Brexit – What It Means For Gift Boxes Sent to EU Countries

On 1st January 2021 the UK left the EU single market and customs union to formally complete the Brexit process. Whilst a new EU-UK trade deal was agreed at the 11th hour to enable the UK and the EU to continue to trade goods free of tariffs and quotas, goods being sent from the UK to the 27 EU countries from 1st January are now subject to significantly more customs regulations and checks.

British Gift Box did our best in the early months post-Brexit to continue to offer our customers the ability to order and send our Gift Boxes to their loved ones in EU countries but the new trading relationship between the UK and EU did mean some significant changes for our business and our customers:

1. Banning of food products being imported by EU countries

Not only did we hear surprising reports in the news early on about lorry drivers having their sandwiches confiscated as they crossed over The Channel, it soon emerged that most EU countries had a long list of prohibited products that they will not accept for import from the UK, which includes many of the food products in our gift boxes.

2. Onerous new customs procedures and border checks

With the ending of free movement of goods from the UK to the EU, the carriers are now responsible for collating and presenting customs declarations and documents for every shipment and for all customs compliance. This has created considerable additional processes when we book a shipment, and with 27 countries’ customs regulations to take into consideration, the potential for rejection or return of shipments is much greater.

3. Longer delivery times, more frequent delays and higher shipping costs

The consequence of all the new regulations and complex procedures is that it is more difficult to send things to EU countries, it takes longer to deliver to customer and there are more frequent delays along the way. The additional work and processing has also forced the carriers to increase their shipping charges to European destinations.

4. Unexpected VAT and duty demands for recipients

Whilst the EU-UK trade agreement means that there will be no import tariffs levied on goods being sent from the UK to the EU countries, the EU countries themselves can still charge local VAT on the declared value of goods coming into the country, plus any handling fees. Each EU country has its own VAT regime with different VAT rates…see 2021 VAT rates for EU countries…so the amount that German Customs could levy on a Gift Box could be quite different to the amount that Italian Customs charges on the same Gift Box. Any VAT assessed by a country’s Customs Authority as being due on a shipment is chargeable to the RECIPIENT and will normally have to be paid before the parcel can be delivered to them (normally collected by the carrier on behalf of Customs). It means parcels could be delayed or not delivered if any VAT charge is not paid promptly by the recipient, and any surprise gift is likely to be an unpleasant surprise as recipients are faced with a VAT bill to go with their gift!

 

Decision to Cease Shipments to EU Countries

Whilst we tried our best to keep shipments to EU countries open for our customers in the first few months of 2021, the prohibition of many of the food products in our Gift Boxes, lower delivery success rates and the poor experience received by our Gift Box recipients in Europe has meant that we have reluctantly decided to cease shipping to all EU countries for the foreseeable future. We will review the situation in Europe regularly and will only open it up again should things improve.

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Get ready for Easter with fun facts about Cadbury chocolate

With Easter coming up on 12th April let’s get ready with some fun facts about Cadbury to celebrate the best chocolate in the world.

 

Cadbury was founded in 1824 when John Cadbury opened a grocer’s shop. Along with tea and coffee he sold cocoa and drinking chocolate as healthy alternatives to alcohol which Quakers like him deemed bad for society. Healthy or not, we can’t argue that chocolate certainly makes people happy!

 

Cadbury first added milk to a chocolate bar in 1897…and the Dairy Milk bar was born!

 

After over 120 years since its launch, the Dairy Milk bar is still the UK’s favourite chocolate bar. Elegant, unpretentious and addictively moreish, it’s just chocolate in its perfect form.

 

Cadbury once owned the trademark to the colour purple…the particular shade of purple used in their packaging! Competitors Nestlé took them to court over it and after two decades of litigation Cadbury finally lost the rights to the shade in 2013.

 

Cadbury Creme Eggs are manufactured as two half-egg shells, each of which is filled with a white and yellow fondant to simulate the egg white and yolk and joined together to form the classic egg shape that we’re all familiar with.

 

Cadbury’s Bournville factory produces 47 million shell eggs each year….that’s over half of the Easter Egg shells that Brits eat at Easter!

 

If you have friends and family abroad, imagine how much they are missing Cadbury Easter chocolate at this time of year. Surprise them by sending them a Cadbury Easter Treasures box full of lovely Cadbury goodies that they’re sure to love!

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2019 Christmas British Gift Boxes now available!

Yes, we said the C-word! We are excited to announce the 2019 Christmas British gift boxes.

