Anyway, I'm getting a little off the track here... Valentines day is only a couple of weeks away and if you're considering gifts for the one you love (or writing up a subtle wishlist as a hint to your other half) then I'm going to suggest that Hotel Chocolat are very much worth thinking about.
Imagine your loved one's face when they wake up in the morning, or come in from work, and see that iconic bag with that well known logo - They'll instantly know you've got them a little slice of chocolate heaven.
And how beautiful is this box! It's hard to ignore how big it is, but even when you get over that you are instantly drawn to the sheen of the brightly coloured wrap-around design with the beautiful melting colours and striking pattern. It contrasts the matte, white, simple box and is going to stand out in any setting - It just looks fantastic.
'The Valentine Sleekster' box contains 27 (yes 27!) beautiful heart shaped chocolates in such an amazing array of flavours and it costs £22. There's a massive amount of other things in the range, too, from smaller boxes of the heart shaped delights to hampers and goody bags.
And, yes, this is how beautiful the chocolates look inside the box (can you see why I was instantly drawn in?) The colourful patterns make this stand out from more generic retailers in a really big way, it's the little details.
In this side of the box we have: 'Balsamic Caramel', 'Caramel Dizzy Praline', 'Passion Fruit Truffle', 'Gin Truffle' and 'Champagne Truffle'.
And on this half: 'Salted Almond Praline', 'Lemon Berry Tart', '75% Madagascan Cocoa Truffle' and 'Caramel Gianduja'.
I love how the designs mimic the pattern on the sleeve fro the outside of the box. In fact I just love them, it's something totally different from what I've seen before; I want more chocolates with crazy coloured swirls on them in the future, it may not change the taste but visually it's fantastic.
The first three I tried were the Salted Almond Praline, the Balsamic Caramel and the Lemon Berry Tart.
They taste absolutely amazing - I love salted caramel/praline/chocolate so the Salted Almond one was exactly up my street an the lemon berry one was so sharp but still perfectly sweet and melted in the mouth (plus the centre was bright purple which is always going to make me happy). The Balsamic caramel is one of the few that are made with dark chocolate but my goodness was I crazy to try that flavour - As it turns out caramel 'sharpened with a dash of cocoa balsamic vinegar' is amazing, even though I know some of your aren't too sure about that. The centre was just delicious, as I'd hoped. I did find the dark chocolate to be just a little too much, as I'm not a huge fan, but I'll still have another just for that amazing filling.
The Caramel dizzy praline has a caramel chocolate shell, which I didn't think would make much difference, but was actually delicious; you could really taste the difference with the caramel chocolate, it works so so well. There's only a few from the selection with alcohol in but, be warned, if they have alcohol in it's not done lightly. WOW did I get blown off my feet by the strong flavour of the 'Gin Truffle' - At first it was overpowering but I, actually, really surprised myself by enjoying it.
Honestly, the range of flavours was what won this box for me - Ok so the chocolates look exquisite, but the fact that they taste as such, too, is the real winner for me. I think a loved one would be blown away by this box at Valentines. Similarly, if you're trying to hint to your loved one as to what you want then this may be worth pointing them towards, or if you're single and wanting to treat yourself then look no further; this is the ultimate treat.
The whole Valentines range is available here: http://www.hotelchocolat.com/uk/shop/valentines-day-gifts - Hotel Chocolat is definitely a place to consider.