The start of any holiday is an exciting feeling; you’ve got your out of office on, you’ve packed your car and you’re on the road heading to an idyllic holiday home. First impressions are everything, so what better way to greet your guests on arrival than the smell of the contents from your sumptuous welcome hamper wafting in the air?
It’s something more and more holiday cottages are offering, so what does make a great welcome hamper? What should you be considering when carefully crafting yours?
Is it OK to include alcoholic drinks in a welcome hamper?
A welcome hamper needn’t contain alcohol, as tempting as it may seem to slip in a tipple for your guests. Before you do be aware that there are licensing implications to consider, which we covered in an earlier article that can be found here:
Know your area
It’s always important to remember that your cottage is more than just a place to stay; the local area, the restaurants, the attractions and the food and drink suppliers are all part of the ‘destination’ that draws people in.
So why not give them a slice of this? Packing your hamper with great local produce makes sense; it supports local businesses, it makes your welcome more personable and will ultimately be more special than any generic offering.
Quality not quantity
As with many things, the key to a good welcome hamper is quality not quantity. Even leaving a fresh pint of local milk in the fridge and a few tea bags near the kettle will have a positive impact on your guests after a long journey.
Know your market
Hampers are often associated with food and drink but it needn’t stop there. Who is it that stays in your holiday cottage? If you’re the finest accommodation around for families, consider including something for the children. Whether it’s a colouring book or board game, when the rain comes (which it often will with the great British weather!) the parents will be glad of the distraction, and thanking you for not providing sugary sweets!
If you’re offering food or drink you’ll need to bear in mind that approximately 2% of the population have some sort of food allergy, so the chances are that during the course of a busy summer you’ll be welcoming someone that may be intolerant to something within your hamper.
You may have noticed in recent years that restaurants and eateries are now required to list the allergens contained within their offerings on their menus and other promotional literature. Communication is the key here; if the cookies from the local bakery contain peanut or gluten then you need to make this clear to guests.
Whilst nut and gluten are two of the better known allergies, there are several more that are common within Britain including:
- Cereals (which includes gluten).
- Crustaceans, for example prawns
- Milk and other dairy produce
- Sulphur dioxide (a food preservative sometimes found in dried fruit).
NB This list is not exhaustive and is only an indicator of some of the most commonly found allergens in the UK.
It’s important to have dialogue with your suppliers and ensure that they provide you with all of the allergen information you need to give to your guests; they shouldn’t be left in any doubt as to what’s in your hamper.
Offering your own produce
When selling a house, there’s always been an old adage that the smell of home baked bread in the air as potential buyers walk through is a sure fire way to seal the sale. So how about adding that feel to your holiday home with some freshly baked scones?
If you’ve got the time and the culinary skills to cut the mustard, you’ll need to adhere to all food hygiene requirements – you can find an outline of those in our previous article:
To avoid gaps in cover ensure that your holiday home insurance includes both public and products liability. Check that your policy includes cover which extends to holiday letting to paying guests.
This is just an overview for holiday homeowners on welcome hampers in holiday homes. If you have any tips or suggestions please leave them in the comments box below.
Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK including public and products liability cover for holiday letting. For information on how specialist insurance can help protect your holiday home business, give us a call on 01237 429444.