Birthday presents under £30

by Mhairi MacLeod 31. October 2013 18:41

With so many birthdays in the year, forward planning is essential and at Highland Fayre we have them sorted for every budget!

If £30 is your maximum spend then luxury is still well within budget.

Here are our 5 best birthday gifts for under £30:

1. For summer birthdays

The Taste of Summer Hamper is an excellent gift for anyone born in the warm months and includes Stag Bakeries Toffee & Banana Cake, Forest Feast Handmade Belgian Milk Chocolate Mango and the brightly coloured Ovidio Italian sugar almonds alongside many more summery treats.

2. For dad

If you can afford an extra 19 pence then our Gift for Dad hamper is a great present for his birthday.

Including Werther's Original Traditional Chewy Toffees and Epicure Venison Pâté with Red Wine amongst other manly treats this hamper is sure to please any dad without breaking the bank. He's worth it!

3. For a real celebration

If the birthday boy or girl loves luxury then the Sparkling Celebration Gift is perfect for them.

A bottle of fantastic Bortolomiol Valdobbiadene Prosecco, Hamlet Luxury Belgian Chocolate Assortment and Dean's of Huntly Apple Crumble Shortbread Rounds go together to make the perfect gift.

4. For a wine and cheese lover

A Torreon de Parades Merlot, a sumptuous Isle of Arran Cheese Scottish Cheddar and great Perthshire Cracked Black Pepper Oatcakes in our Merlot & Cheese Hamper go together as an ideal birthday gift the cheese and wine fans.

5. For the sweet tooth

If all this birthday girl or boy wants is a sugary treat then the Sugary Secrets Hamper is for them.

Gorgeous Bolero Cocoa Wafer Sticks, Monty Bojangles French Cocoa Dusted Truffles and Chocca Mocca 100% Real Belgian Dark Chocolate Drinking Chocolate are just sweet enough to keep even the biggest chocaholic happy for weeks.

For more birthday gifts under £30 visit the Hampers by price section of our home page.

 

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Thank you gifts for men

by Mhairi MacLeod 25. October 2013 01:45

If the man in your life deserves thanks for his hard work then a gift is an excellent way to express this.
 
Men may be notoriously hard to buy for but we’ve come up with five great gifts to say thanks.
 
1. Something practical

Photo Credit: Rick


Hip flasks have become more and more popular over the last few years and any man will be happy to add this great accessory to his collection.

There are many to choose from but a timeless silver hip flask will give him years of enjoyment.
 
2. Something drinkable
Looking for something to fill his hip flask?

 

A personalised bottle of whisky is a thoughtful idea and you can even have your thank you message written on the label. 
 
And once he’s finished drinking he can keep the bottle as a memento.
 
3. Something sweet

Photo Credit: Innaudi


Fill a gift bag with nostalgic treats as a sweet way to say thank you for a favour.

Sweets from his younger years like Dip Dabs and Sherbet Fountains will provide him with a walk down memory lane.

Make sure the presentation of the gift is perfect in order to make an impact.

4. Something snazzy

Photo Credit: Tophee


A big favour deserves a big thank you so if your man has gone the extra mile then surprise him with a fabulous new watch or a set of cufflinks.

You could even have the back of the watch engraved with a special message to let him know just how thankful you are.
 
5. Something shareable
A hamper filled with wine, cheese and other goodies is a delicious thank you gift that he might even agree to share with you!

Choose a selection of his favourite treats and wrap them nicely before presenting your finished hamper to him.
 
For more inspiration visit our Thank You Hampers page.

Personalised Birthday Presents

by Mhairi MacLeod 17. October 2013 12:40

Birthday presents are great fun to buy and even more fun to receive. 

With personalised presents becoming ever more popular there are lots of options to choose from. 

We’ve chosen our five favourites:

1. For the gardening enthusiast

Photo Credit: Suzette


A personalised herb box is a lovely gift for anyone keen on gardening and it’s so compact that it will fit into even the smallest garden.

Plant the box up with lots of seasonal herbs before wrapping it in a bow and gifting it to the gardener in your life for a present that will be remembered for a long “thyme”.

2. For the music fan

Photo Credit: Max Geiger


There's a wealth of great music gifts online but our favourite has to be the personalised plectrum; with plenty of options to choose from you can have anything from plastic to solid silver with the recipients name engraved.

3. For the pet lover

Photo Credit: Jay


The pet tag has long been personalised but now the personalised pets scene is taking off!

Personalised pet bowls and mats are a thoughtful gift for a pet lover and they will probably appreciate a gift for their moggy or doggy far more than a gift for themselves.

4. For a couple

Buying separate presents for couples isn’t necessarily the way forward. 

A personalised poster with their names and hobbies printed is a great idea and one that is sure to please both halves of the whole.

So whether they like fish and chips or holidays to Troon you can give them a truly personal gift.

5. For the acquaintance

If you want to buy them a gift that feels personal then a bottle of wine with their name printed on the label is a great idea.

You can give a gift that they are sure to like while also showing that you have made a real effort.

For more ideas on personalised gifts visit our Personalised Gifts page.


 

Is Wine Gluten Free? Forth Wines Reveals All

by Stewart 16. October 2013 11:55

Despite being inherently free of wheat, barley and rye, many wine producers and wholesalers don’t actively promote the gluten free qualities of their products.

