The Christmas cracker was invented by an English baker, Tom Smith in 1847. Since then the invention - traditionally filled with a paper crown, joke and novelty toy - has graced Christmas dinner tables the world over. If, however, you're looking for something a touch more sophisticated this year, here are 10 luxury crackers that are guaranteed Christmas corkers.
Jamie at Home Dig In Crackers
Available from jmecollection.com or call 0844 871 2010, £15 for six
For a cooking and gardening family or set of friends. These back to basics crackers look simple but classic with brown cardboard casing, red ribbon and twine message tag so you can personalise them. Gifts include a cookie cutter, marmalade spoon, mini grater, plant markers, twine and seed.
Hotel Chocolat Rather Large Cracker
Available from Hotel Chocolat shops or hotelchocolat.co.uk, £35
This giant cracker is the ultimate chocolate lovers treat. It’s huge and is jam packed with 40 delicious Hotel Chocolat chocolates (smooth pralines, Champagne truffles, caramels and silky ganaches), 12 party hats and jokes.
Emma Bridgewater Robin Christmas Crackers
Available from emmabridgewater.co.uk or call 0844 243 9266, £12.95 for six
These pretty robin crackers from Oxford designer Emma Bridgewater will look great on any Christmas dinner table. Gifts include colouring pencils, nail clippers, mini tool kit, sewing kit, makeup brushes and a stapler.
Mama Mio Get Waisted Christmas Cracker
Available from Urban Retreat and Beautique.com, £10
This is more of a stocking filler than for the dinner table. It contains a limited edition mini Mama Mio which contains nine ingredients proven to combat fat deposits, it tightens your tummy and reduces post-Christmas puffiness for a slimmer silhouette. If you need any more incentive then a pound from the sale will go to cancer support charity Look Good…Feel Better.
Rainbow Trust Christmas Cracker
Available from £2 (single), £10 (box of five), £40 (box of 20) or £2 as an e-cracker
These gorgeous crackers look great, have amazing prizes and the money goes to a very important cause. The Rainbow Trust children’s charity provides emotional and practical support to families who have a child with a life threatening or terminal illness. Gifts include the chance to win a £10,000 Boodles diamond, an aerobatic flight with a former Red Arrow pilot, a stay at the luxurious Cliveden House Hotel worth £1,500 or an art voucher from Robin Eckhardt worth £1,000. All crackers include a hat and joke.
Available from biomelifestyle.com, £28 for six
A fantastic eco choice. Each cracker contains a gift carefully made by a fairtrade co-operative of disadvantaged women in Nepal, all of which are paired a fair wage. And the exterior of the crackers are handcrafted in the UK using unique seed paper, so after Christmas you can plant the outer layer of the cracker and you’ll be left with some beautiful flowers in the spring.
Selfridges Super Luxe Red Crackers
Available from Selfridges and selfridges.com, £110 for six
Decadent and luxurious. These bright red, ultra chic crackers look amazing and are all handmade. They contain a hat, motto and a silver–plated gift.
Available from Daylesford Organic shops, daylesfordorganic.com or call 0800 083 1233, £35 for six
We love Daylesford Organic and we know that anything from there is going to look beautiful. This includes their crackers – all are handmade in England and are beautifully wrapped in paper featuring images of the winter animals and landscape at Daylesford. They contain a pack of seeds, mini garden twine with wooden marker, mini whisk, mini tumbler, slinky and mini pencil set.
Fortnum & Mason House Filled Cracker
Available from Fortnum & Mason or fortnumandmason.com, £55
A luxurious giant cracker with an image of Santa on top of the Fortnum’s store. It contains lots of treats from the confectionary counter including sweets, chocolates and truffles.
Selfridges Hip Neon
Available from Selfridges and selfridges.com, £65 box of six
These crackers are striking, beautifully wrapped with pearlised neon paper are eye catching to say the least. The vibrant box will make a great finishing touch to any table.