal Gin is handcrafted in handmade copper stills, proud of its ingredients they use 100 per cent British sugar beet alongside Cornish spring water and wild botanicals. The result? A delicate taste, which is refreshing and punchy in equal measures. Just the ticket after a long drive – we think this is the ultimate treat for a Cornish hamper. For the perfect Cornish G&T, we suggest mixing with a Navas Premium Tonic.
Cornwall’s cheese offering is rather special. At the forefront is a semi-hard cow’s milk cheese which is wrapped in nettle, Cornish Yarg (which you’ll often see on the menu of any good Cornish eatery). Its name derives from the original cheese maker, Alan Gray (Yarg spelt backwards), Lynher Dairies – an award-winning dairy in Ponsanooth – produces the finest Cornish Yarg. The perfect addition to a cheeseboard, it’s a creamy cheese with a fresh and slightly lemony flavour which is crumbly at the core. Made by hand in open vats from the creamy milk produced by their own Ayrshires and other carefully selected herds, it regularly wins top international awards and is a Cornish highlight not to be missed.
If you’re a bit of a dab hand in the kitchen, freshly-baked goods never fail to impress, but if you’re providing a classic Cornish cream tea, just make the guests know it’s jam first!