Are luxury Christmas crackers really worth the price? FEMAIL puts 11 boxes to the test – from a £175 reusable offering filled with candles to a £40 box of gin and tonics to find out which offers the best bang for your buck
- British retailers now offer very luxurious Christmas crackers for festive season
- Eager to provide gifts more enjoyable than the usual cheap trinkets on offer
- Hosts looking for something extra special might want to plump for one of these
- Here, FEMAIL have put 11 luxury Christmas crackers to the test
Christmas crackers are an important feature on any festive table – yet dinner guests rarely enjoy receiving the plastic whistle, ruler or throwaway joke found inside.
As such, there’s now a market filled with lavish crackers fighting to appear alongside your Christmas dinner and eager to provide gifts much more enjoyable than the usual cheap trinkets on offer.
Hosts looking for something extra special might want to plump for one of these luxurious and fun alternatives – including luxury homeware brand AMARA’s £175 reusable offering to a £40 box filled with gin and tonics.
But how do you know which to spend your money on? FEMAIL have put 11 luxury Christmas crackers to the test – with Franklin & Sons Gin and Tonic Christmas Crackers proving to be one of the best, priced at £40 for six.
Postbox Party Christmas Nutcracker Table Crackers, which cost £35 for six, also impressed thanks to the collection’s ‘beautiful design and very high quality feel’.
Adding a little elegance to your festive table, these Franklin & Sons’ crackers feature red and green decorations sketched onto a white package
Revealed: The best luxury Christmas crackers
Franklin & Sons Gin and Tonic Crackers – 4/5 – £40 (six pack)
AMARA x Forever Crackers – 4/5 – £175 (six pack)
Fever Tree Christmas Crackers – 4/5 – £32 (four pack)
Postbox Party Christmas Tree Crackers – 4/5 – £35 (six pack)
Drinks By Post Cracker – 4/5 – £100 (six pack)
Postbox Party Nutcracker Crackers – 4/5 – £35 (six pack)
All That Glitters And Gold by Forever Crackers – 4/5 – £215 (six pack)
JJ Whitley Vodka Crackers – 3/5 – £19.99 (six pack)
Matchimony Personalised Reusable Christmas Crackers – £70 (four pack)
Advent of Change Charity Christmas Crackers – 3/5 – £25.95 (six pack)
The Fife Arms Luxury Tartan Christmas Crackers – 2/5 – £175 (six pack)
Franklin & Sons Gin and Tonic Christmas Crackers
Cost: £40 (six pack)
Adding a little elegance to your festive table, these Franklin & Sons’ crackers feature red and green decorations sketched onto a white package.
They include a curated collection of six paired gin and tonics and include the mandatory party hat.
Jessica said: ‘These scream class, elegance and sophistication – and for an altogether more reasonable price than most other luxury crackers, costing £40 for six.
‘In the crackers, customers receive an award-winning gin and mixer combination, including classics from Sipsmith and Rock Rose, alongside the latest innovations from Warner’s, Manchester Gin, Silent Pool and Masons.
‘These look amazing in the box and would look gorgeous in any festive tablescape – with the simple tree and bauble pattern appearing so classy and the cardboard feeling thick and expensive.
‘They also include a game to be played inside – rather than a cheesy Dad joke – and offer a wide range of flavours.
‘These aren’t child friendly, for obvious reasons, so might be better suited to a festive dinner party rather than a Christmas day offering, but all in all they boast very luxurious qualities.
‘The only reason they’re not a higher rating is because I always love my crackers to go “pop” with a bang and did find I was missing the cheesy Dad joke.’
AMARA x Forever Crackers
These sustainable Forever crackers have been designed in collaboration with Baobab Collection for AMARA
Cost: £175 (six pack)
These sustainable Forever crackers have been designed in collaboration with Baobab Collection for AMARA.
They include six mini scented Baobab candles and matching fabric crowns made from Italian silk and fine linen.
Jessica says: ‘These looked too spectacular to even open and enjoy – arriving in a well-packaged box, and created with soft and seemingly high-quality fabric.
‘Upon their arrival, I was hugely impressed with the stunning box they were packaged in – black and white striped and looking highly sophisticated, the product seemed more like a gift for a loved one than just a party table add-on.
‘And the best part, these crackers are reusable and can easily be put back together again thanks to ribbons attached to the fabric of the cracker, as well as Velcro pieces.
‘While the price could initially put people off, the grandeur of the cracker – from it’s fabric crown to fit any sized head to the impressive gifts included, which in this case were delightful candles that smell exquisite – does ask for a higher cost.
‘They even boast the bang that every cracker – in my opinion – must have. So for people wanting to splurge this Christmas, these are a great collection to try.
‘However, ultimately the price does seem a bit steep for Christmas crackers – but if you’ve got your heart set on reusable ones, these are some of the best I’ve tried.’