This year we have 3 exciting Christmas British Gift Boxes available: the popular Christmas Nosh box is back again for 2019, alongside a new and improved Nibbles Box, plus a brand new introduction to our 2019 range, the Christmas Gastronomy Box. So whether you are buying for a single loved one or an entire family, we have the perfect gift for you!

And if that isn’t enough, if you order before the end of October you will receive a 10% early bird discount. So order now and we will deliver to your loved ones in time for Christmas.

The Christmas Nibbles Gift Box includes:

  • Mini Iced Fruit Cake
  • Quality Street Carton
  • Cadbury Festive Friends
  • Mini Gingerbread Men
  • Cadbury Dairy Milk Santa
  • Terry’s Chocolate Orange
  • Many more festive favourites

Christmas Nibbles - British Gift Box

The Christmas Nosh Gift Box includes:

  • Rich Fruit Christmas Pudding
  • Mr Kipling Mince Pies
  • Ferrero Rocher Chocolate Shell
  • Maltesers Reindeers
  • Terry’s Chocolate Orange
  • After Eight Mints
  • All Butter Fudge Box
  • And more!

Christmas Nosh - British Gift Box

The Christmas Gastronomy Gift Box includes:

  • Cadbury Medium Selection Box
  • Rich Fruit Christmas Pudding
  • Mcvities Victoria Biscuits
  • Walkers Pure Butter Assorted Shortbread
  • Rich Fruit Christmas Pudding
  • Mr Kipling Mince Pies
  • Robertson’s Mincemeat Classic
  • Terry’s Chocolate Orange
  • And much more!

Christmas Gastronomy - British Gift Box

Have a request on a box you’d like to see in our collection? Don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Join our mailing list or follow us on Facebook to be the first to hear about future product launches.

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Gift Ideas for Students Abroad

When a family member or close friend heads off across the world to study, you know they will have a fantastic experience! A new culture, new people and new food is exciting, but can also be quite daunting. A gift from family or friends back in the UK can really make a difference, especially if it reminds you of home life. Here are a few gift ideas to get you inspired!

 

Teddy

      

A hug from parents or friends can’t be replaced, but an adorable Union Jack teddy could help! Get this cutie here, or why not a tartan version?

 

Travel Pillow

Encourage them to take regular trips back home, or to explore around their new area with this comfy Union Jack travel pillow!

 

British Chocolate

Who can say no to chocolate? Well actually, in a lot of countries chocolate just isn’t the same… for example the taste of Hershey’s is debatably nothing compared to Cadbury’s! Send them a box of all the best chocolate from the UK to ensure they aren’t getting too many chocolate cravings!

 

Tea Towels

Sometimes a practical present gives you peace of mind that even as a student, they are looking after themselves! Check out this tea towel.

 

Money Box

Help them save up for more trips around the world, or a trip home for Christmas with our cute money boxes.

 

Tea and Biscuits

For all the excitement and adventure of starting a course of study abroad, it’s common for young adults being away from home the first time to feel a bit homesick, especially  when they are thousands of miles from home. What can be more comforting then than tea and biscuits if they’re missing family and friends back in old Blighty!

 

You can add a note and even a photo with our gifts and British Gift Boxes, giving a truly unique and personalised feel to the present. Have a look at all our British Gift Boxes and available gifts, ready to be delivered to the other side of the world in as little as 2 days!

 

Browse our boxes now for more ideas!

 

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How to Create the Classic British Picnic

It’s a lovely sunny day, so you’ve decided to pack a delicious picnic to enjoy with friends and family whilst the weather holds out. You’ve got the blanket, and you may have the Pimms if you’re going down that route, but what about the food? Here are a couple of ideas to create the perfect British feast for that traditional English, chocolate box style, picturesque picnic.

The Savouries:

  • Cheese and ham sandwiches with Branston Pickle
  • Heinz Salad cream with pastrami and lettuce
  • Piccalilli with pickled onions and cheese
  • Branston Pickle with Jacob’s Crackers or Carr’s Table Water Crackers
  • Marmite, cheese and cucumber

Why not try making your own coleslaw? Grate white cabbage and carrots, add Hellman’s Mayonnaise and a dash of salad cream…and voila! 