In an interview with Forth Wines  (the second of our gluten free suppliers) they stated that despite more and more requests for gluten free wine, the wine trade don’t display anything on labels that state, for instance, a bottle of Chardonnay or a Cabernet Sauvignon is in fact suitable for Coeliac’s.

According to Forth Wines, despite it being gluten free, wine could come into contact with gluten at two stages of the winemaking process:

1. Wine Fining 

When the wine is fined (the removal of larger, suspended particles from the wine to clarify the juice before bottling) gluten could be used in the process. However, even if a gluten-based substance is used, the whole point of fining is to clarify the wine. Therefore, the substance will drift through the wine, collect any unwanted particles and fall into the bottom of the tank where it is left behind.

2. Storage of Wine

Photo Credit: Sanjay

Barrels used for storing wine can be covered in a flour-based paste to smooth the joints on the barrel heads. What Forth Wines suggest is that if a Coeliac is any doubt then they should select a wine that has spent no or as little time in a small, oak barrel. 

By definition, gluten free products do in fact contain traces of gluten. The US Food and Drug Administration published back in August a new regulation defining gluten free for food labelling. In their definition they state that food products with less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten, can be classed as gluten free. 

While labelling laws are a lot more stringent with food, the current laws do not mandate that wine, that comes into contact with gluten, be labelled as such. This may have something to do with current research showing wine that has come in contact with gluten only contains 10ppm (an amount likely to only affect those Coeliac’s that have an extreme intolerance to gluten).

Check out our Gluten Free Hampers to see the lovely bottles of red and white we have selected from Forth Wines.

 

5 things to look out for when choosing the perfect corporate gift supplier

by Stewart 7. October 2013 20:11

While it’s important to allocate time sourcing the perfect corporate gift, it is just as important to research the best supplier to meet your gift giving needs.

There is nothing more frustrating seeing the ideal present and later finding out that the supplier cannot cater for your requirements.

From our experience as a corporate gift supplier, here is a tried and tested checklist of things to look out for when selecting the best company for the job.

1. Variety

It is very rarely that our clients – especially when sourcing corporate Christmas gifts – want a “one price fits all” solution.

Having multiple levels of staff and management to buy for (not to mention varying budget constraints) our clients look for a range of hampers at various prices levels.  

Keep an eye out for those suppliers that offer gifts ranging from £10 to £5000, as these will be the ones that offer more flexibility when it comes to meeting your financial needs.

2. Keep it fresh

Can the supplier easily update its product offering to meet changes in taste, or do they sell the same products year round?

While some of our clients like to stick with the same corporate hampers over and over again, we have clients that like to keep things fresh every year. 

To cater for these various needs, one year we may create a bespoke alcohol hamper, the next a mixture of savoury and sweet treats. In other cases we have even gone outside our product offering and sourced new ideas to meet our client’s requirements.

3. Branding

As we mentioned in our Personalised Corporate Gifts blog there is a lot of value to be gained from branding your corporate gifts.

If you want your gifts to stand out and have your personal touch then be vigilant of those suppliers that are able to brand products with your logo and company livery.

4. Reliability 

Photo Credit: Tuger

A gift is well received, only if it is received on time!

Have peace of mind that your business gifts will be delivered to the right location, at the right time by sourcing suppliers who are experienced when it comes to logistics. 

A good gift supplier needs to have intuition when it comes to thinking of logistic solutions that you may not have thought about. 

5. Customer service

Photo credit: Bloomsbury's

Finally, customer service boils down to the supplier’s attention to detail when managing your account.

Things to watch out for are:

- Is there an immediate connection? Do you feel that a strong business relationship could be built with this supplier in the future?

- Do they go above and beyond to provide you with the best service imaginable?

- Are they flexible in their gift solutions? Do they go out with the norm to accommodate your needs, no matter what the situation?

If they are all these things then you are definitely onto a winner. 

For more information on how Highland Fayre can supply your Corporate Gifts this Christmas then visit our Corporate Hampers Guide.

 

 

Dos and Don'ts for Staff Headshots

by Stewart 1. October 2013 01:44

Jenna Goudreau from Forbes magazine states “people assess your competence and trustworthiness in a quarter of a second (250 milliseconds) based solely on how you look”. This means that your staff headshot is one of the most important photos you’ll ever pose for.

Here are our do’s and don’ts to help you make the most of your moment in front of the camera:

1. Don’t revamp your look

You need to look good for your staff headshot but don’t get a new hairstyle the day before. A green fringe may not look as great as you’d first imagined.

2. Do wear something that stands out… but don’t go over the top

Standing out from the crowd is one thing, looking like you’ve stepped out of your fancy dress box is something else entirely. Solid colours are good for a headshot while busy patterns can detract from your face.

3. Do practice your pose

Your headshot is the first impression for clients and an insincere expression won’t win you any customers. Entrepreneur.com emphasises the importance of personal appearance in business saying that “the best face to put on your business is your own.”

4. Do remember that facial hair dates quickly

The Nineties goatee may have been bang on trend when this photo was taken but a few years later it was out of date. Go for a classic look in your headshot and it won’t date quickly!

5. Don’t bring a pet… unless you’re a vet

It doesn’t matter if your cat is your best friend or your dog has put on his spinning bow tie especially for today; if you are striving for a professional look then don’t clutter your photo.

You can find more advice for the workplace by continuing to read our Highland Fayre Hamper blogs.