Postbox Party Christmas Tree Green Crackers
These Christmas tree-themed crackers are created with a tissue fringe and shimmering silver foil detail. Each cracker contains a reusable glitter star brooch, a hat and a joke
Cost: £35 (six pack)
These Christmas tree-themed crackers are created with a tissue fringe and shimmering silver foil detail. Each cracker contains a reusable glitter star brooch, a hat and a joke.
Bridie says: ‘These are really pretty and would look great on a Christmas tablescape. They look very homemade but that’s not a bad thing. The colours are gorgeous and they’re definitely unique.
‘The brooch inside is very cute and actually reusable which is different from most crackers. The hat was good quality too and feels like it wouldn’t rip on your head.
‘I’d only say that you can only pull from one end, meaning that it’s not a full cracker experience – half the fun is seeing who gets it!
‘That said, after they’ve been pulled they can make cute Christmas tree decorations – we love a sustainable cracker!’
Fever Tree Christmas Crackers
A festive treat for gin lovers, this box of Fever-Tree crackers includes four G&T pairings and is exclusive to John Lewis & Partners
Cost: £32 (four pack)
A festive treat for gin lovers, this box of Fever-Tree crackers includes four G&T pairings and is exclusive to John Lewis & Partners.
Lottie says: ‘The fever tree cracker at first glance looks really elegant and would no doubt be a great aesthetic attention to any Christmas table.
‘It comes in a variety of tasteful muted shades and inside is a bottle of tonic water, an Edinburgh gin, and of course the traditional party hat and joke.
‘The pink cracker included an aromatic flavour tonic water and a festive-themed frankincense and myrrh.
‘Everything about the cracker feels really good quality aside from one thing – when it was pulled it didn’t give much of a bang. If you can let this go, it’s a fun addition to any gin lovers Christmas Day!’
Drinks By Post Christmas Cracker
Drinks By Post Christmas Cracker is 100 per cent recyclable and plastic free, with each cracker featuring a personalised name in hand-written calligraphy on the front
Cost: £100 (six pack)
Drinks By Post Christmas Cracker is 100 per cent recyclable and plastic free, with each cracker featuring a personalised name in hand-written calligraphy on the front.
The cracker is filled with a pre-mixed double measure cocktail or a Belgian hot chocolate stirring stick.
Jessica says: ‘This arrived and instantly put a smile on my face upon opening the packaging. A chosen name was elegantly penned on the front of the cracker, with dainty ribbons holding the pink piece together.
‘Making any guest feel instantly more special, the reusable cracker was a memorable addition to have at the table.
‘Not only thanks to the classy decoration, but this addition proved to be a hit due to the delicious treats waiting inside – including a Belgian hot chocolate stirring stick.
‘I would definitely recommend this as it’s a great cracker to add to a dinner table and means you send your diners away with an unforgettable, reusable gift.’
Postbox Party Christmas Nutcracker Table Crackers
Each pack includes six crackers in which the shape of the item resembles soldiers and ballerinas
Cost: £35 (six pack)
Each pack includes six crackers in which the shape of the item resembles soldiers and ballerinas. The reusable wooden cracker gifts make a lovely play scene to be enjoyed time and time again.
The crackers are available on notonthehighstreet. Holly Harper, Head of Inspiration at the brand, said: ‘At notonthehighstreet, we are proud to have a vast range of over 5,000 innovative and creative partners, who this year as ever have created extraordinary decorations for the home.’
Bridie says: ‘The first thing I noticed about these is that they had a really good snap! I think it’s the loudest bang I’ve ever heard from pulling a cracker – and I could actually smell the explosive.
‘They’re beautifully designed and feel very high quality, I’d definitely buy these if I was serving a fancy Christmas dinner.
‘I really like the theme too, families could have a lot of fun as each cracker is a character (I can just imagine how much fun it would be with my siblings deciding who gets the princess one and who gets the ballerina).
‘The hat and paper is also very fun – and the brooch is also reusable, would recommend!’
All That Glitters And Gold by Forever Crackers
Six handmade luxury reusable crackers with fabric crowns in All that Glitters and Gold. Each set comes with re-make instructions in a branded box
Cost: £215 (six pack)
Six handmade luxury reusable crackers with fabric crowns in All that Glitters and Gold.
Each set comes with re-make instructions in a branded box as well as either a beautiful rainbow clip or gorgeous hair bow from Mimi & Lula or luxury patterned socks from Jimmy Lion.
Jessica says: ‘These are sure to add a little glitz and glam to any festive experience. They arrive beautifully packaged in a branded box, with simple instructions on how to re-make the reusable products after you’ve first enjoyed them.
‘Featuring shimmering gold material with pink and blue detailing, teamed with white ribbons, the crackers are elegant without being too eye-catching.
‘They also feature an array of treats – including hair pieces from Mimi & Lula or luxury patterned socks from Jimmy Lion.’
JJ Whitley Vodka Cracker Gift Set
JJ Whitley Vodka Cracker Gift Set is a set of six crackers, each one featuring a different 50ml miniature of its various flavoured vodkas
Cost: £19.99 (six pack)
JJ Whitley Vodka Cracker Gift Set is a set of six crackers, each one featuring a different 50ml miniature of its various flavoured vodkas.