Snacks:

  • Walkers Monster Munch – great for kids and adults!
  • McCoy’s Ridge Cut Crisps
  • REAL Handcooked Crisps – we love Ham & English Mustard flavour!
  • Smiths Scampi fries – perfect for beach picnics
  • Nobby’s Nuts Salted Peanuts

How about a classic trifle? Hartley’s Jelly, Birds Custard Powder, British strawberries…or maybe give it a twist and add Angel Delight!

Sweet treats:

  • Ambrosia Rice Pudding – we love it hot or cold, but what do you think?
  • Brownies always go down well, and to save time, try a Betty Crocker mix!
  • Apple crumble can’t be beaten… plus you can always use McDougalls Crumble Topping
  • Sweets – how about some classic Maynards Wine Gums?
  • Think those pickled onion sandwiches might be getting the best of your breath? After Eight mints will do the trick

What takes your fancy? Our British Gift Boxes include most of the above British condiments, treats and snacks, (and even Britain themed tea towels to clear up afterwards) so if you are across the world from the UK, we can still send a box of delicious British food right to your door! Have a look at The Full Monty and Classic Gastronomy Gift Boxes to see what picnic treats they include.

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Facts About Tea… (and why do the British love it so much?)

Everybody knows the British love a good cuppa. Whether that be a fine Twinings blend with a dash of milk, an Earl Grey with a slice of lemon or a robust ‘builder’s tea’ with two sugars, the British can’t live without their morning brew. The British drink approximately 100 million cups daily, which is almost 36 billion per year, but why do they love it so much?

The British Empire was essential in spreading tea from China to India, and it became integrated within upper social circles in Great Britain throughout the 18th century. Catherine of Braganza, wife of Charles II, introduced the ritual of drinking tea to the English Royal Court and the (at the time very expensive) habit was adopted by the aristocracy very quickly. Tea shops began opening around the UK, making the delicacy available to the masses – and the rest is history as they say!

If you are a real tea lover, why not try our Tea Anyone? British Gift Box, packed full of tea, cakes, biscuits and everything else you could possibly need to enjoy a good cuppa!

Here are a couple of tea facts that will surprise you!

Different types of tea

1/ Twinings created its logo in 1787, and it is thought to be the world’s oldest logo that has been used continuously up until this very day!

2/ It takes around 2,000 tiny leaves to make just one pound of finished tea.

3/ Milk was originally added not for taste, but because the thin china cups and saucers would crack under the heat of pure boiling water.

4/ Tea bags weren’t invented in the UK! Thomas Sullivan started giving samples of his tea in little silk pouches to customers in the United States. Customers didn’t realise this was just for travel purposes and put these bags directly into boiling water, accidentally inventing the teabag!

5/ The art of reading tea leaves is called tasseography.

6/ Bubble tea began in Taiwain, originally made with black tea, tapioca pearls, condensed milk, and honey.

7/ Teapots can either be made from metal or china, Although metal will keep the tea hotter for longer, china supposedly better keeps the flavour, with no tainting from the metal.

8/ You may think the British drink the most tea, but it is actually the Turkish!

Turkish tea

9/ Hot or cold? What do you think of iced tea? In America, iced tea is a lot more popular.

10/ According to many studies, tea is good for you! Lower risk of kidney disease, depression, strokes and diabetes have all been associated with drinking more tea.

 

Let us know any crazy facts about tea that we’ve missed and follow us on Facebook or Twitter for more weird British facts! Know someone abroad who misses traditional British tea? We have a number of tea-spired British Gift Boxes like the Oh Crumbs!, Dunking Indulgence and Tea Anyone? boxes that are sure to make them smile. We can ship anywhere in the world so why not send a Box today!

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Mother’s Day in Different Countries Around the World – Don’t Miss It!

Mother’s Day is celebrated all around the world, but doesn’t always happen on the date you would expect. There are so many different customs celebrating Mother’s Day in different cultures, but chocolate and flowers will always be the number one gifts in the UK!

Make sure your mum feels special on Mother’s Day, wherever she is based around the world. You can choose any of our British Gift Boxes to remind her of home on Mother’s Day, including our Chocoholics Anonymous Box, our Tea Anyone? Box and our Sweet Memories Box.

Here are a few Mother’s Day dates from around the world. For a full list, click here. How many of them will you be celebrating this year?

31st March 2019

  • United Kingdom
  • Jersey
  • Nigeria
  • Ireland
  • Guernsey

21st March

  • Egypt
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Saudi Arabia

5th May

  • Hungary
  • Spain
  • Portugal

12th May

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • China
  • Croatia
  • Germany
  • India
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • United States

Browse our British Gift Boxes

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Crack Open Our NEW Easter Gift Boxes!

