Melanie McDonagh

The best staycation hampers to take on holiday

  • From Spectator Life

We may as well get used to the idea that we’re going to be spending an awful lot of time on home turf this year. From 12 April we’re allowed staycations, or self-catering holidays, which can of course be lovely. But they do need a bit of forward planning. I spent a weekend in a lovely house in Norfolk where the only food in the place was bread, butter, teabags and instant coffee. (Memo to providers – a nice cake and some jam or honey is a good way to start.) And there was no shop in walking distance; only an honesty box outside a neighbour’s for eggs.

If you’re staying somewhere with local shops and markets, support them. It’s sinking low not to spend your money locally; you should aim to bolster the micro-GDP. But there are places so remote that they evade even the most basic of shops or you may be arriving at the wrong time to catch the opening hours. To start your holiday on the right foot, what you need is a Staycation Hamper, a box of food staples or treats which will feed you handsomely during your stay, or provide treats to top up the basics or simply save you cooking – that’s always good for the cook on holiday. The following are providers of good things which will cheer and sustain you when you’re away from home. I’m delighted to say that the Staycation Hamper is now a Thing. (Check the contents before ordering, and the delivery charges.) And lots of farm shops will deliver locally. The Discover Delicious website, which combines several independent producers in Wales, make it easy to support small businesses.

Just one note of caution. Deliveries to an unfamiliar address can be a nightmare and you don’t want your courier circling fruitlessly around a house with no one at home; give an exact address where you’re staying with postcode and instructions about how to get in or where to leave things safely.

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