These include the Vanilla, Raspberry, Watermelon and Lime, Blood Orange, and Passion Fruit flavours, plus the classic Artisanal Russian Vodka.
Jessica says ‘These Christmas crackers are the perfect way to add a variety of colour to your festive table this Christmas.
‘Looking the epitome of festive with snowflake covered packaging in a mixture of colourful shades, they add that extra touch of glitz for a very reasonable price.
‘And that’s even before you open them – with each cracker offering a beautiful miniature vodka.
‘Served neat, they mostly taste delicious, and a mixer doesn’t seem to be needed for all due to them being packed full of so much flavour.
‘The Passion Fruit Russian Vodka and Blue Raspberry Russian Vodka minis really stood out as some of the most delightful. However, I would’ve liked the option of the mixer or something else to add a little extra pizzazz to this collection.’
Matchimony Personalised Reusable Christmas Crackers
These reusable crackers are made from soft satin and can be personalised with any phrase. They arrive empty, waiting to be filled, and can’t be pulled
Cost: £70 (four pack)
These reusable crackers are made from soft satin and can be personalised with any phrase. They arrive empty, waiting to be filled, and can’t be pulled.
The satin square once opened by pulling the velvet ribbons can be used as a napkin and are washable.
Claire says: ‘Opening this selection of personalised crackers was a real special treat – the mixed colours of the soft satin fabric and elegant ribbons caught the eye straight away but without looking tacky.
‘Then the classy golden names embellished onto each one gave it that extra special touch – making the appearance a firm favourite in our household.
‘Reusable and easily rebuilt once used, these are great additions to any table year upon year.
‘The level of detail that appears to go into making these can be easily seen and so while they are quite costly, if you want a one-off treat for your table that you can reuse, these would be a good purchase.
‘However, the lack of treats inside could put off some people – since while it’s a wonderful excuse to personalise them even further and add in any small gifts your loved ones will enjoy – it does require further expense to an already quite costly selection.’
Advent of Change Charity Christmas Crackers
Each Advent of Change Christmas cracker donates £2 to a different charity and inside is a note telling you exactly what organisation you’ve helped
Cost: £25.95 (six pack)
Each Advent of Change Christmas cracker donates £2 to a different charity and inside is a note telling you exactly what organisation you’ve helped, from those aiming to clear plastic from UK shores, to the supporting of key workers.
The new crackers are completely plastic-free and entirely recyclable, while the jokes have been written by celebrities – from Joanna Lumley to Richard Branson.
Abbey says: ‘The Advent of change crackers are a lovely addition to any Christmas table. Not only do they look pretty festive, but they leave you feeling warm and festive after cracking them open.
‘Each cracker comes with a cardboard bauble explaining where your donation has been sent and how it is making a difference to a number of charities which is very humbling and what Christmas should actually be about.
‘Although £26 is a bit pricey compared to other brands and considering it doesn’t come with a typical gift, knowing that 80 per cent is going to charity makes it worth it.
‘Each cracker also comes with a traditional Christmas hat and a joke which has been written by celebrities which is a nice to change to the same old ones we usually get every year.
‘The best part of everything though is that it is all 100 per cent plastic free and recyclable – even the ribbon can be reused to hang your charity bauble.’
The Fife Arms Luxury Tartan Christmas Crackers
These traditional handmade Christmas crackers (pictured) in the Fife Arms hotel’s house tartan, contain a horn item from McLean of Braemar crafted from sustainable red deer antler collected from the neighbouring estates
Cost: £175 (six pack)
These traditional handmade Christmas crackers in the Fife Arms hotel’s house tartan, contain a horn item from McLean of Braemar crafted from sustainable red deer antler collected from the neighbouring estates.
These gifts range from an egg spoon, a key ring, a whistle key ring, a bottle stopper or an olive pick. Also included is a Scottish poem from a selection by Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Burns and Lord Byron.
Siofra says: ‘These luxury crackers come in a heavyweight, elegant branded box, and the tartan pattern and red ribbons adorning them definitely feels very festive.
‘They pull with a satisfying snap, and they’re very much tradition with a twist – containing the obligatory paper hat and slightly lame joke, alongside a poem and a gift.
‘The bottle stopper is really lovely, but some of the other items such as the keyring and Christmas tree ornament, which looks rather like a thick piece of twig, are a little underwhelming.
‘My concern is that these deer antler pieces are only going to appeal to someone with very specific taste, so they’re not the ideal all-rounder for a festive crowd, and the same goes for the poetry, which may be a bit of a mouthful to read out at the end of a boozy Christmas meal.
‘If you’re at a party in the Scottish Highlands where these fit in with the theme, then perhaps they’re the best choice.
‘But considering some of the others are reusable, it’s a lot of money to pay for something that’s effectively just a better quality version of the usual Christmas cracker, with most of it going in the recycling bin at the end of the day.’
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