Monday, 8 February 2016

Put a smile on their face with Hotel Chocolat this Valentines day - The Valentine Sleekster

It's that time of year, again, when people all over the country are wondering what to do with that day that we, customarily, fill with hearts and flowers. Of course not everyone celebrates Valentines day in the same way, but for those who like to buy gifts I can imagine it gets a little overwhelming when there's so much choice, so many options and so much space to get things wrong! 

I am a very strong believer that, in so many cases, chocolate is the answer to many ills. And when I think of luxury brands. of brands that you turn to when you Really want to make that extra effort, it's always Hotel Chocolat that comes to the forefront as the brand to check out when you want to spoil someone. 

Hotel Chocolat, very kindly, sent me one of their Valentines day treats in order for me to show you what they have to offer, this year, and maybe offer you some inspiration. That said, just one item doesn't even touch the surface of what they are selling, so if this particular box isn't the one for you then hop on over to their Valentines section because there's gifts of all shapes and sizes over there.

I always fall in love with the packaging from this brand, if you've seen my other posts about them you'll already know this, but this year has really topped the list of pretty packaging for me. I love the geometric heart on the top of the box but, above all else, I love the colours. That almost plummy, raspberry colour with a hint of gold and then that teal mixed in. It's so so pretty - I know packaging isn't the be all and end all, but when you're looking for premium, it really does help. And I think that the Valentine Sleekster says premium through and through.

Again, with the menu, that colour scheme continues and it really is rather beautiful which is, of course, what you're looking for when you're buying luxury. And for £22 you really are getting a box full of luxury. 

There's 27 heart shaped chocolates in the box, with a massive range of flavours and some absolutely beautiful designs. From left to right we have the 'Apple of my Eye', 'Blood Orange', 'Gin Truffle', 'Praline Heart' and 'Berry Delightful'. 

It's nice to see that some old favourites, from previous boxes, are still in here, but that it's been mixed up with some different ideas too. 

The last four flavours are 'Salted Caramel', 'Amaretto Almond Kiss', 'Passion Fruit Truffle' and 'Caramel Gianduja'. 

I like how there's a mixture of types of chocolate for the shells including milk, white, dark and caramel. As well as this there's a really good balance of fruity fillings, nutty, caramel and alcohol - If you want to get a box that has a good variety in it then this one is definitely worth taking in to consideration. 

It was very tough to pick three favourites, for this box, I struggled to narrow it down but it had to be an odd number and five just seemed too many. 

The three that stood out to me, the most, were 'Blood Orange', 'Apple of my Eye' and 'Salted Caramel'. Salted caramel is a bit of an obvious one, if you know me, as I'll go for anything salted caramel flavoured, it's a trend I've well and truly embraced - More, though, than that, this is a particularly good example of a salted caramel because it has just the right balance of flavour (there really is no point in salted caramel if you get no salt). This one was under contention with the Praline heart, though, as I'm an absolute sucker for pralines too. 

The other two choices are slightly surprising, to me, because I'm not normally drawn to fruity fillings as much but these two were really rather special. 'Apple of my Eye' is one I wasn't totally sure about to begin with because the centre was rather sharp but pairing it with white chocolate was a stroke of genius because, once the apple passes, the creamy which chocolate comes in and it balances the flavours out perfectly. And. with blood orange, it was quite an easy choice as it just worked really well - I think what did it, for me, is how authentic an orange flavour it was. I do like orange chocolates, anyway, but this was such a real orange flavour that it won me over straight away. 

And that is the Valentine Sleekster - If you want more ideas then don't forget to pop over to the whole Valentines range, though I can't promise that it'll be an easy decision! And keep an eye out for future special ranges from Hotel Chocolat because the sneak peak of their Easter collection, which I'll share with you closer to the time, is really rather intriguing looking!

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