When the Easter Bunny can’t hop over to deliver British Easter goodies, you know you can trust our British Gift Boxes to arrive anywhere in the world.

We are excited to announce our two new Easter British Gift Boxes, packed full of delicious chocolatey treats to delight the taste buds and get you jumping into the Easter spirit!

Choose between our two boxes, the Cadbury Easter Treasures Box (as chocolatey as it sounds) or the Ultimate Easter Celebration (complete with an unbeatable variety of yummy Easter essentials).

 

Cadbury Easter Treasures

As the name suggests, this is an all-Cadbury box for people who miss or really love British chocolate, including chocolate bunnies and eggs of all sizes. The perfect gift to excite children, but also for those adult chocoholics in your life!

Cadbury Easter Treasures Image

Buy the Cadbury Easter Treasures Box

 

Ultimate Easter Celebration

The perfect box for sharing as a family! As well as chocolate eggs and animals, this also includes a GIANT marshmallow chick, and Easter Jelly Babies… the perfect treat to get into the Easter spirit.

Ultimate Easter Celebration image

Buy the Ultimate Easter Celebration

 

Happy Easter from our team! Make sure nobody is missing out across the world. Delight friends and family with the arrival of a box of treats in time for Easter Sunday – the Ultimate Easter Celebration even comes with an Easter egg hunt for the whole family to enjoy!

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A Lovely Review from a Gift Box Purchase

It is always fantastic to hear from our customers that they really rate our services. This thank you note from a happy customer really made us smile, so we thought we would share it here!

Hi Team,

It’s not often I feel compelled to write something outside of a review, however I really wanted to say thanks for my recent order.

This was a present for someone at work in the US who is leaving our company and they are absolutely thrilled with their box of UK goodies.

In a world of online shopping dominated by people like Amazon, it’s so refreshing to deal with a small, family run company who go the extra mile and notice the little things.

After ordering the gift boxes, you noticed that I hadn’t completed a gift card which I had completely forgot about. Having that little reminder and being able to react quickly is not something others would do in my experience.

There was also something else really minor, however showed that you pay attention to customer service. My order and billing details had my name as Christopher as that is what is on my bank card, so you sent your first e-mail addressing me as Christopher. After you let me know about the missing gift card I responded with the name Chris. (Christopher is like being told off by your mum.) From then on your e-mails to me had my name as Chris. It’s such a small thing, however its the little things like that which really make a difference.

Well done to you all.

Chris

 

 

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7 Things You Didn’t Know About Mince Pies

A classic Christmas treat, the mince pie has a curious history. In the UK it’s hard to get through the festive season without indulging in a buttery bite, but did you know that many countries wouldn’t know a mince pie if they saw one?

 

1/ Mince Pie Magic

According to tradition, you must always make a wish on the first mince pie you eat during the Christmas season. It may be too late now, but remember for next year!

2/ Mince or Mince?

Most people have questioned why these little pastry pies are named what they are. The early mince pie was known by several names, including mutton pie, Christmas pie and shrid pie, as they typically contained minced meat and were savoury, hence the name.

3/ Is bigger better? We don’t think so…

Through history mince pies got smaller and smaller, until they became the perfect bite size in which we know them. We love them like this, but in America you will rarely get a small mince pie – they are generally full-sized pies intended (but not solely) for sharing.

4/ Spicy Symbols

The cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg ingredients were included to represent the gifts given to Jesus by the three Kings, making them a traditional Christmas snack.

5/ They’re Not Actually British!

British crusaders returned from the Middle East in the 13th Century bringing back recipes of a version of these delicious pies which included meats, fruits and spices, inspiring our classic mince pie that we devour today. But don’t worry – we are still including them in our Christmas Gift Box!

6/ A Couple of Unusual Ingredients…

Early recipes included hard-boiled eggs and cheese!

7/ They are Illegal

Well… not anymore. They were banned during Oliver Cromwell’s reign over England, as anything related to what they saw as frivolous, godless tradition was made illegal.

Missing mince pies whilst you are abroad? Or know someone who might be? Our Christmas Gift Boxes both include the delicious pastry treats, so order one by Friday the 14th December (find specific pre-Christmas delivery dates here) to ensure the box arrives by Christmas Day!

Order Christmas Nibbles British Gift Box

Order Christmas Nosh British Gift Box

 

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